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    One of the few real "liabilities" to flexible beam connections is the fact that it really is not compatible with an integrated bridge deck cabin, hence one sees only pods on Warrams... unless presumably they have been converted to rigid beam.

    The obvious attraction to a pod is the walkway on either side of it, protected by the hull coach roof.... a very safe way forward, where going forward on most cats with a cabin involves climbing over one a coach roof.

      The obvious liability is that you cannot go between hull cabin and pod without going outdoors.  Not a big deal in mild weather, or the tropics, but potentially a real liability in northern areas like Europe, PNW, and New England, etc, where you are likely to be exposed to cold rain & cold spray if you are more than perfect weather weekend cruiser.

Rob Denny's Harry Proa designs use a cabin integrated to one hull, leaving a generous walkway, which strikes me as the best of both worlds.   On a wharram that is suitable for a pod, I can envision that pod being married to one main cabin, and extending out toward the other hull a suitable distance.   The pod would be rigid to the one hull, and the opposite end would "float" using a single trunnion pin and a walking beam lashed to the two adjacent cross beams so that the beams could still give.    This would allow you to have a doorway facing the opposite  hull.... probably sliding or French, as well as a doorway to the cockpit, and a very generous walkway fore and aft.   The cabin sole in the married hull would be raised to a level that would allow the galley worktop to extend under the settee , which would be L shaped instead of U shaped.  There would be standing headroom in the hull, but sitting headroom like most pods in the portion of the pod over the bridge deck, perhaps with a pop top for nice weather.  I envision  lots of "glass"... not condo cat picture windows, but practical windows, and the ability to open things up, both galley windows, the doors aft and to the port side.... I always seem to think of the galley as being to starboard, and forward windows and the pop top, such that in warm or hot conditions there would be a lot of ventilation, and it would be more like a bimini than a cabin or pod.   Zippered panels (or rigid panels) would be available to provide protection from the elements at anchor or when sailing downwind with the pop top up.  

    I'm envisioning this with a biplane junk rigged boat which is the rig that appeals to me for it's simplicity. 

                                           Thoughts??    

 

I've never seen anybody build such a pod, but it appeals to me.   The port hull would be berths and stowage mostly, perhaps a workshop area for projects, etc.... I'm a guy that would go a bit stir crazy without being able to work with my hands, fix and build things.

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Hmmmm, I like it. Could one also have a hinged lifting 'flap' on the deck between the pod and the hull hatchway? tIt could be easily lifted and lowered hinged at the forward end. Like a folding door and cover the sailor needing to cross between platforms without getting drenched and frozen? It wouldn't need to be full height - it is only a few feet distance afterall.

I have noticed also that the  pods never seem to be very streamlined, which has always puzzled my lack of knowledge of/ experience with  catamarans, but somehow offends the pilot and sailor in me.

Gerry:

     You could of course resort to any number of variants.  What I'm looking at is how to set up a comfortable convenient arrangement for long term live aboard voyaging that raises the level above that of "camping".  Bringing the pod on a Wharram up more into the realm of a bridge deck cabin where someone in the galley for example can interact with someone in the pod as they would in a typical modern catamaran.   Below is a photo of the interior of a cat that has less than standing headroom in the cabin, but allows for full standing headroom in the hulls........  Note that the cabin sole is set at a level that reduces the number of steps into the bridge deck cabin, and allows the bridge deck to act like a "wing"  situated at countertop level.  This cat is 30' LOA , and obviously rigid.   Looking at boats like the Tangeroa... what I would consider the minimum size Wharram that could meet my needs, you will note that the bridge deck is much further above the cabin sole.  I would raise the sole in these critical areas, which also allows for more stowage in the best locations on the boat for weight.   Below are interior photos of a Tiki 38 and a Tangeroa V.   Note that the Tiki has one sunk down to a narrow cabin sole, and I would estimate counter top level 16"-18" below the bridge deck level..... 2 more steps to climb out.  The Tangeroa is closer.  You will notice that the Tiki 38 has you far below optimal height, at least in terms of width / workspace / floor space / distance to climb out.   Tangeroa is definitely better in these respects.  

