Wharram Refit Redesign

Discussion in 'Multihulls' started by nimblemotors, Feb 17, 2012.

  1. nimblemotors
    Joined: Jun 2009
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    nimblemotors Senior Member

    I've somewhat reluctantly have acquired a rather neglected 34ft custom built catamaran. Here is a link with its history,
    http://www.duckworksmagazine.com/04/s/vintage/multihulls/index.cfm
    which was before it become a dockside liveaboard and hasn't sailed for many years.

    The plan is to update-rebuild-refit it for long term cruising.

    My primary question is whether it is feasible or desireable to replace the
    structure of the hulls from the wharram style lashed crossbeams to
    a solid connection between the hulls using the more modern design.
    I consider this boat a head-start on a custom built, so don't have much issue with effectively tearing it apart or doing major work. It is a wood boat.

    I'm certain to have many other questions, but that is a good start.

    My thinking at present is to rip off all the existing liveaboard superstructure and return it to a daysailer with trampoline between the hulls and a traditional mast and rigging just to prove the hulls are sound and get some sailing in before I totally rip it apart. Good idea or just wasted time/effort?
     
  2. dstgean
    Joined: Aug 2006
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    dstgean Senior Member

    Perhaps making an effort to contact the designer/builder might give you a head start?

    Dan
     
  3. nimblemotors
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    nimblemotors Senior Member

    Do you mean Mr. Wharram? Or Gary Lepak?
    Unfortunately, Gary passed away many years ago,
    hence the end of the boats sailing days.
     
  4. cavalier mk2
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    cavalier mk2 Senior Member

    What is the objection to seeing how it works before you change it? Might be interesting, certainly low cost.
     
  5. CatBuilder

    CatBuilder Previous Member

    I'd agree with Cavalier.

    One of the biggest mistakes people make with setting up a cruising boat is not going cruising in it.

    The most economical and fastest way to set this boat up for cruising is to take it out for a month or so and cruise. See what you need, see what you don't need. The boat will probably surprise you.
     
  6. nimblemotors
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    nimblemotors Senior Member

    The downside is doing so would "waste" time that could have been spent building the cruiser refit. And given the cost of working in a boatyard, that time can be expensive. As such, doing the daysailer refit initially would be relatively quick to do, and thus low cost.

    In fact in the boatyard where I will be working on it, they had a mast and sails and rigging from a junked 40ft boat they essentially gave me "free",
    so it'll cost very little to make it a daysailer.

    But back to the other question, any opinions on the hull crossbeams vs solid construction? I gather the flexible design is more tolerate of very rough seas?
     
  7. cavalier mk2
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    cavalier mk2 Senior Member

    Time is never wasted sailing but it can be wasted fixing things that may not be broken. Many Wharrams have been modified this way. On the old Scott Brown Multihull forums were people in England who had much experience with this modification but I'm not sure they can still be accessed. It is straight forward if you know the requirements for the beams and hull attachments but once done you lose the base line of knowing where you started out. This boat was put together as all of a piece, spending some time understanding the pieces might be educational.
     
  8. ImaginaryNumber
    Joined: May 2009
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    ImaginaryNumber Imaginary Member

    Are you sure that Gary is dead? He posts occasionally at the Yahoo Multihull_Boatbuilder forum, and his last post was on January 6, 2011.

    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/multihull_boatbuilder/message/15842
     
  9. cavalier mk2
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    cavalier mk2 Senior Member

    I remember the boat, actually have a picture of it. It used to be kept at Shilshole Bay Marina in Seattle. Is it still in the NW? There are plenty of alternative sailors up here who would love to get it back in condition if you change your mind.
     
  10. Alex.A
    Joined: Feb 2010
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    Alex.A Senior Member

    Try wharram builders and friends - wharrambuilders.ning.com
     
  11. nimblemotors
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    nimblemotors Senior Member

    OOPS, the previous owner who passed away was NOT Gary.
    My apologies to Gary, "rumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated!"
     
  12. nimblemotors
    Joined: Jun 2009
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    nimblemotors Senior Member

    It is in the SF Bay. It has been neglected and is in rough shape. One mast has a third of it gone, and they look pretty weathered as well.
    My estimate is these solid wood masts are 700-900 lbs each, that is a huge weight penalty to build it this way.
    But the hulls appear sound, seems to be a very solidly built boat, no wood was spared in its construction! Kudos to Gary.

    I fully appreciate anything unusual, and I hope to use this boat to build another equally unusual "alternative" boat.

    The aft-mast jib-only design looks like a great setup, so perhaps I will change which end is the front of the boat! So the masts are in the rear.
    Just one of many thoughts.
     
  13. ImaginaryNumber
    Joined: May 2009
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    ImaginaryNumber Imaginary Member

    Here's a link to an archived autobiography of Gary Lepak's multihull boat building history, including Puff/Dragon Wings.

    http://web.archive.org/web/20030605...ilder.com/workshop/ThreeBoats/ThreeBoats.html

    If I were rebuilding Dragon Wings I'd replace the masts with something lighter than the original solid timber masts, and build the junk sails using the more efficient cambered panel technique.

    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/junkrig/files/Arne Kverneland's files/2, The Cambered Panel Junk Rig/ (membership required to access)

    http://www.junkrigassociation.org/arne
     
  14. dstgean
    Joined: Aug 2006
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    dstgean Senior Member

    How about some bird's mouth masts and some new sails? The boat's been all over as is. Maybe return it to it's former self? Try emailing Gary.

    Dan
     

  15. keysdisease
    Joined: Mar 2006
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    keysdisease Senior Member

    Tramps are expensive. Most of the original Wharram designs I've seen have planked bridge decks with spacing between the planks like a picket fence, you might want to consider that as this is kind of an experimantal phase.

    Steve :eek:

     
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