Wharram World

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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 and can be found in far away ports and anchorages.

With over 10,000 sets of Plans sold since the 1960s this is not surprising. Many of the builders and sailors of Wharram catamarans are now writing blogs about their exploits and publishing films of their boats sailing. Many have done amazing things with their boats. Some are offering their boats for charter.

This information is gathered here to share with people new to the Wharram World. Learn about what others have done, get inspired and start your own life of adventure on the sea!

Aerial view of 5 colourful Wharram catamarans at the beach

Boat Launch Spotlight

Your Wharram catamaran helps you to connect..

The best part of our Greek adventure has been the people; the meetings; the new friends.. just wonderful. And having a Wharram catamaran really does a lot when it comes to meeting new people. Locals, fishermen, tourists... all ages.... they all get attracted to the boat. They all see it as a traditional boat, and they have so many questions. We have also had lots of old seamen and fishermen on the boat giving advice and tips on local weather and harbours. Truly amazing. We have learned a lot from these very skilled and experienced seafarers. And also here our Wharram helps; they see it as a proper seagoing ship.

- Jens-Einar Storheim

Stories From Wharram Sailors

The Wharram name is legendary..

Many, many thanks for all you've done for the global sailor's world of sustainable, practical, and beautiful sailing. The Wharram name is, and will remain, legendary.

- Norm
Catamarans rafted together next to the beach, people aboard, sunshine

The Lapita Voyage

The Lapita Voyage began in 2008, when two 38ft double canoes, designed by James Wharram Designs, based on an ancient Polynesian canoe hull-form and built in the Philippines, set out on a 4,000Nm voyage along the island chains of the Philippines, Indonesia, New Guinea and the Solomons.

  • Lapita Voyage: first expedition by two traditional double canoes following the migration route of the ancient Polynesians
  • Double canoe catamaran sailing past a smoking volcano
  • A large group of people in sarongs walking around a beached double canoe, which is decorated in palm leaves
  • A double canoe on the rough open sea, spray, grey sky, one man on deck
  • People talking and cooking on the sunshine soaked deck of a double canoe

Their destination was Anuta and Tikopia, two tiny, remote islands at the Eastern end of the Santa Cruz Islands, where the boats arrived in mid March 2009 and were donated to the islanders for their future inter island voyaging.

The 'Lapita Voyage' was a major expedition in Experimental Marine Archaeology. It was the first exploration by Ethnic sailing craft of one possible migration route into the Central Pacific. The voyage was made entirely under sail without motors, using traditional Polynesian crab claw sails and steering paddles.

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The Polynesian Catamaran Association

Five magazines spread out on a wooden surface, titled 'The Sea People'

The Polynesian Catamaran Association has been a voluntary club for people interested in the designs of James Wharram since 1967. Due to a direct request from James and Hanneke an archive of all the past PCA publications has now been created, and made available on-line. We hope you enjoy reading all 75 of The Sea People magazines!

Visit Website
Drone shot of a large double canoe catamaran, seven people on deck, mountains and a town in the background

Respect for the brilliance of a holistic approach in Wharram design..

Hello, the purpose of this email is to express my respect and compliments to James and Hanneke. I have been researching their designs for two years now and I have read many blogs and comments and seen many pictures and videos from builders and sailors. I recently received building plans for a Tiki 26 #454. I bought my first sailing Dinghy when I was 14 years old and now that I am 62 I am still sailing nearly everyday in my Prindle 15 or my Tornado catamaran on the northsea coast at Ter Heijde about 5km north of Hoek van Holland in The Netherlands.

I understand sailing boats and catamarans better than nearly everyone around me and so I understand the many challenges and pitfalls and scams in designs. Reading on the internet I see even experienced builders lack the knowledge to fully respect the brilliance of a holistic approach in design architecture and the high standards of safety in the Wharram designs. Therefore I wish to express my gratitude and respect to James and Hanneke.

- Alfred Daniels

The Short Story Competition

In 2004, we ran a storing writing competition. Due to the very high standard of most of the entries submitted, the three finalists were very close in the final scores. Therefore, after much deliberation, we decided to award prizes to all three finalists for their excellent stories. The winner's prize was awarded to the two entries that tied for first place and a 'runner up' prize to the story that scored so close to the winners.

Winner #1 - Thomas Hembroff, Canada

For his outstanding story: 'Stick To The Plans'. Congratulations Tom, you have awarded one of two winner's prizes: a set of Tiki 21 Building Plans and a Winner's Award Certificate signed by Ruth Wharram.

Ariki oil painting

Tom's story 'Stick to the Plans', is set in the 1970's during the 'shakedown' voyage of the Ariki 'Piggy'. Tom and his brother Don, after having completed the building of their boat they set off on a voyage around the world. All goes well and they pick up a hitchhiker, an artist, who wants a ride to their next destination, New Zealand. The voyage to New Zealand is a very dramatic and dangerous leg of their journey. The fact that their fate hangs on a knife edge is revealed through the reactions of their artistic passenger. Read this well-crafted story to share the excitement of this harrowing voyage.

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Winner #2 - Loretta M. Thwaite, Australia

For her outstanding story: 'The Wharram Hunt'. Congratulations Loretta, you have been awarded the other winner's prize: a set of Tiki 21 Building Plans and a Winner's Award Certificate signed by Ruth Wharram.

Tangaroa oil painting

Loretta's story 'The Wharram Hunt' is a set in a small coastal town on tropical Queensland, Australia. The story is told in an amusing and sensitive way of a woman, who having settled in this town, is invited out for a cruise by a middle-aged friend and his two buddies. She is not overly impressed by the comfortable cruise on the pleasure craft, but is subsequently introduced to a new perspective on boats by another friend who dreams of building a Wharram. The intriguing story then unfolds of the 'hunt' for a glimpse of a finished Wharram so that the dream can be distilled into the purchase of a set of plans and the commencement of the building of a Polynesian catamaran. On the way friendship blossoms into something much deeper as the two go about fulfilling the shared ideal of a life together with a future vision of a sailing life aboard their very own Tangaroa.

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Winner #3 - Rhisiart Gwilym, USA

The judges have decided to award a further 'Runner Up' prize for the excellent story: 'The Ice Bears And The Bees'. Congratulations Rhisiart, you have been awarded the runner up prize: a set of Melanesia Outrigger Building Plans and an Award Certificate signed by Ruth Wharram.

The ice bears and the bees

Rhisiart's story 'The Ice-Bears and the Bees' is a set sometime in the future in a post oil-energy based world. The writer cleverly weaves the story of the coastal sailing community of the future into the story, narrated by an older member of the clan, about a trading voyage to lands where the clan has negotiated treaties for bee hive farms and the trading partners take their share of the harvest to trade for other goods. The tale of a young visionary member of the clan and his revolutionary new craft is woven into the main story. The voyage culminates in the visit to the land of the magical ice bears where the species is being nutured back from extinction under the custodianship of a myserious hermit. The theme of the revitalising of the natural world is symbolised by two events: the birth of a child to the young man's lover in the land of the ice bears and the release of bears back into the lands of the world. A good read.

Read Story

There were ten entries received for the competition most of a very high standard. Thanks very much to all those that sent in their stories.

The judges for this competition were: Ruth Wharram, Steve Goodman (former JWD Webmaster) and Jennifer Weissel (Author of Running Down Rawana).