       Being married up means that in a storm you don't have to be concerned with waves squirting through gaps.  Being a partial pod means you have a very safe generous walkway forward protected on both sides.  I would want a workshop on the opposite side with a worktop that extended into this walkway when needed....... A hatch that opened in the normal Wharram fashion, and a bolted down panel beneath it so I had a flush surface...... but that's just me.

       Ironically I find the super streamlined cabins a bit silly.  Windows / portlights sloped such that they will turn the interior into an oven in the tropics........... I want windows to provide view......not look cool!    There is no reason I can see why the pod cannot be streamlined, taking it over the beam except that it is inconvenient in terms of mast access on a ketch or schooner rigged boat.   Personally I'm an advocate of the biplane junk rig (modern camber panel).   In addition to offering the ultimate ease of sailing, including instant and reliable reefing without any hassles, the elimination of standing rigging (a house of cards IMHO), reduced structural stresses, elimination of a lot of hardware, vastly reduced fabric stresses and sheet loading, and a foredeck that is often left clear or mostly clear.... and on and on.    My priorities differ from those of many people.  Seaworthy ease of sailing, very low upkeep, reasonable payload..... reasonable comfort and minimal stress.... ability to keep environmental factors under control...temp for example, fatigue reduction.....a pod for example means I'm not constantly climbing in and out of a more or less blind culvert... like a monohull.  I want to be able to keep watch from indoors when I don't want to be out in the weather, and be just a few steps from the tiller, sheets, and halyards. The more worn and out and colder one gets, the worse one's decision making becomes.  Speed is not a priority, but a relaxed enjoyable passage is........and my hopes include long ocean crossings.

                                                                       DW

grp galley

Tiki 38 | James Wharram Designs | Sailing yacht, Boat, Catamaran

Wharram Tangaroa Open Deck Sailing Catamaran, 36' MKIV, Florida Keys, sailboat for sale from ...

Gerry Schreiber said:

Hmmmm, I like it. Could one also have a hinged lifting 'flap' on the deck between the pod and the hull hatchway? tIt could be easily lifted and lowered hinged at the forward end. Like a folding door and cover the sailor needing to cross between platforms without getting drenched and frozen? It wouldn't need to be full height - it is only a few feet distance afterall.

I have noticed also that the  pods never seem to be very streamlined, which has always puzzled my lack of knowledge of/ experience with  catamarans, but somehow offends the pilot and sailor in me.

I've though alot about this, to the point of buying study plans for the Tanenui (one for sale locally)& Tangaroa and  traced them into AutoCAD to explore various configurations.

My design considerations are almost identical to yours with the exception of the rig. And, I wouldn't mind going fast as well.

The Woods Sagitta that you mention does this quite well, but generally I'm not enamoured with the aesthetic of the more modern style cats.

Most of the design options I explored involved a rigid "cockpit" between the two opposing companion ways which was dropped a little below the underside of the beams. This combined with the raised cabin sole you mention, equates to less steps down into the hull from the deck.

    The Tane and Tanenui,  really are not large enough for the level of independence I am seeking.   They also are a bit small for  a pod.   Nice design though.   I consider the Tangeroa about the smallest size suitable for a pod.  It also has about the minimum practical payload for my use.   I do not want to be heavily dependent on shore because I can't carry enough supplies, spares, water, tools, etc.   We are talking about what are trivial payloads in my view.   2200 lbs or in the case of Tangeroa 3300.   That may sound like a lot..... until you start adding things up.  Weights add up far faster than most folks realize.   One 30' cat lists a 60 gallon water tank as an example.   There is 500 lbs+    And you still have everything else.   Fuel at 6 lbs per gallon, a couple bottles of propane at about 30 lbs each, in many cases waste tanks..... I would  not consider a marine toilet and tank, etc personally.   Composting is IMHO the ONLY rational solution where it is legal, and as a solo sailor I would have a "direct deposit" system for at sea.   Start adding tools and spares, batteries and charging systems, perhaps a generator, and of course everything personal, as well as safety equipment, tender, and life raft if you have one, and all the galley stuff, ground tackle, and countless other things, and you eat through that payload rapidly.   

