Wharram Builders and Friends

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Hello all. I have ordered a set of 3 study plans from the wharram site but had a mix up with the site. My bank reports that the money has been cleared, yet the site just shows the items in my cart as though I still need to pay them. At the time of purchase, the financial site you're redirected to went through fine, albeit twice, but the wharram site reported a transaction failed. My bank account says quite clearly otherwise. I was able to get the design book before this with no hassle. I've made several attempts to contact them, but have received not one reply. Not even a "have patience, we're looking into it". Is there a more reliable way to contact them than the embedded contact link on the site I could try? I'm beginning to have concerns about the actual plan purchase when that time comes. It's a far larger amount than the study plans. I can write off 57 USD but the plans purchase , if lost, will irritate me to no end.

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On the 16th of May I ordered study plans (Hitia 17) as digital download, payed with Paypal. I think the credit card clearing did not work for me (tried three times; I wrote that down to my cards being Australian), so I used Paypal instead. The order went through fine and the download works fine.

On the 20th of May I ordered the Hitia 17 plans, again paid with Paypal, they arrived two weeks later. So no problems on my end.

However, I agree with the comment you make about no communications: I emailed them twice in reply to the orders I placed (email reply to wharram@wharram.com) and I never got any response. This is indeed a worrying thing that they do not monitor or reply to what is advertised as their main contact email address, 'wharram@wharram.com'. Customer service should be paramount, no matter what company you are.

I ordered the H17 plans first, to see how they would arrive, before I spend real money on one of the larger Tikis. I will also build the H17 first, to learn the trade of ply/epoxy building before attempting a bigger one. I may still source that out, but at least I will have a better understanding of the build process and have a H17 to muck around with whilst building the T30/38/46.

Thanks for the speedy response. I suppose I'll just work around them by filing dispute of the charge through my bank and order the study plans using PayPal. Now that I'm thinking about it, I think I used the PayPal option for the design book. This would explain why it worked when the study plan order, which I used a debit card through their UTP service did not. I've gained a little confidence hearing you received the plans shipped as promised, despite a lack of communication.

You're welcome Ryan. Please join me in attempting to blow some life back into this forum by replying to each others posts and questions. This must be the quietest forum I have ever joined and it should be one of the funnest, liveliest forums. Please keep us posted on your progress, I will keep you updated in my H17 build: Light - Fast!

What plans did you order? Is the design book any use?

While these waters may be quiet, there are still breezes that blow through. We shall be two of them. I joined this forum specifically because the responses seemed to be days or weeks in coming rather than months or years as is found on the Wharram site's forum. I also found it sad that the PCA and its publication have apparently died. I chalk all of this up to the relatively small niche within the sailing world we inhabit. Not many people in this day and age of instant gratification and vicarious living through others through social media actually have the stones to do something of this scale on their own. And ideally we'd all be out sailing or in some stage of cutting, stitching, cursing, and mixing noxious glues rather than tapping keys on a keyboard. ;)
To answer your question, I found the book a good introduction to Wharram's philosophy and it did introduce me to a couple concepts I hadn't considered. As to it helping to narrow the field in choosing design, perhaps it would have in the days before the internet. I had already chosen the size range based on my intended use.
I ordered, or attempted rather, the study plans for one each of the iterations of design mainly to see the differences between the building methods and materials requirements for classics, Pahi, and Tiki ranges in my size requirement. Big enough to live on and make passage while small enough to singlehand. Consequently, the Narai mk4, Pahi 31, and Tiki 38 are sitting in my shopping cart waiting for banks and site masters to reach an understanding. ;)
I'll have the money together for any one of them in 4 years time. Thankfully I have infected a few talented individuals with my vision and also have the necessary skills to pull this off as far as working with the materials. I've just never applied them to a boat before. But all this amounts to a 1 year build time. I'll be in a position to take that full year off to devote to the build. I'll even be living on site. My hulls will be the first and last thing I see every day. I intend to fully document the process and share accordingly. Her name...McKenna.

I tried to get replacement pages for the rigging specs that came with my tiki 30 plans [ 10 years into the build and i had misplaced them- strange, i know]  been a few weeks and no response.  fortunately I was a tad better organized than i feared and the missing sheets surfaced....

As it would appear no one is reading our emails over there I'd say you're very fortunate, Curt. I'll make sure I'm careful with mine.

First thing I did when I got my H17 plans, before I did anything with them: go to my local copy shop and scan those A1 pages, so I have digital backups. $24 very well spent.

You might try contacting Ann and Nev or Don Brazier. They might have more direct contact methods for JWD.

Thanks BB. I'll do that if the PayPal method doesn't pan out. As to my situation, all charges have been taken off and added back to my account. So for now the only issue is the problems with communication. Since my bank only had to dispute one of the charges and the other was removed remotely, (I'm assuming by the financial service JWD utilizes), I have to conclude that the emails are being read, just not responded to. Perhaps it's just a fault in the system they use and since the traffic is low there's been no real need to fix it.

We can only speculate, and may never know why. It is not something new, and has been going on for over a decade in my personal experience, and is the primary reason that I created this website.

Hi there, I noticed a few problems with their website a few months ago and posted a topic on the forum titled problem with website. See Link:


My post was answered promptly by James P. He said they have been experiencing  some problems after a recent up grade. One of the problems was sorted but the issue with the PCA link is still there.

Maybe this is just an issue that has arisen with the recent upgrade. Maybe you should post a new topic in their forum explaining the problem, you may get a result?

I agree that a purchase online, especially a rather large one should be followed up with a confirmation of receiving the money and a system for tracking the product. It could very well be a simple problem with the purchase mechanism, otherwise it is bad customer service. 

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