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Old 01-07-2019, 08:40   #31
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Re: Wharram Thoughts

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A “ bastard “ a “ mongerel “ , they say mix the genes for improvement

"Improvement" is a loaded word here.......... Starting from a Wharram, there are lots of directions to go for "improvement". They all involve compromising somewhere.



A low profile cabin or pod is a pretty universal improvement found on so many larger Wharrams that it hardly qualifies as a change, but I have a suspicion it was not in the plans.


The simplest improvement other than perhaps the pod is the rigid beams. The only downside is the loss of being able to take the boat apart easily. that's my opinion anyway, as I've heard no convincing argument to the contrary. From that change flow many other possibilities.



Adding a leeway device is something some owners have done to improve ground track when sailing upwind


Other "improvements" for the most part get much more major, and really do diverge fairly significantly.


When you seriously diverge such as improving hull shape, such as adding a chine to give more interior space, or altering the longitudinal shape and adding a transom, you are pretty clearly stepping out of bounds, and even with lashed beams.


Years ago I worked with an aircraft engineer / designer friend over the internet developing a homebuilt aircraft design where the general idea was to embrace and support individual innovation within an online community. The design offered a number of major configuration options based on the same basic airframe, which itself had several optional configurations..... open cockpit / closed cockpit, single or two place, tandem or side by side, low or high wing of various types and spans, and even a biplane version, tricycle or tail dragger gear, several tail styles, etc............ He unfortunately passed away before the project reached anywhere near it's potential. it was a very exciting project, and immensely satisfying for him. His sudden death resulted in the collapse of the project, though a number of planes were built.



He was fond of saying that someday he'd be at Oshkosh, and be admiring a plane, and speak to the owner, only to find that it was a variant of that design, though externally it would have been impossible to identify.



Unlike many designers, he had learned to embrace what others often find threatening.... and not without reason.


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Old 01-07-2019, 09:34   #32
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Re: Wharram Thoughts

OK Owly, I see your point. But James designed these boats to meet a specific criteria: Build at home at low cost, get on the water, sail to distant seas, survive. I think it's clear that he met these goals and then some. And many of the modifications to his plans were eventually approved by him.
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Old 02-07-2019, 02:35   #33
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Re: Wharram Thoughts

I believe the flexible beam mountings are not just for ease of building but that James believed a non-rigid connection was more seaworthy for his design. A rigid joint will put more load onto the structure that it wasn't designed for
There are plenty of other designs so why would you want to bastadise a Wharram?
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Old 02-07-2019, 04:08   #34
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Re: Wharram Thoughts

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OK Owly, I see your point. But James designed these boats to meet a specific criteria: Build at home at low cost, get on the water, sail to distant seas, survive. I think it's clear that he met these goals and then some. And many of the modifications to his plans were eventually approved by him.
It was a philosophy he carried through even on the largest vessels. I can recall an article about a 70' Wharram where the furniture was cleverly formed from a continuous shelf run above the flat bottom. The saloon was an oval section cut from the shelf and raised up on two pedestals. With one cut of a jig saw a table top and seating all around were provided. The bunks were formed the same way with the cut out removed. Very simple and effective.
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Old 02-07-2019, 13:16   #35
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Re: Wharram Thoughts

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Spoken like a true Wharram Acolyte
That might not be entirely fair @owly.

Starting since I was around 10 years old I have ended up with a wide experience on a multitude of different vessels, from dinghies to coastal boats, live aboard ocean cruisers, wooden classics to full carbon race boats, monos to multis, high speed motor yachts capable of 40 and 50kn plus, and probably more that I forgot too.

I'd like to think that this has given me some appreciation of the characteristics of different vessels and their relative plus and minuses.

Are Wharrams a perfect boat? Hell no, far from it. If budget (both initial and ongoing) was no object would I be interested in a Gunboat or Outremer, etc? Hell yes, because I like to go fast.

This may seem totally at odds with also appreciating the benefits of a Wharram, but read on.

Even on a Gunboat or Outremer I would still incorporate many of the suggestions in my previous post too, because I know enough to understand what works and what doesn't, what breaks and what doesn't, and what is needed on a practical day to day basis in different circumstances. In this respect I can also understand how a Wharram is absolutely not the right for some people.

However, as soon as the question of budget (again, both initial and ongoing) is thrown into the mix a lot of the so called 'better' options become unobtainable for many people, and the right, good Wharram can give them a lot of options especially for tropical cruising.

Additionally there is the whole rational of 'simpler is better' (for some sailors) which is what I was trying to convey in my earlier post even if it wasn't strictly on your original topic. And this should be understood as a 'whole boat' concept, instead of in an old fashioned way of this means 'no showers, no toilets, no comforts, etc...'

Having said that, some of my suggestions would be considered quite radical and even heresy in hard core Wharram circles, however that is changing too - it's not 1970 anymore - and many newer Wharram owners are adopting exactly the approach that I suggested - using the more obtainable platform to get into a really well customised and suitable boat at a still reasonable price.

Starting with a Gunboat and then customising it... You are going to need very deep pockets...

