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hi i am wanting to buy or preferably build a boat. my preferred choice so far is the tiki 30, but i am unsure if this design is okay for sailing Australian and asian ocean voyages and maybe even sailing to south america. dose anybody know the capabilities of this yatch ? any help would be much appreciated :) 

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Just my opinion, others might not agree, but as a sailor experienced in Australian waters, I think a thirty footer Cat is too unsafe for your requirements.  

Re- read Wharrams own experience in his 40 ft Rongo. 

Rory McDougal, Tiki 21 Cooking Fat 

This is a remarkable voyage in a small Wharram. When bound from  Rarotonga to New Zealand in August 1992 during his circumnavigation,  Rory coped by lying ahull in two storms.  He had just passed the Kermadec Islands and was heading in a generally South West direction when :-

“During the night and the next day a northerly built up until the first gale raged upon us, which was not surprising with a barometer drop of 25 mb in two days.  Dog tired but I pushed on making good progress until deciding to lay-a-hull finally as the front passed through with wind gusts to force 9 ( 41-47 knots). It then becomes a bit silly to keep sailing especially at night. A good nights sleep tucked up inside was much preferable and long overdue……..

We were now 450 miles from Auckland after two weeks sailing. Dare I hope to be under the lee of land soon?  The weather certainly had not finished with us that easily, conjuring the next storm two days later with the most violent weather front I have ever seen. Thunder clouds seemed to merge with the sea and brought winds that tore at the water, atomizing wave crests into the air and sounding as though the cabin was being sandblasted. Watching this scene in scared fascination beneath the spray dodger, I noticed the sea birds around and having a tough time with the wind buffeting and shaking their wings.

Cookie behaved marvelously as usual just laying ahull and fending for herself 160 miles North east of Auckland. So near and yet so far, because four days later we were still just drifting. The wind a steady 40 to 50 knots Westerly plunged me into despair making me furious at the elements one moment then weeping and praying the next – ‘all I need is a two day break in these gales and I can reach land. Please, please, please!’

Cooking fuel ran out during this gale on day nineteen of this voyage. Now cold soaked rice or pasta was all I had to look forward to, ‘yum, yum?’. I cut down a kerosene lamp, placing the base of it under the cooker grill which warmed up a pot of food eventually but also covered everything in a layer of black soot, which proved more depressing in the end than the cold food.

Lying-a-hull seemed preferable than using a sea anchor which snatched Cookie over the tops of the 4 to 5 metre waves putting great strain on the cleats and anchor warp.  On average a wave would wash over us only once an hour. Otherwise the motion was fairly gentle.

A 24 hour respite after this gale gave the opportunity to make some more ground towards Auckland before again being battered by force 8 to 9 westerlies, barely 45 miles from Gt Barrier Island. By now I am getting pretty weak after all these days, trying to keep warm in bed just reading books and trying not to go insane while Cookie drifts away from New Zealand.

A day and a half later we were sailing in another lull which allowed us sight of Gt Barrier at last, only 20 miles away but the wind inevitably turns the sea white again, screaming into our faces. Excitement to have spotted land but amazement at how consistently stormy the conditions are. ‘Is this normal?’  I keep asking myself, finding it difficult not to take all this personally and cursing the weather gods at how totally unfair they are being to me. The temperature is a chilly 13 degrees giving me trouble keeping my limbs warm without any gloves and only socks for my feet. Venturing on deck is a barefoot experience  whilst at night I huddle in the sleeping bag with a kerosene lamp going strong…..

One more hurdle to overcome is the breakage of Harry, my fearless windvane which lost his weighted pendulum arm overboard when a particularly nasty wave hit Cookie’s sterns spinning her around by more than 90 degrees in an instant. After all these challenges we finally made a landfall at the Poor Knights Islands, arriving after a hard days sailing only to be becalmed overnight between the islands and the mainland. Oh well chance for a sleep and a huge sigh of relief to be alive and still sailing the right way up. This was by far the most grateful end to a voyage I have ever under taken, arriving after 28 days at sea”.

What an amazing voyage, and hardly even any sitting head room down below!  Rory had a new bigger parachute sea anchor made in New Zealand which works well – see later in this article.

I have built a tiki 26 to do similiar trips as you propose.

