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I'm currently reading 2 girls 2 catamarans again, James has a lot to answer for.

I've always liked a bit of a challenge, and I really want to sail the Atlantic, U.K to Caribean.

After a couple of missed opportunities to do it on other peoples boats, I keep coming back to doing it solo in a small boat. Reading about Cooking Fat hasn't helped to discourage me, in fact it just gets me more fired up.

  So the big question, what size Wharram would be a reasonable boat to do it on. I recently looked at a 28' Tannenui which looked like plenty of boat to be comfortable on.  So probably smaller would be possible.

I'm not looking at setting records less than 6' boats don't interest me, but I also don't want to spend 10 years building a boat that's more than I need. Bearing in mind this might be a one way trip for the boat, sell/burn and fly back kind of deal. Don't think I can afford to take too much time off work and away from the family etc.

thanks for looking

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Like you said a Tiki 21 has been across and around the world so really it's your ability and comfort. Personally I could easily imagine a Tiki21 but not a Haita 17 or Hobie 18, which has been done:) Basically no open boat for me. Also the Heavenly Twins 26 has been across but that's pretty high style compared to a Tiki:) Please make a blog and let use join your adventure!!



I know that many people sail, bum, and fly back home as you plan to, but they crate up their smaller Wharrams and ship them home too.   I warn you that you are going to love this boat after she looks after you across a whole ocean.  You know that Rory had to call Cooking Fat by the new nick name Cookie - that is because he loved her so.

I do not know if the Tiki 30 would fit in a crate, but Neville thinks it could and it also could go as deck cargo.  Certainly it is large enough to cross the ocean.  I am 70 years old, but I would be tempted even now to make that trip solo in a Tiki 30.  The trade wind passage you will make is not hard if you put roller furling on the jib.  You will just sit in the cockpit all safe and comfy making the entire trip using just that one sail  and rolling it in and rolling it out as the wind strengthenes and weakens.  We have done that in my old 28 foot monohull and again in our Tiki 46.  It is almost always a down wind passage so you will want pulling sails.    

Likely a Tiki 26 is large enough also but it would not be as comfortable as the 30.  Our friend John James is currently finishing the second hull of his Tiki 30 and he has been building alone and not pushing it because he has so many other interesting things to do in his life.  He built one hull last year and one this year, and likely he will build pod and crossbeams over the winter and be in the water before autumn. 

I have crossed the Atlantic solo in a 28 foot monohull going from America non stop to Ireland.  That trip requires more sail changing and sailing skill than the trade wind passage you propose.  Normally the trip you plan is pretty easy, to be honest.  It is a long trip, but if you leave Las Palmas after Christmas, and get out of the wind shadow of the island by going on a reach for a whole day, then you will be off to a good start and the confused seas will likely have moderated and steady conditions will likely prevail.  Likely, I say and that is not a promise!  So be prepared and be certain the boat is prepared also. 

   I would take a good GPS and also a spare.  I have done the celestial nav and it is difficult if you are tired.  You will be tired and that is a promise for sure!!!  Try to sleep more during the day when you are visablie and less at night when you are not as visable.  Maybe carry a FEW radar reflectors, and be prepared for all that tiredness.  I would pack a big box of granaola bars and lots of apples and whatever else you want that is easy to prepare, healthy, varied and keeps well on the shelf.  We always like potatos because they are easy to digest and if you get sea sick they come up gently. 

I believe some dreams should come true.  It is up to you to get your dream organized into a plan and to keep at it persistently until it is accomplished.  Remember to prepare yourself.  Learn to pace yourself and guard against running too short on energy or sleep. 

I found the experience of being alone on the sea for a whole month one of the most glorious things that had ever happened to me.  It was beauty all above and around and even under me.  It was a total wonder and joy. 

I hope you will build your own boat and do it carefully so you will trust her and know she ws well built and then you will not worry.  A well built Wharram is a fantastic boat.  Built for the sea. 

Get some strength into your body too.  I worked out and had good muscle on my body before sailing solo.  I think it is important. 

Have a wonderful time and keep in touch. 


just do it. and talk later about it... more you ready less fun you have... so stop daydreaming take you balls togeather and a boat you trust and go...

soon we can call this page wharram daydreamer page etc..

 good luck...


"and a boat you trust"


JW recommends the Tiki 26 as the smallest practical size for ocean crossings.  I'd agree with that, and not just because I've got one!  I've not (yet) done any really long passages in my Tiki, but I have done England to the Caribbean and back in a 26ft monohull, so I do know what it can be like out there.  Most of the time it will be great fun, but on occasions you'll get caught out and it can be bloody scary!  The first part, getting from here to the Canaries, is likely to be the more difficult bit.  Through believing a forecast that turned out to be wrong I got hit by a force nine in Biscay, and when that happens you want a good boat under you.  Cookie was specially modified for serious offshore sailing, and Rory is an exceptional sailor; for most people the Tiki 21 would be too small for that sort of sailing.  Tiki 26's have done quite a few ocean passages, and I believe one won its class in a trans-atlantic race.  You do need to pay special attention to some details, like the hatches, but you shouldn't need to do any major modifications.

