Wharram Builders and Friends

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hi  all wharram boat lovers

im looking to build or buy a  wharram  cat not sure whats will be best for me

i want a boat to live on  and sail  single hand on long distance   crossing 

i like to here your thought  on what u thing is best to get

thats good to live on and easy to sail   by my self

meny thanks

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I can only advise as one with lots of sailing experience, but still undecided over own build.....  I am sure others with more direct knowledge of Wharram's will chip in.  Also, consider buying the Wharram design book or study plans for the craft you might be interested in.  Nowhere near as expensive as building/buying the wrong boat!

Budget is key consideration for most.  Best value might be second hand especially if a known boat.  But of course, if you have a wish to build, and you have time and space (as I will have), then it must add to the satisfaction of ownership in the end.  Just budget more than you thought both in cost and time to build - according to most recent builders.  Running costs also increase markedly as size increases.

TiKi's are the newest designs and will offer the best sailing experience.  With regard to single handing, you can go as small as TiKi 21 and cross oceans.  Seaworthyness (hatches sealing properly, built to plan, lashings and rigging sound) more important than size.  Of course though, size will improve living conditions (shelter, heads/galley etc), allow faster passages in most cases, and allow more to be carried.  All are shallow draft, but draft will increase with size and so will weight.  One of the negative aspects for me of the 46 is the difficulty I might have pulling up our beach lot to dodge the 10-15 typhoons we might expect in our area each year!  I reckon a 38 will be manageable with rollers made and a winch on the beach, but the displacement of the 46 is considerable more.

I am sure you will be subjected to a barrage of suggestions from others who will also have differing opinions and priorities from mine.  That is the joy of this forum!

Now where are my Tiki 38 and 46 study plans?  Time is getting closer, might have to flip a coin....

thanks peter

i have looked at a tiki 30 think its a bit small to live on full time

i hope to go see a tiki 38 soon im sure will have much more room to live on

i want to make sure i get the  right boat fist time so i wil be happy to live on her, but i know big is not always best  when u sail solo

the  inportant bit for me  is to feel safe at sea no mater where i go  , every 1 tells me  wharram cats are so safe  at sea also look great when u come in to port

Have you considered a stretched Tiki 30, like Wavedancer, or Boatsmith's proposed Tiki 36?

The other problem as size increases relates to managing items like anchors and sails.  Look at Ann and Nev's comments on their Tiki 46 with respect to adjustments needed to allow for age/single handing.  Great yo see that couple enjoying their boat so much and that their alterations have allowed them to put off downsizing, but their comments equally appropriate to single handing.

I understand both 38 and 46 more than seaworthy enough.  In my case, I would rarely be single handed and would appreciate the space/performance of 46 (my wife wants a bigger kitchen and bathroom in the house too!!!).

If in the UK, see Neil's Gleda project, I hope to visit this myself!

Hey there Alan,

First up, good luck in your search, it going to be a wild ride, intellectually and emotionally so remember to have fun with it.

Second, stay mindful that all of our opinions and considerations are unique, from those like me who come from a minimalist, micro background with canoes and kayaks to those who slip directly into the larger boats say 35' and up. Be wary of the larger boat syndrome, be ruthless with your assessment of personal needs.

Third, I cannot recommend highly enough the book authored by the late Thomas Firth Jones, Multihull Voyaging; an absolute wealth of information and decision making variables. It is written simply, concisely without major bias, other than being about multihulls a of course. You would not regret having this in your library and it is a good read cover to cover.

Fourth, my personal slant, size wise up to and specifically the Pahi 31 fits my needs for my wife and I, however we always look to dealing with all things solo if we have to.

The Classic range are built solidly and have, to me at least, an old world, island trader charm in their profile and style. The Pahi range are just plain beautiful to behold; to the devil I say with their perceived lack of pointing up, take a longer tack, we are not in a race to the grave! The Tiki range has a certain rakish, modern appeal and perform very well. The Ethnic range if your happy with exposure, simplicity and deeper old world style.

Have fun matey and remember that with these boats, no matter which you end up with, when you loose your lines and get on the water your smile and laugh muscles will get a workout, no matter whether it's the first time or the hundredth.


thanks al for your replay give me much to think about and  much more to look at  will have to try and look at  more boats and size in england as this wil be the first  big boat i wil buy  most boats i have had in the past are sailing dingy and power   boats  good fun but not good to sail the world in .

thanks agen


hello alan and welcome, I have lived aboard my tangaroa mk iv for almost a year now and not regretted a minute of it.

I spent a good few years researching and pricing allsorts of craft that would suit the life style I thought I wanted, from gaff schooners through to high performance tri's ,and I am so pleased that my final decision came down to a wharram catamaran. I 'tried before I buyed' by chartering a tiki 30 in Phuket to get a true idea of whether my expectations lived up to my dream and within a few months  of that little adventure had located  a boat within price range and distance.

I would strongly urge you to charter before you buy or build, the few thousand $ for the knowledge gained is tiny in comparison to the amount you will spend on what could be the biggest change in your life and if decide not to go the wharram way , the holiday alone sailing though the phang na area of Thailand is the holiday of a lifetime.

my tangaroa at almost 36 ft is a great compromise between the tiki 30 and 38 and has been modified to tiki style lashing and another meter wider ,solo sailing is very easy with a ketch rig even in gale force conditions . the sailing performance of this boat still suprises me every time I get to go out for a sail .  the bruce number I look for is maximum speed without spilling the wine :D

best of luck with your research  and no doubt we will hear from you again

cheers Steve

thanks  charlie

yes the  tiki 38 looks perfect  yet to se it in person  (hope to go se 1 soon)but have read much about it   sounds a very safe easy boat to sail  and easy to live on with lots room  .

thanks  steve 

well i have just started to think what boat wil be best  and thought i ask the persons  like you that realy know what its like to live  full time and sail 

Thailand  sounds  a dream place to go and sail  1 place i hope to go to next year if i  find a boat ready to go  or can  rebuild a boat ready to go, to build from new  im told will take me a year or more so hope i can find a boat ready to go 

thanks agen  to you all for your reply


For mostly solo sailing, I would want the Tangaroa Mk IV.  I would want either cutter or ketch.  Good anchor windlass, careful sail set up for easy handling, and some kind of shelter for the helm position.  Being out in the weather all the time takes away your energy and will make you tired.  You need to see the sky and stars at night, but you need to get out of the cold and rain and avoid too much sun.  A comfy place to sit on watch is important.  I have done a LOT of single handing although it has all been in monohulls.  Keep it all simple and strong and make provision for your comfort and security and rest.  On a long ocean passage, you will need that comfort and security and rest. 

Your dream sounds nice.  You can do it if you will be persistent and humble.  Ann

Thanks ann

yes i agree and understand all you say  and more i look at all types of cats more i think a tangaroa mkIV or a tiki 38  will fit my life the best both have the  room to live on and both easy to sail and good at sea in bad weather .

The 1 think i  must ask and try to understand is when your on a long passage  how do u get good nights sleep 

yes u set  up the boat with auto pilot  and u have alarm to tell you land or a ship is geting close  and u reef the sail  but  even so  it must be hard to relax and sleep each person that solo  sails will have there own way to relax

Have done lots of reading  and lost  solo sailors  just have  power naps like in 20 min slots  i would like to try and get  good night slep most nights

would love to know how you get good night sleep

meny thanks from alan

thanks paul i will give it a try

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