The Whitehaven series of performance cruising catamarans represents an accumulation of design development and build techniques that have been developed by Ross Blair and Mark Pescott over 14 years since the Whitehaven series were first drawn.

From the outset, the Whitehaven series of catamarans was designed with ease and pleasure of sailing foremost in mind. Whether the requirements are for weekend racing or cruising, coastal cruising or comfortably reeling off 200 mile days whilst running before the trades, those who enjoy sailing for the sheer pleasure of it will be constantly impressed with the performance of the Whitehaven range of catamarans. The daggerboards and hull shape make for quick and positive tacking and good tracking on all points of sail. Many multihull sailors expect to have to back the jib to tack but this is not necessary on the Whitehaven catamarans and only slows tacking. Another feature of the Whitehaven designs is the reserve buoyancy forward, allowing the cat to be sailed hard downwind without depressing the bows.

The curvaceous shapes of the Whitehaven cats are not only for aesthetics and reduced windage but are there also to provide more space inside where it is of greatest benefit. In the hulls the flair on the outer side provides more space at workbench height and above at eye level. On deck between the side deck and cabin is the middle deck curve. The purpose of this part of the deck is to allow headroom where required. This gives sitting headroom in the forward berths and allows for more headroom when stepping down into the hulls while at the same time reducing overall windage. Forward of the mast are 2 long steps to the forward catwalk. In these steps are flush hatches into the large deck lockers between the berths.

Another feature of the Whitehaven design series is the option of a raised cockpit floor to give better visibility over the cabin with a raised soft or solid bimini over the cockpit or the extended cabin roof option. The raised cockpit floor and bimini allows for a gap between the cabin roof and bimini which enhances airflow in and around the cockpit whilst provided shade in the cockpit. This is the preferred option for the tropics. The other option of the cabin top continuing aft offers better protection from the elements and thus is a better option for cooler climates.

The “standard” layout for the Whitehaven’s has 2 large double cabins forward of the main bulkhead. Forward of these cabins can be a single berth, a head or a walk in robe or storage space. The galley is in the hull either side. Aft in one hull is a large bunk with a good sized “bathroom” aft in the other hull. The main saloon is the living area large enough for a table and a settee lounge. The navigation station and communications is preferred here also but may alternatively be in the hull. There are many options to this standard layout and in reality just about anything can be done between the 4 main bulkhead.


Hull and deck structure is strip planked Western Red Cedar with Double Bias fibreglass fabrics. Foam sandwich hulls and decks with Biaxial and Triaxial f/glass and vinylestre resin is also an option.

A Foam Sandwich underwing is preferred for weight saving and added stiffness. The upper laminate of the underwing is done in situ, continuing onto the hulls, bonding the u/wing to the hulls in the one process. In the same lay-up the Carbon fibre or fibreglass UNI’s that form an integral part of the b/heads are laminated across the u/wing. Another development introduced in the upgraded plans is the Strip Planked Main Strength Bulkheads.

The four main bulkheads are each built as one piece, strip planked on a large table or workbench and fibreglassed both sides with Double Bias Cloth and Carbon Fibre or Fibreglass Unidirectional cloths. The resulting bulkhead is basically one large laminated beam and is much quicker and easier to construct than the previous plywood and timber version. It is also lighter and stiffer and substantially cheaper than a bulkhead of prefabricated panels bonded together.

The Whitehaven series of catamarans is renowned for their seaworthiness and sea kindly motion, their excellent performance and their sailability. Other designs of similar length and accommodation usually require much larger rigs and sails. The Whitehavens have very efficient hull shapes and low windage, thus requiring less sail area than similar catamarans.

Another feature of the Whitehaven designs is the variable clearance underwing. This type of underwing provides for greater headroom where it is required, just inside the companionway(s) and greater clearance where it is of the most benefit at the forward section of the underwing. This is far better than a straight and level underwing.

Variable Clearance U/wing and raised cockpit floor (black), with greater clearance at the ends and more headroom in the saloon,
showing its advantages over a straight and level u/wing.

The Plans

The plans are extremely detailed and are a direct result of both Ross Blair and Mark Pescott having built several of these boats over the last few years. They include:

  • Full Size Patterns for the station frames and main bulkheads, deck frames, daggerboard section, rudder sections and profile.
  • Construction Plans Book of A3 drawings including all the construction drawings, detailed drawings for the placement of fittings, sail and rig plan.
  • Building Instructions.
  • Detailed materials list.
  • Fittings Lists.
  • A disc of build photos.

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