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How long to get a Tiki 26 from trailer to sailing?

Hi folks! I'm brand new here.

I'm interested in building a catamaran that can be trailed behind my car from where I am in Northern California to the Puget Sound/Salish Sea area and Southern California, as well as being a good boat to sail locally around San Francisco Bay for a day or a weekend. How long does the Tiki 26 take to set up for sailing from a trailer? Is this something that works for a day sail? Do the straps save much setup time over lashings?

I like the Tiki 26 because of it's capacity, compared to other self-build trailerable cats in that range, as well as its seaworthiness. I also just like the look of the Wharrams.


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Please Rob take heaps of pics of your cockpit build.

Will do Paul, but it will be while before it's finished.  I lost a lot of this year's summer due to other stuff going on, but I'll get there eventually...  ☺

After recently lauching mine,mostly solo,I would not even contemplate this,even if I was given a truckies dose of meth.

It took me 4+ days to launch my Tiki 30 by myself this past October -This was my initial attempt and I have been working this winter to get the time and exertion down to much more reasonable levels:  Reworked the trailer as this had been the biggest issue.  It no longer requires the dozen or more hours spent on jacks and supports while it precariously unfolds -I unfolded it this week and it took less than 5 minutes! [I did make some scaffold leg screw jacks to support the under-keel hinges while I work on the assembled boat this winter] I will likely still use one large [read: HEAVY!] temporary cross beam that spans from keel to keel while I move the assembled rig down the boat ramp .   

My next project is to figure out a new method to get the cockpit [5.5' x 11' and waaaay too heavy] from my pickup truck to boat.  It sits atop side racks on the truck and has to be flipped and then slid into place and winched up into place - the 'flip' is the unnerving part - i did it as it came off the back of the truck but NO MAS!  - I think I can figure out a way to winch the cockpit off the truck, get it under the beams [with #2  beam not yet placed] and then use the rear beam to flip it end for end ....  

Raising the mast is the final time eater.  I couldn't source schedule 20 pipe so i settled on schedule 40.  Its not out-of-the-world heavy but it is a load.   Of course the final 2 weekends that our mountain lake's ramp was still open saw winds that gusted to 50mph.  Combine those conditions with my inexperience and it turned into quite a rodeo...  I have the rigging pretty well figured out for top of mast and intermediate sway supports but I am a bit baffled as to the best way to keep the base into the tabernacle "just enough-but not too far"  ...

Here are the "successes" :  

motor- its a 9.9 4 stroke Tahatsu - I built a mount on a set of 2 wheel hand trucks and I can wheel it on and off my truck and under the boat with minimal effort.  

Decking: I used recycled redwood for a deck from beam 1 to 2- it lashes atop 2x4 redwood "joists" held by stainless Simpson joist hangers.  Easy to assemble [including anchor line storage locker] Cockpit is flanked by redwood decking as well.  

Trailering- my rig is rock steady at highway speeds as well as mountain/canyon roads.  Could not be more pleased!

floating off and back on trailer cradles - much easier than I had feared .  Floated off easily [trailer tongue extends another 12'].  I was really surprised at how nimbly the boat handled as I lined up the boat 5 days later to get us off the water. 

hope this helps

Good morning, Gary, 

As I wait for JWD to ship my Mana 24 kit (kit #3, they tell me), I have time to consider things like launching/set-up/trailering. I read your comment a few weeks ago regarding the Mana, and thought I would throw in my own thoughts.

Back in the 90's I built and launched a Tiki 21. I trailered it to the lake each spring on my tandem axle flat bed, and with the help of one or more friends, assembled it on the beach and kept it moored for the summer. In the fall, the process was repeated in reverse - always a half day job. No fun. For the past 5 sailing seasons I have sailed a WindRider WR17 trimaran and have fallen in love with sailing/camping on a lake that is not my home lake. I want to get back on a Wharram, and I think the Mana 24 will serve me well. It has almost as much capacity as a Tiki 26 but less that 2/3 the weight. It uses quick couple webbing instead of lashings, which will reduce assembly time considerably. The mizzen mast can be used to raise the main mast single handed. As someone has mentioned, I think a well designed trailer will then enable me to set up and launch by myself and thus ensure that I can travel from my home lake to my camping lake without undo stress. The two trailer options that I am considering are either a slide-out or swing-out (like Curt's)  arrangement, with a telescoping tongue.

