Sunday, May 10, 2009

Florida Wharram Rendezvous

Next weekend’s 2009 Spring Wharram Rendezvous in Islamorada, Florida promises to be largest gathering of Wharram catamarans ever assembled in one place in the States. For the first time ever, James Wharram’s designs are represented there by a licensed U.S. Wharram builder: David Halladay, of Boatsmith, Inc.

Halladay and rendezvous organizers Dan Kuntz and Gene Perry are working tirelessly in their efforts to promote Wharram designs in south Florida and other regions of the U.S. Through email campaigns, postings on blogs and websites and word of mouth, they have reached out to every Wharram builder and owner they could find to lure them to the gathering in Islamorada – a jumping off spot for cruising the sub-tropical Florida Keys and nearby islands of the Bahamas.

They are expecting thirteen Wharram cats to make the rendezvous, as well as a “half-boat” and a “boat and a half.” Some of the Wharram designs expected to show are: Melanesia 17, Tiki 21, Tiki 26, Taneuei 29, Pahi 31, Tangaroa 36, Tiki 38, Narai 42, and of course, David Halladay’s Pro-Built Tiki 30, Abaco. This is a good place to look over the various sizes and designs if you are considering building a Wharram.

Some of these boats in attendance are for sale: including the brand new Abaco. You can buy this well-appointed and beautifully finished Tiki 30 in sailaway condition right on the spot. You can also meet with David Halladay at the rendezvous to discuss any size Wharram cat you might be dreaming of, and talk with him about contracting its construction. Used boats for sale that you can inspect at the rendezvous include Dan Kuntz’s 2002 Tangaroa 36 MKIV, a 2007 Tiki 38 offered by Hans Bortmann, and a Narai 40 MKII.

Other attractions will be local Florida authors signing their books: including Frank Pappy, Cruising Guide to the Florida Keys, Charles Kanter, Cruising Catamaran Communique and others, and Corrine Kanter, Cruising KISS Cookbook. The sailing magazine Latitudes and Attitudes will be represented and will have free subscriptions, hats, books and other items for door prizes. All in all, this year’s Spring Rendezvous is on track to become the largest ever, with as many as 70 or possibly even 100 visitors expected, coming from across the U.S. and England and Canada.

The Spring Wharram Rendezvous takes place May 15, 16 and 17 at Islamorada, Florida. Shoreside headquarters will be centered around the Lorelei Restaurant and Cabana Bar, located at 81924 Overseas Highway in Islamorada. The Lorelei is open for breakfast lunch and dinner. The boats will be anchored nearby and open to visitors. Dinghies are in short supply, so visitors are asked to bring one if they have one available.

For more information, email or

"A boat is freedom, not just a way to reach a goal."
Bernard Moitessier - A Sea Vagabond's World


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