Wharram Builders and Friends

A Photo & Discussion Forum for Wharram Design Enthusiasts

I have posted some photos of 1980 catalog. The Pahi 42  Captain Cook was the newest addition to the fleet and stitch-n-glue was not yet available from Wharram. The Tiki range came shortly after. Interesting that the 20ft boat on the trailer is called Tiki although it is obviously Pahi shape. I wonder if it was ever built ? I was also on a Pahi style boat approx 35ft built for the Round Britain Race I understand that the cruising Pahis were developed from this. 32 years ago ???

Views: 748

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Funny, I was also thinking of posting this poster. During a visit to Devoran I saw the 20 foot Pahi shaped Tiki, it was just the two hulls, they were shoved up the side of the Building shed where they were constructing 'Spirit of Gaia' I remember thinking how attractive they were, pity they discontinued it, I might have been tempted to build it. 

the baby pahi looks nice but i think 26 '/ 30 '  is minimum for of shore comfortable passage in  waves

 Barrie thanks so much for your post.

You saw two hulls finished. But were they ever launched ? The Pahi 20 mystery continues...but now we at least know that the hulls were built.........


Poor photograph from mobile phone but it includes from JWD. "we recommend P.31 as minimum offshore cruiser" but again the Tane [ 27ft ] at this time was the choice of many solo/shorthanded cruisers for ocean voyages...no solar panels no GPS " no nothing'' but they got there just the same...

It would be great to get this scanned in and then over to Bill and Houston Barker so they can post on the new Seapeople site.

The Wharram design book from 1996 says "The Pahi shape was first studied on a 23 ft. model "prototype" built in 1972 ... From lessons learnt of the 23 ft. protoype model we developed the 35 ft. Pahi , built in foam/sandwich ...  From the lessons of the Pahi 35, we developed two new designs, the Pahi 31 and Pahi 42."

In the same design book they say that the Pahi 26 "was designed in the early 80s alongside the Tiki 21".

Perhaps the Pahi 20 never existed.

Of a 23ft pahi I have no knowledge. I was on a 35ft pahi in the Barrow River estuary in Ireland when James lived in New Ross. In cross section it was very like the 31 ie. like a stretched 31 or the 31 was a compressed version of it. The 42 was a complete re- work of the concept. James did mention the 35 as being based on some earlier idea but I have no idea what this was. The 35 was built for a Waterford man to enter the Round Britain Race in but I think it was no racer. I do not remember this as a glass boat but time marches on ...There has always been a speculation as to whether the 20 was ever built. In this catalog plans are for sale and displacement figures etc. are given but was one ever built ? Intruiging to be told that two hulls were built but then --what ? launched or abandoned ?? For sure it was not a case of designing the 20 first then the26 ..etc.

Thanks for your reply.

Hi. Added pics - the stats and a model of it hanging on the wall at jwd.

I think that it would have ended up with less waterline length than listed though.... and combined with a bulky hull and small rudders, it wouldn't have been great sailer? The T21 would be a smaller boat, with only 2 tight berths, instead of the 4 in the P20?

There's another mystery boat on your poster that also interests me a lot - the Wharram proa .

Can you do a better pic or scan of that for me?

In this very  good article in " CHASSE MAREE" issue from Jean Yves Poirier about JW  :


page 4 : JYP said he  was JW agent for France in 80ies, has specialist in plastic and glue for SICOMIN  he collaborated with JW. He explain he was "for 70% in the Pahi 26" .. i will try to contact him and have info of the mysterious P20 ...

have a look on the http://www.goldenoldies.biz/ the videos are wonderfull and to many frenchs and frogies but really nice boats, fellows and ambiance

The Wharram proa: Wharram designed a 31' proa but she capsized and W. return to designing catamarans ... (from T. F. Jones' book).

With respect to the Pahi 20, in the old Scott Brown's forum there was the following post from Steve Turner:

Posted - 15 Dec 2007 : 17:03:09
We have re-rigged a couple of Pahi 31s with the wingsail and it noticeably improved their windward performance. As someone who once had to sail 1000 ocean miles in light headwinds on a standard rigged Pahi 31, I must emphasise that light airs to windward are NOT the boats strong point!
Having sailed most of Wharram's designs, Pahis, classics and Tikis, in sizes from 14' to 63', I can state catagorically that the small Pahis are the worst performing of all his boats. I know that this will upset a few diehard Pahi 31 and 26 sailors, who will want to defend their boats, but with all else equal a Tiki 21/26/31 will sail rings around a Pahi of the same size. (If you think that there is no such thing as a Pahi 21, well there was, but it was quietly "buried").
I am not saying the Pahi 26/31 enthusiasts should ditch their boats, boat ownership is an emotional thing, if logic dictated our choice we would all be sailing some very boring boats. But if you are looking for good windward and light air performance from a Wharram cat, the small Pahis are not the place to start.
If you can find a Classic Tane 27 in good condition, strip off all excess weight and put decent sails on it, you will have a good sailing boat. A Tiki 26 or 30 will be fast, quite weatherly and a fairly good performer in light airs. The small Pahi might just break your heart!


I don't know about the perfomance comparation, but I have read that the Pahi 26 with the Tiki rig performs very similar to the Tiki 26, so the difference may be in the rig. Wharram also says that he likes very much the Pahi 31 with the Tiki rig.

Andres-thanks for the post

 I am aware of Steve's post and I respect his opinion.  Most of these boats were built some years ago and owners have modified rigs/boards etc. over time to get the performance they want. That is why the Small Pahi Group could be so good if owners tell how they modified them. I possibly have the last cutter-rigged P.31 ?. I live in a heavy wind area and I am happy with my performance. The cutter reefs down very well. The Pahi has a very high static stability figure - basically a measure of how much wind it takes to lift a hull. I value this high safety factor.

The best sail I ever had was on "Imagine" a tiki 28 pro. built in cornwall.  Super boat - used to be moored in Sligo. I never "imagine" my boat will equal her for speed.

But no boat that consistently turns in 150 miles a day is slow.

Reply to Discussion


© 2024   Created by Budget Boater.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service