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Old 10-05-2018, 10:40   #16
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pirate Re: Wharram builders and sailors

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Originally Posted by uncle stinkybob View Post
These both look spacious for length overall, but who knows. maybe I'm fish eyed.
One looks like a modified Tiki type.. the other is a Pahi..
Stick with the Tiki.. the Pahi's suck to my mind.
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Old 10-05-2018, 12:26   #17
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Re: Wharram builders and sailors

Wharram is quite old now and his younger wife manages the business now. Really it is a mental thing between the expensive condo cats like the French make. Or the high performance cats that are millions of dollars. Then you have normal human beings that want low tech and low maintenance boats. The two amas on a wharram are lashes together with rope in the old Polynesian style. It is pretty freaky watching your amas flex within your bindings as you move the sea state. Plastic cats have rigid aka to ama joints. Wharrams are usually marine plywood sheathed in fiberglass. Anyone can fix dings are holes on them.

Wharrams are almost always outboard driven. Easy to beach them on outgoing tide and do your own scrub down and paint. You got 25K for twin diesels and all of smell and associated problems of drive units? Yes diesels have their advantages But cost, smell, weight, maintenance, and fixed draft of boat are not an advantage. Energy generation,
Fuel consumption and long life are big pluses.

I have a 30 foot trimaran with a 10 hp Tohatsu. It costs 2300 dollars. I change the drive fluid, impeller, fuel filter, and spark plug once a year. I expect 10plus years out of it. If it goes tits up I just replace it. New engine. One of the local charter guys here in San Francisco just had to replace both sail drives ( not the engines) on his French car. He paid 20K for labor and parts. Get your mind around that shizzle.

Wharrams use simple sail rigs that cost between 1-2 K. French cats... depending on size of boat can cost 7-10K just for the mainsail. Many wharram owners repair their own sails. That would be almost impossible on a big cat with high tech sails.

We could go on for a long time. But the main idea is low tech equals low cost to run the boat. Low costs are what the average Joe wants. If u r a fat cat go ahead and blow your wad. Many wharram cats are trailerable. Takes a good day to disassemble. Maybe a couple of days to reassemble. Want to sail Bahamas, San Juans, Sea of Cortez, do the loop between Great Lakes via Erie Canal and New York ????!!!!???? In a large cat you have to spend 3-5 years to get that geography. On a trailerable cat or trimaran you just sail the hell out of the location and then put her on the trailer and head North or South for good weather.

Lots of videos available. Lots of great boats out there for sale.
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Old 10-05-2018, 12:30   #18
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Re: Wharram builders and sailors

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One looks like a modified Tiki type.. the other is a Pahi..
Stick with the Tiki.. the Pahi's suck to my mind.
Which is which? If I had to guess, is the large twin mast the Pahi?
why one over the other? I've never had the chance to sail on one but have always admired Wharrams. Tiki's seems to cover many length's and mods, I like that aspect also.
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Old 10-05-2018, 13:26   #19
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pirate Re: Wharram builders and sailors

Pahi's have the Indian canoe style bow and stern, also a rounded hull form rather than the V hull of the Tiki's.
To counter the drift resulting with the Pahi they built skegs fore and aft to improve upwind performance.. proved to be a weak point.
But the masts are simple alloy tubes and the sails are sleeved to wrap around and zip up.. no booms and a simple wooden gaff at the top.. KISS Boats
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Old 10-05-2018, 14:27   #20
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Re: Wharram builders and sailors

I've been staring at these for a long time, and I can't tell if they are ugly or beautiful. I'd really love to sail on one.
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Old 10-05-2018, 15:14   #21
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Re: Wharram builders and sailors

I have never owned a Wharram but am familiar with several different models--and all of them were extremely seaworthy. The wet aspects of spray flying up from the quarter can be assuaged to some extent by fitting deflectors or spray rails. Why these are not standard on the plans I wonder, because they do add strength to the hull as well.

Having said that, one pays for low windage and simplicity of construction in other ways, and two of them are loss of upwind performance and a more cramped living space as compared to cats having a large bridge deck saloon.