From my WindRider experience, set-up times are very much an individual thing. Each person has their own routine and some are more efficient than others. It takes me anywhere from 1 1/2 hours to 2 hours to get my boat set up and launched while others claim to be able to do it in less that 3/4 hour. I expect the same applies to Wharram's. 

Wishing you the best with which ever design you go for, and keep us posted. Cheers.

I can rig up my Tiki 21 in about two hours with a helper and 2.5 single handed. Dismounting takes an hour to hour and a half You may want to check out the Stiletto 27 trailer design for some additional ideas. Being able to just slide the hulls out to the right width is awesome. 

I decided to build a Woods Eagle 24. Wharrams are great boats, but I need something that's big enough for me (I'm 6'4", 225 lbs), and can go together from a trailer quickly enough to make a weekend sail on San Francisco Bay possible. The Tiki 26 is more capable, but they are more in the realm of demountable coastal cruisers than trailer sailers. My criteria are: A catamaran that will be good for a weekend on San Francisco Bay or nearby along the coast (Monterey to Bodega Bay) and that can be trailered to the British Columbia coast or Southern Calfornia for one-to-two-week cruises. The Tiki 21 is a nice boat, but a little small for my purposes. I'll be using the Eagle to learn what I really want in a boat so I can build or buy the boat I want for retirement.

I like the look and feel of the Wharrams, and the community seems like the kind of relaxed people I like to hang out with.  I also like a good engineering challenge, so maybe I should have gone with the Tiki 26 and worked out ways to speed up assembly (It has to be possible to assemble one in a couple of hours). I have room to build a Tiki 38 in the yard (though not enough room to assemble it back there), so you may hear from me in a couple of years!

I'll stay with this group because it's a source of good ideas.

Thanks for all the help.


Congratulations on your decision, Gary. The Woods catamarans look like excellent boats. If I weren't so hooked on Wharrams, I might be considering the Eagle myself - it looks very promising. 

Please post pictures of the Eagle progress for us, Gary, as I have been wanting so badly to see one in person!

New on facebook site! Wharram Catamaran! Join!

an update....  we just spent 25 days on the boat!   Re.  launching - it took me 3.5 days to launch.   Took 2.5 days to disassemble and hit the road on our way out.   the discrepancy is due in part to gin poling the mast on the way in and using the yard's free hand crane to lower it on the way out.   The crane was almost a mile from the ramp and I have not yet trailered the boat any distance when it is assembled on the trailer so I was minimizing any break down possibilities prior to our trip !  [it trailered that mile no problem on our return]   In its current config, the boat barely clears the rear roller- it took a lot of hanging on the bow and rolling my truck almost down to the transmission to float it away BUT we had preloaded the boat - next time we float it off, tie to the pier and THEN load.... duh.   

Loading back on turned into a circus because I had failed to raise the depth finder transducer that is mounted on 1" EMT tube and it hung on the rear cradle -it  skewed the boat just enough to "impale" the keel on some right angle iron bracket that sits alongside the rear roller.   Being  that the rear roller was not visible til we began to come out.... ugh.....  So it took a lot of time to sort out that mess- when I say "impaled" I mean it- just that 1 1/2 " of steel was enough to float the entire trailer and boat.  

Anyway- back in the parking lot that accounted for at least 2 hours of raising the boat relative to the trailer and repositioning each hull about 1 ft further aft

its home and repaired [and a D Fir 2x sistered onto the offending angle iron] and  several other mods are in process : more galley shelves, run a real drain from the sink, insulate galley under berth area for cooler food storage, add a light in dining area, repair a hatch that the wind snatched, sleeping berth raised [via ethafoam and mattress] to get more shoulder room [ the deck tent experiment was abandoned after the first week- took up too much deck room] install an old trace 2512 inverter i had lying around, one more shelf in the heads , another in the berth, relocate the "library"  and likely install an icemaker I found to be marginally useful on extended boondocking trips.   I'm easily 75% finished with that list as I write this and we will head up to Flaming Gorge near the end of Aug for another month on the water....  

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