A Photo & Discussion Forum for Wharram Design Enthusiasts
I have come across a cheap Raka for sale - it needs some work but perhaps worth the while.
I am keen to hear from other Raka owners as to how they find them; and what sort of sailing do they do with their Raka - local sailing or long distance. How well do they perform in large ocean.
Does no one sail Raka?
I think there are very few Rakas. In the Design Book Wharram says that the Raka has never been as popular as the Tangaroa. It was designed as a racing boat, so it has less interior volume than the Tangaroa (and the acomodation of the Tangaroa is not ver big ...).
There is a Raka called Beluga that makes charter in the Turks and Caicos, see http://www.sailbeluga.com/
I was hoping someone who owned a Raka would reply to you, but maybe there aren't any on the forum now. I never owned one, but a Raka was the first Wharram I ever sailed on (briefly), back in 1986-87. She was called Rakatak. Three young guys sailed her from England to the Caribbean, with the Gran Canaria to Bardados leg being in the first ARC race. I was doing the same trip with my girlfriend in a Frances 26 monohull. We first met Rakatak in Falmouth, then again at various places along the way. We were both anchored in Carlisle Bay off Bridgetown, Barbados, for about a month and spent a lot of time partying on each others boats, and a bunch of us did a day trip up the coast on Rakatak.
My memory of the Raka was that the hulls were very slim with not much space, having been designed for racing. She was certainly fast, and they made a quick crossing of the Atlantic. I seem to recall she also did well in a local fun regatta during the time in Barbados.
The "facilities" on board were fairly primitive. They used a "bucket and chuck it" when at sea. There was a marine toilet in a forward compartment, but with so little space that when sitting down your head and shoulders were sticking out of the hatch. I well remember rowing past early one morning - A polite wave and "Good morning Hal"... "Good morning Rob", as the skipper went about his business. You do that sort of thing when you're young!
Overall I would say the Raka design is a fast and capable boat, but best suited to day sailing in a hot climate. For parties on deck it's ideal... If you're thinking of buying one check it over carefully and try to be realistic about how much work you are letting yourself in for. Most of them will be very old, and at the time they were built the use of epoxy was not as universal as it is now.
I'll try to dig out some of my old pictures (from pre-digital days) and upload them to the forum.
Thanks Rob for your thoughts. I'm in my mid 40's and live in NZ; I like quick sailing but I also like a roomy boat that is comfortable when the weather is nasty - which we get plenty of here.
Certainly the amount of work required will be given full consideration too.
p.s yes hopefully someone who currently owns one will see this post.