Round The World with the budget Catamaran Luckyfish

We love SIMPLE and SUSTAINABLE! Luckyfish is a true SAILING catamaran and the lowest cost, PROVEN Bluewater cat we could find. She’s packed with simple solutions to complex problems and is a credit to the design genius’ behind her, James Wharram and Hanneke Boon.

Luckyfish is also really, really COOL!

I’m a Kiwi who bought a British designed, Polynesian inspired South African built catamaran and sailed her across the Atlantic to the Caribbean. Sounds complicated? It’s not. Neither is sailing her with an all girl crew from Mongolia.

We share one important thing in common. To live closer to our natural surroundings and share the fun and fulfillment with family and friends via our blogs and videos.


Why this site?

There just aren’t enough vlogs and blogs from budget catamarans out there. Cat popularity is at an all time high but information is skewed towards high-cost solutions.


But really…Why?

Marketing so-called “luxury” cats is drowning the dreams of many. Stories from Luckyfish help restore some balance to the cruising catamaran narrative.


What IS cruising?

It’s simple! Cruising on a cat need not cost the Earth. On Luckyfish, it is the KISS principle, pure and simple.
Go light, go green, go for as long as you want!

"The Wharrams are affordable and safe, when you show an interest in this type of catamaran, you will also reflect on existence and the place of leisure"

– Jean Yves Poirier

Videos are good for you

In 2015/16 we sailed over six thousand nautical miles across the Atlantic on our 38′ Wharram designed Tiki catamaran – and loved every minute! Watch the videos from Cape Town South Africa to Barbados and beyond.

Watch Luckyfish on Youtube

Where is Luckyfish now?

Comments 18

  1. Olá gosto muito de seus vídeos aqui no Brasil não tem muito catamarã desse modelo acho lindo esse barco vocês estão de parabéns (Hello, I really like your videos here in Brazil, there is not much catamaran of this model. I think it’s a beautiful boat. Congratulations.)

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      Olá Isaías, Obrigado. Sim, eles são divertidos e seguros barcos de cruzeiro. O Brasil é um pouco de um “hot-spot” Wharram com muitos deles construídos lá. Estamos felizes por você estar curtindo os vídeos! (Hello Isaias, Thank you. Yes they are fun and safe cruising boats. Brazil is a bit of a Wharram “hot-spot” with many of them built there. We are happy you are enjoying the videos!)

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  2. Hi Stewart and the lucky Crew of ‘Lucky Fish’,

    Thanks for posting your trip – the blog, videos and stills are excellent. Keep’em coming. You are correct in your choice of a Wharram for your trip, well done. I am 65 and have spend ages and ages sailing and messing about in boats, based in the UK, so sailed around Europe and the Med, but nothing like your trip, yet. However I should point out one thing which is worth mentioning. I see you are (understandably) using a spinnaker on your downwind legs – which is most of the time in longer distance passage making. Now I maybe teaching you to suck eggs here – in which case I’m sorry, but if not, heed these words…..just be aware that an out of control spinnaker will NOT necessarily spill wind – unless and until you TOTALLY leg the leeward sheet fly – completely free, no knot in the end = let it go! And even then it can still ‘balloon out’ if caught up in the rigging. This leads to serious broaching on a mono hull which is how multi- hulls do capsize. A spinnaker has the potential to capsize a Wharram (and any other cat or tri) so treat it with great caution – especially when you are carrying it at night and with an ‘inexperienced crew’ and only one person on watch….. a huge change in wind direction which you can’t see coming – boom. I’ve broached in the North Sea in circumstances where we could have capsized your boat. The traditional Wharram wingsail and jib is low aspect and flies free as its attached to the mast / fore stay and is free from rigging fouls.

    Enough from me, love to the girls……


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      Hi Andrew,

      Great to get your supportive comments and advice re the spinnaker, all warmly received. You are not telling me how to ‘suck eggs’ at all and I have added your words of experience to my future decision making. Thanks very much for sharing your experience in the Nth Sea. Sounds hairy! Back to the downwind through to reaching rig options on the Wharram. I was most fortunate to be able to engage Rory McDougall for a few weeks to assist in preparing Lf for her first crossing. He is one of the most delightful, hard working and experienced people you could possibly meet. What a mine of information particularly on Wharram rig configurations! He had worked it all out on his circumnavigation in the Tiki 21 and really went to town on the Tiki 38 with the schooner set up. I am indebted to him. The down wind rig set ups you mention (jib or staysail tacked to the tabernackle or one of the bows etc) where methods he taught me. One other really useful tip when broad reaching or running using the main or foresail, was to place the throat and peak halyards forward of the side stays before clipping to the gaff and raising sail. This completely eliminated chafe of the gaff/sail against the stays. Priceless advice but a simple solution that Rory said, took him 1,000 miles to realise ! Do take care and please stay in touch. I will pass on your love to the girls 🙂 they will be delighted ! Cheers, Stewart

    2. Stewart,

      Glad to be of assistance – and even possible good use.

