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Read the Wharram Design Book and familiarise yourself with the various designs and their unique qualities.
Once you have decided on the boat that is right for YOU to build, order the Boat Builder's Plans and become a real life member of the Wharram Boat Builder Community. From the car trailable TIKI 21 - Winner of the 1982 Cruising World Design Competition, to the TIKI 46, a spacious ocean cruiser or charter boat.
All TIKI building Plans are very detailed, supplying a building sequence as a book of 3-D sketches, which some builders have described as a course in boat building. Can be carried on your car roof and easily fits the decks of a larger design to be used as a sailing day boat. Hitia 17 is the perfect beach catamaran, but also capable for use as a micro Coastal Trekker.
She has stowage space within the hulls and the two self draining 'cockpits' are big enough to sit in, or stow camping gear for a longer Trek.
In 1991-97 Rory McDougall sailed his self-built Tiki 21 'Cooking Fat' around the world, sometimes alone, sometimes with a companion. The Tiki 21 has stayed popular as a simple, easy to trail Coastal Trekker all over the world. The most economical way to enjoy sailing is to build your own small lightweight boat, to keep it at home and trail it to the waters you want to sail in. Whilst exploring this idea we look sideways into the world of camping and the living equipment you need for a camping holiday bought at a reasonable price, as against highly priced yachting equipment. All these ideas have come together, resulting in the new MANA 24 design, a catamaran specifically designed for trailer sailing. The Tiki 26 was designed by popular demand soon after the Tiki 21, for people who wanted to do more serious Coastal cruising.
With a sleeping capacity of 6 (two doubles in the hulls) and spacious level deck area, TIKI 30 makes an excellent low cost charter boat. The Tiki 46 is a boat designed for Blue Water sailing, with live aboard space for a crew of up to 10. Plenty of safe deck space and slim hulls for easy, fast sailing, not requiring huge sail area to get speed. From the Coastal Trekking Pahi 26 to the impressive 63' flagship of the Wharram fleet 'Spirit of Gaia' - the PAHI shape is more evocatively 'Female' than the Classic Wharram designs. The Pahi 42 'Captain Cook' design set fresh ocean cruising standards when she was designed in 1979.
On popular demand PAHI 26 is now available with the Wharram Wingsail Rig, eliminating the mastbeam and giving a clearer deck space. The first of the Pahis, designed in 1979 after the building of a 35ft prototype, which successfully sailed the 1978 Round Britain Race.
The PAHI shape has proven itself in rough weather conditions, in speed potential and ease of motion. The original Pahi 31 rig is a Bermudan cutter, with low cut, anti-twist, loose footed mainsail, but now she is also available with the Wharram Wingsail Rig, giving more clear centre deck space as the mast is placed further forward. Read 'Mother Ocean's Lesson in Survival' - an account by Mike Lynn of his voyage across the Atlantic on his Pahi 42. The Pahi 63 is a tribal boat, suitable for expedition sailing and for larger groups of people to cruise or eco-charter. This deck layout combined with the 'Flexi Space' hull cabins (all with their own entrance) enables 8-10 people to live peacefully together for weeks at a time. The Pahi 63, based on traditional Polynesian double canoe principles, is most suitable for use in warmer climates.
The Ethnic designs have been a new development at James Wharram Designs since James and Hanneke sailed extensively in the Pacific. Ethnic Designs cater for those who want a "traditional" Pacific sailing craft, built using appropriate modern materials and methods, but without trying to Westernise them. Designed in 1997 for a small island in Vanuatu where trees for the native dugout canoes were getting scarce. The main canoe hull is built from just two sheets of plywood, stitched and glued together with epoxy and glass tape. The paddling version uses a more curved laminated float and two shorter laminated crossbeams.
As she is likely to be used in the open sea she has a self-draining floor (large enough to sleep on) and watertight bow and stern compartments. She can be built as a Double Canoe with two same-sized hulls and a platform big enough to erect a two man tent on, or as an Outrigger Canoe using just one hull and a light weight log as outrigger float.
