Classic capsize

Welcome to the Wharram Catamaran Forums

Whether you're looking for an answer to a building problem, want practical advice on the sailing of Wharram designs or simply want to share your experiences, this is the place.

In order to post you must first register or login.

13 posts / 0 new
Last post
Anonymous (not verified)
Classic capsize
the following post appeared on the Phil Bolger Yahoo Discussion Group forum on 7th January 2010, I'm wondering if anybody knows anything about the supposed capsize that is mentioned by Stuart??: Re: [Bolger] Re: Largest "Bolger Box" how about triangle? Seaworthiness I know of at least two Wharrams that have capsized here in New Zealand. One of them was a boat that I lived on as a child, by a subsequent owner. Wharrams certainly can and have capsized. I have never felt unsafe, or come to any grief on a wharram, but it certainly would not be my choice for an offshore boat these days. I would be more inclined to take Bolger’s words on what is or is not an ocean capable boat. One boat that Bolger believed to be a seaworthy design “Romp”, has, I believe been through a hurricane and survived it. I’m unsure which box designs he has stated as being suitable for ocean crossing, but I would trust his opinion over most. Stuart. This was a response to the post below: On 7/1/10 10:46 AM, "proaconstrictor" wrote: There have been few if any examples of Wharrams being overturned. I am not aware of any that would fit within the size range of the OP's original question. I am also not aware of any Bolgers that have been through hurricane conditions, except the row boat that was lost at sea. I'm sure there are examples, I'm mostly ignorant of them. However, I would not be surprised if there where individual Wharram cats with more heavy seas experience in world cruising than all Bolgers. Are there any 21 foot Wharram boxes that have been around the world like Rory's Cookie? If it was a box it would have been probably an 18 footer. Any ideas about this ? In a subsequent post Stuart said that the boat in question was a 35 footer?? Greg F
Anonymous (not verified)
Re: Classic capsize
Yes it is true a 35 foot Wharram Tangaroa capsized in Wellinton Harbour New Zealand some years ago. The owner of the boat had all sail set in a wind gusting to 32 knots. I understand the boat was not loaded for cruising therefore at minimum weight and the owner was keen to press as hard as he could to windward to see how she would go. The wind speed was confirmed from the adjacent airport weather data at the time of the capsize. They don't call it windy Wellington for nothing. The harbour is beset by steep hills and gusty unpredictable winds are commonplace. In contrast I have a friend Bill who sailed a Tangaroa called Mau out from the UK and lived on board cruising the Pacific for about 12 years. He covered thousands of miles and never lifted a hull. I am not aware of any Wharram larger than this one capsizing although one or two have broken up because they did not follow the plans and built totally inaequate beams. I have also met Rory and had a very short sail on Cooking Fat. He showed remarkable seamanship and that combined with a sturdy stable boat achieved an amazing feat. Probably any sailing catamaran given sufficient wind and no attempt at reefing will capsize. Capsize by waves of a catamaran reefed or under bare poles is very unlikely, for example the Simpsom bridge deck cat Ramtha abandoned in the "Queens Birthday " storm north of New Zealand in 1994. which was later salvaged and reclaimed by the owners. I think the wind was recorded to gust to 80 knots in that storm. I have a Narai IV and have had the unnerving experience of being caught beam on under bare poles by an extremely steep cross sea in a storm gusting to 60 knots. To my relief we slid off side ways - no dagger boards and V shaped hulls must help. Hope this helps clarify the situation Don
Anonymous (not verified)
Re: Classic capsize
Tangaroa capsize in Wellington Thanks for the information Don, I gather that your boat is Kapito, then. Fantastic looking boat! But on the Tangaroa issue; does that mean that he was pushing the boat knowing that it could capsize in those conditions? In other words, that it was deliberate? GregF
Anonymous (not verified)
Re: Classic capsize
No I am sure no one would want to capsize it is too much hassle ( and expense) but he may have been wanting to know how fast his boat would go _ I dont know for sure. Cheers Don
Anonymous (not verified)
Re: Classic capsize
Oh yes, of course, bad choice of words on my part. Not that he WANTED to capsize but it seems as though he must have been trying to find the boat's limits. Why else would you sail hard to windward (with the boat lightly loaded) with all sail up in quite strong winds. Better to find the boat's limits in port with it lightly loaded than out in the open ocean, I guess?? I don't mean that he thought that it actually would capsize! GregF
Anonymous (not verified)
Re: Classic capsize
yes I agree -testing the limits seems more likely Don
Anonymous (not verified)
Re: Classic capsize
Interesting response from Stuart on the Bolger Discussion Group regarding the details that Don gave regarding the circumstances of the capsize of the Tangaroa in Wellington. Stuart said: "That sounds like our old boat. The only thing I did know about it, was that it was in Wellington. I am surprised that it was only gusting to 32 knots though. That is a mere puff for around there. I fail to see how that puts it in such unusual circumstances though. Many a times have people not exercised proper judgment when sailing in other boats, in much the same way and they haven’t all capsized. " Well, it would be interesting to hear what you think of that response, Don, I guess 32 knots doesn't sound all that much, but then, there may be other contributing factors which aren't apparent??? Any ideas? GregF
Anonymous (not verified)
Re: Classic capsize
Oh!...and sorry Don, The name of your boat is Katipo ! Not Kapito, ooops! The pictures of your boat on the Wharram Site are terrific. What a great job you did on that boat. Have you written anywhere about the build and the changes from the original plans that you made? It all looks just right, though. GregF
Anonymous (not verified)
Re: Classic capsize
With regard to the capsize the wind speed was measured at the airport not on the boat. Dependant on the wind direction the wind speed was possibly faster over the water where the cat was sailing and with the hills nearby there could have been other influences on the wind - funnelling etc. I have not written up any descriptions of the changes to my Narai "Katipo". Basically I increased the overall beam using lashed Tiki style beams and built a Pod with seating for up to six. This has been excellent giving shelter from the sun, rain and cold with steering wheel, engine controls and dials for windspeed. log etc all clearly seen. Visibility is great and sail sheets are all at hand. It is a good social hub of the boat too especially at anchor. You can even fish while sitting in the shade! Don
Anonymous (not verified)
Re: Classic capsize
Hi Don, Photos would be great, David
Anonymous (not verified)
Re: Classic capsize
Hi Don Thanks for the information about Katipo, it would be good to see something in writing more detailed some time as you have done a really great job with the boat. You underplay it somewhat, I think! As to the 32kts, yes, that must be right as you say and as I would expect, because, as Stuart on the Bolger site said, 32kts didn't sound that dramatic. Hi Boatsmith, there are some good pictures of Katipo on the Wharram sight though?? http://www.wharram.eu/photos/index.cgi?mode=image&album=/Classic%20Desig... Greg
Anonymous (not verified)
Re: Classic capsize
Hi David Go to http://www.wharram.eu/photos/index.cgi?mode=album&startitem=17&album=/Cl... on the wharram site and also the next page ( page 3) for general photos of Katipo. The first photo was before the changes when I had a small bimini which one had to climb round or duck underneath when going fore and aft. Hence the idea for greater beam and a central pod which you could easily walk round at deck level when working the boat. I will need to organise some close up shots to give greater detail. The metal bow fitting or bail is for attaching a parachute bridle - as yet untested! Don
Anonymous (not verified)
Re: Classic capsize
Log in or register to post comments