      Its great that you have engaged Rory McD – I have loads of respect for him and what he has done – and all in a 21 foot yacht. I’ve sailed a 26 Tiki for a few days and loved the experience, a 30 footer would do me for around the UK type stuff, but yes you need more space for going inter-continental in comfort. And I’m a comfort man – no woman I’ve met would ever put up with anything smaller than a 26, believe me I know. And if you have two women (!) then you need your 38 foot – privacy is sometimes a luxury, worth its weight in gold.
      Its interesting what he has told you about moving the halyards – yes that’s clever, I like it and would not have thought of it myself.

      Anyway have fun and keep the info coming along.

      Regards to all


  3. Hi Luckyfish,
    I am realy getting the sailing bug lately, and it started with “la vagabond” and then I found ouy guys. I love watching your adventures. I also enjoy you humor, the girls are a crack up! Cheers Ian.

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      Ian Napier, Hi ! glad you are enjoying the videos! Interesting that La Vaga got you interested. Really good to hear that. Lets hope you find an antidote for that sailing bug itch! Thanks for commenting, Stewart

  4. Hi Stewart,
    Sain bain u?
    I hope you and the girls are well and happy where you are, as I feel sure you would be!
    Geeee, what a great read, thank you kindly for the effort that you have put in to your website, for whoever to find out about you and your stories of life and what you are doing recently, having taken your courageous and very rewarding decisions!

    There is much I could say and divulge, however just to say briefly at this time that I was very surprised at how many common threads there are in your life’s ‘travels’ as with mine. Just to mention some –
    *I grew up sailing in Adelaide, both of it’s Gulf’s and K.I., where very common 30knots of cold air is quite different to 30kn of tropical breeze! Like N.Z.!
    *I also have carried the sailing wanderlust I can say for my entire life.
    *I have also travelled through the normal/typical life requirements of a professional career, raising a family (3 terrific Boys, now all adult ages, who make me so very proud) and divorce.
    *I also have spent many years working in the mineral, oil & gas mining industries in Mongolia and PNG (where I still work) amongst other countries. I worked in the Gobi Desert for 2 years with Ivanhoe mines 2003-05 when it was all quite new and the mining very basic there and an incredible privilege to experience Mongolia and the Mongolian people, pre the Wests total influence in Ulaan Bataar and now no doubt elsewhere in Mongolia. It was such a privilege!

    In addition –
    *I sailed the East coast of the Nth Island of N.Z. at 16yrs after leaving high school, joining my father (who had left the family early on) on an Alan Payne Koonya that he built and it was a great, albeit very emotional given the situation, experience.
    *I have built THE boat for me, a VdeStadt Caribbean, that I am still completing but can see and feel the end approaching whereby the watery beginning will start, thank all of the gods!

    So thank you for sharing your adventures and sincerely Good on You!
    Safe travels for you all and all the very best,

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      Hi Bruce, great to get your email. Thanks so much for sharing that! and indeed, a common thread to my own! You must have had quite an experience being in the Gobi at that time. Yes, pre-West Mongolia still exists in the countryside thankfully, but the Hummers, Range Rovers and Louis V store in Ulaanbaatar leave you with a sickening dread of where it is going. I think it is quite illuminating to watch the trend in the West to go full circle now, and minimise consumption and conspicuous wealth. Lets hope the emerging economies see this trend. I had a great year in PNG – a helicopter was our only means out. What a fantastic country with so many cultures and so much potential. I like the Van de Stadts alot – I, along with 2 mates, bought 3 sets of plans for the 34. We built the shed and then life and loves took over! Plans were sold unused…. You have, however, seen the dream through which takes an enormous amount of dedication! only someone who has done it fully understands! Good on you for that – do send some pics of progress if you get a minute – stew at svluckyfish dot com Again, great to hear your story and wishing you quick progress finishing the build! Togt Toi, Bayaatai and all that, Stewart

  5. Hello All
    My Dad was a boat carpenter for years so I grow up on and around boats my whole childhood. I understand how to build and repair them. What kind of construction is Lucky Fish

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  6. According to the “Goggle Maps” image currently on this webpage, you three ARE {or WERE} on the west coast of Florida, south of Saint Petersburg.


    I guess I picked the WRONG LIFETIME to move AWAY from FLORIDA…《grin》

    Happy Sailing!!!

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      Hi Allan, yes, we were in Sarasota for 5 weeks or so before moving the boat to the Okeechobee for the Hurricane season. Cheers, Stew

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