       My objective is to sail off into the ocean, and not worry about time particularly. Have the option of changing my destination of passing it by if necessary.  I want the option of "taking the ground" to do repairs if needed.... just about everywhere.   Tools, materials and adhesives, etc aboard...... I'm that way.  I work on my own stuff.    I have developed a passion for hydroponic growing (non pumped), and in a boat the size of Tangeroa, it would be possible to keep some fresh stuff growing all the time like I do in my house.   I want to be able to hang out anyplace that is interesting, and for me "interesting" means remote or deserted.    I might hang for weeks in a place where someone else would be eager to get to the nearest town or city and tiki bar.  

       What is clear to me is that I want a watermaker (home built), and a good refrigeration system / freezer, and probably an electric galley.    I don't need an "entertainment system".  An Ipad (or equivalent) can carry a vast collection of books and info.

      The pod connection to one hull matters to me.......... I expect to sail places like the Alaska Panhandle, Eastern Canada, Iceland and Greenland, the Falklands, Southern Argentina and Chile............ Places where there are cold winds and rain.  Being able to stay sheltered and still see, as well as access important parts of the boat matters.   It means staying warm, and being rested and able to make rational decisions.

     On the rig......... We will have to agree to disagree.    The cambered junk rig inherently outperforms a Bermuda rig on everything from a beam reach to a run if set up correctly.   It also means no sail changes.  No foresails. No winches needed, No traveler, No vang, No Spinnaker, or sock or pole, no sail track and cars,  It means a gentle gybe because of balance area. It means no standing rigging......A HUGE MAINTENANCE ISSUE.  It means that a torn panel does not effect the rest of the sail.   It means instant reefing on ANY point of sail.... Just release halyard and let the sail drop as desired.  That  means in turn that you can carry sail until you actually  NEED to reef, instead of in anticipation.  It means sails that do not flog.  The biplane rig will not reach as  high....... and that can be a liability, but it also means safety.  Two shorter masts with instant reefing sails where you do not need to tie in reefs.  You can carry MORE total sail area with greater safety. Some people carry as much as 50% more.  Being able to "ghost along" in light winds is more important to me than being able to set a speed record.  My favorite rig is Paul McKay's Aerojunk that uses batten cages instead of battens in the sails, and flat panel sails.  The connection to the battens can be altered to change camber, and there is less rigging. Batten cages are a one time project, and do not need to be particularly heavy.  Pete Hill used this rig on his Oryx catamaran, a KD 860 stretched 5 feet....... a beautiful boat.    In addition the biplane rig keeps the foredeck much clearer of sail.  Sailing Oryx

       The half cabin / pod idea does not seem popular.... I've outlined the reasons I consider it desirable.   Most folks do not like asymmetry instinctively.   I like the openness of the Wharram designs on deck, and a full cabin destroys that.  The partial cabin allows a generous protected walkway forward.........Get the dimensions right and it will be very secure....... I'd have a hand rail on top of the port hull (assuming the cabin was married to the starboard hull), and along the cabin face itself....... I've always been a bit "anal" about having hand holds.

     I  have the mad idea about making the opposite side hull cabin such that you can remove a panel creating a nice work bench space that was level to the walkway so you can stand in the port hull and work on a project with plenty of room when at anchor. 

