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Old 08-08-2015, 09:14   #1
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Review of a Wharram Catamaran

Dear Forum:

I have looked at a Wharram Catamaran, namely the tiki 38, that I have thought about building and then living on it in retirement. This way I can do what really brings me inner peace, sailing, and live on the boat too.

I have looked at the wharram site and their builders as well. Has anyone in this forum sailed a Wharram Catamaran and if so, would you mind giving your opinion on the good things and the issues with them?

Many thanks!!

Fernao
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Old 08-08-2015, 09:41   #2
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re: Review of a Wharram Catamaran

How old are you? It will take 2-3 years working full time to build one 7-10'years "part-time" there are much better sailing designs you can build with more space like my Woods Vardo for the same cost and about the same build time.
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Old 08-08-2015, 09:55   #3
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re: Review of a Wharram Catamaran

Are you building because you have a passion for building things or do you think you will save money?
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Old 08-08-2015, 11:04   #4
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re: Review of a Wharram Catamaran

I want to build because,

I like working with wood
I can build the boat just the way that I want it
I am not ready yet to go cruising. I have set my plans to start building about six years before I retire. (I have family, $$$ and other issues to take care of first. that is a bit of a problem for me right now.) I want to name the boat "pequeno paraiso" which is Portuguese for "small paradise" as being retired and cruising the world on a boat will be paradise for me on this earth.

I know that I could probably get in cheaper via a second hand boat.

I would like to know though, if anyone on this forum has cruised in a wharram. I wanted to know how they sail.

Many thanks to all of you on this one.

Fernao
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Old 08-08-2015, 19:53   #5
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re: Review of a Wharram Catamaran

I think there are some Wharram owners here so hopefully they will reply. There are also a few Wharram specific forums out there that you might try.

I like a lot of Wharram's design ideas and I've sailed a couple of Tikis. Performance overall was good, but tacking was not their strong suit.
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Old 08-08-2015, 21:31   #6
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re: Review of a Wharram Catamaran

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fernao View Post
Dear Forum:

I have looked at a Wharram Catamaran, namely the tiki 38, that I have thought about building and then living on it in retirement. This way I can do what really brings me inner peace, sailing, and live on the boat too.

I have looked at the wharram site and their builders as well. Has anyone in this forum sailed a Wharram Catamaran and if so, would you mind giving your opinion on the good things and the issues with them?

Many thanks!!

Fernao
Heres a video of a guy building one.

Also, lots of other videos on them here. https://www.youtube.com/results?sear...harram+tiki+38

Perhaps one of the down sides of most wharrams is that you have to go outside to get inside of each hull. So, for example, if youre in inclement weather, you need a raincoat to get from the galley to the Nav station.
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Old 09-08-2015, 08:43   #7
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re: Review of a Wharram Catamaran

As well as limited sailing performance the room in them is very limited. Much more suitable live aboard designs are available.
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Old 09-08-2015, 10:09   #8
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re: Review of a Wharram Catamaran

Perhaps it is better to judge first hand for yourself than to seek
the advice of others. Charter one for a week.

Here is one outfit that charters Wharrams. A search of the web will
show others.

Tiki 38 - Wharram Tiki 38ft catamaran
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Old 09-08-2015, 10:44   #9
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re: Review of a Wharram Catamaran

i lived on my tangaroa iv in BC, vancouver island. i loved it but it can feel cramped and cavelike. to heat you need to mount tht heaters near the sole. i mounted a big hatch over the stove which vented gasses straight up. hatches over each sleeping are. they don't tack well but you can learn to do it. they won't go close to the wind. you can get into shallow spots and dry out--this was the envy of many monohulls. very comfortable in strong wind and lumpy conditions. i built a center pod that joined the hulls -- flexibly. you could access it through each hull . This was a huge improvement. I bought the boat second hand and was really glad I did as I could sail immediately and it was a lot cheaper. For example, there is a tiki 31 on victoria bc craiglist for $5000. you could dismantle it and put it on trailer which is what i did. scott multihulls in britan is worth checking out as he has boats all over the world. as aliveaboard something like a pahi 42 wharram has more room. my boat was like glorified camping annnd one woman said it could be argued you actually live outside. stay away from wharrams with the beam troughs as they impede heat and air circulation. will answer any questions.
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Old 09-08-2015, 11:31   #10
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re: Review of a Wharram Catamaran

Hey mate,I have built a tiki 26. I loved the building process.Frustrating at times for sure,but what satisfaction you get from your own work. It is a big project for sure, a tiki 38 is a big boat to build on your own, will you have help?
If you are intent on building,make sure you have a place to build that is water tight and somewhere that you will be able to use for the entire build.
If you start to build your own,make sure you shop around for materials and buy in bulk to save $$$. This was difficult for me as i had to earn the money for materials whilst building.

