The event was the 2012 Hui Wharram, or Wharram Spring Rendezvous, held in the Florida Keys on and the grounds of and in the anchorage near the Lorelei Restaurant in Islamorada. This is an annual event, but this was the first year the famous designer himself was in attendance, and I made the 2,000 mile round road trip to the Keys just to meet him.
Here, James Wharram is signing my copies of his Design Book and his classic narrative of his 1956-59 double-transAtlantic voyage, Two Girls, Two Catamarans:
|James Wharram and Scott B. Williams|
- Narrow beam/length ratio hulls
- Veed cross-section to sail to windward without daggerboards or centerboards
- Flexibly mounted beams joining the hulls together
- No permanent deck cabin between hulls
In addition, like traditional native canoes and kayaks, the two individual hulls that make up a Wharram catamaran are always double-ended, with plenty of rocker amidships and lots of reserve buoyancy due to the flare carried all the way to the sheer. Unlike many modern multihull designs, these catamarans are extremely resistant to capsizing or pitch-poling due to either wind or sea state. This has been amply proven by many ocean crossings in small Wharram cats, including Rory McDougall's circumnavigation in a Tiki 21, which still holds the record as the smallest catamaran to circumnavigate.
More about James Wharram's visit to Florida can be found on his website, which was recently updated with a report by Dan Kunz on the rendezvous and James' own report on his visit to the new shop of his U.S. professional builder, David Halladay, of Boatsmith, Inc. Hanneke Boon has also put together a video of the rendezvous and uploaded it to YouTube here. I also wrote an article about the rendezvous for the current, July issue of Southwinds magazine.
|An outstanding example of a Tiki 30 at the rendezvous|
|Wharram cruising cats pulled up to the beach at the Lorelei|