Wharram Builders and Friends

A Photo & Discussion Forum for Wharram Design Enthusiasts

You probably know already...."WAM" = Waan Aelõñ in Majel: a grassroots
non-profit, non-government organization that trains Marshall Islands
youth based on the traditions of the Marshallese canoe.

They have (had?) a program in which Marshall Islands kids built shunting
outrigger canoes. viz: http://tinyurl.com/mnvrmng and others in the
same Picassa album.

In trying to find somebody with the plans for those WAM-built proas I
got a reply from The Mieco Beach Yacht Club on Majuro Atoll that
suggested the plans were purchased from James Wharram Designs.

But I do not see anything like that on the Wharram pages.

Is Wharram really behind these designs?

If so, are they offered for sale?

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Hi! I worked for James wharram on and off for the last couple of years. I helped building Amatasi in which there was also some interest from the Marshall Islands but this is a double canoe not a proa. In the 70's the Wharrams designed a 31ft proa,they were intending to race it. At a certain moment somebody of the intended crew took out all the ballast of the ama and put up the maximum sail area in a light wind. then in unexpected gust it capsized. Since that moment JWD stuck to the double canoe's untill much later in the 90's when they designed Melanesia. So, no the wam proa's are not built to Wharram plans. they are built by "eyeball under the supervision of the last of the traditional canoebuilders. I built a proa in stitch and glue last year. I like it but it is very different from anything you ever sailed. and I don't have a full set of plans either. I'm now working on designing a31 footer myself. I don't know what you want exactly but if you want to build a proa I can recommend the book on outrigger sailing canoes by Gary Dierking. There's all the info you need to build a Kiribati type proa in stripplank, which is a more suitable technique for this hullshape

Hey thanks Andy - not just interesting positively fascinating !

Thanks Mick - I guess that puts the matter to rest.

My basic agenda is acquisition of something to let me squeeze a few more years on the water out of a deteriorating bod - once windsurfing becomes impractical.

I am familiar with Gary Dierking's T2, even having sailed one for a couple of hours.

What appealed to me about the proas shown in my OP link is that they seem optimized for "walking around room": flat deck, no gunwales.

One thing that draws me to proas in general is the prospect of being sailable solo without the operator having to change sides at every tack.   That, of course, would require rudders as in Chris Grill's T2 build: http://grillabongquixotic.files.wordpress.com/2011/07/dsc00850.jpg.

But I am still not sure that the process of shunting isn't going to be somewhat athletic compared to tacking.

So, in the end, I'm starting to come around to something like CLC's "Outrigger Junior" as in http://www.clcboats.com/life-of-boats-blog/clc-outrigger-junior-fir...  - which seems to combine the plus's of the Malibu Outrigger I once built long, long ago and far, far away while correcting some of the minuses. 

The "Must Haves" are:

  • Immune to swamp or, at least, recoverable from same
    .
  • Recoverable from full turtle by one person.
    .
  • A certain degree of seating comfort where the hips are at least somewhat higher than the feet.
    .
  • Transportable up and down the beach by one person.

My current test platform is one of Gary Dierking's  Uluas (Hawaiian-style sailing canoe) stretched to 21 feet and pretty much all rebuilt/rerigged by Yours Truly.

I have leaned a good bit from it and it is working the way I want - but it is inherantly lacking on some of the "Must Haves".

I hope to find a new home for it this spring and then move on to The Real Deal.

Mick, I finally stumbled on to the  pix of your 22-footer at http://wharrambuilders.ning.com/photo/2013-09-07-16-51-25/next?cont....

Any idea how much it weighs?   i.e. is it two people to get it in-out of the water?   Or can one do it?

Stitch-glue-stretched T2?

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