By self-making everything: natural spars, sails and even hand carved deadeye blocks, her building cost is very low (the Plans give all details). The hulls of Amatasi can be open-topped and self-draining, or can be fitted with a lift-off cuddy (on one hull or on both hulls). By self-making almost everything, including natural spars and hand carved deadeye blocks, her building cost is low. In 2011 we built the prototype, which we test sailed in Cornwall and in the Traditional Boat festivals in Brest and Douarnenez in 2012. The Tama Moana (Child of the Sea) has the traditional hullshape of the islands of Tikopia and Anuta. Ethnic Designs as Canoe Craft have a basic design principle of maximum boat for minimum cost. Two Tama Moana designs sailed the Lapita Voyage from the Philippines to Tikopia and Anuta in 2008-9, where they were donated to the island populations who are now using them as their autonomous transport. The early 'Wharrams', now known as the Classic Designs, are recognised as beautiful, safe boats - easy to build, and easy to sail.
They were the first range of Wharram catamarans, designed in the 1960s and 70s, based on the sea experience of James Wharram's pioneering ocean crossings. The Maui is the smallest Classic design, very sturdy in build using backbone and bulkheads, with solid timber keel, and hence heavier than the more modern stitch & glue Hitia 17.
Developed out of the 22ft (6.70m) HINA, designed as a tough dayboat with overnight accommodation in the individual hulls. The Classic hull seaworthiness of the TANE encouraged many people to make ocean passages on her. The Tangaroa Mk IV was a design that evolved from the Tangaroa Mk I, James’ first design for which he drew Self-building Plans in 1965.


The Mk IV has more graceful hull lines, wider hull beam, more freeboard over the bunks and a longer cabin with standing headroom, so it is not to be mistaken for the Tangaroa Mk I of which many are still sailing. The NARAI design is a direct descendant of the 40ft RONGO on which James made his pioneering voyage across the North Atlantic in 1959. NARAIs have been rigged as junks, Polynesian sprits, Bermudan ketch, Bermudan cutter or gaff schooners - powered by deck mounted diesels or outboard engines, the NARAIs attract the pioneering type. After considerable experience with the Narai Mk I and II we brought out a new design to get more volume on the same length. Read 'Katipo Voyage' by Don Brazier - A story of a Narai Mk IV sailing 5,500 miles from New Zealand to some of the South Pacific islands and back. To see a Narai Mk IV being built, follow this excellent blog of building Narai Mk IV 'Tiger'.
Building your own boat with Wharram Designs is the easiest and most cost effective way to fulfil your sailing dreams. We recommended you follow the tried and trusted Wharram process to ensure the boat you build is both the right type of boat for your needs and also one that will match your building skills and expenditure.
We will be holding the Spring Wharram Rendezvous (a Hui Wharram) May 20-21-22 in Fort Myers, FL (Florida at the North Ft. We have just discovered with great pleasure that James Wharram has been nominated for 'Yachtsman of the Year' 2016 by 'Classic Boat' magazine.
On 27th September it will be 60 years since James Wharram, with Ruth and Jutta set sail from Falmouth on 23'6" Tangaroa, to become the first people to sail a multihull both ways across the Atlantic. OceanWatch, a small and robust New Zealand NGO, will soon head to the Solomon islands to give aid in the ongoing aftermath of Cyclone Pam. Wharram catamarans are well known for their seaworthiness and hundreds have been cruising the oceans of the World for nearly 50 years.
As can be expected, many encountered storms during their voyaging, some were unlucky enough to encounter very severe ones and even cyclones and hurricanes. Don’s collection of severe weather experiences on Wharram Catamarans is now available to read online. If you have experienced severe weather on a Wharram Catamaran, we would like to hear your story.
James WharramIn the mid 50's, based on his research into ancient Polynesian boat design, James Wharram built the first off-shore Catamaran in Britain and sailed it out into the Atlantic.
Melanesia being built at the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI) as a practical example of outrigger canoe building. Dedari Nyuh Kuning was built in one year in the village of Nyuh Kuning on the beautiful island of Bail.
Building Tahiti Wayfarer 'Tai-o-tai-o' in Istanbul, Turkey, in an upstairs flat, lowering her to the street and launching her. This builder is converting his Tahiti Wayfarer Outrigger Canoe 'Wilber' into a Double Canoe and plans to travel on her around the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway.
