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What is the cheapest and optimal size and type of Wharram for travel and life on board, solo or duo ?

I write from france ( sorry for my english vocabulary! )
I plan to probably buy a boat soon, both economic , simple and "modest" , in purpose to live without "taste of luxury" ;
I would like to have some opinions or views of owners wharrams ;

A common question : according to you what is the size ( minimal but sufficient) and the type of cata wharram best suited to a long journey (life and travel on long-term ) for a single person or two, large maximum (without children) ?
I thought about the Pahi 31 or tiki 30/31 which seem a good compromise , but I do not know if the interior space of each hull is quite livable on time or too cramped ?
And without going to Pahi 42 or tiki 38, then it remains the Tanenui ( just over 8 meters) and Tangaroa mk 4 ( approximately 10 meters)
Regarding monohull match my search is simple: I would go to traditional sloops from 27 to 30 feet probably ;
For space and not too expensive nor too large catamaran , it becomes more difficult to find in these sizes there , but the catamarans of James wharram seem a good compromise to stay in an accessible boat , not too expensive , artisanal and without extra costs for then manage ;
If it is difficult to find "my choice" in the catamarans, I will stay with the monohulls , but I find "the wharrams" really interesting, in the shape and the "bohemian state of mind

Thank you if there's some replies

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IMHO, you should think in terms of loading capacity and your own need (water, fuel, food, personal items, etc...). The length of the boat can deducted. 

Answer is simple, if on a monohull you'd be ok with 30', then spacewise you'll be really comfortable in the 30' range with catamarans.
As for loading capacity, couples have crossed the Atlantic in Tiki 30' so I guess the load  capacity of the 30' range will be ok for the needs you state.

there is not only One answer for this question. and everybody have his own opinion. the best would be, that you go around and look at all kind of boats that you could afford. THERE IS NOT CHEAP WAY>>> special not on a boat... we are here in durban now. Bluff yacht club. and again, 3 wharrams lying around, nobody on board and 2 of them are totally rotten. there are many other boats (wrecks) here that are worth only a dollar.. but how much will it cost you to get them working again...?? you are french? go to Mayotte island, we have been there and the bay is full of abandoned boats. there you will find a boat for a few euros for sure. go to asia, panama, new zealand and trinidat. this are the places to find cheap boats. if you are able to fix them with your own hands, than it will be maybe cheap. if you need help from other people, it will get expensive.

 read books from people which sailed and lived on boats longterm. they will explain everything. read the old books, in this time the boats where smaller...

my opinion in this time living and traveling on a boat... tiki30 NO, tiki38 maybe, tiki46 YES. Narai YES, pahi 40 YES,  monohull less then 33 feet NO, 

good luck


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Only one thing is certain with a question like this - Everyone will give a different answer!!

It depends on what you are like.  If you would be comfortable on a long camping holiday in a small tent maybe a small boat would be ok for you.  If you like luxury hotels you will need a big boat.  Different people have different attitudes, which makes life more interesting.

My own opinion comes from having spent a year cruising on a 26 foot monohull, which was fine for me with a partner.  I now have a Tiki 26 which I'd be happy to live on in a warm place, and I would see a Tiki 30 as ideal.

Consider carrying capacity in relation to the length of the crossings you wish to make.  Food and water weigh a lot, especially if you have more than one person on board.  On our main trans-Atlantic crossings we didn't use any fresh water for washing (just salt water and baby-wipes)  - Are you happy to live like that for a month at a time?  Consider how much gear you want to take.  Are you the sort of person who travels light or heavy?  If I go on holiday by plane I take the minimum I need, say 10kg to 12kg for a two week trip, but some people will take 20kg or even 30kg.  The same idea applies when living on a boat.  Do you want lots of electrical equipment, which means more batteries and more generating capacity?  All these will affect the size of boat you need.

Comparing monos and cats, inside volume is probably similar for the same length but on the cat it feels like less space because it's divided between two narrow hulls.  Headroom may be less on small cats.  Outside space is much greater on cats, so for cruising in hot places I prefer them to monos.

Rory has shown it's possible to sail around the world on a Tiki 21, but most people would not enjoy it...  Others would want at least a 38.  I think one thing you should do before you decide anything is to actually have a look at the different boats.  There are a lot of friendly and helpful people on this website and I'm sure many would be happy to show you their own boats.  Also there are some Wharrams for charter, for instance Tiki 30's in Thailand.  A charter holiday would be a good way to see how the space on board feels.

Good luck!

ps.  Your english vocabulary is good, much better than my french...

Thanks for the differents answers,
I know that the answer to this question is primarily personal to each one
I was in thailand and japan two years ago and the weight of the backpack too heavy is for me more a default than a way of confort ;)
I also made a few trips by bicycle, and a bivouac, tent camping, is more " comfortable" ( for the mind as well) for me, than a 5 star hotel

I agree that the question of loading the catamaran has to be taken into account
( and I had informations that the V-shaped wharram does not improve the capacity) ;

That said, if I decided to try the adventure with a wharram, I'll certainly go toward a tiki 30/31 or an intermediate with a mk4 maybe tangaroa ;But the best is to see it all in real and navigate if possible before making plans on the comet !

To reply to Robert , I sailed occasionally on small cruisers for the moment (never cats ) , but it seems instead that the living space (interior ) and especially livable remains often more important on monohulls ( even smaller ) than the cats , but it depends on differents parameters

In France, to take examples, a first 28 ( feet) or kelt 8 ( meters ) remain in my opinion more logeable over time, than a cats of the same size or a little bigger, but there are probably exceptions
And for the subject of upwind navigation, this is a point less favorable to cats in general, but each boat has its qualities and defaults
I'll definitely see more closely before making my choice
See you another time perhaps
(I'm French , but I do not eat frogs nor meat ,freedom for the frogs !)