    I want a boat that is my permanent home......... I will not have a land base.  Which does not mean that I will not like almost everybody spend most of my time at anchor or on a mooring.  My resources are limited, so you will not normally see me hanging out at marinas..... I dislike those marine "trailer parks" anyway, or drinking umbrella drinks in tiki bars.  I hope to live on the hook in remote and interesting areas moving regularly.  The rig I mentioned appeals to me greatly because of the simplicity.  Because of it's ability to use whatever fabric you can find locally, and simple construction instead of having to order a professionally made sail from somewhere.   Population centers / cities have never had any appeal to me........ I can't wait to get away from them.   Remote and lonely places have a magnetism that draws me inexorably to them.

     Hopefully that loony a-hole in Russia will not go completely nuts and "reduce the west to ashes" as he as threatened to do if we dare to interfere with his delusions of grandeur.   It's always someone!!  The sea will offer no retreat or safety.  I well remember doing "nuclear drills" in elementary school, and in the fall of '62 when Kruchev and Kennedy were "eyeball to eyeball   (It was actually Kennedy who blinked).   Nikita got what he wanted, and we have kept hands off Cuba since.  We write history to suit us.   I remember neighbors digging fall out shelters.  I  know a cave nearby still stocked with Civil Defense supplies.    I want nothing to do with what has been happening in this country or Russia, but mad men refuse to be ignored.  The pandemic made me wonder how long a "community" of "sea people" in a collection of boats could exist offshore.   Completely unrealistic and fantastical, but it is fun to think about.

The world is a stage and everyone is an actor. 

I'll look at the junk rig further, otherwise our requirements & intended destinations are the same. With the exception that'll I'll head to Norway instead of Alaska.

I presume you have read Sailing the farm?

All these pods.....

I wonder about the weight and the windage.

On the moorings last week through 3 storms we experienced 98mph top gust. The pontoons dragged their anchors.

I had no damage beyond a few rope burns on the port foredeck.

Light boat + top hamper= not a good combination in my book.

I am a strong believer in sticking to the designer's brief 95% or so.

I spent an evening on the net looking into Junk rigs.

I watched the JRA 3 part video series (and others) which was very good. While I have a greater understanding of the system now, on the whole I don't see it as an improvement over the Wharram wing rig, other than saving on the cost of a headsail furler which is reasonable cost on a boat like a Tangaroa or larger.

Reefing. Looks the same as a regular single line "jiffy" reefing system that i would otherwise employ. The ability to reef at deep points of sail is more a product of the lack of standing rigging than the junk sail.

The running rigging (all those parrels) seems far to contrived and convoluted for my liking.

Due to the unstayed rig, I cant reasonably see how a catamaran could be rigged other than in the biplane configuration you mention.

The Bermudian shaped aero rig is interesting but a bit of a red herring. It seems to be for the purpose of making Bermudian rig sailors feel more at home when ideally the design would have the both luffs and leach's as parallel as possible as this has shown to be more efficient. The scalloped leach shape of the jiblets is very poor as the intention claims to be to induce flow into the back of the mainsail but the depth of the "slot" is constantly changing, hence is mostly the wrong size/shape.

The aerodynamic drag of the mast is an issue which, of course, can be overcome by the "wing" junk, but is in my opinion far to complex to be considered a variable solution. 

The windward performance is mentioned in the JRA videos, the lack of camber in the sail being sited as the reason, but I also think the lack of upper leach control may also be a n issue. As the mainsheet attaches higher up the sail the force becomes more vertical than horizontal, pulling the batten end down more than toward the boats centreline. The resulting twist looked much greater than that of wind shear, so I'd suggest the leach tension, or lack the of, also hampers the windward performance. I'm unsure this is a huge issue on a boat like a Wharram as they don't have massive amounts of lateral resistance and the boat would probably just make more leeway with more leach tension.

The balanced nature of the rig is beneficial for lowering sheeting loads & softening gybes.

I watched the video on Orxy. Certainly not my idea of a pretty boat, ,but each to their own. 

