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I have been wondering how suitable Tiki 21 is for sailing in subarctic climate, such as in the waters of the Nordic countries. Any experiences?

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Yvon Bourgnon just did the Northwest Passage on a 20' beach cat. If you have a good deck tent or good ventilation through hulls to cut down condensation, then go for it. I sail mine in the US in 0 C all Winter long, but I prefer the cold over the hot sun! It is a wet boat, so you would need a nice drysuit up there to be safe. 

Thanks for your reply, Brad. If your day temperature is around 0°C (32°F) when sailing, that's pretty extreme! Drysuits are an ultimate solution, although not that comfortable especially when sailing with the crew. I had temperature range from 10°C to 18°C (50°F to 64°F) in my mind. Sitting in the hulls when steering must provide some shelter from cold too, doesn't it?

Good point about condensation. Proper ventilation with mosquito nets is a must if I ever build a T21. And yes, Yvon Bourgnon est un si grand aventurier. :)

Well 32 is the lower range of the temps that we get in Winter here, but 50 to 64 degrees feels great! I just wear bibs and a windproof jacket with fleece under it when it's around 50 and feel great. My girlfriend likes to sit inside with a sleeping bag around her legs when it's cold. I built some custom hatches so that you can be inside and still see out. I've attached a photo. The 21 is a great boat. 


Your custom hatches must be helpful to keep at least two crew members dry and warm, but I guess the helmsman can't enjoy of such luxury.

To me Tiki 21 looks like an acceptable compromise of trailerability, seaworthiness and capacity, that should open the doors to very versatile adventures. So yes, she is definitely a great boat.

Hi Timo - I am guessing you are based in Finland from your name? We have a Pahi 42 in Espoo, of course much bigger than the Tiki 21! The Tiki 21 would be ideal for the Baltic - easy to sail, easy to get close to land in the archipeligo, very seaworthy. Depending "how cold you go" you would be pretty snug inside the hull, but space is limited of course. As suggested above, a drysuit might be in order - the ocean racers use them continuously so should not be so uncomfortable, just expensive! Good luck with your plans!

Hi Andy, glad to know that there are Wharrams here in Finland! It must not be easy to find a marina for a such big catamaran as Pahi 42.

Your description of T21 sounds correct. It's more or less trailerable and can be "man-handled" but still seaworthy enough for bit more adventurous trips as long as you accept it's more like camping than yachting.

To me it is cold when water and air temperatures go below 15 C (60 F).  I doubt good & cheap drysuits exist but definitely a drysuit would be needed when sailing in poor weather. Perhaps having a portable heater would help getting clothes and stuff dry in the hulls when moored. 

We kept Godzilla on a buoy for the first few years, but eventually found a good harbour place nearby (Svinö in Suvisaaristo). Main problem is finding space when we are cruising in summer ;-)

I think your best bet for clothing gear for sailing a Tiki 21 in bad weather is to look at the kayaking equipment - they are of course much nearer the water! Most Tiki 21s have a deck tent of some kind, I think also regular igloo type tents can fit well on deck, and they are pretty warm and designed for wet weather.

Do you plan to build yourself? I think there is a guy in Haapsalu in Estonia building one, he may be sailing by now.

I have watched the videos (part 1 and part 2) of a tour on s/v Luckyfish which is a Tiki 38, and have to say its accommodations look luxurious! It must be an excellent boat if you are circumnavigating with a crew, especially if there are women aboard. Still, such a boat wouldn't be optimal for gunkholing and trailer sailing that I'm looking for. From my perspective, Tiki 21 and Hitia 17 are the most attractive options from Wharram, although launching them takes time. In case of Tiki 21 accommodations I can imagine the following scenarios:

1. Sleeping in the hulls

2. Sleeping in the cockpit under a self-made cockpit tent, similar to tents used on Hitia 17s

3. Sleeping in a tent on shore when you are in a natural harbour where the Freedom to Roam which is in effect (practically the northern shores of the Baltic Sea)

4. Sleeping in a floating tent

5. Sleeping in a hotel room when you are in a city marina

Myself I would always choose either option 1 or 2 because I like minimalism and simplicity. Last summer I slept in a sleeping bag in a dinghy cockpit protected from rain by just a sail canvas, and that was a great experience! The more you have crew, especially if they are not into minimalism, you can pick the best combination out of all the five options. In other words, I don't think that space of T21 is a problem.

You are right that for sailing small the best gear can be often found from kayak shops instead of sailing shops.

Currently I'm building a monohull sailing dinghy but may build T21 as the next project. The Estonian guy, Agur, finished his T21 project some months ago but now he is selling her as his plans have changed. I have seen pictures of a Swedish and a Danish T21 that proves they are been sailed in the Baltic Sea area too.

I regularly sleep on my Tiki 21. When sailing with two people, we use the hulls. I take a trampoline sheet so I can throw lots of kit onto the deck and cover it during the night. When I sail with the family, two adults - two kids, we sleep 2 in the hulls and 2 on deck under a tent which covers the decks and the hulls. We use camp beds to keep off the cold decks where there is a lot of condensation.

I've never been cold sleeping in the hulls even late in the season where night time temperatures can be 5 to 10 deg C.

Camping     Image result for camp bed

That's a nice picture, Ian, thanks for sharing it. I agree that proper camping gear is helpful and can keep you warm even in sub-zero temperatures. When you sail late in the season, what are the typical day temperatures and wind conditions? I'm just thinking of spray and cold wind.


Late season temperatures are not low especially during the day and I would look to go when it's nice. Checking the records for my final 4 day trip, the day/night temperatures were:

THUR 27/9 22° /1° (This was a lovey day!)
FRI 28/9 17° /5°
SAT 29/9 17° /2°
SUN 30/9 15° /3°

It was however, windy with 20 kts at times with some swell, on occasion water over the deck. The Tiki 21 handles it very well.

I've seen the comment regarding kayak clothing. I think there is merit in this, but would say for multi-day trips, good sailing kit is more comfortable and easier to manage. Dry suits are great, but not as versatile as sailing kit which can be added and removed in layers as the conditions change. Sea boots are more comfortable than wet suit boots if worn for long periods. I've worn kayaking gear for week long period, and would choose my sailing gear on the my Tiki.

Sounds you have almost a T-shirt weather there still, while here it has been from 10 to 15°C colder this weekend. Tiki 21 must not have any problems in 20 kts in experienced hands. Thanks for sharing your experiences in sailing clothing. A sailing kit must be the right choice during longer trips.

Also, a great picture again. :)

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