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Too big for a couple? Pahi 52 Islander 55 Tiki 46

My wife and I are planning an early retirement now that our daughter is no longer at home.  I was wondering if any couples had experience sailing any of the boats mentioned in the subject line.  I know they are on the large size, but it will be a full time live aboard and I will be working on it for awhile, so we will need extra space.
Thank you,

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I'm just getting started on building a Narai Mk IV, stretched 2' beam increased to 23'6", eliminating the beam troughs, Tiki 38 style beams will mount on top of deck and be lashed like Tiki 38, beam 3 shortened to set on inboard edge of hulls like the Tiki 38, the Mizzen mast sits on beam 3 like the Tiki 38 when rigged as a Schooner.

Cabin extends aft to just in front of beam 4. Bulkhead 5 will be full height, with an oval doorway like the Tiki 38. It will be built in two sections, from keel/backbone up to deck, then when hull turned over, the upper part built to shape of cabin. Horizontal ribs will go from each stringer to laminated frame around doorway.

That gives a stand up shower, head and sink in Port hull. Using Groco K-H manual toilet that dumps into tank aft of sealed bulkhead 6 in aft compartment through a water tight bulkhead fitting or when off shore to sea-cock through a Y valve. Master bunk is as plans, that leaves comfortable room for a sitting area and nav/chart table.

Cabin top will be the same in Starboard hull but aft of bulkhead 5 will be for a work shop & convertible bunk. Makes galley & saloon nice and roomy, with the forward area for storage and can be converted to bunk if wanted.

For me that gives a lot of usable room for two people.

Cheers, Allen

Hi Cos,
We own Tiare, an Islander 55.
Yes it can be sailed by a couple, also single if you are the cautious type.
The masts are short so sails are pulled up by hand, lowering and raising the anchor, stowing the chain as it comes in, are easily done solo.
Tiare is a big boat but that also gives plenty of room to move about and a smoother ride when starting to get rough.
I've often thought I would not like to be going solo when we have had to reef down urgently, although I have done so, again taking time and thinking it through.
Tiare is a great live aboard, we started with three boys plus dog, now with two boys and minus the dog.
Room for everyone and then some.

Ann & Neville are selling their Tiki 46 (Peace IV) that they've lived in as their winter home sailing from Rhode Island to the Bahamas and back yearly for a while.  http://wharrambuilders.ning.com/forum/topics/tiki-46-peace-iv-now-f...

Ann will tell you all you want to know about sailing a 46.


Thank you everyone for your replies.  I guess my next question should be can you remodel the interior?   Should that be a different topic?  Never really sure with a forum how to proceed.


Are you planning on building it yourself or having it built?

Reason I ask is the Pahi 52 and Islander 55 plans aren't available for self building and Andy Smith Boatworks is the only place to have one of them built according to JWD website, don't know if that has changed or not tho.

As far as plans built versions, the Classic Series is able to be modified and layout changed more so than the Tiki and Pahi Series. James mentioned in the Design book that the Tiki & Pahi were designed to be built with layout/s as drawn in the plans. Not to say they can't be changed, but they don't lend themselves as much to rearranging layout as the Classic Series. 

Don't know about the Islander Series, maybe Dan would know about them as he has an Islander 55.

Cheers, Allen

I am in the extremely early stages, but I'm sure I won't be building it myself.  I am looking at both new construction and purchasing of a used boat.


Tiare has the charter layout, which suits us being a family, also good now as we are setting up a day sail plus overnight trips here in Japan. More at GoSeaCamping.com (site not live yet). Having the extra private cabins gives us the flexibility to grow an income. I seem to remember that the Islander has the flexi-space option as well, Wharram site will show.

Andy has just about finished the second Islander 55, Tiare was the first but not built by Andy. He has put a large cockpit which looks a good idea, although after five years in the tropics I like Tiare's hardtop cockpit roof for the amount of breeze and connection to the outside and the smaller pod, which is now our kitchen. But if had the choice would probably opt for the large cockpit.maybe....

Time will dictate which option you go for. I'm all for getting out there ASAP :)

I'm thinking the same as you Cosby.  Looking at self building a larger wharram for liveaboard.  It seems like there is a bit of a gap between the Tiki 46 and the Pahi 63 since everything in between is professionally made only.  Plenty of the TIKI46's have been single handed or coupled from the blogs I've seen.  Can't find much on the Pahi63's except for a couple charters.  Its too bad one cant get plans for the islanders, as I'd think the 55 would be a better option.


