Wharram Builders and Friends

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Looking back on the years when we were building Peace IV, our Tiki 46, and also while sailing her for over 50,000 miles, I want to share some advice that comes from those years.

The building years are not easy on family life.  We worked for three years over a five year time period and we had help from a neighbor child after school and very occasionally a couple of friends.  The sailing years were a dream and a joy, but we almost did not get those years because the building years took such a toll on family life.

If you are working full time and also boat building, this is not going to be easy.  You can do it, but please be careful to tend to your family life lest it evaporate from neglect.  If you are flat out pressing yourselves to finish quickly because you are on a low budget and are not working, that can be done, but it was hard on us.  We began in our sixties and worked ten hour days seven days a week.  Luckily we finished and got the joy and delight of actually sailing the boat and we were still happily married in spite of the neglect of family life during the boat building.

My advice is to always tend to your family life with great care.  Do not do as we did working to exhaustion each day and every day for years.  Take time for each other.  Keep the balance that will get you through the big project with the close ties that will make the later voyaging life together worth the effort of building the boat.

I do not think there is a better catamaran design, and building the boat is maybe the best thing we could have done back then.  But I do wish we had taken one afternoon off each week to love and enjoy each other's company maybe outside in the sunshine with a nice view and a picnic lunch.

We are repairing and upgrading a production motorsailor now which is age appropriate for Nev's poor balance and need to have hand holds to help him with every step around the boat.  But we work for 2 or 3 hours, then come home for a nap, and do a little more work in the afternoon.  Maybe 4 hours a day on average.  A much easier and gentler approach that we can sustain now he is in his 80s and I am in my middle 70s.

Peace IV is in the Pacific with her new owners.  She is doing well last time I heard.  Long live Peace IV and her new owners.  We call our current boat Peace at Last since she is the last boat we will have.  She is not an ocean boat, not fantastic like our Peace IV, but she is floating and paid for, she keeps us safe on the inside and the water on the outside.  It is enough at our age.

Take care of each other!

Love to all,  

Ann and Nev

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I find your words so very right and useful, I'm just starting my tiki30 (bought 60% finished) and will try
To keep the right balance.
Thanx!
Thank you for sharing your story. I am at the start of my Tiki 38 build and I am looking for finding the right balance between building, regular work and family time. I appreciate your post, it is very helpful to me.

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