Join Date: Aug 2002
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Invitation to all of a pure heart
As I said earlier in this thread, I have no experience with Wharram boats.
However, the Wharram web site sells reprints of some of his magazine articles. In one of them (Practical Boat Owner, "Nomads of the Wind," October 1994) he describes measurements recorded on Gaia with B&G instruments of true and apparent wind angles and windspeed, and of speed through the water with a "sensitive" log, and using a Sony GPS for position finding. Among the figures given are these:
In true wind speed of 18-22 knots at 50 degrees true wind angle, making 5 degrees leeway with staysail and single reefed fore (Gaia is schooner rigged with equal sized fore and main), Gaia made 6-7 knots through the water. Not racing boat performance, but the Pahi 63 was designed for comfortable cruising. It does go to windward.
In another article reprint ("Going Dutch") Wharram mentions that on one of Gaia''s cruises, two women were at all times able to hoist or reef the main and fore [474 square feet each] without use of winches.
"Letters From James" are posted on the web site. In the April 2002 letter he describes Gaia''s condition at hauling for its ten year refit (it was launched in 1992). He says most dockwalkers still take the boat for being a GRP boat [that seems to be taken for a compliment], after 50,000 miles sailing including an around the world voyage. Although he goes off on short-lived and expensive electronic gear, the boat itself comes off as being in virtually new condition, with no structural or cosmetic problems. He says that Gaia has beat to windward in gale force winds for days and weeks at a time.
It doesn''t sound to me like the Pahi 63 fits within the generalities made about Wharrams in this thread. From what I''ve read in Wharram-related forums and the PCA magazine, some people have problems after launching getting the boats to perform up to expectations. Those who persevere seem to overcome problems and are happy with their boats. Of course those who give up on the boats aren''t likely to be visiting those forums. Overall, correspondents seem quite satisfied and happy to be Wharram sailors. About like my experience with monohulls and beginning monohull sailors.