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Old 09-08-2015, 18:00   #16
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Re: Review of a Wharram Catamaran

It may have been David Lewis who wrote about visiting a remote Pacific island in his catamaran.
A local man told him, "That boat, no good"
"Woman sleep one side, man sleep the other side"
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Old 09-08-2015, 18:52   #17
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Re: Review of a Wharram Catamaran

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It may have been David Lewis who wrote about visiting a remote Pacific island in his catamaran.
A local man told him, "That boat, no good"
"Woman sleep one side, man sleep the other side"
Ha, that's one of the advantages of a Cat...his & hers hulls...a feature sometimes very practical for cruising couples. Meet back in the middle and make up.
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Old 10-08-2015, 02:56   #18
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Re: Review of a Wharram Catamaran

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I had a short sail with James Wharram, his young lady friend, his wife and son on their own big cat. I can't remember how long it was but around 50' / 60' from memory. It seemed very comfortable with conveniently two cabins and communal cooking barbecue in the centre. I got to helm it for a while and commented that it seemed to have lee helm. They ran around and adjusted the 4 dagger boards and it balanced perfectly.

I have looked at all his designs and I like them and I'm sure they sail well and are seaworthy. They are though almost cult designs excellent as they are appealing to certain people, including myself. However I don't think resale would be very quick or return the cost of building even though they are lo tech. It would be a good project to build one if you don't have time for sailing yet.
Around the Pacific there is a fleet of big cruising Polynesian Waka / Vaka similar Wharram's designs, but made in fibreglass, though it's really the other way around. Wharram's designs are based on Polynesian ideas as he always points out. These Vaka have made big journeys recreating the ancient routes. They have large solar panels across the stern and retractable electric motor propellor units for motoring. They are steered with a long sweep / oar out the stern.
I think your talking about these guys?
Hokulea — Worldwide Voyage Tracking Map - Hokulea

Saw the boats in Whangarei - They are a sight to behold
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Old 10-08-2015, 03:19   #19
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Re: Review of a Wharram Catamaran

We have owned a Tiki 38 for about 18 months now and lived on it full time for 5 months now. 2 adults and 1 child.

We didn't build her so can't mention anything we directly know however a couple of people we know with Tiki's have mentioned that they simply sat and thought about the spaces for a good 9 months or more before buying a single bit of ply. Someone did little mock ups in foam and so far the results are pretty good, They are very forgiving and don't require you to be an expert to build however still require many gallons of sweat from your brow.


As for living on board i would think long and hard about which Wharram you look at buying or building, If you are retiring and see yourself on the boat for a very long time consider having the master cabin on deck in the form of a deck pod. Climbing up and down out of the hulls all the time can take its toll. If this is for you to live and sail mainly with one or two you should be able to get away with minimal trips into each hull.

One of the biggest attractions for us to a Wharram was the flexibility in the boat, Lacking any real ridged structure allows for alot of energy transmission and absorption, Your able to inspect all key aspects of the boat clearly and repairs are simple - No in glass chain plates or primary stress points behind the kitchen walls here. We are able to inspect quickly and repair quickly everything on the boat, Even the rigging is set to be fairly loose and is lashed down - A broken stay is minor event with a quick fix on a Wharram compared to a lot boats I've seen, Moreso if you elect for a synthetic rigging.

The downside to a Wharram is the one that jumps out at you the first time you look at her, There is no bridgedeck, You will get wet going from one hull to the other. So far living in the Marina during a quite cold winter here that has not been an issue, We have a simple Webasto 2kw heater in the starboard cabin that heats the whole area in minutes and we have used about 20L of fuel in 3 months. There's no reason a simple fuel heater couldn't do the same everywhere on the boat.

The upside to no bridge deck is the huge amount of deck space you end up with, We really have considered ourselves to have hibernated in the winter where even on land we didn't do much that required space. In summer we expect to be outside most of the time under our canopy and will have space galore.

The next upside is the price, You get alot of cat for not much cash. In NZ we get her for under $30k USD - We have a fairly strict cert needed to leave NZ call Cat 1 which she had and aside from a fresh water pump and new head we havent had to spend any real amount on her. This has allowed us to live our dream decades before we could have afforded to had we waited for a laggon 380 or Pajot 38 at 3-4 times the price, If we could have afforded to at all.

I do lean towards buying rather than building unless you have a passion for making things with your hands or you consider your time to be free. If you want to know any specifics just ask
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Old 10-08-2015, 05:34   #20
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Re: Review of a Wharram Catamaran

Take a look at this Wharram 46.

Deaton Yacht Sales (Oriental, NC)
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Old 10-08-2015, 08:12   #21
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Re: Review of a Wharram Catamaran

A good friend of mine has a 40' Wharram that I've spent a lot of time on. It's a good seaworthy boat that you can take anywhere if you're up to it. A lot of boat with very little draft. That being said I would never recommend it for a live aboard or a cruiser unless you are young & don't mind roughing it. My friend uses it primarily as a day sailor & weekender & it works great for that when the weather's nice. If you're thinking about living aboard in Florida you will need air conditioning.
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Old 10-08-2015, 08:33   #22
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Re: Review of a Wharram Catamaran

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Take a look at this Wharram 46.