Apache - For me the important thing with my catamaran is the sailing. My passage times are similar to my friends in their monos but with this important difference - I never motor on passage they mostly motor - sail. A cat can afford to slouch along in the lulls knowing that it will soon catch up once the wind returns, a mono must motor once the speed drops or suffer a long passage.

For me this is the deal-breaker - If I wanted to motor cruise land cruising is better value. A mini van will carry sea kayaks / surfboards, sleep two and do 30 mpg.

One person can live in a surprisingly small space, two need more than twice the space or they will be constantly getting in each others way. If you  can be comfortable in one hull than a crew of two can be comfortable on a cat on passage but may find it a very small boat in harbour unless they have the weather to live on deck.

To get an idea of internal space you will have to visit different boats.

Cabin space is related to the area of the main cross section. For comparison here are three rough examples in feet and square feet  -

28ft mono = 50       Toyota mini van = 22    30ft "Deep V" cat, = 2 x 11 each.

A point to add about sailing upwind - Many cats are not as bad as some people think, as long as they have good quality sails.

I sailed against the wind along the south coast of England in my Tiki 26, close to a couple of mono's of about the same size or maybe a little bigger.  They pointed slightly higher than we could, but as long as we didn't try to point too high our speed through the water was faster.  Over a couple of hours we had to make a few more tacks but we both made about the same distance in the direction we wanted to go.

I had a similar experience in a Pahi 52 sailing up the Red Sea against strong winds and rough seas for several days.  In port we met a similar sized mono which did the same thing at the same time, and again the speed made good to windward was similar.

Of course as soon as you come off the wind the cat flies!

The only time you are at a definite disadvantage in a cat is short tacking up a narrow channel, because you can only turn quite slowly.  However this is not a concern for cruising.

Robert - I agree with your comments.

My experience sailing in a mixed cruising fleet is that I do as well as the monos to windward, if I have space to make long tacks. In some winds I can even do better. This despite the fact that my old sails greatly resemble the bags in which I keep them.....however on short tacks the mono will pull out a lead at every turn. However with a sharp crew even this can be kept to a minimum.

It was very interesting to hear the helmsmen on the Admiral's Cup AC72's [ the fastest windward boats ever built ? ] saying that as the series progressed the winning tactic to windward was to INCREASE the angle they tacked through by 12 deg. A good helmsman is still the best way to go to windward ??

Too many catamaran sailors seem to rely on mono. tactics when sailing and perhaps not just upwind ??

As someone that is pondering on Tiki 21 vs Tiki 26 I am enjoying this conversation.

Interesting points about "going to windward" but no-one has mentioned that a cat does it on an even keel(s), not heeled over at 45 degrees or whatever. While reading a Tiki 26 blog this week I a photo of the cat'  scooting along with a mobile phone (& other stuff) laying on the deck; no worries of anything sliding off into the water.  

When choosing boat size, I think of the 'old' saying that the number of times a boat is used is inversely proportional to its length.  Many people build/buy big in case all their family or friends will want to go sailing, but for many the gloss fades & that sailor will be looking at short-handing or single-handing;  better to have a smaller boat here too.

Each to his/her own, these are just my ideas ;)       

This question about whichever of -- a monohull, a double canoe or catamaran is best to buy, cannot be answered so simply...... as wakataitea says.

I was not so fortunate to be in the position to just buy a complete ready to sail boat and there certainly were no Wharrams lying rotting at the Bluff yacht club when I was in Durban. What was available and affordable was an old teak planked 'Sloepen' (28 ft Dutch built lifeboat) which eventually took myself and family 1/2 way around the world.

James Wharram was interested in this boat when I met him because he had started out with a converted lifeboat as well, and I had also been encouraged by the skipper of a circumnavigating Wharram Oro which stopped in Durban ---this skipper had also started out with a lifeboat conversion. So, sailing on this Oro from Durban to Cape Town was a good taste of what modern Polynesian double canoes can do. My 28 ft mono displaced as much as the 45 ft Wharram but was of course way slower ( we averaged 240 miles on the best days run going round the bottom of Africa on the Oro)

Anyway....the skipper of this Wharram did say to me that a catamaran design 'Heavenly twins' design was good enough for a circumnavivation, and by now there are a few second hand ones available to be bought, whereas they were only new and expensive in those days..........google 'Heavenly Twins Catamaran fro sale'

So yeah, there are a few options, with multihulls generally costing more than monohulls to buy. But I cannot understand why anyone would get a boat that needs about 2metres of water to float in. Do yourself a favour and go for shallow draught to start with. 

I had some informations about efficient modifications on Tiki 30 / 31, which can probably improve the "defects" already exposed, such as the lack of habitability and the less good performance upwind, which is the case with many cats
Such as add a roomy platform between the two hulls, or add volume on top of each hull;
To improve the sailing upwind, I know that some have added a centerboard (sword or pivoting) between the two hulls on a Tangaroa mk4, with some success; So I guess this must be possible on a tiki 30 for example;
Goods winds!

Apache -

Multihulls are the fastest yachts both up and downwind. No yacht has ever gone to windward faster than the AC72 catamarans in this year's America's Cup. The toughest windward race in the world is probably the single-handed Trans-Atlantic. Since the participation of the first multihulls 40 years ago it has never been won by a mono. The same is true of all the world's major races - if they once accept multihull entries they are never again won by a mono.

This is not just racing yachts. Richard Wood's Eclipse a DIY cruising cat of 32ft won the Round-the-Island [Wight] race in 2002 , the year of it's launch, out-pointing the 50ft+  IMS boats and making 8.5 k to windward.

Wharram's Tiki range in particular have a good reputation to windward - and this in only 70cm of water.

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