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
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
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