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Hello, I've just joined day's after buying a tanenui/tiki hybrid from Scott Brown Multihulls if you want to see photos of her she's still advertised on his brokerage list but with a sold sign added. I'm 58 and married to Linda. I've owned several boats over the years but only one cat a Heavenly Twins 26 which I owned from 1991-1993 I know many people in the multihull business, I knew Pat Patterson his son Pip from Multihull centre Millbrook. Know Brian North founder of multihull world in Emsworth and many still at Multihull World my mooring on the river Exe I bought off Brian North. I was looking on this site at the discussion about what to look for in a Tanenui, and wondered if the guy viewing one that had under deck storage forward of the mast was based at faversham UK if so this is the boat I've bought she looks great to my eyes and yes I was concerned at several lowered areas along the deck but the last owner stated there were no problems with waves touching and lots of clearance. She is modified being 9 meteres long by 4.5 metres with Tiki cross beams and cabin tops, altered to give full standing headroom, decks (no bulwarks) and tiki rig except also having a boom. The last owner was 82 and has lived on boats most his life and even built a Wharram cat and several monohulls his workmanship is superb he added an aft cockpit with all controls close to hand which he was most pleased with as the added protection is essential in the UK, he is even helping me sail her around to Devon in April so I feel he wouldn't offer to do that if his modifications don't work in practice or she slams at all. I will be posting some photos later Cheers Nibby David

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I looked at the boat in Faversham, you are right the workmanship is good.

Personally I didn't like the under deck storage, and after thinking about taking it all out, I figured I might as well get a boat without it, to start with.

Check the rudder stock  to tiller connections, looks like they need a bit of TLC.

I did like the coach roof extensions as well.

Good luck and fair weather.

Hi Reg, thanks for that I agree that whist from the top the storage looked a good idea it does look a bit low. The entire section isn't attached if it proves too close to the water then I'll consider lifting the section out and making the storage shallower or doing away with altogether. I am hoping that the longer length is made by raising the freeboard a few inches it's hard to guess out of the water but perhaps there is adequate clearance I can't imagine with the modifier's experience he would risk making a wharram slam, I'll double check the rudder stock to tiller arrangement as you say, the old guy is moving back on board as soon as the weather allows in order to make and fit port hull companionway steps and fitting a small galley sink I'm not bothered using bottled water but need somwhere to wash plates Many thanks for your advice Nibby

If you need any help or tools etc when you're up this way, let me know as I'm only around 30 minutes away from the boatyard

Thanks Reg thats great, I live a long way from Faversham (Lyme Bay) The seller is including all his tools, which will be the first thing I do when I get her this way make that storage area as light as possible. I won't be able to come up as much as I would like but the seller loves tinkering and will get her ready for launch, I will check out those rudder stocks Thanks again Nibby
reg said:

If you need any help or tools etc when you're up this way, let me know as I'm only around 30 minutes away from the boatyard

Hi Reg, back on the hight of wave clearance issue, if you check on the Scott Brown brokerage pictures the one taken from ground level from the stern, the aft cockpit well is way higher than the engine pod which itself should not be very near or touching the water as the outboard is an extra long leg version. I asked the seller initially was the main deck too low, the seller stated that the deck isn't lowered but side benches raised from deck floor? On looking at several Tiki 26's many of them have identical arrangement of a lowered large footwell, when you take into account how low the freeboard is amidships and back on a Tiki this lowered footwell deck must be really close to the water. I think in practice if a Tiki/and this Tanui were ashore side by side the under deck wave clearance would be considerably more than a standard Tiki 26 or even Tiki 31 as even ashore these boats look really low. Cheers Nibby 

As far as I could tell, the decks of the hulls had been raised to the sheerline like the Tikis, the pictures I have seen of Tannenuis the decks appear to about 6" below the sheerline, this may be adequate to account for the lowered centre pods wave clearance. 

I liked the higher decks and Tiki style beams very much, but being as I like the simplicity and neatness of the large open flat decks of some Wharrams (purely my own personal opinion) the up and down nature of the centre pods on this boat didn't quite gel with me. I've no doubt that they would make a more comfortable boat in the inclement conditions of the U.K. though. 

Unfortunately none of my opinions are based on actual experience of sailing a Wharram, just on information I have gathered over the years.

Slightly Ironic that I grew up less than 6 miles from JW's place in Devoran, and knew of a few people who were building them, before I moved away.

Some boring old figures - you should be able to measure the clearance close enough by referring to the anti-fouling paintline.

It has been posted here recently that the T26 has 40cm [16"] clearance. An owner with only 30cm [12"] reported slamming.

My Pahi 31 had 60cm [24"] clearance it was good on W.Coast Ireland which is not calm.

Just as important is how far forward the cockpit goes. To the halfway point or a little forward of it in my experience is fine. Forward of this sunken lockers should be fine if they go no lower than a line from the forward edge of footwell/cockpit tapering to nil over about 1.5m [60"] or so.  In fact such a locker could act as a fairing for the cockpit/footwell reducing impact with wavetops.

Shape is also important. I have an outboard sled/pod which is "vee" shaped. It is under the cockpit so the bottom of the "v" is only 8" [20cm] above water. Never a problem in fact the old outboard on a sliding up/down bracket caught the waves worse.

