(photos courtesy of Bill Barker, who attended the launching)
One of James Wharram's newer catamaran designs, the ethnic "double canoe" he calls Tama Moana, or "Child of the Sea" was launched recently near Santa Barbara, California. Here's Wharram's description of the design:
The Child of the Sea has the traditional hullshape of the islands of Tikopia and Anuta. She is built in strip planking over plywood backbone and bulkheads. She is steered with side rudders. Ethnic Designs as Canoe Craft have a basic design principle of maximum boat for minimum cost, and at the same time be a research participant in a major attempt to recover and preserve the practical, design, handling aspects of Man's first offshore sailing vessels.
14' 11 "
Glenn Tieman, the builder is a long-time Wharram catamaran enthusiast and experienced sailor. His first Wharram catamaran was the Pahi 26 design, which he built himself and sailed all over the south Pacific, living aboard it for 10 years. Glenn is definately a minimalist who appreciates the simplicity and function of Wharram's designs, so the Tama Moana design with its traditional crab claw rig and spartan accomodations is right in line with his needs as an adventurous sailor who will soon set off to return to the Pacific islands on his new boat. He has christened his vessel "Manurere," Maori for "Bird on the Wing."
Glenn is to be commended for building such a fine example of the Tama Moana, and for having the courage to sail in a simple, yet seaworthy craft that is so far outside the mainstream of modern yachting. I wish him fair winds, following seas, and beautiful anchorages among the lonely atolls of Oceania.
Here's some more background info about the Tama Moana project from James Wharram's site:
(This article was first published on Island Time Online, 10-18-2006)