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Hi all, a couple of questions for you more experienced live aboards. We currently own a tiki 30 which we coastal cruise in and around Singapore, Malaysia & Thailand. We are getting closer to retirement, 5 years or so, and contemplating a larger Tiki, probably a 46, as a permanent live aboard cruiser. The tentative plan is for 2 to 3 years in this region before returning to Australia, we are expats here, and then living and sailing there, particularly exploring the more southern, read colder and wetter regions, like Tasmania.

We know from our Tiki 30 experience that rain is a pain but only short term as we don't live aboard. Was hoping to hear from those that are living aboard either permanently or for regular periods how you deal with rain when moored i.e. moving from one hull to the other especially in the evening.

The study plans I have for the 46 show the access hatch to the main living area off the side of the deck cabin which I'm assuming would make it difficult to extend the cockpit bimini to provide cover over hatches. The hatch opposite the cockpit provides access to the rear cabin and one option could be creating an opening in the bulkhead to gain access to the rest of the hull. Looking at the plans I assume we'd need to duck under the beam that sits on that bulkhead.

Also not sure how wet the 46 is sailing, the 30 can get pretty wet in a bit of a blow which usually means putting in the wash board and closing the hatch which makes it difficult to see charts etc. 

Any thoughts, suggestions, insights would be appreciated.


Cheers, Nigel

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Hi all,

First many thanks for all the comments. Sue has summed it up well; the ability to enter and leave the hull without getting wet and getting the inside of the boat wet. This is a real challenge on the 30 as David probably knows given the cabin space is so small. The comments have prompted a couple of ideas; First, on the study plan the rear hatch on the port (sleeping) hull is in a different position to the starboard hatch that gives assess to the rear cabin so contemplating moving the port hatch aft to line up with the starboard one which means both have direct access from the bimini. Next, have an opening in the bulkhead that seperates the starboard sleeping cabin from the galley. One would need to duck to use but if only used in inclement weather so maybe not too much of an issue (see photo). I thinking of fitting "sideways" spray doggers that could be left down in fine weather but raised when needed. Rory had something similar but permanent on his 21 (see photo). Then fitting a tarp to each side of the bimini that would attach to the dogger. I'm still trying to work out how to enclose when moored to protect from wind driven rain but hopefully not ice or snow Sue! I don't want to compromise our ability to work the boat in an emergency like dragging at night (why does it always happen at night?)

David, there is a classic design that fitted a modified Tiki 38 pod, pictures are on this site www aorai.eu

Once again, thanks to all for your comments.


on this page ,today slow to open :  http://www.tiki30-nostromo.de/index.php?ImageGalleryPage=7&view... there is photos of foldable bimini large and very light , i like a lot this idea . also along this huge collection of photos, others inspiring and creative use of epoxy and fiber ...

Hello! I speak spanish, but I will try hard to express my self in the better english I can. My husband Pablo, my one year old son, Luca, and I live in a Tiki 46. Follower. Since last year that we bought her. She is amazing. Very beautiful and life is very happy but we do want some ideas for sunshade and rain protection in the central cockpit wile in anchor, so that Luca can play in that incredible big space. We used to put a big bimini but it´s dangerous in anchor because if a wind comes it works as a sail.

Sorry to add a question to a question, but maybe someone can help me.

Big hug to all of you!


By central cockpit i mean the platform in the middle (were the ladder is), not the real cockpit were the steering weel is.

hi have just read your comments ref living aboard, have a look at our photos, its totally rain proof, was a pahi 42, she is totally  still a good sea boat, sails well with junk rig and have the room of a £250000 cat, all for under £40000  regards david and julie

tHAK YOU dAVID! We are looking for some non structural solution. Besides our rig is very different. Anyway that must be confortable! ;)

Some bimini that we can take out to sail but that we can leave while at ancorage.

Thanks Hans! There are some structural things that we are not going to be able to reproduce but the light "cloth" for the big cockpit is perfect. What material is it?


at our home when it rains we catch it in barrels, for the garden, the critters, the tree's and showers; we can also filter and drink it.. as a kid, one of my favorite things was to swim, swimming in the rain was a bonus.  do we go to the water to stay dry?  i have to agree with Neville, except after removing your clothes, go swimming; there is a certain peace to swimming in the rain. the rain, like the wind, has its own song.

  yes, you may get cold, but how much fun it is gettin warm!