The 'double end/canoe sterns' seem to be a particular sore point for you and I can understand that. Especially on a monohull (even a motoryacht) I always noted the disadvantages, except perhaps for some they can look beautiful.

But access to the water always bothered me since why be on a boat and have difficulty accessing the water? To be honest, I'm not that impressed with water access on most modern cats either. Even with square sterns and swim steps you still end up with a very small and limited space that is also not very good for dinghy boarding either.

I'd like to see this vastly improved on modern cats, taking full advantage of the wide beam and providing a motoryacht style access to the water and dinghy. When cruising you are constantly in and out of the water, and the dinghy, and catching and cleaning fish, etc, and nowhere near enough thought is put into this (again I'll reference La Vagabond here, for while I'm an Outremer fan, they free dive and spear fish a lot and the transom/swim platform on that type of modern design is disappointing and impractical).

Most (modern) Wharrams are actually an improvement in that respect. Again it is basic but most of them have the entire back deck fold down into the water which is already better, and with a few tweaks could be amazing. here is an example: Pahi 52 for sale E. Med (ref 1245) - Scott Brown Multihulls



Yes you can view the long narrow hulls as wasted space. But on the plus side these are (or should be ) water tight compartments, and they make for an easily driven boat that tracks well (for self steering), just as in a monohull or a long narrow motoryacht. These are not day sailing marina queens so at anchor the extra length is less of an issue. And it means more deck space

Now onto the sailing perspective. Most Wharrams have a bad reputation in this regard and it is a pity. The modern Tiki and Pahi designs will sail well enough if setup properly and sailed properly (no, not Gunboat level performance, let's not be silly... but 'cruising cat performance').

But here is where the budget aspect works against a Wharram, as many are built poorly, equipped poorly, and sailed poorly, mostly by non sailors in fact.

Here is a short video of what can be done instead:

Hammer down and consistent mid teen boatspeed numbers (18+kn on the GPS) on this French Tiki 38 (wet though, see my earlier post with mods to help with that). I appreciate that pushing like this might be excessive for some people, so ok, throttle back and do an easy 10kn all day long instead. That would still be very good cruising for a 38 foot boat which is closer to only 30 feet on the waterline, and is fantasy land for most cruising monos.

Pity there is no video of Wharram himself going upwind in the red sea in a blow on the Pahi 63 whilst most cruisers were hiding or motoring head to wind.



So I think what I was trying to suggest by saying "Let's not complicate it again by changing the whole design ethos of a Wharram cat" is that it's possible for them to be surprisingly good already despite all the supposedly 'wrong' parts of the design.

For the budget conscious I think it's better to focus on and enhance the positive aspects of a Wharram with everyday usability mods instead, because it seems that these mods are required on most boats anyway. Most boats are just not that perfect out of the factory for live aboard cruising.

Even expensive modern cats still seem to need a lot of changes, and still seem to have the same silly stuff break and go wrong like it did 20 years ago. Why pay a premium for that?

As @Redreuben said:

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A Wharram (can be) a package where the sum is greater than the parts and that’s why people love them.

My 2 cents @owly, hopefully better explained
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Old 04-07-2019, 06:27   #36
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Re: Wharram Thoughts

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Owly, have you ever owned or sailed a Wharram? Or are you a navel architect specializing in catamarans? Hundreds of Wharram cats have happily and successfully all over the world. The fact is, they're fun. I do believe that lashing adds some flex that helps to relieve strain. The rudders also work well with lashing. What you call the "ethos" is actually a lifestyle. It's true several have been modified in various ways. Some have added large houses that stretch from one hull to the other, and some have even been bolted together. Whatever floats your boat, as they say. But if you don't like them, that's OK too. There's lots of other catamarans available. How about a Gunboat?
Dont ever forget; FORM FOLLOWS FUNCTION and vice versa. Thats my philosophy of design and sail boats fit this perfectly. You can design or judge any boat design by eye as our ancestors did. Also, I am curious how a lashed rudder works if anyone can tell me.
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Old 04-07-2019, 06:48   #37
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pirate Re: Wharram Thoughts

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Dont ever forget; FORM FOLLOWS FUNCTION and vice versa. Thats my philosophy of design and sail boats fit this perfectly. You can design or judge any boat design by eye as our ancestors did. Also, I am curious how a lashed rudder works if anyone can tell me.
It works very well.. it utilizes cord figure of eights instead of metal pintels.
Same principle
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Old 04-07-2019, 08:59   #38
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Re: Wharram Thoughts

Is there a good reason for lashed rudders? A great low tech system, I've used this exact system in other structures that need to articulate. The key of course is to have the lashings spread along the hinge line far enough to ensure that the motion is all along the desired axis **ONLY**. It will wear of course, but it is also very serviceable. No bushings to drive out and replace, but life is going to be far shorter. the issue I see is ventilation. There is good reason to have a rudder mounted beneath the hull. It will be far more efficient, but then comes the issue of protecting it. A rudder stock mounted to the stern like a Wharram and protected by a skeg is pretty rugged. The question that comes to mind is why use lashings when bushings will last many years with zero maintenance? In the cost vs longevity vs complexity vs serviceability equation, my math says that bushings are virtually zero maintenance for many years for very little "complexity", and minimal additional cost. The next stage is under hull rudders, which offer high efficiency, but at a high cost in complexity, to make them resistant to damage, or a cost in vulnerability. My math is not the same as yours.... My cost benefit equation inevitably will come up differently from yours. Does it require regular maintenance? Will it fail without warning? and if so am I likely to be able to repair it in some remote place? How observant am I of things building toward failure? What is my sailing plan? Will I be in a "civilized" area when it does need repair? Do I want something that I must fiddle with on a frequent basis? If I have a system that does not need a lot of service, will I simply quit paying attention until it does fail? Is performance a priority over simplicity? To what extent?



