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I was looking at Catamarans for sale, and recently found an interesting "Custom Wharram Design 37" that appears to be rigid.   Anybody know the story if this boat?   It can be found here at the link below.   location is  Arapahoe, North Carolina USA.   Note the bulkheads tied directly into the coach roof.   There are not enough photos inn the add to really put together a good picture.  If I lived on the East Coast, I would take a drive over and have a looksee just out of curiosity.

                                                    H.W.

https://www.sailboatlistings.com/view/78094 

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I think this is the second Tangaroa MK IV built by Roger Ayers. Like his first Tangaroa "Marney," which I once owned, he glassed the beams to the hulls. But I remember seeing the second one which he had stretched to 37', and talking with him about it. From the pictures, I cannot tell if this is the boat or not. I saw it when it was fresh in 2000. This boat appears to have fallen into some neglect, as had "Marney" when I found and purchased her.

I'm very curious about the rigid beams on a Wharram.   I knew that some had been done, in fact I've seen photos where someone used steel straps in place of lashings..... something I didn't like.   I work with steel all the time, and feel that the potential for failure is fairly high.   lashings have proven themselves it would seem, with proper maintenance.   Glassed in beams gives me more confidence than steel straps.    The beauty of rigidity is that a full width cabin with less than standing height , integrated into the main areas of  the two hulls such that you do not have to go out into the weather is a valuable addition for nasty conditions.    The notion that a multihull must flex is contradicted by the many successful rigid multihulls that do not have break up problems.  

     I'd like to see photos and read descriptions about attempts, both successful and unsuccessful to make these boats rigid.

                                                          H.W.

If you really want a rigid home built catamaran with a bridge deck, I suggest looking at Hughes and Woods designs. These do not cost any more or less to build than a comparable sized Wharram, do not require heavy modifications (to get what you are looking for), and you will probably be happier in the long run if a rigid structure is what you want.

Dean Wilkerson said:

I'm very curious about the rigid beams on a Wharram.   I knew that some had been done, in fact I've seen photos where someone used steel straps in place of lashings..... something I didn't like.   I work with steel all the time, and feel that the potential for failure is fairly high.   lashings have proven themselves it would seem, with proper maintenance.   Glassed in beams gives me more confidence than steel straps.    The beauty of rigidity is that a full width cabin with less than standing height , integrated into the main areas of  the two hulls such that you do not have to go out into the weather is a valuable addition for nasty conditions.    The notion that a multihull must flex is contradicted by the many successful rigid multihulls that do not have break up problems.  

     I'd like to see photos and read descriptions about attempts, both successful and unsuccessful to make these boats rigid.

                                                          H.W.

I'm at the point of toying with what is available to build, and available in the used market that might fit my own criteria.   I've looked at Richard Woods designs, and Bernd Kohler's designs, as well as the Wharrams, and a number of others, including trimarans, and even Rob Denney's Harry proas.  The criteria I'm using to evaluate what might work well for me changes as I learn more and my familiarity with the various options grows.   As it  is none of the designers operates with design criteria that really match my needs.  The closest boat to fitting my criteria at this point is a blend of two catamarans, by a designer who is willing to support that fairly simple blend which would provide both the space and payload I need while not growing into a huge  oversize overweight monstrosity as has happened in the commercial  market, where catamarans are for the wealthy only.   I  like the simplicity, and light weight, high payload of the Wharrams.   Their availability in the used market makes them attractive.   Having built many things, including a number of boats (smaller), I have a good idea of the time and cost of a build, and have to ask myself if I really want to build....... or to sail.   Every year spent building is a year not sailing, a year closer to dying without realizing my dreams if one wants to be honest about it.

                                                                            H.W.

Budget Boater said:

If you really want a rigid home built catamaran with a bridge deck, I suggest looking at Hughes and Woods designs. These do not cost any more or less to build than a comparable sized Wharram, do not require heavy modifications (to get what you are looking for), and you will probably be happier in the long run if a rigid structure is what you want.

Dean Wilkerson said:

I'm very curious about the rigid beams on a Wharram.   I knew that some had been done, in fact I've seen photos where someone used steel straps in place of lashings..... something I didn't like.   I work with steel all the time, and feel that the potential for failure is fairly high.   lashings have proven themselves it would seem, with proper maintenance.   Glassed in beams gives me more confidence than steel straps.    The beauty of rigidity is that a full width cabin with less than standing height , integrated into the main areas of  the two hulls such that you do not have to go out into the weather is a valuable addition for nasty conditions.    The notion that a multihull must flex is contradicted by the many successful rigid multihulls that do not have break up problems.  

     I'd like to see photos and read descriptions about attempts, both successful and unsuccessful to make these boats rigid.

                                                          H.W.

I encountered another rigid Wharram recently on Utube.  A 35 foot Tangeroa by Alan Barber.... His method was to replace the lashings with chain.... It looks a bit outrageous, but he claims it is a big improvement over lashings.  The Utube is 7 years old, and there seems to be little if anything since that time,   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0JIMspwfjxM

    The question that pops into my mind on this is why not just use carbon tow, which could wrap over the beam, and then spread out over a larger area of hull side.

    I've also seen steel straps used, apparently through bolted......... I don't really like that.  

      The general consensus among Wharram people seems to be in favor of lashings, but I see issues associated with them that do not exist in a rigid boat, nor do I think the rationale for them is really valid at this point.  It's "tradition".

                                                                          D.W.

Here is a more extreme example.  A 40 footer built in '76, then rebuilt in '14 with rigid beams and an integrated cabin, currently listed on Craigslist Sarasota..........https://sarasota.craigslist.org/boa/d/sarasota-40-wharram-catamaran...

      There are fairly extensive interior and exterior photos.  It appears that the main cabins adjoin the bridge deck cabin.

                                                                  DW

I saw this 40' boat as well and contacted the owner,  Turns out the boat has sold. It has a large bed in the central cabin which looks to me like a good thing. I'd like to know more about it, how the beams were attached etc. Anyone know the best method of making the beams rigid?   Has James approved any of this? 

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