Another blog of a build project, based in the Philippines, this time getting some help from professional Wharram builder Andy Smith. On-going blog of the construction and sailing of Tiki 26 'Tsunamichaser' in the Pacific North West, USA.
Watch Rogerio's Tiki 30 evolve from pieces of plywood to a very nice finished boat that is now gracing Brazilian waters. All about building a Pahi 42 in 18 months and sailing her in the middle east during the first Gulf war. Apataki has been built in Belgium and is being prepared for launching in the south of France. The story of the 26` Pahi AMAZON`S family sailing adventure (The Peter Duck Expedition) across North America (by trailer) through Florida, across the Gulf Stream and through the Bahamas. Follow Peter, Alexandra and their son Finn on their round the world voyage on a 40' Narai Mk IV. In June 2010 Rory McDougal sailed 'Cookie' in the single handed Trans Atlantic Jester Challenge, where she came in a close second after a 33 day voyage.
The Tiki 38 'Mon Tiki' Eco Catamaran Project is a self-sustaining, for profit business serving the Summer visitors to Montauk. Captain Kiko Johnson is a sailor and experienced boat builder specializing in traditional Hawaiian canoes made by hand.
First expedition following the migration route of the Ancient Polynesians on two Ethnic Wharram 'Tama Moana' designs. Rory McDougall entered Tiki 21 'Cookie' into the single-handed trans Atlantic 'Jester Challenge' 2010.
This website was set up in 2005 and gives the background to the Lapita Voyage, details of the island of Tikopia and why we wanted to donate a double canoe to the island.
Tiki 38 'Moana' used in the Pacific for educational charters and expeditions (teaching sailing and scubadiving). At our Oceanschool and Biostation in Croatia, we have enabled many young people to discover, love and respect the sea.
First expedition with two traditional sailing double canoes following the migration route of the Ancient Polynesians.This voyage in the Pacific was sailed in two Tama Moana designs by James Wharram and Hanneke Boon in 2008-2009. The Polynesian Catamaran Association is a voluntary club for people interested in the designs of James Wharram.Due to a direct request from James and Hanneke a complete archive of all the PCA publications (1967 - 2010) has been created. This book reviews each self-build boat model and offers a detailed introduction and understanding of the world of self-build catamarans. The Wharram approach goes beyond simple boat design - the concept of 'Flexispace' puts emphasis on not just the physical living area, but also the 'mind space' of those on board. Designed for 2-4 people to cruise estuaries, on lakes and, when the weather is settled, to go coastal trekking. In 1982 the new and then quite radical Tiki 21 was given first prize by Cruising World magazine (USA) in their design competition for a ‘Trailable Gunkholer’. Her unique soft Wharram Wingsail Rig has been used on all subsequent Tiki and other Wharram designs (30ft - 65ft) and is very popular with the owners of these boats. This gives opportunity to explore many more sailing areas than if based on a permanent mooring and at much lower cost.
At 23’6”- 7.15m hull length MANA 24 sits between our TIKI 21 and TIKI 26 designs (both very popular trailer sailers), with easier launching and handling like the smaller TIKI 21, but an interior space close to that of the Tiki 26. Sleeps two in the hulls, leaving room for small galley and chart table, but accommodation can be increased with a decktent, giving space for a double bunk.


Her deckpod gives good shelter when ocean cruising and includes a bunk for the off-watch crew. She also makes an excellent charter vessel with 4 private double cabins and an extra double in the deckpod. Constructively, they are simpler to build, using epoxy fillets instead of more difficult wood joints. The Pahi 63 was designed in 1986 and launched in 1992 to become the new ocean going flagship for the Wharram family. This centre deck and the separate aft and fore deck areas give three large emotionally different spaces, enabling people to have hours in seeming solitude. These designs arose after requests from Pacific Island peoples for James to design craft to overcome shortages of "traditional" building materials, but which closely reflect the cultural and ethnic origins of these craft. The 16ft Wharram MELANESIA design is a very simple and economical to build outrigger canoe, based on the original Pacific canoes. The large planked platform between the hulls easily fits a standard camping tent to give extra sleeping accommodation for 2-3 people.
