Wharram Builders and Friends

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Hello all,

My name is Riley and over the last two years I've been developing this dream I have of travelling the world on a sailboat. Not necessarily any big circumnavigation, but just a general desire to continue the nomadic lifestyle I lived in my early twenties, this time with a boat in order to see the world while staying connected to it in a tangible way.

This dream to sail started with a youtube channel called Sam Holmes Sailing, who I would watch in the evenings to decompress from the special warfare training I was going through at the time. I've since been watching several sailors on YT including Sailing TriteiaSailing Tangaroa, and Kiana Weltzein. Watching these videos brought me back to a headspace I had been in as a nineteen year old vagrant. At that time I dropped out of college and decided to travel the world. I did so for about seven years before settling down a bit in Northern California around 2015.

These days, I have a promising career ahead of me when my service contract is done with the Air Force. As a data analyst, I have the opportunity to make a fairly comfortable living remotely, and have developed a plan to be able to afford a life on a sailboat. So I'm here to gain any insight I can in to the right steps to take - from building/buying, to logistics and planning. I'll lay out my plan so far, and if any saltys out there want to help me develop it further with their own experience I would be grateful for any and all insight.

I have four more years left on my contract. During that time I will learn as much as I can. I will be saving what I can until I separate and I plan to find property on the coast (preferably Pacific Northwest, but not necessarily) that I can rent with space included, or nearby rentable space to work on my boat. This move is planned for 2026, and I will be working while spending the next year/two/three preparing to shove off (~2028).

After much research I have decided to go with a multi-hull over a mono, and landed on a Wharram for their simplicity and reputation for seaworthiness - I'm leaning toward one of three: Tangaroa mk4, Tiki 38, or Narai mk2. It needs to be capable of single-handing, with space enough for a 6-foot dude (and a few friends over short voyages). Whether I decide to buy used or build it myself, I will take a couple years to learn the ropes and do any work that needs to be done to make it ready for a live-aboard life. 

It's probably worth mentioning I have never sailed before. But I'm ready to learn, so that seems like semantics. I would like to know how I could go about learning to sail without paying some exorbitant amount for a hoidy-toidy sailing school. I'd be content just throwing in with some old sea-dogs and learning the hard way. Not having any experience in this community I guess I just don't know how to dip my feet in, so any advise in that regard would be great. I live spitting distance from Lake of the Ozarks, so that might be a good place to learn the basics before my contract ends.

Other than this, I'd like to know any other resources I might learn from in regards to sailing and Wharrams in general. I'm not exactly sure how active these forums are these days, so if there are any other places I might look to for guidance and discussion, please let me know. If you've got this far reading my first post, thank you! I look forward to hearing your responses.

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One week older, one week wiser. After  some research I've found a fairly affordable sailing school with a four-day intro course in May. It costs about $600 and offers a membership with rentable boats on a lake in my area. I will keep looking on facebook/craigslist for other options until the gap starts to close. Still open to any other ideas on how to get my feet wet.

The more I research Wharrams, the more dead-set I am on them over monohulls. I've been perusing the study guides for the Tiki 38, Tangaroa mk4, and Narai variants - and the more I find, the more I like the Narais. Having as much headroom as possible in the galley and bunks is a necessity, and having a wide open fore-deck with room for a roofed cockpit seems like the ticket. I like the offset cockpit I've seen in Kiana's old Narai and I like the way these boats are sort of no-frills builds. I still find it a bit difficult to find many detailed video tours on youtube or discussions about the Narai variants, so if anyone knows of any, please share. Links to other discussions on these forums that I might be missing out on would be welcome as well (This site is a bit hard to navigate).

I didn't seem to get any responses from the post over the first week but I'll keep the thread going as a sort of catalogue of thoughts, and hope that people will respond in their own time. I'm sure many of you out there won't check the forum but once a month or so, and I'm not in a rush.

Are there any other threads, facebook groups, or youtube channels dedicated to Wharrams? I'll soak up any information I can, so anything from sales to builds to discussions would be great. Open to hear any more thoughts as well on the comparisons between the three Wharrams I'm looking at. Nothing set in stone yet, and I still have a lot to learn, so I'm open to hear more from those who have the experience.

Hi Riley,

You still here?

My advise is to start at Wharram.com  ,,,reviewing every page, article, boat, photos, videos, etc, as I am doing. 

Each page/tab provides even further resources.  

That should keep us busy for 6 months.  Check back in then to see what we've figured out.  Personally, I want something easily singlehanded, and nimble, and built by myself.  So, I'm veering towards the Tiki26.  

Good luck!  👍

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