There are many costs other than dollar costs, and time can rate very high among those. Time fiddling with a system, or time waiting for a part to be shipped or machined locally, and that TIME can mean meeting a weather window or not, which can in turn mean holing up somewhere you don't want to be during cyclone season....... and or course visa limits. Will you have to fly out of Oz because your visa ran out, leaving your boat behind, and finding something to do until you can come back? The old Boy Scout motto "be prepared" applies in spades here. You can carry spare cordage or buy it locally, or carry spare bushings.... they don't weight anything to speak of. Importing parts is expensive and time consuming. This applies to every critical system on a boat.


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Old 04-07-2019, 10:21   #39
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Re: Wharram Thoughts

You'd be much better off it you sailed on a few Wharrams before you continue to criticize them.
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Old 04-07-2019, 10:35   #40
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Re: Wharram Thoughts

was he critizing them ? i thot he was just offering some opinions on how they could possibly be improved,,,, i remember we had a wharram many years ago ,, the rudders were not lashed but had metal pintals ( is that the word ) , never needed rebushing,, the beams were not lashed but were throo deck fixed with large bolts and even larger rubber bushes , all worked perfectly for us. " modifications " are a plenty in many fields, nothing nessesarally wrong with that,, even a porsche will need modified to win Le Mans ,, many of which Ferdinand would approve of !!
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Old 04-07-2019, 12:48   #41
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Re: Wharram Thoughts

True, my Tiki 30 was modified. The cabin tops were made 1" higher.
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Old 04-07-2019, 14:19   #42
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Re: Wharram Thoughts

Half full or half empty? I see Wharrams as a boat with "potential".... If we look at catamarans X, Y, and Z, .............And I won't name names, as it will piss owners off.... There is no room to "improve" them. Bridge deck clearance is not acceptable, bridge deck is carried too far forward, beam is too narrow, and windage is too high. Those boats have almost zero potential for improvement.... You may love your X, Y, or Z, but would you be comfortable in it rounding the horn, or in the Tasman in the equivalent of the Queen's Birthday Storm?


I can't buy a 250K boat.........is that the entry price? I can buy a Wharram, and there is room to improve it........Is there room to improve an X........... 30' LOA, decked all the way forward, 13.5' beam? To the point where I would feel comfortable crossing oceans in it?


I understand the Wharramites.......The product perfectly fits their needs...... a good product, a good fit......... Your criteria are different from mine....The Sarasota boat fits my criteria fairly well...... though it is a bit big. It demonstrates the potential of Wharrams, not their inadequacies.


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Old 04-07-2019, 17:40   #43
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Re: Wharram Thoughts

Rudders.
http://pca.colegarner.com/SeaPeople-002.pdf
Scroll down to page 17, racing Tane. Check out the rudders and centre board.
Looks like Wharram did a few mods here and there to suit a purpose.
Combine that with the racing Tiki here, http://pca.colegarner.com/SeaPeople-001.pdf page 14-15, and you get a pretty interesting boat.
For some reason the idea of a hotted up Wharram appeals to my sense of humour and aesthetic.
Carbon beams and mast, Dyneema rigging, lightweight build, upgrade the sail fabric.
Oh yeah baby.
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Old 04-07-2019, 19:21   #44
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Re: Wharram Thoughts

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Rudders.
http://pca.colegarner.com/SeaPeople-002.pdf
Scroll down to page 17, racing Tane. Check out the rudders and centre board.
Looks like Wharram did a few mods here and there to suit a purpose.
Combine that with the racing Tiki here, http://pca.colegarner.com/SeaPeople-001.pdf page 14-15, and you get a pretty interesting boat.
For some reason the idea of a hotted up Wharram appeals to my sense of humour and aesthetic.
Carbon beams and mast, Dyneema rigging, lightweight build, upgrade the sail fabric.
Oh yeah baby.

Thanks for the links..... Sea People always makes good reading ........... It is exactly the kind of voyaging I want to do.........





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Old 05-07-2019, 01:22   #45
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Re: Wharram Thoughts

RedReuben: about 25 years ago there was a pretty racy Tane based here in the Whitsundays, named K.I.S.S., painted battleship grey.
She had a cutter rig, big mainsail, and was sailed hard and fast, with some good finishes in local races. Embarrassed a few people who laughed at her.
I remember the stern/rudder join was very tight and faired in to minimise turbulence, and he somehow got a really tight forestay.
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