Episode 45 of The Sailing Podcast is with a living legend, James Wharram, and his partner, Hanneke Boon. Together they have inspired hundreds of sailors to follow their dreams by designing practical, safe and affordable catamaran designs. Wharram catamaran designs are based on the principles of the ancient Polynesian canoe design and have a reputation for safety, adventure and freedom.
James Wharram began his adventures in 1953, building his first craft, Tangaroa, a 23’6” catamaran based on the Polynesian Canoe. His early inspiration came from the journeys of Frenchman Eric De Bisschop. James travelled across the Atlantic in 1955/56 in a journey chronicled in his famous book “Two girls, two catamarans“.
During the interview we hear about:
- How the Wharram philosophy evolved into Wharram Designs
- How Hanneke Boon became a part of Wharram Designs
- James Wharram’s plans to write an autobiography
- An encounter with Bernard Moitessier
- The ‘Spirit of Gaia’
- The Lapita Voyage
Click on the media player below to listen
Show Notes for Wharram Catamaran Designs
One of the great things about listening to a podcast is that instead of just reading an news story or a magazine article, a podcast lets you listen to the persons voice and it lets you gain some understanding into their personality and also gain some insight into what they are like. You can find information about Wharram Designs at www.wharram.com
I have had James Wharram on my radar for quite a long time, hoping to rack his brain for a few titbits of information about his life and this opportunity came about thanks to Chuck and Linda of SV Jacaranda who we met in episode 41. They had crossed paths with the Wharrams while cruising and were able to help me to connect with them.
I really hope that you enjoy listening to James and Hanneke Wharram as much as I enjoyed interviewing them. I hope that you come out of the interview feeling, as I did, that you now know more about them, what they are like and how the Wharram Designs became so popular.
During the interview we spoke about:
• An encounter with James had with the French sailor Bernard Moitessier (and coincidentally, I think we also heard a little about Bernard in the interview I did with Webb Chiles)
• We also heard about the evolution of the boat building market for Wharram Designs and a brief mention of one of our guests, David Ryan of Sailing Montauk, who we spoke to about building a wharram tiki in episode 17.
• Then we heard about their interest in marine archaeology and how the Lapita Voyage came about and how that led to them crossing paths with Chuck and Linda from Jacaranda journey
• And also briefly about Hanneke’s experiences with Polynesian navigation
On the Radar
I was contacted by Matt of SVYolo who wanted to share his families preparations for setting sail on their yacht yolo. Matt and Courtney have a Brewer 44 and they are getting ready for a voyage later this year along with their 2 children. They share their experiences at www.svyolo.com and if you have time to stop in and check their progress you will get some good tips on what it takes to get a yacht ready for a big trip. The site even has a count down timer as well, counting down the days to get away. Matt has recently posted some questions about his boats set up so I am sure he would appreciate some advice on getting ready if you have the time to pop by.
I also wanted to mention that Matt Rutherford is away on another voyage, this time a 7000 mile voyage cutting across the east and west sides of the north pacific gyre (otherwise known as the Pacific Garbage Patch). He is running the Ocean Research Project and collecting samples and data between Oakland, California and Fukuoka in Japan. You can check out their progress at http://oceanresearchproject.org/ or follow them on Facebook – just search for ‘Ocean Research Project’. It’s a non-for-profit venture and Matt is still looking for help in financing the research so if you can help him out look for the ‘donate’ button on the website and contribute to this valuable project.
If you do decide to use the links on my website and decide to buy a book or something else on Amazon, I do get a small commission which helps to support the show. It actually helps me out if you are looking to buy anything on Amazon, if you access the site through one of the Amazon links on the Sailing Podcast. I will set up a link that is www.thesailingpodcast.com/amazon so that if you are heading to Amazon you can help support the show at the same time.
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