Wharram Builders and Friends

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We've now owned Hourua for 3 years and still learning how to sail her efficiently. Since we finally got her down to Singapore we have been racing her at our club, Changi Sailing Club. We have managed to surprise everyone, including ourselves with our performance, regularly winning on handicap in a mixed fleet of boats. Have added some sail power, much bigger genoa, approx 140% and of course an asymmetrical spinnaker. As Singapore is basically on the equator we generally sail in very light conditions so the genoa certainly helps. I have been experimenting with different settings on the mainsail lately and am finding in super light weather ignoring the vertical wrinkles from the gaff head, i.e. Having a very low tension gaff setup gives much better shape in the top third of the sail and better flow and as a result better pointing. We sail in mainly flat water conditions so having to power through waves is not a consideration. We have also changed how we tack the boat, originally back winding the jib to pull the bow around and as recommended sailing very broad to initially build speed, but given the lack of waves we are letting the jib fly as we come through the eye of the wind and have sufficient momentum to steer onto the new tack. This is saving us a lot of distance compared to the older method. I hasten to add however it doesn't work if there is any sort of wave activity.
Have been experiencing weather helm in any sort of breeze so this weekend while on the hard I have thrown the mast further forward, hopefully not too much, time will tell. Long term I want to put either an auto pilot or self steering on for cruising but first want to get as lighter helm as possible.
All in all we have enjoyed our experience so far and I continue to enjoy the Wharram experience, very different from the type of boat I'm used to, light weight of the beach catamarans and large keel boats. The other thing about owning a Wharram are the comments we get about how beautiful she looks. It is amazing how many "closet" Wharramites there are who have dreamed of owning one but sail a plastic monomaran.
She was brought as an experiment pre retirement to see if we both like cruising before spending a lot more money on a bigger boat, my vision a Tiki 46, but still some convincing to do with the admiral.

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