I think what makes a oceanic yacht is its preparation. Hatchs well sealed, strong structure and well tied, rudders strong and well finished, balance the internal storage, and all the safety equipment that money can buy.  who follows the Wharram's plan, in its specifications have much chance to arrive well.

The Tiki 30 for passages, suports 2 or 3 people. Because you will use the bow bunk. What will limit you will be the storage space.


Remember to have headroom in the cockpit, I have had backache because of stay crouched.

Hugs to all

Tiki 30's have successfully sailed the Atlantic, one doing the full loop, that story can be found in back copies of SeaPeople available for download on the Wharram site and they are free. I own a Tiki 30 in Singapore but given the benign conditions here I can't comment on how she handles heavy weather. In many cases on catamarans it is the sailors who give up long before the boat, Richard Woods story of abandoning his 30 Eclipse in a hurricane is a good example with the boat found drifting upright some time later (this is not a comment on Mr Woods choice, he is a far more experienced sailor than I). Would I sail long distances, with more experience I would be happy to sail offshore in my boat. Just my $2 worth. Cheers

Being unfamiliar with the Tiki 30 I can't be sure how the balance of structural weight against volume (for both reserve buoyancy and shelter accommodation) stacks up against the larger Wharram like an Oro, or even against a Hinamoa.

I did sail on the Oro of Henk De Velde after he had been through cyclone Osca (written about in the piece by Don Brazier seen following the link by Bao Yao on this thread) and after Orowa had experienced another Indian ocean cyclone (cyclone Demoina) shortly after Osca. This was on the passage from Durban to Cape Town, which is usually a testing leg in it's self.

During this 5 day sail, which was highly educational for myself, I came away with the idea that catamaran size was important, and that a Wharram of 45 ft plus was the way to go in being prepared for the worst conditions. But since then and with a fair bit more sailing experience, have modified my thinking toward smaller sizes. What Rory has achieved with his Tiki 21 is most remarkable and so of course  a larger Tiki is an option.  

Oh, oh !, I dashed off and posted the previous message without reading what was written. This gives the impression that Orowa experienced cyclone Demoina between Durban and Cape town. Not true. It was in the Mozambique channel on the way to Durban when Henk went through the second Indian Ocean cyclone.

In those days the Durban yachting community were so skeptical of the seakeeping ability of catamarans, that it was feared Orowa had gone missing in cyclone Demoina. So another feather in the cap for Wharrams.

Also, in my previous massage the apparently cryptical line 'so of course a larger Tiki is an option' was meant to imply a Tiki larger that Rory Mc Dougal's 21 was an option. Between writing that message and now this one, I have read a comment by Wakataitea Hans that he thinks a Tiki 26 is fine for Ocean passages in the light of Rory's circumnavigation.

Interesting comment because Rory did not go round the bottom of Africa and I am not sure if such a small catamaran has ever done this.

It is very enlightening to read Richard Woods story of their experience in  a 32ft Catamaran where they had to be rescued because of the frightful sea and wind conditions. 

In 1981, on a club cruise to Lord Howe Island there were pretty horrific conditions.

Three of us were on the only boat to finish, a Spindrift 45 catamaran. The nearest other Cat was a Seawind 33, who had to turn back because of losing both his rudders. He sailed back safely by configuring his fore sails.  I think a big classic Wharram would have made it, but not a Tiki 26.

Hi mate

I took over an unfinished project, a T 30 and finished it , preparing it to sail to Tonga from New Zealand. I had a successful voyage ,however the motion of the smaller boats is more uncomfortable than bigger boats. I spent 4 days hanging off a parachute in winds gusting to 70 knots on the last night and 9-10 m waves. A T 38 I sailed  with had their parachute shred and they just kept going.

 Carrying all the cruising gear was an issue. Its do-able of course but its much tougher on a small wharram. Even a large wharram will become small when the sea decides to seriously do its thing, so I guess it depends how much $ you have to spend. I have now sold my T30 and bought a T38 which I am preparing for the next voyage. A T31 is a tougher boat than a T 31 but I don't like the layout.  The T30 is a fantastic coastal cruising boat. I think a Pahi 42 is an excellent offshore size.

Whichever way you decide to go, make sure you have a really big parachute(preferably a Coppins)

Its magical out there . Swimming with the humpback whales numerous times in Tonga was out of this world!

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