Personally I don't see enough benefit to negate the additional complications of the junk rig.

The principal take away is that I could save a lump of money on a furler by have 2 bigger main sails & no jib.

Hi - Interesting discussion! Concerning the pod idea, one of my friends has a Harry Proa "Ono", professionally built by another friend here in Finland. It is certainly more like half a modern condo-cat than a Wharram. I think your idea might work if this asymmetrical pod was kept fairly small, more like a blister-window on the one cabin top. Wouldn't the added weight set to one side affect trim? I know you can balance weight, but this could be significant.

We are in the process of planning and building a pod for our Pahi 42, for all the reasons you have listed. When we bought her 15 years ago there was no pod, and we have rebuilt her with open decks and cockpit. Now we find for long offshore overnight passages it is too cold and wet and need an internal watch-keeping post. We will also use it for general seating, extra bunks, etc. It will be slightly larger than the original designed by Hanneke.

We have a conventional Bermudian cutter rig with boom and fully-battened main. We like it! A couple of years ago invested in roller furler for the genoa, and couldn't be more satisfied! Due to archipelago sailing, we need upwind ability - we find we are able to point as well as monos, but if any tacking is involved, forget it!! Junk rig is interesting, I have looked at it, and could be interested if building something from scratch, but with Wharrams I would say, the soft wing seems to work really well, so why not go that way? Of course, I understand your interest to create the boat for your needs! (I also like Oryx by the way!)

A photo of Ono, and us doing a mock-up of the pod design.


Andy:

     Nice looking pod........ It's really not worth arguing rigs, as everybody is pretty firmly set in their ideas.   I do not want separate headsails to change and sailbags to deal with, and all that stuff, nor do I want standing rigging if it can be avoided.  As my idea is to spend a LOT of time at sea, and cover a lot of ocean experience of others shows that the  life expectancy of standing rigging in near constant use such as circumnavigating is short, and of course as mentioned before there are a hundred failure points in that house of cards..... every component, every connection, etc.   I also do not want leaking chainplates, etc.   The sails themselves are inevitably expensive, and short life when in near constant use.   People generally do not see this as most boats are used very little in reality.   It's all pretty obvious to me......... not so much to others.   The free standing biplane rig pretty much gets the sails clear of the decks, and of course the junk rig masts are much further forward due to the need for helm balance, and lack of jibs and genoas, etc.  In your photo of Godzilla, the mast would probably sit at the forward edge of the coach roof forward of the beam.

      The Wharram Wingsail is attractive at least in appearance.  It looks like it could be a bear to pull down in a strong wind if the sail is wet.    The rig that appeals most to me as I mentioned is Paul McKay's Aerojunk......... Most of those built are not as someone mentioned imitation Bermuda rigs with pointy sails, but have normal square heads like a typical lug rig.   It's foolish not to put sail area up top as far as I'm concerned... that's where the wind is steadiest when winds are light.   The Aerojunk also lacks all the parrels someone else dislikes.  Parrels such as luff hauling and yard hauling serve important functions on a typical junk rig to set and balance the sail as desired.  None of that exists on the Aerojunk.   The HUGE virtue in my eyes is the utter simplicity of the sail itself. Because the batten cage creates the camber (which can be adjusted), it's just a flat piece of fabric with various things as needed stitched to the perimeter, which means I can build it myself aboard or on the beach with simple equipment from whatever is locally available in a pinch.   I won't be hunting for a sailmaker, or trying to import a sail from elsewhere.

