Wharram Builders and Friends

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Dear Ralf,


First let me tell a story and then I will suggest a way KAVENGA can be saved.


Nev and I were sailing in Bahamas and came upon a Chris White trimaran which looked like it was going fast even though it was anchored.  A lovely boat.  When we were invited over, we found the main hull empty of all furniture and heard that the former owner had somehow sailed the boat into rocks and, while the side hulls were ok, the deeper main hull lost its bottom which was crunched on the rocks and lost.  Luckily the boat floated on the side amas and eventually it was towed from the site of the disaster across the Gulf Stream to Florida to a marina.  After studying the situation, the owner gave up on the boat and took the insurance payment, and that was that.  But the designer,Chris White, heard about it and phoned our friend Kirk who lived in Bermuda and asked him to take a look at the boat and see if there was any way it could be saved.  At the time, it was expected to be broken up and put in the dumpster.


Chris still had the mold for the central hull and he offered to build a new lower hull  and this was transported to Florida while Kirk gutted the main hull of all its built in furniture and trimmed the broken edges of the main hull to a pre selected line so the new lower hull would fit the old upper hull.   A hefty fiberglass butt join was made on the inside and the upper and lower hull sections were bolted and glassed together.  Then new floors were made by Kirk, new bulkheads were made, and very simple furniture similar to Wharram furniture was built in using plywood.  This was all done afloat in Marsh Harbour in Abacos and the job was finished nicely by Kirk and all was painted bright and light and the boat ended up strong and lovely again.  We saw this boat sailing very fast in Bahamas on sea trials and know a man who crewed for Kirk when he took it to the UK after the repair was made and he said they made the passage in about 5 days going like a bat outa hell. 


Lower hulls of Wharrams can be built from plans by you to fit exactly to the upper hull on the Tiki designs and fasten easily at the chine  where there is already an easy place to join them together.  One can buy a Fein tool which cuts cleanly and  so this could be done by you.  The boat could be saved.  With enough good friends and a regular supply of after work beer, it could happen.  We built our lower hulls for Peace in 9 weeks. 


Ralf, we all watched on this web site and followed your progress in building KAVENGA and I sure do hope you will find enough good friends, enough courage in your own self, and enough beer to make that happen.  You worked so hard and dreamed so long, I hate to have it end like this....   Think of KAVENGA's feelings!


Ann and Nev 

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In response to Rogerio Martin's comment above, Nev and I filled the bouyancy compartments with empty plastic bottles with screw caps twisted tight.  But I think the best plan is to do this within a net bag so that even if there is a pretty big hole in a bouyancy compartment, the bottles will not slip out.  I guess anything that gives you peace of mind is really nice during stormy weather. 


But Ralf will have a huge amount of peace of mind after building his hulls and then having to rebuild them.  He really is fresh in his mind about the best way to build Tiki 30 hulls and he will do the job even better the second time around. 


You have all our admiration, my friend!   Ann and Nev

Hello Ralph

With your expertise you'll rebuild quickly new hulls. To build a boat requests a lot of patience, especially  in adverse conditions.....

Bon courage


Hi Ralph

Having built and sailed Kavenga, your investment is not just time, effort and money (and a lot of all 3!!) but somehow part of you gets built into the boat!

I truly hope that you succeed in rebuilding her. 

I am amazed that the typhoon could break her free and blow her around as it did...

My best wishes are with you.


Hi Ralph

I am sad to see what has happened to your beautiful boat. Several years ago "Inkosinathi' the Tiki 30 that I built was rammed by a 30 ton power boat in Durban Harbour (there was no one on the bridge at the time!) and the port side was stoved in above the waterline between bulkheads 5 and 6. Minor damage compared to that suffered by 'Kavenga' but heart wrenching none the less. I was able to repair the damage and now you would be hard pressed to see any evidence there of, only the doubler  and repair to bulkhead 5 can be seen.

As you say you were able to salvage all the gear and the rig, beam etc. so the bulk of the expensive stuff you still have. Building 2 new hulls is no small task though, but with the knowledge acquired from building the original hulls it will be a lot quicker. You will also be able to incorporate all the changes that you wished you had when building the original hulls.

Good luck.

Cheers, Duncan

whenever i get bummed by the news, or am having a bad day, though landlocked in my KW, my spirit is lifted as on a wave, by the written voice, of the SEAPEOPLE.  fair winds all.

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