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Hi, My partner and I are thinking about moving to a cat, specifically one of models in the 38 to 46 foot range (Tiki 38, 46, Pahi 42 or Narai MK IV). We are currently in the Gambier Islands, heading off later this week for some of the middle and Eastern Tumotus and will be Tahiti early June to fly out for some work and visa renewal reasons. Back in September. We would like to look at any of the boats mentioned above. They don't have to be for sale we would be grateful if you are in the area and prepared to show us your home. 

We would be wanting to live aboard. We are a couple, friends visiting now and again depending on where we are. We have done a lot of miles in monohulls but only I (Chris) have sailed cats and those being small ones such as Hobie 16s and similar. Our cruising plans include the pacific ocean from Southern New Zealand to Alaska and home waters in Patagonia. The cat idea is specifically for the warmer areas as I'm not sure about the practicalities of Wharram in cold and wet environments; insulation, heating, and protection from the elements when sailing etc... but looking for thoughts on that too.

We currently cruise a high latitude ready steel 36' sloop that would have to be sold or exchanged for the cat. 

Open to ideas and suggestions. 

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Hi Chris

Interesting thoughts you're having! I am in New Zealand and know of quite a few wharrams around the place. Can't help with boats in French Polynesia.

They say choose the boat that suits where you do the bulk of  your sailing. Wharrams are awesome boats for the tropics for lots and lots of reasons. They can be adapted for colder climates. There was a T38 based in Stewart Island at the bottom of New Zealand.

However I tend to think a monohull is generally a better proposition for colder places. In saying that , I think it depends on the boat and how much $ you have. Are there any Wharrams that have sailed round the Horn?

Do you really want to change your boat or is this a mental exercise?

I love my T38 and intend to live aboard soon. I love the speed, they are great social boats and fun and give those staying aboard their privacy. I love the swimming ramp, the easily managed Tiki wingsails, the deck space, the stable platform in rolly anchorages. I can largely repair my outboards myself without having to get in a diesel mechanic, and I can do most other things on my boat myself. I can beach her easily too. the pod is fantastic. I can see all the comings and goings around the bay and I can keep out of the wind.

Why are YOU thinking of moving to a cat?

regards Brett

Hi Brett,

Thanks for your thoughtful reply. 

This is more than a mental exercise I do want to change the boat. I've always been a multihull fan but my sailing career has all been in high latitudes where they are frowned upon. I can see the reasons for that; most modern multihulls are over powered with their big rigs, wing masts and wedding cake superstructures. I would not take a multihull into the ice for several reasons.  

Now I am cruising more or less full time, at least 9 months of the year aboard and for at least the next several years plan on being in and around the Pacific, the furthest south would be NZ.

I would like to get to Alaska one day. Perhaps a cat is not the best thing in northern Alaska but as for the rest I don't see why not. In any case if when I get to those latitudes why not change back to mono?

As for taking a cat in general or Wharram especially into Patagonia I would have no worries, there are plenty of cats there already. The waters are sheltered although the winds can be fierce, the main criteria would be protection from the elements. This is where Wharrams are a bit deficient as far as I can tell the pods although I have seen a couple online that look as if the owners have made a good attempt at covered, protected cockpit and inside steering. To get home to the Falklands there is no need to round the Horn, I would go through the old and familiar channels. Used to run charters to the Horn and have no special desire to see it again;)

Why are we looking at switching to a cat; speed, shallow draught, more accommodation than we have now for when friends visit, that swim ramp!, outboard power ( I have discovered that outboard motors are every where in even the most remote place, as you say they are reliable, maintenance is easy on the right models, parts are cheaper than the ridiculous prices you pay for parts for marine diesels), two engines, stable platform, beachable for maintenance or painting, use some rollers and you can drag them up the beach, simple rig without much in the way bank breaking fittings. 

I like the Wharram concept, I like the price, because I cruise I don't have money and my current boat would be the source of the capital for another. I like to think that I can increase the value of the boat I own - I know you never get back what you put in - and with enough graft you can step onwards and upwards a little at each trade. 

