Σάββατο, 8 Μαΐου 2010

Cretan Wharram....fleet!

I haven't realy been close to many Wharrams. I can merely recall a Narai I saw from a distance some years ago in the Ionian sea, Pahi 42 "Bananas" in Agios Nicolaos marina in Crete and a Pahi 63 along with a couple of Tangaroas in Fetyie, Turkey last summer. I have never sailed in a Wharram. Haven't even seen one sailing, except from some short videos in YouTube. It seems like these boats are not very common in the southeast part of the Mediterranean.

All these didn't bother me though all these years that I was building my Tiki 31. I had some doubts, but my passion for Wharrams was great and the few things I was reading every now and then in other builders' blogs, along with some photos on the net, were enough to keep me going. But as another summer is approaching and the launching of my boat is still uncertain, my doubts seem to have surmounted my enthusiasm for the first time! Why was I so attracted by these boats? Which are their sailing abilities and who made me think they are suitable for the weather and sea conditions of the south Agean. If only I could gain some experience...

Then, an amazing thing happened! I saw an add for a Tiki 21 which was for sale in....Crete!

I couldn't believe there was another Wharram so close to me all this time! I spoke to my friend Aris who, by helping me with my boat every now and then, had developed the same passion for these unique vessels. He emmediately agreed to come with me and see the boat and was willing to buy it for the right price. I, on the other hand, was ready to do all the repair work with him, as it was a unique opportunity to at last sail a Wharram in local conditions and acquire valuable knowledge which I could use in finishing, fitting and sailing my own Wharram cat!

It turned out that the boat was in good condition and the previous owner was an English gentleman who just wished to see it go to the right person. Someone who could appreciate it's values and care to see it sailing again after five years of only occasional use. That was it! Aris was the new happy owner and the end of the week found us taking the boat by trailer to Heraclion where we will make the necessary repairs so as to hopefully launch her by the end of May.

One thing is certain though.....Wharram cats are not so scarce in cretan waters any more!

Tiki 21 on her trailer

Only the absolutelly necessary repair work will be done this year. Mostly painting that is.

Aris is the new happy owner and Wharram enthusiast!