There are ways of increasing upwind performance without spending a fortune. Lee boards I believe have been tried with some success, but most simply do not bother. Everything is a compromise, and a Wharram's ability to slide slowly off a wave to some extent is a part of its ability to withstand a capsize. The only mods I would make to a Wharram are to add one or two of the approved deck pods--if it is a bigger craft, and to fit the spray rails to the hull sides at bows and stern, as mentioned earlier.


I love the ideas behind a Wharram--and they are among the safest cats around for good reasons--the most notable of which is their legendary stability. If it comes to a decision between seaworthiness and comfort in an extreme situation--I will opt for seaworthiness every time.
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Old 10-05-2018, 16:12   #22
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Re: Wharram builders and sailors

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Originally Posted by uncle stinkybob View Post
Which is which? If I had to guess, is the large twin mast the Pahi?
why one over the other? I've never had the chance to sail on one but have always admired Wharrams. Tiki's seems to cover many length's and mods, I like that aspect also.
Both are Pahis, the first is a very modified Pahi 42 and the second is a Pahi 63.
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Old 10-05-2018, 17:19   #23
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Re: Wharram builders and sailors

I built a Wharram 46 foot . The Oro , but that was 50 years ago. I'm not up to date on costing but at the time , it was cheap not counting my labour. In fact Jim himself over-saw my work !!
Anyhow , it was easy and comfortable to sail . I crossed North Atlantic and then sold it. Donkey's years later I met the new owner in New Caledonia and discovered that my old cat had twice sailed the globe.

My next boat was a Crowther ( 10x the cost of the Oro ) faster and spacious by comparison but hey ! for world cruising,durability and economy is the key and if you keep the Wharram simple , as Jim intended, then the Wharram will do it .

I think that Wharrams are the most built and most travelled cats , ever ?
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Old 10-05-2018, 17:46   #24
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pirate Re: Wharram builders and sailors

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I built a Wharram 46 foot . The Oro , but that was 50 years ago. I'm not up to date on costing but at the time , it was cheap not counting my labour. In fact Jim himself over-saw my work !!
Anyhow , it was easy and comfortable to sail . I crossed North Atlantic and then sold it. Donkey's years later I met the new owner in New Caledonia and discovered that my old cat had twice sailed the globe.

My next boat was a Crowther ( 10x the cost of the Oro ) faster and spacious by comparison but hey ! for world cruising,durability and economy is the key and if you keep the Wharram simple , as Jim intended, then the Wharram will do it .

I think that Wharrams are the most built and most travelled cats , ever ?
Remember many years back a guy who had a Teheni, the 50ft classic design which he sailed without an engine.. used to enter ports with the tide and using a sculling oar.. a real character.
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Old 11-05-2018, 04:24   #25
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Re: Wharram builders and sailors

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I built a Wharram 46 foot . The Oro , but that was 50 years ago. .... and discovered that my old cat had twice sailed the globe.
Pyxis. eh?
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Old 11-05-2018, 05:25   #26
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Re: Wharram builders and sailors

btw sham:
the lady & I rtw-ed a self-built Tangaroa in the 80ies & quite a few of my previous posts contain some answers/opinions to your questions (if u want to go to the trouble searching for the posts...)
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Old 11-05-2018, 19:37   #27
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Re: Wharram builders and sailors

Over a 30+ year period, I owned
  • 2 classics Narai II and Oro -
    Narai cramped interior and wet sailor beating into F4-5
    Oro big interior not so wet
  • also owned 2 Pahis 31 and 42 again smaller one had a pretty cramped interior not so the 42

You live ON a Wharram not IN one
- comment from a friend on coming aboard Narai "Jeez it's as big as an effin tennis court"
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Old 12-05-2018, 01:40   #28
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Re: Wharram builders and sailors

Plenty of Wharrams pass through here, and they always make me smile.

Beautiful boats, and very safe and seaworthy.
(Provided they're not built or operated by a total blithering idiot. There have been a few.)
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Old 13-05-2018, 14:00   #29
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Re: Wharram builders and sailors

Go see for your self. There is a Wharram rendezvous next weekend. There will be Tangaroas , Narais, Tikis 21, 26, 31, 38, 8m, and likely a Pahi.
https://www.wharramforum.com/
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