I firmly believe that the smaller the boat the greater the fun, but you can go too for with that...

My suggestion would be to build a Tiki 26, then spend the first summer trying it out and getting to know it.  This will show up any weaknesses or things you want to change.  Do the work over the winter and be ready to set off early the following summer.  If you decide not to go for "the big one" you'll still have a lovely boat for local cruising.

Reg, if you ever get down to the south coast you're welcome to pop in to my place (just outside Portsmouth), have a look at my Tiki 26, and talk Wharrams!!


Thank you all for your great replies, I know certain forums would discourage this sort of thing, but you all seem to be of a similar mindset.

Edward I think the 21 might be pushing it a bit for me, and I will certainly keep a record of my progress.

Ann thanks for taking time to write such an inspirational reply with such great information, certainly a lot to think about.

Hans you are an inspiration and your comments cut to the core, I need to stop procrastinating and do it.

Robert thank you also for such a great reply, and like you say the 21 I think is a little too small but the 26 would be just about perfect.

I would like to take you up on your offer as I am currently down on the south coast (just) at Dungeness, it would be great to see your boat and talk Wharrams.

Reg, dreams even daydreams are important to us all.

I do not know how much time you have available but most working folk find it difficult to take more than one month away.  A very worthwhile voyage that fits this time frame from UK is Azores and back. You get two long ocean legs with a beautiful island visit in between.

The big thing here is you return to UK where you will have the boat and experience to do a longer voyage if life opens the opportunity for you. Our lives do change - how many of us really knew 10yrs ago what we would be doing today ??

I agree completely with this.  The Azores are a beautiful group of little islands, and they are a great meeting place where people cruising in all directions on all types of boats meet up.  Go for it!

Reg, I've sent you a message with my address & mobile number for contact when you want to come over.  Looking forward to meeting you.


Galway Bay said:

Reg, dreams even daydreams are important to us all.

I do not know how much time you have available but most working folk find it difficult to take more than one month away.  A very worthwhile voyage that fits this time frame from UK is Azores and back. You get two long ocean legs with a beautiful island visit in between.

The big thing here is you return to UK where you will have the boat and experience to do a longer voyage if life opens the opportunity for you. Our lives do change - how many of us really knew 10yrs ago what we would be doing today ??

This is an interesting topic for me, my build has taken longer due to many considerations for bluewater passages.

i sailed a tiki21 in coastal waters... nice boat... but do not forget. you need water food and fuel for a offshore passage... plus you personal stuff.

a 26 feet moon hull is different to a 21 feet catamaran... you can not load it so much.   i made the crossing from canarian islands to saint lucia in 26 days on a 31 feet moon hull from 1949. you have to have water and food for at least 30 days plus on board. do not relay on catching fish... this is a side dish on the way. you should be able to motor at least 160 miles this are 2 days.... depends what engine you are using. especial you sail around the azores islands. if you get stucked in a azores high... it can take days till you get wind again.

i made now quite a few really long passages... my concern is not the storms, with wind you can get somewhere. the problem starts when you get stucked in the calm. you can run out of trinking water... of course there are watermaker etc. but on a small boat, power is a issue too. Manuel once which gives you 2 liter an hour are  no good...

keep this in mind... and good luck....

PS. england to the canarians was a nice trip for me  with many stops... so no worry about this... watch the weather and you will be fine. england azores and back in 4 weeks is stupid... you will get hammered on on way or the other... take your time...

cheers hans

Thanks for your input Hans.

What would you with your experience recommend for a regular guy starting from UK who only has one month free and does not want to abandon his boat 1000ml from home at the end of it ??

Boils down to how much discomfort/terror you want to risk.

We set off 2 years ago in our Tiki 30 aiming for Portugal, the Canaries and possible a transat and ended up in the Western Med via the canals because the weather was unstable and we did not want to get caught out half way across Biscay.  We left the boat in the Med and came back this year with the intention of going to the Balaerics,  but again unstable weather and frequent strong winds in an area we did know made us decide to coastal hop rather than risking a nasty experience in the Golf du Lion; the boat would have coped but we would not have been enjoying ourselves.

What I have learnt is to be flexible, if the wind is blowing from the direction you want to go then go somewhere else.

We really enjoyed sailing from the UK down to Bordeaux.  It gives you the opportunity for a long sea passage with the fall back of lots of nice places to hide in if the weather goes really nasty.  We sailed from Falmouth direct to Belle Ille and visited the other French offshore islands on our way to the La Rochelle area whilst waiting for the weather window that did not materialise; so we went to Bordeaux and discovered that the Gironde estuary is a fantastic place for a shoal draft boat.

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