A Photo & Discussion Forum for Wharram Design Enthusiasts
I know we are all converts and biased to the virtues of catamarans over mono-marans, but was sifting thru some photos and couldn't resist sharing this one!! Once again it shows the versatile abilities of owning a small cat - especially when you have a bigger friend willing to help out!! After 20 years now, I have never had to pay a single penny or cent for haulout to maintain Cookie. Gotta love that eh? These shots show Cookie in Belize getting a lift, one hull at a time for me to re-antifoul outside the front of our house. Lift supplied by friends leopard 38 cat. Bridle from halyard tied around outboard ends of Cookies beams.
It's not what you asked for, but, anyhow...
Speaking about small cats... after such extraordinary voyages you've done on your boat, would you say you feel as safe in a storm at the ocean in Cookie as you would feel in a bigger boat? Or maybe safer? Or maybe a 31 or 38 footer would make you feel safer in very big waves?
I am biased of course!! I will reply from the basis of facts from my Cookie experience.
1. The Tiki 21 design is extremely seaworthy and rides rough waters as the design was intended by James. BUT - I overbuilt Cookie for the sailing she was intended for. I used micro fibers in all epoxy fillets; she has 6 bulkheads in a GRP hull where Imagine Multihulls used 2; Cookie does not have a solid cockpit floor close to the water surface. Cookie was also quite heavily loaded for her cruising so "sticks" in the water, so to speak. She handles very differently loaded for an Ocean crossing than if she is empty and I am just out for the day.
2. I have sailed many deliveries on modern monohulls and bridgedeck cats. Most of them 40 - 50ft. Without doubt I would rather be at sea in a storm in Cookie than any other design of boat I have sailed so far. Part of that must be because I know Cookie so well.
3. Unfortunately I cannot state whether I would feel safer in a larger Tiki - say 30ft - than in Cookie. I just don't have the experience on a Tiki 30. I would expect a Tiki 30 to have the same seaworthy traits to weather severe storms. Cookie bobs around like a cork when on the drogue or sea anchor with all sail down. Yes big seas do sweep over her, but without a solid cockpit the seas pass through without loading Cookie down. It stands to reason a Tiki 30 will weather storms in the same way a Tiki 21 will but dryer with less seas coming aboard.
4. All boats have compromises. In my opinion, James designed the Tikis for the delight of sailing very well and for coping with the rough storms. They are not designed to be a luxury floating condominium with big glass patio doors onto a shaded verandah (sorry, I meant cockpit!) So in a nutshell the boats are designed to be in harmony with the sea, not for human comforts.
5. Small boats are incredibly seaworthy as long as the boat is properly equipped and the crew have the right state of mind. I wouldn't want to sail Cookie along coastlines or short sea crossings without 3 reefs for the mainsail, and at least some sort of drogue to slow the boat down. Also you should not hesitate to reef early or to put the boat in survival mode - ie, heave-to, sea-anchor or drogue. Incidentally - only feel safe with Cookie heaved-to in winds up to 30kts. Over that and I pull all sail down to lye-a-hull or put out sea anchor.
6. Lastly, my experience with Cookie has been in gale force conditions up to 55kts. I have not been in a hurricane with her, so cannot give details on how she would cope with 15meter waves and 2m crests. Cookie has been in 8-10 meter waves with 1m crests. So I base my observations on that.
So Hector, my reply would be - I would probably feel dryer aboard a larger Tiki, but not sure if I would feel safer? A small boat has small gear. Small sails to reef easily, small sea anchor with easily handled 12mm rode, small drogue easy to deploy and pull back in. There is more discomfort to sailing a small, wet boat at sea, but a lot less effort handling the boat. So on small boats, sailors may be more inclined to deploy survival measures earlier than on larger boats? That in itself may be a good advantage of seaworthiness?
Adriano, I can't say yes or no to your journey. It is up to you to decide. Factors of course are your sailing experience, the boats structural strength, and of course your family enjoyment. I have had crew aboard that got very sick and very scared and this makes a skipper take different decisions. My advice would be to do plenty of weekend trips with the family and then extend that to a week at a time to find out how all of you manage life aboard. I really hope that takes you to the end of your rainbow.
Hope that helps.
Thank you for your detailed reply.
Last summer my family and me cruised 50 days along croatian coast, and everybody enjoed it, but next summer it will be different. We will have a young baby on board (last year my wife was pregnant) and, as I told you, would like to make a bigger journey, around mediteranean sea, although some land on the south part are not exactly paceful now, and, whynot, suez or gibilterra. I often have a look at your pictures, dreaming on the ocean and my wife does the same. I don't believe she would be happy with 6 meters wave breaking on the deck (;)...that's way we pay attention on everything and we only sail if the wether is good and we use to sail 25 miles maximum a day: the young lady needs to play on the beach and bulid sand castel. I'm trying to convince my wife that our tiki is safer than the big and comfotable monohull caravan...sorry, boat...but it's not easy
You can get out and push when you run aground, the mast can be raised and lowered by one person without any fancy kit and you judge the depth of water by looking over the side.
one person without any fancy kit
I've never tried. Sure it's possible?