Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Annapolis, Md
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Invitation to all of a pure heart
I do have experience with smaller Wharram and have sailed on a couple of them, and even had use of a small one after helping the owner put it back together again. They were next to impossible to tack reliably, they did not point at all, and for all of the hoopla about their supposed speed, they were generally slower than the monohulls that were passing us except in a moderately high breeze (12-15 knots) and then only when on a beam to broad reach. Both of the aka to ama connections that were supplied with the drawings were unreliable requiring frequent repair and maintenance.
In the end the hulls of the boat that I had use of were converted to the outer hulls of a moderately successful trimarran. Because of the construction details of the Wharram, these hulls rotted out quite quickly and were replaced with lighte weight tortured plywood hulls that greatly improved performance when pressed in a breeze.
Based on my experiences with Wharram Cats, I would say that the broad generalities were right on target.