David Halladay, owner of Boatsmith, Inc. in southeastern Florida, has recently entered into an agreement with James Wharram Designs to be the authorized builder of Wharram catamarans in the United States.
This agreement was signed after James and Hanneke met David and his wife Debra at the 2008 Wooden Boat Show in Mystic Connecticut and were able to personally inspect “Abaco,” Boatsmith’s outstanding example of a Tiki 30.
James and Hanneke were very satisfied with the quality of the workmanship and the enthusiasm of both David and his wife, who works closely with him. They had brought the brand new Tiki 30 all the way from Florida by road and launched her for the first time in Mystic. Many visitors showed an interest and were impressed by the high quality of workmanship and materials. Hanneke’s only minor adverse comment was about the aesthetics of the small window in the cabin side, David agreed with her and will change this as soon as he can.
Wharram catamarans have long enjoyed popularity in the U.S., as evidenced by the number of plans sold there and the home-built examples of all sizes that can be seen on the Atlantic, Pacific, and Gulf of Mexico coasts. Florida, in particular, has long had many Wharram cat enthusiasts, as the warm climate and shallow waters surrounding the peninsula makes this the ideal sailing vessel for many.
Until now, if you wanted a Wharram cat built in the U.S., you had to build it yourself or hope to find a good home-built example for sale. We are pleased to now have a professional builder in south Florida ready to take orders for any size Wharram catamaran.
David is a yacht carpenter and shipwright with over 20 years experience in varied boatbuilding projects, ranging from historic large ship restoration for the United States National Maritime Museum, to building ultra-light small craft. David personally oversees all projects in the Boatsmith shop. He has long been fascinated with Wharram catamarans and just this year decided to have his shop build a Tiki30. This build was documented on his blog. JWD always ask potential Franchised builders to build a Wharram catamaran for inspection, to be sure they can build to a required standard, keep to budget and work to an acceptable timescale.
When meeting James, David told him he is convinced there is a definite niche market for these catamarans in the US if built to professional standards and of the best materials. He believes that compared to the fiberglass production multihulls available, a ply/epoxy Wharram design can be built to an economical price in any given size.
He also pointed out that another big plus to having a Wharram cat built professionally is that people can be sailing much sooner than when self building, which can is some cases take a long time. This first Tiki 30 was built in under 5 months. Boatsmith, Inc. has the space available for multiple large projects and a large highly-skilled motivated crew.
Boatsmith, like the other Franchised Wharram yards, can accommodate custom options; part of the Franchise agreement is that design changes will always be discussed with James Wharram Designs. This guarantees that all boats built by Boatsmith will be Wharram approved. All materials used in even the most basic boats are to industry-standard professional specs and higher quality options can be substituted.
We are very pleased to welcome Boatsmith into the Professional ‘Wharram Built’ group.
For more information and photos, see Boatsmith, Inc, Florida, USA.