A Photo & Discussion Forum for Wharram Design Enthusiasts
Having an interest in trimarans also..... The question of "wings" comes to mind with regard to the limited internal space in some Wharrams. The Tangaroa in particular appears like it would be suited to having inboard "wing" extensions at bridge deck level, which corresponds fairly well with countertop level. This would increase worktop space, stowage space, and greatly increase the sense of space. They would presumably be confined only to a limited area such as the main cabin, and would not have to project inward far to be really useful. Has anybody done something like this?
Richard Woods did it on early V-hull designs of his. Makes the sales pitch for it on his site. Woods worked on designs at JWD before going his own way circa mid 70s. (From late 70s, early 80s, JW had strong disagreements with and criticisms of RW on multihull seaworthiness and safety as documented on correspondence featured in early issues of the PCA's "The Sea People / SAILORMAN" magazine. Not sure if the heated disagreement ever was healed. I think not.)
In the JWD design book hull side extensions "wings" are evaluated in the negative on page 13. They say there builders who did it found they had pounding problems. If the wings were kept small enough to avoid pounding the minimal extra space did not warrant the extra complexity and labour to build them.
I think the thinking by JWD on deck houses may similarly apply to hull wings, ie., that the cost, time, and labour involved in having a deck house is better put into a longer/larger JWD open bridge deck boat.
I knew Richard worked with James originally, and they obviously have major design differences such as you mention..... bridge deck cabins and rigid beams, and wings. I hardly see wings as a pounding issue, considering the bridge deck clearances on Wharrams. They add some complexity to construction, but I strongly disagree with Wharram's assessment of the cost benefit analysis. The example of course that has intrigued me since I first saw it is the Woods Mira, one of Richard's earliest designs. The wings extending inboard result in a full 8' cabin width in the main cabin and work top level, and on deck they are simply a place to sit, and constrict the walk through in that area. This is a vastly roomy main cabin compared to Wharrams. The complexity of construction is pretty trivial really.... One flat panel, and one vertical one, two joints n each hull. In the context of building a boat this is trivial. As anybody who has built anything at all knows, the big stuff goes fast, it's the trivial seeming details, internal furnishings, systems, etc, that consume the lion's share of build time.
I haven't read the issues of Sea People with that correspondence..... I'd love to see them. I'm not sure how many are online, but what I have read makes good reading.
Open deck boats are wonderful for the tropics, and warm weather sailing, but all is not roses, and the ability to retreat into a safe fully sheltered space is important when things get nasty. If that space is roomy and comfortable and has decent view, all the better, hence the modern bridge deck cabin integrated into the hulls so that the "culvert feeling" goes away. Without a bridge deck cabin, the design of the hull cabins to make them roomy and comfortable is more important. Below is a photo from Richard Woods site of the Mira saloon in one hull. Complexity is an escalating spiral as we can see from modern cats, and James seems to have a well justified horror of it, but it isn't an either / or situation. A "cost benefit analysis" (cost being complexity and build time) should go with each "improvement", and the whole package. Drawing lines in the sand.... black and white, and defending your position is not useful to REAL progress, but honestly questioning the value of changes and improvements based on cost and complexity is. The wing issue is a case in point.
James has clung to ultimate simplicity.... the deep V hull for example..... I see little reason to do like Richard Woods did with his round bottoms with chines, unless you are obsessed with speed. On the other hand hull shapes have evolved with the realization that altering the aft shape to increase buoyancy dampens pitching, and of course that means a transom. Wharram's ramp makes far more sense than transom steps IMHO. A slatted deck is a wet deck. Lashed or otherwise flexible beams work, and they allow disassembly.....if that is important, otherwise they would seem to offer no benefit, and additional maintenance points. Centerboards and daggerboards and leeboards are a classic of debatable cost benefit analysis, but LAR mini keels clearly tilt toward the positive.
I tend toward simple. Each additional system is something else to maintain. My focus tends to be toward auxiliary systems. How much electrical and plumbing makes sense? Lots of pipes and wires through the bilge are something I dislike intensely. My inclination is no actual "running" water. I've found that I can exist very well without it, and containers with spigots work well. Electrical is a virtual necessity these days, but it tends to be carried to absurd extremes. Radios and nav equipment, masthead and binnacle lighting are critical. Lighting in the galley / saloon is also important, but electrical appliances and inverters quickly get into excessive complexity. A watermaker is a non-negotiable system IMHO. It eliminates hauling water, protects you from possible local water problems, and in this day and age, the water you take or buy is in many places part of a limited supply of quality water. That means either a gas engine to drive the watermaker, or an inverter to drive an electric motor. Consolidating those things and the batteries in the optimal location mitigates the "complexity" significantly. The ability to wash clothes on board is of similar value, and fortunately there are a number of good manual systems for this that take up some space but are not complex. Flush toilets and holding tanks are beyond absurd (in my C/B analysis. What Jim Brown calls "bucket and chuckit" makes sense at sea, and composting units are a proven and accepted alternative these days.
We each have our own priorities, and our CBA on each feature and system will come out differently. I opt in favor of wings, or a bridge deck cabin, at least a pod..... rigid beams, and have toyed with ways to accomplish the same damping effect found on modern designs, on an existing Wharram such as the Tangeroa. I opt in favor of a watermaker, and a hand washing machine, and a bicycle to get around ashore. I would opt for mostly rechargeable lighting and personal lighting. I would out simple Wharram and opt for the ultimate simplicity of a pair of free standing masts with a biplane junk rig, eliminating all standing rigging, and freeing up deck space. If I were building, I would not even consider a double ender.... They waste a great deal of space to no real purpose, and berths should be aft.
Below is the photo of the Mira hull saloon cabin........ Unfortunately I can't find an equivalent photo of a Tangeroa. Richard has some things right obviously, and has something for everybody.