JWD Christmas Update - Meet the Team, New Films

Home News JWD Christmas Update - Meet the Team, New Films
By Nicki John

This year has been fairly stretched here in the world of James Wharram Designs. Hanneke has been working tirelessly on finalising both the restoration work on Spirit of Gaia & the much-awaited Mana 24 project; we have a new staff member and the excitement of being contacted by 2 film companies who are interested in producing a film & documentary (respectively) about JWD. In essence, 2017 promises to be a very exciting year ahead for the Wharram World.

Meet The Team

98% of our business comes in through our website. Hence, without our office team handling this work, Wharram Designs wouldn't function, Hanneke & I are very grateful for their dedicated work. With this in mind, we thought you'd like to meet them too. Emma, 'Perky' and Nicki work here on-site in our new admin office on the James Wharram Designs premises in Cornwall, UK. We feel extremely lucky to be supported by such nice and genuinely like-minded people. During the working day, their office is never dull and laughter can be heard frequently across the yard in Hanneke and James' office. It's a good 'family' feeling all round!

The James Wharram Designs team posing for a photograph outside Wharram HQ
Left to right: Perky, Emma, James, Hanneke, Nicki


James is always mindful in the world of fast-moving development, so the history behind how and indeed, why things have progressed in the world of multihulls (and the reason behind stimulating their progression) is never lost, nor why they were created in the first instance. This is something he is very passionate about and through years of reading and researching, he feels he is able to both write and submit (with great success) articles for a variety of yachting magazines, which keeps the Wharram name in mind and to the fore. Carving their prose, also brings him much joy (and sometimes a sense of mischief)


Hanneke, as already mentioned, has been working extremely hard on both the finalising of the restoration of Spirit of Gaia & the 'final push' to launching the Mana 24 kit - for real! (As well as keeping the 'old sailor' happy at home, of course) Lots more to read about both boats further along in this newsletter, however James Wharram Designs just wouldn't exist without her - for that we are all truly grateful.


Emma has been with us for nearly six years and is an important 'anchor' behind the team - she now works mainly on the financial side of the business, as well as helping with processing of your orders. She also works in conjunction with Nicki, our new girl in the office, to develop the marketing side of the business - as well as with 'Perky' who runs the Wharram website.


With so many James's on site, we've resorted to fondly using James' nickname 'Perky'. Perky has worked with us for 5 years and is our website admin. He spends countless hours working on the clever coding stuff behind the website, as well as uploading the articles Hanneke or James have written, and our latest news and photos. Over the last couple of months, Perky has worked endlessly on rebuilding the website from back to front, to ensure it is accessible on all smart phones and tablets. Soon you will be able to enjoy the experience of the James Wharram website from the comfort of your portable device - both on the go and whilst on your Wharram Cat!


Nicki is our new girl in the office. She is also a fellow 'sea-adventurer' and comes to us to work alongside Emma to process orders, office administration and to help develop the marketing side of the business (as well as drafting our newsletter!).

Footnote: Please bear in mind, all our team are self-employed and work on a part-time basis during the week. Consequently, our offices are only 'manned' (or 'woman-ed'!) on a part time basis, so please give us a little extra time to respond to your emails and phone calls. Thank you.

What's New?

Update on the Spirit of Gaia story

As mentioned, Hanneke has been working hard on bringing our flagship Spirit of Gaia back to life. This last year Hanneke and James travelled out to Greece twice where they were helped by several hard working volunteers to get Gaia rigged and finally back into the water and sailing. You can read the latest parts of Hanneke's informative blog (parts 7 and 8) here.

Update on the Mana 24

Great news! The Mana kit is pretty well in the final throws of becoming a reality. Again, Hanneke has worked hard on this project for the past 2 years and your dream of purchasing a Wharram designed 'kit' boat is now a reality. We sailed Mana at the Brest and Douarnenez festivals in France and we had an official launching in August.

We will be sending out full pricing details of the kit soon to all people that have shown an interest. The kit for the complete boat will be priced at £9,995 (excl. VAT and transport), this includes all fittings, ropes, masts and sails.

You can now place a deposit of £4,500 to ensure your order, which we will fulfil in the New Year.

For those who dare! Big wave surfing from Pahi 53

This is a beautiful short film featuring a Wharram Pahi 53 named 'Hecate', which is used by Matt Knight for big wave surf expeditions. The film was made as a watch advert, but contains some beautiful footage of the boat and surfing big waves. A feature film about their surfing expeditions will be ready in the next year. Exciting!

In January James and Hanneke are flying out to Lanzarote to meet up with Matt on Hecate to reconnect with sailing in the Canaries Islands.

Polynesian Odyssey

The Populating of the Polynesian Islands; the Secret of the First Great Seafaring Civilisation.

This documentary was made in 2009 by ARTE France for television. We think it is one of the best documentaries about the Pacific islands' seafaring history and the controversies over how the remote Pacific islands were populated by the Polynesians.

It features many fascinating archive clips of the French sailing hero Eric de Bisschop on his double canoe Kaimiloa (1939) and bamboo raft Tahiti Nui (1956). Eric de Bisschop is introduced by James Wharram, who was inspired by him to make his pioneering Atlantic voyages by double canoe in the 1950s.

This video is a must for those that are inspired by Polynesian double canoes. Only available through the Wharram webshop.

£15 - Get yours here.

We wish you all a Happy Christmas and an exciting sailing, or building New Year.

- The Wharram Team