Distant photo of Wharram Tiki 46 on the water with all sails up

Dream, Build, Sail

Build your own catamaran renowned for its seaworthiness, stability and safe simplicity. All Wharram plans are drawn for the first-time builder.

Self-Build Boats
Aerial view of 5 colourful Wharram catamarans at the beach

A Global Family Of Sailors

The Wharram World circles the globe. Wharram catamarans have been built and are sailing in all the World's oceans.

Wharram World
James and Hanneke in their design studio with Amatasi model

Trusted, Proven Designs

We believe the ancient Polynesians knew a thing or two about building boats to last. Wharram catamarans are proven survivors.

How We Design
Wharram Mana 24 with white and teal hulls, with deck tent on board

Mana 24: Boat In A Box

Assemble her yourself from pre-CNC-cut plywood parts. Keep it at home, trail it and sail it anywhere.

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Seaworthy. Simple. Affordable.

Building your own boat with Wharram Designs is the easiest and most cost effective way to fulfil your sailing dreams. Wharram Self-build boat plans start from only £120.

Wharram designs are based on years of practical, hands-on experience of building and ocean sailing catamarans. They are renowned for their seaworthiness, stability and safe simplicity. Designs from 14’ - 63’ are available for self-building in ply/epoxy with very detailed, easy to follow Plans often described as 'a course in boatbuilding'.


Study our Self Build Boats to familiarise yourself with our range of designs and their unique qualities. Download and read the Wharram Design Book which reviews each design in detail and offers a detailed introduction to the world of self-build catamarans. Order and download Study Plans and immerse yourself into the boat builder's mindset; evaluate the costs; the amount of time required to build your boat; where you will build it and where you will eventually launch it.


Once you have decided on the boat that is right for you, order your Boat Building Plans. All Wharram building plans are drawn for the first time builder, so anyone with a modicum of practical ability can build one of our designs. Our Building Plans present quality instruction, guidance and advice for both novice and professional alike. They are all based on decades of actual building experience and thousands of ocean miles sailed.


Go on adventures and live the life of your dreams. Spend your weekends coastal trekking and camping, or live aboard and spend your days sailing around the world. Become a member of the global family of Wharram builders and sailors. Wharram catamarans have been built and are sailing in all the World's oceans and can be found in far away ports and anchorages.

The quality of the Wharram self-build catamarans is reflected in their popularity, excellence of craftmanship and sound sailing qualities. More than 50 years on - with over 10,000 sets of plans sold and thousands turned into proud vessels - Wharram 'Cats' can be seen in harbours across the world, maintaining the highest reputation for surviving wind and wave.

10,000+ Boat Building Plans Sold

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Aerial view of two Wharram catamarans

Self-Build Boats

Index of Wharram self-build catamarans. Familiarise yourself with our range of designs and their unique qualities.

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Wharram study plans

Choosing A Boat

To help you select a design, read our practical advice about basic requirements, building times, building methods, and costs.

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James and Hanneke in design studio with Amatasi model

How We Design

Several articles giving an in-depth look at our core design principles and how they are reflected as seaworthy, stable vessels sailing the oceans.

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James and Hanneke receiving an award

James Wharram: Lifetime Achievement Award

A special award was presented to James Wharram for a 'Lifetime Achievement' as Pioneer catamaran builder - sailor and multihull designer.

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James Wharram - British pioneer of the modern catamaran

About James Wharram

In 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. While the world's yachting community still did not accept such a design as a worthy sea-going vessel, James was landing his 23'6" 'Double Canoe' called TANGAROA in Trinidad in the West Indies.

There he built a second 40' Polynesian style Catamaran, RONGO, and in 1959 sailed it up to New York and back to the UK accompanied by two German women - being the first to sail a catamaran West-to-East across the North Atlantic. These amazing Trans-Atlantic crossings and the follow up book 'Two Girls, Two Catamarans' have etched the name 'James Wharram' into the annals of yachting history.

Since then, James Wharram has been designing, building and sailing offshore catamarans longer than any other multihull designer. James was a 'hands-on' designer having, over his lifetime, built personally many of the prototype designs. These prototypes were built in the open, in barns, workshops and all the range of building sites available to self-builders, in a variety of climate types from northern European to the Tropics. James was often referred to as a 'Living Legend' or as written in 'Yachting Monthly' in January 2006: "James Wharram is considered by many to be the father of modern multihull cruising."

James’ last achievement was his autobiography published in 2020 as 'People of the Sea', which he wrote in conjunction with his design/life partner Hanneke Boon. James died in December 2021 at the age of 93. The design business is carried on by his co-designer Hanneke Boon.

Tiki Odyssey

Two men in a boat cockpit
Roy Leask

From Kos to Kefalonia. Father and son, in a self-build Wharram Tiki, survive a winter passage across Greece. The call came on Thursday. "Hey, Dad. There's a weather window, all next week. It could take us all the way to Monemvasia, maybe even round the Peleponese." Our plan was to sail our self-built Wharram Tiki 26 from its birthplace in Kos to its new home in Kefalonia, a winter passage of over 400nm east to west across Greece. A compelling read.

Hui Wharram Cornwall Gathering 2024

Wharram Hui 2024
Liz Dal Bon

We are having another Annual Hui! 3rd - 5th August 2024. This Hui will mark 70 years since James designed his first Catamaran 'Tangaroa' and we are excited that we will be mooring at Devoran Quay just a 5 minute walk from the Wharram Headquarters based in Cornwall. It would be lovely to celebrate his achievement with all of you.

Pacific Islander History Month

People wearing sarongs walking around a beached double canoe
Liz Dal Bon

This month of May in America is 'Pacific Islander History Month' and we at James Wharram Designs would like to join in and celebrate alongside them! As you may know, double canoes/catamarans are of ancient Polynesian origin. The modern day catamaran is a direct descendent of these original ocean-going vessels.

James Wharram's Last Ride

Catamarans gathered at a quay
Mike Lynn

On 23 July, a motley fleet of self-built catamarans gathered off Cornwall to give James and Ruth Wharram their final escort. It was a fitting farewell to a legend. The ashes of James and Ruth Wharram were consigned to the sea to be carried by the ebb current out to the open ocean.

Hanneke's Atlantic Adventures (Part 3)

Double sailing canoe at sunset
Hanneke Boon

My new home for the next two weeks was Ontong Java. She had crossed the Atlantic a week after us and was moored off the beach in Port Louis, on the North West coast of Grand Terre.

James' Eulogy

Matt Knight on Hecate
Matt Knight

Hi everyone. I'm Matt. And apart from being truly honoured to be here to help send James on his way to his next adventure, I am here above all as a representative, really, for the many many people worldwide who's lives have been changed, for the better, as a result of James' life work.

A Living Legend Lives No More

James Wharram
Hanneke Boon

We are very sad to announce that on the 14th December James Wharram left this earthly world, joining Ruth, Jutta and his many close friends that departed before him. At 93 years old his spirit has set out on the voyage to sail the oceans of heaven.

People Of The Sea - Compact Edition

People Of The Sea - James Wharram with Hanneke Boon
Hanneke Boon

The new second edition of the autobiography of James Wharram and Hanneke Boon is now available! This more compact edition at the lower cost of £16 contains all the text and illustrations of the special first edition. An easier size to fit the bookshelf on your boat. A must for all Wharram enthusiasts and other sailors.