I thin that's about it :)


I am mad on dolphins and whales and have had around400 encounters with lots of swimming  too so this is my main reason for going the cat way. If I had a lot of money I would go the bridge deck way with a really well designed and built boat , with good bridge deck clearance and so on but I don't have that sort of money and to me the Wharrams are the next best thing are really fun boats. If you cruise to NZ I would be happy to take you sailing. Nothing beats trying  out these boats to get a sense of what's right for you. I think the t 38 is a very cool design, I also like the pahi 42 and the t 46 . I single handed from NZ to Tonga on a t 30 but generally found her a bit small with all the cruising gear needed.

In some ways the wharrams are a bit bitty ie lots of parts to make up the boat which can make them a little complicated, but for me the pros far out way the cons. Its very cool tucking up into shallow estuaries and exploring where you can't get into on a mono and they are good for parking out the back of a surf break to then paddle in. Good fun boats and the friends and visitors that come aboard enjoy them too.

I believe that Peace IV , a Tiki 46 is still up for sale. It would meet your requirements.

Thanks Kenneth, 

Peace IV seems overpriced to me, if it's not overpriced it is out of my range,and it is in the Carib. where I really do not want to go.


Kenneth Gorman said:

I believe that Peace IV , a Tiki 46 is still up for sale. It would meet your requirements.

Hi Brett,

Yes I can see a cat being a great observation platform. My partner and I are very much into the environment that we sail in too; she is a Dr. of biology I'm just an engineer ;) Maybe it is those 'bits' on a Wharram that are one of the attractions to me ;) Plenty of whales in our usual sailing areas of the SW Atlantic, Antarctic Peninsula and in Patagonia too. We see them every day. We see the tropical oceans as relatively sterile, in deep water.

There is Narai MK IV for sale in Tahiti that we are arranging a look at in June. She is a bit unusual being built in Aluminium but provided that she suits in other ways and we can fit insulation an aluminium boat could suit us very well. 

What do you think of the Narai IV compared to the Tiki 38? I have seen some nice examples online but they have mostly had the beams extended to increase the beam and allow a bigger pod to be fitted. 


Brett Parker said:

I am mad on dolphins and whales and have had around400 encounters with lots of swimming 

Will be good to look at. Again each boat has its pluses and minuses. It all depends if she works for you.

I like the layout of the T 38 and feel it all works a bit better than the narai however its a personal thing too. A lot depends on how the boat is set up. This boat has been advertised in NZ too. Should be interesting to check out.

Hi Brett, Yes I think that it is worth a look. I have seen nice examples of the Narai MK IV that have been built with the wider Tiki 38 sized beams, such as Katipo and Wharram actually sell an improvement package set of plans that incorporate many of the Tiki 38 features on deck such as the pod, ramp etc.. 

I like the idea of this boat because of the built like a tank in Aluminium hulls. I have never found a boat that suits me without modification so would look towards implementing the mods and probably going over to the schooner wingsail rig. However with many modifications in mind I'm going to have to  get if for a significant reduction on the advertised price. 


The tikis are better sailing boats in my opinion. I looked at this boat too and felt the price to be up there a bit, but then what would it cost to build an alu wharram. I have often thought alloy hulls and timber beams might be a good combo. Those changes you are talking  about are going to take time and $. Have fun!

Yes they probably are, to my eye they look better.  I would think that an Alu Wharram should be cheaper to build than a wood epoxy one because the fabrication would be so much quicker. The fit out would be the same. This was built a long time ago in South Africa and I suspect the initial build cost peanuts however its the current day market value that we are considering I guess.

Do you have any experience with Pahi design? I suspect that with the dagger boards it goes upwind better than the Tiki? But I don't like the look of it. 

I'll certainly look at this boat but I plan on being in NZ later this year so will look at more boats there unless a miraculous deal comes out of this one ;) Maybe price up having somebody weld up aluminium Tiki hulls including the redesign work and see how that looks. 

Many Pahi 42 owners have removed the dagger boards - we have, and can still get good windward performance. According to Hanneke the baords are more for balancing the rig that for pointing ability.

Personally I think the Pahis are the best looking of the Wharrams! Luckily with so many designs you can find the one that suits you, and of course customise it to your heart's content.

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