Building and sailing one you can be a research participant in a major attempt to recover and preserve the practical, design, handling aspects of Man's first offshore sailing vessels. Many anchorages around the world are graced by these Classic Designs, and of the seventeen drawn between 1957 and 1976, nine are still available, from the 16ft Maui to the 51ft Tehini.
Though designed as a dayboat, some HINEMOAs have crossed oceans, one even survived a hurricane off the coast of America in 1975. We designed the TANENUI in 1973 to give these people on a low budget a sturdy, seaworthy basic boat with just that bit more internal space than the Spartan TANE. Originally designed for George Payne who wanted a boat that he could enter in local club races in the Bristol Channel and stand a chance of winning.
The Narai Mk IV has wider individual hulls and increased headroom by raising the decks to the level of the gunnels and placing the cross beams in beam troughs.
Read the Wharram Design Book and familiarise yourself with the various designs and their unique qualities. The "Falmouth Packet' newspaper has been the first to publish an excellent article about this important event in the history of multihulls.
We have had to face up to the fact that the renovation of our flagship Spirit of Gaia is taking much longer than originally planned, but at last the end is in sight.
Two Tama Moana designs were donated to the islands following the Lapita Voyage in 2008, and their work will include the repair of one of these that sustained damage during the storm. He himself has made a number of voyages in the Pacific and encountered severe weather, in which he deployed drogue and parachute.
He also plans to build a Tiki 46 when this project is complete, which will also be blogged here. It's a Wharram Hitia 17, a 17 foot Polynesian style catamaran in stitch and glue technique. Her owners like to share her with people who like to temporarily step out of the modern world to explore the sea. There are 33 issues of The Sailorman and 75 issues of The Sea People magazines for you to download! Our Building Plans present quality instruction, guidance and advice for both novice and professional alike. On the larger TIKIs the 'Deckpod' offers sheltered steering and the 'Stern Ramp' provides easy access to and from the water. The sail can be reefed and hence the boat can always be sailed safely without the risk of capsize, which most other beach cats are prone to. The deck is designed to take a standard two-man dome or pop-up tent, or you can make your own decktent to drawing supplied.
In 2010 Rory entered 'Cooking Fat' in the Jester Challenge (single handed 'race' across the Atlantic for small boats - under 30ft) and came into Newport, Rhode Island a close second after 34 days. Her new chined hullshape gives more width for the bunks, which are placed aft where the hulls are widest. This is not a high cost, luxury boat, but an elegant, versatile, 'double canoe' sailing boat, providing basic comfort for 'Living on the Sea'. They are designed to use quick growing softwood plys, coated and glassed with epoxy to achieve a durable finish. During the construction of 'Spirit of Gaia' many unique new solutions to plywood and epoxy building methods were developed, which were later incorporated in the larger TIKI and ISLANDER designs. Crossbeams and spars are made from small trees and saplings with natural forks for jaws, stripped of bark and sculpturally finished, all parts are lashed together.
This is a very sturdy ocean cruiser with many ocean crossings and circumnavigations to its name. We are aiming for perfection.Last autumn we flew to Greece for 3 weeks to do some more work with the help of Michael and Sigrid, in that time I had the loan of a lovely aluminium scaffold and was able to renovate the stem and stern posts, which had been kept protected under plastic covers as the glue joints had split causing deterioration in the centre layer. Its easy economical construction, stability and speed makes for an affordable weekend adventure boat.
She has skegs and rudders that do not project below the V-eed hull, hence she can be sailed straight off the beach without lifting rudders or daggerboards. The PAHI designs were the first to use rope lashings to attach the crossbeams, giving a shock absorbing effect, without the need for metal fittings.
This was difficult work, but the Fein oscillating saw was again invaluable in cutting away the soft patches of plywood between the Iroko cheeks. I then glued in made-to-measure pieces of Iroko, which made a much better job than the original plywood core. Our log homes are delivered as a kit but we are happy to help with construction if required. You can also join us on Facebook and ask us any questions you may have. Have fun with us at Jorntrahus!                              Copyright 2011 My Business.



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