Wednesday, 31 August 2016
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James Wharram Designs

Greenbank Road
+44 (0)1872 864792

James Wharram is a pioneer of multihull design, building and sailing. He advocates the virtues of getting back to fundamentals of boat design, and in doing this he draws on the millennia of expertise developed by traditional Polynesian builders that is expressed in their craft. He built his first catamaran, the 23 ft 6 in TANGAROA, in 1954 and sailed it in a classic voyage to the West Indies.

In developing TANGAROA James Wharram studied the writings of Eric de Bisschop*, Captain Cook and other explorers of the Pacific as well as the Pacific canoe collection in the British museums. TANGAROA, had flat bottomed dory-style hulls. These pounded badly and in his second boat, Rongo, built in 1958, he used a deep V-ed hull sections.

James Wharram made a great contribution to the acceptance of multihulls as viable sea-going craft, though few other designers have followed his style. Nevertheless he has a huge following, and the success of his designs is unprecedented in the multihull world, having sold 8000 sets of plans in 40 years of commercial operation.

*Eric de Bisschop sailed a Chinese Junk from South Chine to Hawaii, where he built a double canoe catamaran, KAIIMI LOA in 1936. He sailed her back to Cannes, France via the Cape of Good Hope, arriving in the winter of 1938.

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