      To me the equation changes when you leave "home" permanently and the boat becomes your world wide voyaging home.    I do not want just tiny half pod such as you describe.......  The whole idea of the integrated half pod is to have an above deck living space where I can see all around well.... as with your pod... And perhaps AS IMPORTANT, being able to access your primary hull (galley, etc) without introducing rain and seawater.......not standing head room, but perhaps a pop top in part of it, like the FP Maldives.   Galley, etc would be below, but I would plan on living largely either on deck or in the pod depending on weather conditions........ and of course sleeping there.  Just a few steps from the tiller, sheets and halyards, and a good view of the ocean.   You may be anchored off beautiful Fatu Hiva and enduring day after day of rain.   I want to be where I can see around me well in all directions, not below....... perhaps I will want to cower below from a stormy sea when it becomes too much, but I want the option.    What I envision is more or less what you have on Godzilla but shifted to starboard, adjoining that cabin for a dry passage up and down.  Balance / trim is a non issue entirely.   The weight can be distributed any way you want.  Put the heavy stuff in the opposite hull.............. Asymmetry is offensive to the eye of many people... It just looks "wrong", but so is virtually anything unconventional it seems.  

       A question for you........... How do you like the elevated beams?   They look like they would offer much better access between cabins in the hull compared for example to the Tiki 38.  

        Some folks are into minimalism........ I admire that, but minimalism can get tiresome.   I know that from a lifetime of experience.  There is a level of comfort and convenience that any of us tends to try to develop as we go along.   I've spent as long as 3 weeks with a backpack on the PCT........ that's pretty minimal, and a bit of comfort is welcome after that.  I lived outdoors for the most part herding sheep year round in 1979/80 in a tiny sheep camp with a dog and a horse....... I know about exposure, cold, and the need for relief from it.   Planning to go to sea and explore for an indefinite period of years..... perhaps the rest of my life, I look to making the boat my home, my refuge, a place I look forward to being rather than to escaping.   With a catamaran, the passages can be comfortable instead of an ordeal.  I do well alone, and am at my peak emotionally and intellectually when in wild places away from crowds of my fellow man.  I find cities loathsome....... though I get along with most people well, and make friends easily.   Some folks are energized by being in a group or crowd,  I find it draining, and am energized by solitude and nature......... I've always been that way.  Perhaps there is something wrong with me, but it is what it is.   I have to interact with my fellow man and woman, just not constantly and relentlessly we are all different.

                                                                                                          DW

Andy Best-Dunkley said:

Hi - Interesting discussion! Concerning the pod idea, one of my friends has a Harry Proa "Ono", professionally built by another friend here in Finland. It is certainly more like half a modern condo-cat than a Wharram. I think your idea might work if this asymmetrical pod was kept fairly small, more like a blister-window on the one cabin top. Wouldn't the added weight set to one side affect trim? I know you can balance weight, but this could be significant.

We are in the process of planning and building a pod for our Pahi 42, for all the reasons you have listed. When we bought her 15 years ago there was no pod, and we have rebuilt her with open decks and cockpit. Now we find for long offshore overnight passages it is too cold and wet and need an internal watch-keeping post. We will also use it for general seating, extra bunks, etc. It will be slightly larger than the original designed by Hanneke.

We have a conventional Bermudian cutter rig with boom and fully-battened main. We like it! A couple of years ago invested in roller furler for the genoa, and couldn't be more satisfied! Due to archipelago sailing, we need upwind ability - we find we are able to point as well as monos, but if any tacking is involved, forget it!! Junk rig is interesting, I have looked at it, and could be interested if building something from scratch, but with Wharrams I would say, the soft wing seems to work really well, so why not go that way? Of course, I understand your interest to create the boat for your needs! (I also like Oryx by the way!)

A photo of Ono, and us doing a mock-up of the pod design.

I've not had  a problem bringing down the sails as you describe, though I suppose there's scope for that.

My last sail was finished up running an F8 and I had no problem bringing the mizzen down to run home on the jib.

Each to their own...!

Ref pods, I have shown my Mrs some photos here of pods on Tiki 31's and she doesn't like them. She is always right..........

To my mind, you choose the boat you want to build to fit in with your requirements: you don't change one when you find it's not quite right. Usually, that means you want a bigger one but are too mean or don't have the crew to sail it.............

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