Nev and I built our Tiki 46, Peace IV, over in England starting 1997 and over a 5 year period we actually worked 3 and a half years to build her.  We crossed the Atlantic immediately upon launch and have sailed her over 50,000 miles mostly on our own but often we have had guests which is lots of fun.  We lived aboard full time for 13 years.  Peace is for sale just in case you want to skip the building part and get right in to sailing.  I like sailing better than building.

The modifications that I know are approved by Wharrams are as follows:

   Starboard hull, you can open a doorway between the galley and the aft cabin so it is similar to the port hull.  You can put the galley companion way a bit aft if you want to.  We made two opening hatches over the galley seating area instead of one big hatch there.  You can put the galley windows a bit higher so you can see out better.  It really is easy to modify these boats even after they are built.  

   You can make a pod similar to the Tiki 38 which is what they intended to do with the Tiki 46 in the first place.  We just prefer the pod Nev designed with Hanneke and James.  It is very comfy to lean against on a sunny day relaxing on deck.

    The aft beam can be replaced using a modified Pahi 42 forward net beam. (we did that to attach the Monitor windvane more easily)

And certainly you can ask what else they might approve or just go ahead and see how you like your own modifications.  But remember that you may not have as much experience at sea and in boat design as Wharrams do and you might get it wrong.  That could be unfortunate.  So be careful.  

Peace is built mostly to plans using top grade materials and the modifications above could be done easily in a day for the starboard hull  It would be a simple thing to remove the pod and replace it with something you designed yourselves and you would learn what you need to know about building with glass and ply and epoxy in the process.  The whole boat can be disassembled and units interchanged.  It is just ropes and 8 stainless steel pins.  

Our boat will be sold with the plans we used to build her.  We hope very much that the new owners will allow us to show them all the tricks to lashings and rig tension, etc.  This is not immediately obvious, but once you know the tricks, it is easy.  The boats are easy to sail but different from monohulls and also from other cats.  It is a safe and easily managed design which lends itself to cruising in out of the way places and owner maintenance.  All this saves money and that increases financial freedom to do more cruising.

As to single handing, I have done a lot of it on a 28 foot monohull including a solo trans Atlantic.  Then I met Nev and we did another trans Atlantic together in my old boat.  It was so much fun, we married and then restored an old boat that was 31 feet and finally we built Peace.  Now that we have sailed her for 13 years and over 50,000 miles, we are ready to sell because we are old.  I have sailed her myself, but she is a bit much for me at my age.  I am in my 70s.  For a couple, this is not too big a boat.  It is fun to have your friends join you for holidays or maybe for long passages but in our case we prefer long passages by ourselves.  Peace is comfortable at anchor where she swings to the breeze and it really is two boats literally tied to their own dock so you do not miss dock space.  The dinghy is easy to get in and out of because of the lifting ramp.  We made a small alteration in that our ramp is half the size of the one in the plans.  See pics our page.  We just prefer anchoring to dock living.  For the first time, Peace is tied to a dock and she seems happy enough for now but she really does like sailing and hopes for a new family soon.  Meanwhile, we paint her and visit and remember the good times we had.

If it were me, I would not build a boat again.  It was a long time with no sailing.  It was lots of aching muscles.  But I must admit it was something my husband just HAD to do in his life.  He built several boats before this one, but he wanted to build a big cat.  So that is what we needed to do.  No way around it.  But do consider buying our boat.  What do they say, "Cut to the chase!".

Our price is $134,900 US which is the cost of the materials to build the boat to plans.  It does not cover the engines and sails and equipment, paint, etc.  Just the basic plans.  As I say, Nev wanted to build the boat.  So the labor was his fun.  It was not my fun, but it sure was great so see him so happy once we completed his dream and arrived in Martinique after crossing the Atlantic together. 

Ann and Nev

Brian said:

Ann & Neville are selling their Tiki 46 (Peace IV) that they've lived in as their winter home sailing from Rhode Island to the Bahamas and back yearly for a while.  http://wharrambuilders.ning.com/forum/topics/tiki-46-peace-iv-now-f...

Ann will tell you all you want to know about sailing a 46.


Ann and Nev,
I noticed earlier that your boat was for sale and to be honest It's what I an looking for and even better at the price I want. The only problem is I won't be ready to to purchase for 2 more years if I'm not willing to borrow the money, which I would rather not. There is the other problem of we are still tied down to our house here in Minnesota until our daughter graduates from school. I'm gathering information now and planning to purchase sometime bettween May 2017 and April 2018. By then I will have the funds saved for 2 or 3 years of cruising, purchasing a boat and outfitting it.

So sadly, I am still in the planning stage


Absolutely managable: Check with www.seascape-asia.com 

The T 38 is pretty damn good!

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