Wharram Builders and Friends

A Photo & Discussion Forum for Wharram Design Enthusiasts

Our Tiki 46 was born heavy - none of this anticipated lightweight bobbing and bouncing around for our baby! As soon as she was launched it was evident that she was sitting slap dab on her water line. The addition of sails, some equipment, minimal water, fuel & food etc turned the 'nipping the waterline' into a squatting the waterline! 

We've had some input from Hanneke about water lines and safety margins - and she made the excellent suggestion that we also pose the question to the wider Wharram community so that we can all benefit from folks practical based experience.

So please ... all input welcomed. Share your experiences.

What do you sail? What are your loading experiences? How have your boats handled under what sorts of loads in what sort of weather? We're especially interested to hear from Tiki 46 sailors, but thoughts, experiences, input and advice from our wider community so that others can benefit from (what I hope) will be a deluge of wonderfully informative information is welcomed.


Nannette & Tony

Boundless Tu.


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Very Disturbing Thread -

This is only my second post.
Please do not be too unkind to me as some may perhaps not be so pleased with what I say. It is wondweful to see how all have come to soften the blow to these owners because they must be very upset. Tony and Nanatte I offer my best wishes.

At the heart of this sad story an Amateur owner used the services of a Professional Designer and Professional Builder. Did none of these Professionals say - STOP ?  Professionals have a clear duty of care to their customers. Professionals are obliged to know about their services and products and to advise / direct them. Even sometimes to say - NO you cannot do that.

This does not read like an Amateur in the cabable hands of knowledgable Professionals. It reads like AMATEURS all round.

I cannot believe how calmly Tony and Nanette are taking this even blaming themselves. I think when the shock wears off they will start to get mad. Real Mad. They will have every right.

This seems a bit harsh may I say?

The posts do suggest the boat is too heavy with all the equipment on it and inboard engines etc (and I am relying on posts from those that have seen the boat. Consensus is that these cats take overloading better than most and the Wharram Design book (or website FAQ's)says that they design to 3 x the likely loading on beams so there is no reason to think the boat will be unsafe - just slow!!

These cats are designed a s minimalist boats but if you install inboard engines doors and heavy furniture and equipment rather than minimalist outboard motor and so on the boat is going to be heavier than the design which is a 5 ton plus light boat with another 4 ton plus payload according to the design book.

Tony and Nanette, I'd love to know about the interior layout and please post some pictures of your lovely boat!!

All the best


Thank you Martin.

I wish to be clear that I am not pretending to be an expert here. My experience of Wharrram boats is only to see some. Also I only have sailed dayboats. So i respect the comments from the owners here and that to include an experienced skipper like yourself. Also i do not wish to be difficult and above all not to add to the trouble of these people.

I read the posts again and i am still very concerned. The depth from the chine it seems this boat is already as heavy as any of the others when they carry for a ocean passage. So at sea it will not be just as heavy but much heavier. Heavier even than the boat the owner says is 20 cm - 8inch - too deep.  It is many years now since we operate on "Buyer Beware" in UK. If i have a builder into my house and ask him to do something wrong he must refuse me and correct me. And if he does not know he must ask the architecht ? For me it is the same with a boatbuilder ?

There must be a connect with loading and safety. It is not just that the beams will break surely ?

I think that a boatbuilder who delivers a boat so heavy that it is already full up to the design limit before it gets the stores to do what it is designed to do has given his customer a very bad service. And it is the job of the professional to see that the designers  recommendations and limits are adhered to. It is not the job of the amateur.

I am perhaps a little harsh but not on the owners who i see as innocent in all this. Perhaps this boat will be safe i do not know. But they got very bad service i think.

Actually I agree here - the builder should have known that all the additions and heavier build materials would be too heavy and should have offered alternatives or warnings at least?
He has built wharrams before and is a listed Wharram builder - so consulting JWD shouldn't be a problem....
It wouldn't have taken much to do a spreadsheet of weights and come to a conclusion.
Loading is supposed to be 4 tons! How do you overbuild by that much!?!?
What do the owners have to say? I guess the issue is what they want from the boat!

I am with Border and Alex here. I do not know what the owners want but to operate their boat safely I guess is a good starting point. For most of us this is the same as operating within the designers specs. ? 

But I find a lot to worry me in the responses too. These are truly huge boats yet we have owners saying that they are over the limit and these boats are carrying for only two crew ?   A Pahi 63 that had loading issues - I am at a loss for words.

I read my post again. I use the Amateur only to make the difference from a professional. I realise now to some people it is an insult  to mean a fool ar such.  I you realise my meaning my post is not too harsh i think. The last thing i intend is to insult or upset these owners.

Most first time builders overbuild. Not everyone can build using the lightest or best materials. Wharram isn't a newbie and knows this! His boats are designed to cover all eventualities. Waikatatea mentioned changes and heavy engines etc....
Again, an experienced builder should have seen the warning signs and advised accordingly. It doesn't do JWD's name or his any good to have a boat built this way. The customer isn't always right and it is his responsibility to point out the errors! To correct things after the fact means extra expense and on a boat this size that can really hurt.
Remove what is heavy and not needed, before changing entire systems and incurring heavy costs.
The multihull mantra is keep it light.

Some interesting points raised here, what can be offered in the way of weight saving solutions though?

There was a tiki 38 that was built overweight or rather to be overloaded, that had foam added to the hulls to carry the extra.

ho ho ho,  there is a rock rolling down the hill...

it is not my business and i do not want to take position to any side. BUT, i have to make clear... i spoke to the builder gunther and i got the feeling, that he is a very responsible professional builder.  when i mention this problem with "bondless 2" he got very upset and told us (me and isabelle) that the owner did not listen to him and the paranoia of not enough safety made him getting the boat build as it is...

i told him to response on this page...

gunther never agreed with the 2 big diesel engine set-up and the hydraulic systems and the interior layout with heavy wooden doors. AS HE TOLD US...

brett, the son of the owner, told me that they actually never sailed the boat really in "real condition. a squall  with 40 knots once is not a real condition... as  i experience  the area between thailand and singapore... it is sailing for soft eggs...

brett says, that they are still learning and HE is happy with the boat and the performance ... his father a (life time sailor) is worry if the boat can handle 5, 10m wave... what the fuck.... the fakt is, that we, the people on the boat, we are the weakest link in the chain... to fast we shit in our pents, jump into the liferaft and die. the wharram will be found save parked on the beach or in piece's... or still sailing around...

 this happens so often...

i am getting a little upset... we start throwing stones at gunther and the "bondless" crew is not making thinks strait... WHY NOT?????

i understand the professional builders too. the owner is showing up and wants changes... of course he will say YES. it is his customer... you don't want to end up in court or sitting on a unfinished boat... COSTOMER IS KING... you know this too Border collie.

we meet ( in the last month) many wharrams here in phuket and langkawie. most of them are tiki38, charter boats build by gunther. they look nice and sail perfect even with 5 crew on board... "says the crew..."

one more last thing. WE  DO NOT THINK THAT OUR BOAT IS UNSAFE. and to judge the load on te boat with looking at the chine IS WRONG... you have to measure the draft. i pulled my chine down to get more glue surface at this point... 

ok, i guess it is up to Tony and Nanette to lock in here again...

before "we" nail gunther and the rest of the professional builder on a cross...

cheers hans


So they ignored warnings. Have read good things about Gunthers operation on the Internet and good things about the boats produced. No nailing anyone to anything, I just think the outcome should have been avoidable.
So now to help lighten the boat..... And the mood.

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