Nearly seventy people enjoyed informal conversations and stories by our honored guests James Wharram and Hanneke Boon (World Sailors and Designers of Wharram Catamarans) before dinner at the seventh annual Wharram rendezvous (Hui Wharram) in Islamorada Florida last weekend.
James and Hanneke were invited by David Halladay of Boat Smith Florida and they came across the pond from England to attend the event. We also enjoyed presentations on Saturday afternoon from Charles and Corinne Kanter, Frank Papy and Scott Williams who spoke of their extensive experiences and adventures on the water, in catamarans and particularly with Wharrams.
We were pleased that there were ten Wharram boats at or within visiting distance of the event. In addition there were a few half-boats and boat-and-a-halves there as well. Unfortunately a preceding week of very severe weather off the coast of Florida and in the northern reaches of the eastern US coast made it impossible for some boats to reach the event. We expect that next year a few Wharrams that are close to being finished will be in attendance as well. The event grows every year.
As is always the case in the Keys we can never be sure of the weather. A week of rain (“liquid sunshine”) made us all wary of the upcoming weekend and the heavy rains of Friday and Saturday early mornings provided considerable misgivings about the events to take place at the famous Lorelei Cabana Bar and Restaurant the remainder of the weekend. However, our incantations to the sun gods prevailed. Both days turned out well and Sunday also provided beautiful weather for a great event.
The late night wind howlies did show some displeasure one evening by teaching two of our visitors about a unique dance we Keys residents describe as the “mangrove mambo”. Some of the expected day-trippers thought the rain would continue throughout the weekend. Apparently they believed the weather forecasters - they should have trusted a large gathering of catamaran cruisers tipping Kill Devil libations and chanting appropriate nautical incantations to the sun god rather than in Doppler radar!
Saturday evening dinner and the door prize drawings went well and without a drop of rain and all attendees seemed pleased! As usual the Lorelei did a great job for us. Each of our speakers kindly provided items for door prizes as did Latitudes and Attitudes Magazine and the Lorelei.
Each year we give the most ‘illustrious’ awards (weather-beaten, plastic-laminated, poorly-printed signs announcing the event) for selected unique achievements. These highly regarded and coveted awards can be used as ornaments for the captain’s den, table place mats that barely adequately replace newsprint, or puppy pooper-scoopers. This years awards went to:
- Paul Meestrell who drove all the way from Oklahoma just to see a Wharram catamaran;
- To Vince Cameron as best new build, for his Tanenui 29;
- To Thom DelForge for an outstanding rebuild of this Tiki 31;
- And to Gene Perry as our inspirational leader and our oldest sail-in on his Tiki 26 at 87 years old (he is 87, not the Tiki!).
James and Hanneke presented Gene Perry with a signed commemorative 2012 Hui Wharram burgee for his many years of work on behalf of Wharram boats in the USA. Another burgee signed by James and Hanneke was given, by a draw, to the owner of a Wharram catamaran. Bill Ludeman and his daughter Jennifer, owners of a Tangaroa MKI won that. James and Hanneke took home a commemorative 2012 Hui Wharram burgee signed by all who attended the Hui.
We expect to have our 2013 Hui Wharram about the same time (probably May 17, 18, 19) and in the same place (Lorelei) next year!
SV Forever Young
Wharram Tangaroa MKIV+
Read article about the 2012 Hui Wharram in SouthWinds Magazine.