Check my recent photos to see this.

Best of luck with your boat.


Thanks for this guys, as ever it is a question of compromise I guess the basic Wharram design is great for sunny climes where the flexispace deck is great for lounging about sunbathing. This boat seems ideal for us maniacs that choose to sail in the UK and need a lot more protection it's also an age issue I'm not keen on sitting on the floor at home some form of sitting with feet in a well is pretty essential on our boat. The actual waterline on this boat is hard to judge as she is black up to the little bulge that most wharrams seem to have then yellow upwards my guess is according to other Wharrams she will float much higher than that bulge as her modifications don't appear to have added much weight I'll keep the storage area as weight free as possible fenders etc weigh nothing but I do think there's some heavier gear in that locker. For certain she won't slam like my Heavenly Twins did but personally I found the slapping of wavelets on the pod under the bunks far more annoying. Cheers Nibby

Hi All, Am I alone in thinking the Boon/Wharram design statements are sometimes contradictory? Their main "seaworthy" atttribute is said to be low freeboard! how low is low? James/Hanneke's classic designs to my eyes look great with their less extreme straighter versus the exaggerated sheerline sweep of the Tiki range, they have good freeboard amidships which in my book with deep v hull sections has the added bonus of quickly increased immersed reserve buoyancy in a gust and much greater interior volume for bunk space and reducing the need to spoil the lines by needing a high coachroof. If the added windage of higher topsides might compromise stability how come the classic ocean going designs are much narrower beam than coastal cruiser/tiki range? There is also the fact that more bridgedeck clearance is needed on wider cats which again would suggest that Tiki range would benefit with a few more inches of freeboard amidships. Then there's the sail efficiency points with James stating that even he was amazed at how well a schooner rigged Tiki 31 sailed to windward faster than a single mast! I don't see how this can be correct, the main/ mizzen sails on a Tiki 31 are tiny and generally a head sail on a headstay is far more efficient to windward than a mainsail behind a thick mast section, A Tiki 31 on the market has added hight to the forward mast and increased mainsail area and the owner decided to remove the after mast altogether he has found that the boat sails much better and strangely has proven better ballanced than the schooner rig which had excessive weather helm, it must look a bit strange at sea having the mast so far forward. I think in essence the beauty of JWD boats is the way owners can customise to their own requirements a stock factory built GRP catamaran built for the UK market may not be as useful in the tropics or have a big enough sail area for the Californian market. Cheers Nibby 

Hi Gallway Bay, On double checking the photo on my boat the waterline is marked as it has grey antifouling, there looks to be a good 18" to 2' clearance between the waterline and the aft cockpit pod so would imagine there's probably 3' wave clearance under the forward storage pod.Thinking back at viewing the boat is sat on the ground I'm 5'8" and that storage pod was at eye level or higher. So, with what 20"-24" assumed maximum draught there would appear to be adequate clearance. The odd slap won't hurt in case if excessive there will be an obvious jumping as entire storage area isn't fixed and could technically float free should the boat ever flounder. Cheers Nibby

hi Galway bay, looked at your photos, very nice. I'm intrigued on the Pahi rudder arrangement does it drop down below the slot? Theres a Pahi 42 near my mooring and I can never work out how his rudders work as the blades appear to go up into that narrow slot? Is that mooring mode so the boat can settle on it's skegs.

SO many questions....You are of course welcome and I will do my best. My boat No is 32 later boats may have improvements.

The rudders drop down through the slot. The stock of the rudder is a steel pipe. The skeg has a steel heel fitting in an inverted "T" the aft arm of which is extended to carry a spigot on which the rudder stock sits. The JWD designed top bearing was in my experience useless for a boat on a drying mooring. It could not accept the weight on drying and quickly popped off the spigot and damaged the hull even holing it once. The point being that unless the rudder is perfectly fore/aft it will not find it's way into the slot but will end up twisted under the hull. It is now restrained by a s.steel plate which is bolted into the rudder case so that I can now dry out without trouble.

A small improvement on the steering is to simply extend the tiller all the way back to the aft netbeam. This introduces a reverse "gearing" which eliminates the cockpit-sweeping range of a typical long tiller. The boat now steers like a sailing dinghy. Again not as designed by JWD.

Your clearance seems good. I imagine a Tanenui would have to be Very Heavily loaded to draw 24". I would like to see those lockers fixed down though.

The classics were designed many years ago and reflect what was common practice at the time with many designers. Many of the boats of that time were narrow by today's standards. They were also heavier. Despite this they earned a good reputation for safety. Today I think most builders would opt to widen the beam. A common ratio now is keel/keel = 1/2 waterline. Again a good reason to choose one of the more modern designs. All designers were slow to apply to cruising what the racing boys were showing - the key to reduced cost and better performance was to build light and wide. I for one would not be surprised if the Tiki38 [ perhaps with single mast ]could be built for no more than the Tangaroa34.

As to "contradictory" claims etc. I find that much of this comes not from JWD but from [over]enthusiastic fans. I like his boats I admire what he has done for homebuilding and I sail one of his boats very happily. But there are other fine designers out there too.

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