Deaton Yacht Sales (Oriental, NC)
PRICED AT $134,900.00, SHE CAN BE ACQUIRED FOR A THIRD OF CURRENT COST OF MATERIALS ALONE, AND SHE IS READY TO DEPART TODAY

That's $400,000 in materials to build a 46' Wharram. Kind of hard to believe.
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Old 10-08-2015, 20:36   #23
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Re: Review of a Wharram Catamaran

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PRICED AT $134,900.00, SHE CAN BE ACQUIRED FOR A THIRD OF CURRENT COST OF MATERIALS ALONE, AND SHE IS READY TO DEPART TODAY

That's $400,000 in materials to build a 46' Wharram. Kind of hard to believe.
If it sounds too good to be true...
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Old 10-08-2015, 23:20   #24
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Re: Review of a Wharram Catamaran

I bought a set of plans for a Tiki 26, bought all the material (excluding the resin) and then didn't built one. I used the material (marine ply) to built 2 other boats, one a 15' cabin boat the other a 9' dinghy. But this didn't fulfill my dream, which is like yours, to take on the open sea.
In the mean time I looked around and considered several options - mono- and multihulls and finally decided on the Proteus 106 (35') by Angelo Levranos. In South Africa (Cape Town) one can buy the pre-cut marine ply kit and even have it built - and cheap, the way the Rand is going
It is just an idea and something worth considering
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Old 11-08-2015, 02:36   #25
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Re: Review of a Wharram Catamaran

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I think your talking about these guys?
Hokulea — Worldwide Voyage Tracking Map - Hokulea

Saw the boats in Whangarei - They are a sight to behold
Yes indeed and it's good to see the revival. Vaka is the Pacific Island pronunciation and Waka the New Zealand (Aotearoa) Maori pronunciation. Similar Vaka made from trees used to make extensive journeys between Pacific
(Pasifik) islands until the missionaries came along and discouraged that. David Lewis writes about that in "Voyaging Stars" and "The Polynesians". Not so many suitable trees to cut down now so the modern fleet is glass from a set of moulds. There are these Vaka from Cook Islands, Samoa, Fiji, Hawaii, New Zealand and I'm sure I've forgotten a few others. We see them around Auckland Harbour from time to time, and sometimes they sail past my house in the upper harbour going to the Salthouse yard.
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Old 11-08-2015, 06:52   #26
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Re: Review of a Wharram Catamaran

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PRICED AT $134,900.00, SHE CAN BE ACQUIRED FOR A THIRD OF CURRENT COST OF MATERIALS ALONE, AND SHE IS READY TO DEPART TODAY

That's $400,000 in materials to build a 46' Wharram. Kind of hard to believe.
Question for the OP. Do you have an estimate of the cost of materials for the 38' Wharram? I always thought that a big part of the appeal of these boats was that they were not expensive to build but now I'm not so sure. Maybe it's just that they are relatively simple to build. I'm not sure about the materials costs of Sam Devlin's boats, which are similar in construction method, but they are pretty expensive boats to buy completed although they are finished to a very high level that would be difficult for an amateur achieve.
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Old 11-08-2015, 07:39   #27
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Re: Review of a Wharram Catamaran

I sailed a 30 foot Tanenui as a kid in some pretty rough conditions. She handled it very well. Surfing well over 15 knots down the face of some big waves with about 35+ knots or so. In the end we just had the staysail up and where considering the tire as a drogue. Sold me on their seaworthiness. But hardly any room in the boat to swing a cat, let alone live not a good design for cold weather...
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Old 11-08-2015, 07:53   #28
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Re: Review of a Wharram Catamaran

The Gleda Project is a VERY detailed blog of some guy building a Wharram Cat over 8 years or so. I sat and read the whole thing over a couple of weeks - pretty amazing stuff
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Old 11-08-2015, 14:43   #29
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Re: Review of a Wharram Catamaran

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Question for the OP. Do you have an estimate of the cost of materials for the 38' Wharram? I always thought that a big part of the appeal of these boats was that they were not expensive to build but now I'm not so sure. Maybe it's just that they are relatively simple to build. I'm not sure about the materials costs of Sam Devlin's boats, which are similar in construction method, but they are pretty expensive boats to buy completed although they are finished to a very high level that would be difficult for an amateur achieve.

On the wood side its:

~15 sheets 4mm
~60 sheets 9mm
~15 sheets 12mm
~10 sheets 18mm

around 600m of softwood stringers etc of various sizes and lengths 32x19 to 130x25

100m of 80cm 200gm2 glass, ~250kg of Resin + associated bits


Thats a rough guide of the big bits
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Old 11-08-2015, 18:28   #30
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Re: Review of a Wharram Catamaran

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On the wood side its:

~15 sheets 4mm
~60 sheets 9mm
~15 sheets 12mm
~10 sheets 18mm

around 600m of softwood stringers etc of various sizes and lengths 32x19 to 130x25

100m of 80cm 200gm2 glass, ~250kg of Resin + associated bits


Thats a rough guide of the big bits
I think the big bits are usually 1/3 the total cost unfortunately.
What puts me off wanting to build a catamaran is that you get one hull finished and then you need to start to build another. I know ideally you would build both hulls at the same time if you have room. Still I'm sure it's worth it.
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