Consumerables like latex gloves and mixing cup/sticks for epoxy and sand paper really do add up to not an insignificant amount of money over the build.Screws and bolts can also be bought cheaper in bulk .Buy heaps of rags for cleanup,these too can be in large quantities.
The tikis do sail better than the classic designs apparently and yes you could build something that would sail better and has better accomodations but for me there is just ''something'' about these boats that does it for me. Good luck.
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Old 09-08-2015, 12:36   #11
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pirate re: Review of a Wharram Catamaran

I'll second 'Salti' on that..
I've owned a Tiki 21 and a Tiki 26.. both were great if you do not mind basic.. which I do not..
There's two things you can do to tack Tiki's..
1/ Don't sail so close to the wind.. keep your speed optimum.. sheet in jib as you tack and let it back till filling then release and set for new tack.
2/ Or... if you are too close to the wind and lack the speed to complete the tack.. If you get caught 'In the Irons' push the tiller hard across and reverse onto the new tack..
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Old 09-08-2015, 12:41   #12
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re: Review of a Wharram Catamaran

I bought plans for a Farrier F-31 back in 1995. Finances due to divorce and child raising put those plans on hold for over 10 years. So, I feel your dream and the reality of monies can always be an issue.


As I got older I just lost the ability to start such a big project. Then when I finally had the money and time to do it I finally understood that it was a mammoth undertaking and would I be a guy building a submarine that was really supposed to be a boat. Smile. I have renovated two homes now from top to bottom. Windows, doors, floors, tiles, all electrical, and minor plumbing. Self taught and lots of youtube tutorials. Why do I tell you this? Because what my life lessons have taught me is that it always goes slower than you thought. It always ends up much more expensive than you thought. What did it really teach me the most? That, personally, it is a dogfight to get through big projects. As you grow older your energy levels get less. After a long day repairing my father's house to new condition I can feel sapped for days.


I am not trying to rain on your dream. But just search your soul deeply and try and really understand what you are biting off. Many boats for sale on the market that will be cheaper than what you can build it for without the many years of building it yourself. I love the throwback looks of the Wharram designs. I love the simplicity and low tech approach of J. Wharram. Have looked at many of them over the years and dreamed like you.


Take a look at a used Farrier trimaran, Woods designs, Searunner, and many others. Maybe work an extra job for a couple of years and really live dirt cheap....save the coins and build up the dream kitty. Never give up on your ideas...you are dead if you do. But just really understand what a labor of love, financial dedication, and drain on your life clock a boat will be to build. I wish you the best,
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Old 09-08-2015, 14:23   #13
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re: Review of a Wharram Catamaran

My first cat/ boat was a 46 ORO. Donkey's years ago , mind you. I actually met up with Jim Wharram. However , the build was very stimulating and living on board was fine, especially when travelling.I did cover a lot of miles and experienced most conditions. This was in Biscay and N. Atlantic. Since then , the second owner sailed it twice aro'the world.
My next boat was a Crowther . We then had kids so the extra space was welcome. My views- Wharram provides lots of experience , great safe design and real value for money.
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Old 09-08-2015, 15:54   #14
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re: Review of a Wharram Catamaran

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.
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Old 09-08-2015, 16:47   #15
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Re: Review of a Wharram Catamaran

Hi, I was once the proud owner of a Wharram Classic Hinemoa. It was a tad sad when I bought it so an extensive refurbishment process was called for. Research indicated that the Wharrams tended to 'hobbyhorse' due to their symmetrical bows and sterns and use confirmed this. I resolved the problem by fitting "sharp" bows and bow bulbs. What a difference! She just sliced through the water. Other additions included a Gibb winch for use as an anchor winch, Accraman steering, rigging the central outboard to turn with the rudders (more positive and direct steering), and a two pot paint job. She was cramped but a joy to sail and her performance really surprised both cat and mono sailors who crewed with me.
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