On the Tiki 46 you can make an opening in the plans designed watertight bulkhead to walk through from the galley in the starboard hull aft into the double cabin there.  This is a slightly low beam so you need to duck but it is the same on the port hull and we have no problem with it.  It is a slight ducking that is required.  We did bump our heads a couple of times at first, but have installed a rubber duckie that dangles from that bulkhead to remind us to duck.  "Just read the sign!  The duck says duck!" Wharrams have approved making the starboard bulkhead the same as the port bulkhead and I believe it is station 7 in the plans. 

The Tiki 46 is usually dry on deck (unless it is raining of course).  But when we sail fast, there is a little splashing on the foredeck that starts at 9 knots.  We rarely take water over the side unless it is really rough out or we are going super fast on a reach with choppy waves, but sometimes we do get some splashing that comes through the slats between the hulls and the pod.  Not much water comes up, but it seems to get Nev just as he exits the galley with a cuppa tea, for some reason and I must confess it always makes me laugh.  If it bothered us more, we would do something about it.  I have several suggestions for a cure and I know they would work, but it has not bothered us enough to shake off our laziness and get into action yet since it is relatively uncommon and usually a bit funny.  We do normally sail south with the seasons.  Perhaps if we sailed in cold waters more, we would be more annoyed and take action. 

     Wharrams do say you can move the galley hatch aft a bit and this might help with the idea of making the boat rain proof.  We welcome the rain as a way to wash the boat and also ourselves.  Again, we normally sail where it is warm.  Our friend George, has a Tiki 38 with one of those plastic clear enclosures like an oxygen tent for the pod/cockpit which is one unit on his boat and it is warm and dry on cold and splashy days so I can say that was nice on a recent winter sail.  It would not take a lot to make that an enclosed boat and fabric would be enough.  Use your imagination.

     On the other hand, why not just sail south and enjoy the splashes, the rain, and refreshing wind?  That is really the best way in my opinion.       Have fun,  Ann

Thanks Ann! We just decide to put a special fabric that has little holes so that there is no rush when it blows and our baby can play there free and with no worries because of the afternoon sun. 

Thanks a lot!!


 Most people with Wharrams and other cats with similar layouts that do not allow access from one hull to the other, long for the ability to go between the hulls or just from  the centre pod, to a hull where the heads usually are. I have to admit, sometimes when I havent had it, I have wished I did.

You are going to have to make the choice to sail one or the other type of boat. I have owned both.  It, is  similar to the choice of either riding a motorcycle or driving a car. The ride on a bike is thrilling and pure. Wind in your hair. Open view of the world. No point then in getting the bike fitted with a huge windscreen and enclosure so you have the comforts of a car. There are good cars available for that already.

The form drag from these types of "tents"  people fit to boats, I think is higher than a well designed central cabin enclosed traditional cat. 

When you build this tent/bimini over the cockpit area, you lose that view of the sky!  And in addition to that because they are always after market and built as an afterthought,  they dont look right, they are flimsy, in a real wind. They flap and drip. Dont protect from mosquitoes. And due to their high windage fly in the face of the whole wharram design. The Wharram design is all about  simple, high bridgedeck clearance, low windage, easily driven boats. These boats sail!,  with much smaller rigs than other cats. The moment you add this type of bimini, you certainly are no longer in keeping with the philosophy. Performance suffers. Trying to create a hybrid is like fitting the enclosure to the bike. So if you are going to sail a wharram, its a conscious choice to sail the tropics under the moonlight/open skies and the clean joy that you feel when your vessel cuts through the sea like a hot knife through butter.  No effort and hardly  a wake left behind you.  Thats real joy. The times you have to get a bit of rain on you is just part of living with Nature.  If you prefer camping to hotels. Prefer Bikes to cars. And you really love sailing. Sail a wharram, just the way they are designed. They are a sweet ride!

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