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I am about to attempt the steering for my modified Pahi 42. The rudders are in and functional but I have not yet decided how I shall connect them to the helm. Any insights, comments and advice would be appreciated. Lawrence

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Hmm, food for thought. My "Wharram" is inspired by the ideas and concepts rather than being a true Wharram.  It is made of Epoxy/Glass and stryrofoam and fibreglass rather than plywood because we have huge problems with insect, bacteria and humidity rot problems with boats made from plywood. ( Albeit epoxy impregnated plywood) I bought the incomplete hulls as an abandoned project and am completing it.  One issue I had not considered was the question of rust. The cog gear is bronze and the chain is stainless steel - but Now tht I think about this setup - if a link breaks I shall be reduced to hand steering... The rope drum is simple to improvise or make/fit. Hmm???...

Hi - Mike, great pictures of a great looking boat! Setup looks very good, even though I use a different approach at the moment I do believe in the Wharram KISS philosophy! Here are some photos from a few years ago to give an idea of how my system works:

Here you see the wheel mounted on top of the beam - this keeps maximum space in the cockpit.

From the other side - you can clearly see the cable drum and cables leading out of it, one goes to each tiller.

The cable connects to the tiller with one bolt. There is a support/clamp for the cable that is mounted on the rear deck near the tiller. Otherwise the aft decking/netting area is kept clear of ropes, which is handy for dealing with anchor/dinghy etc - remember we often moor bows to the rocks, with a stern anchor, so there is a lot of activity here!

The way I understand this setup, the cable is inside a sleeve, like a bicycle brake, Its a neat and elegant solution too. KISS. HMM, more food for thought!

Yes, it is simple and clean - which I appreciate ;-) You are correct, cable is inside thick sleeve, well greased. From what I understand many other catamarans use this type of setup as they often don't have the link bar between tillers (in fact they may have whole steering gear hidden inside hulls).

Gee, I never thought of this. I will investigate this with interest because it would solve some access problems I have as the result of fitting flush decks over all the "deckboxes" that are  hung between the beams. I have also avoided drilling holes into any of my beams ( rot and sealing issues)

That is correct, Andy, but not the idea of a Pahi. The important features of a Pahi´s steering are: A rudder that can be removed through the rudder well and repaired on deck in the middle of an ocean, if need be (Maybe a tribute to Jim Wharram´s first voyage - he had to jump into the water with a handsaw and cut an overdimensioned rudder to size in a two meter wave...), and a steering line setup you can fix without trapessing around in exposed parts carrying ironmongery, to quote Samwise Gamgee´s Old Gaffer. And I really appreciated that out in the Atlantic. - On the other hand, if you operate your boat in friendlier environments, priorities understandably change. As the editor of Practicial Boat Owner once said: "Jim, you build boats for conditions 90 per cent of our readers will never meet." :o)

Hi Mike - yes, horses for courses as they say. I do agree with everything you say, but when I need good deck access at both bow and stern, my solution works. If I ever plan to go ocean sailing I might re-think, but that is not going to happen in near future. Safety issues should reflect the conditions and locations you sail in, so for us having less to trip over on the stern deck is important ;-)

Lawrence, can you post some photos of your build? I'd like to see what you have done so far!

@ Lawrence: I took a peek at the photos now. In understand that a.) the hulls are widened by a couple inches above the waterline,  the decks are sloped outside, probably to shake off water if you hit a wave (make sure you have a nice, tough toerail, you will find yourself walking those decks frequently to adjust sails and so on!), and that your rudders are hung on the stern like on classic Wharrams. Therefore, if you want to lead a hydraulic steering cable INTO the hull, there will necessarily be a hole or slot where some kind of lever leads to the rudder, and you can reliably expect loads of salt water to enter through this hole or slot, and if you do not build a big drain hole, that water will be there to stay. Means the cable will corrode, sleeve or not, and if you sleeve, sleve well, or you will gather wate rinside the sleeve without a chance to dry out.  

I shall post newer pics soon, since the mast is up, deck pod/galley built and operational and all decks fitted. As for the sloping decks, there should be no need to walk on the decks as everything happens between the hulls. The forward and stern section of the boat the decks are level . I will be putting up guardrails here. An important design criteria was to have a huge living space for the family/crew of five and the need to sail the horrendous Southern African and Madagascar coast and weather. The deck had to be flush as my wife has a gammy knee and did not like the obstacle course-like decks of the traditional wharrams. We also used styrofoam instead of plywood-which was "interesting" to say the least.


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