Community Development to the islands


YWAM Solomons has a vision to use sailboats to reach the most isolated islands with practical aid through locals trained with community development tools.

The first step

As a first step, we want to buy a sailboat as an inspiration to the vision, learning how to sail and maintain a sailboat, and as a prototype to what is possible and practical to use and to build.

You can help us!

We are dependent on donations for this project to become a reality. Do you want to encourage the work of YWAM Solomon Islands and be a part of this vision?


The vessel is from James Wharram Designs and is a 38 foot sailing catamaran. It is a very simple boat built by epoxy, wood and rope, which will make it easier to maintain and repair in the islands. The design itself actually originates from the Solomon Islands, which we think will appeal to the people in the islands we will visit.
Beam each hull:
Weight Dry/Laden:
Draft Dry/Laden:
Sail area:
Wharram Tama Moana
37'9" / 11.5 m
14'11" / 4.55 m
3'7" / 1.1 m
1.6 ton / 3.1 ton
0.45 m / 0.60 m
Outboard 9.9 hp
Gaffed rigged Schooner
35.9 m2

Vaka Hop'e

The name

The name of our vessel means the ship of hope. The word Vaka is well known across the Pacific and means ship. Traditionally a Vaka was a sailing canoe, just like ours. Hop’e is a word from the Rovianna language in the Solomon Islands which means hope. It is significant because before the Bible was translated, this word did not excist. But with the introduction of Christianity, hope was introduced. Our desire is to introduce hope across the Solomon Islands with our Vaka Hop’e.

Why this sailboat?

  • From the Solomon Islands

    The design is from the Solomon Islands and its original purpose was to give back to the Solomon Islanders.

  • Simple design

    A simple design which is also safe. James Wharram has a lot of experience with Ploynesian style vessels with great success.

  • Recognizable

    The sailing canoe has been around for thousands of years, and by using such a vessel we fit better into the villages.

  • Sustainable

    We don't have to import parts for maintenance since this boat has no fancy hardware, and we can maintain it by simple materials.

  • Easy to fix

    The boat is made by wood, epoxy and rope. By having these materials available we can fix everything on the boat.

  • Multipliable

    The boat is ment to be self built and has great instructions for the build. Our goal is to learn this art and teach it to others.


Phase 1:

Buying the boat

Paid in full: September 1st 2022

20,000 USD

Since the beginnings of our negotiations in February, the seller has agreed to lower the price from $32,000 to $20,000 USD, for our organization only. They wish that the boat will return to the Solomon Islands and they have faith in our project.

YWAM Solomons is paying 10,000 USD, and YWAM Solomons Support Norway will be responsible for the remaining 10,000 USD for the full sum of the purchase.

Phase 2:

Refit the vessel

Achieved: November 20th 2022

23,000 USD

The boat has a basic kit currently, consisting of two Rocna anchors, a sea anchor and a simple tender. But it has no engine and no electronics.

Before the boat is sailed to the Solomon Islands we must equip it with safety gear and make it ship shape. Andy Smith’s boatyard will take care of many of these task.

Phase 2.1:

Buy outboard engine and build bracket


Phase 2.2:

Strengthen the keels for beach landings


Phase 2.3:

Electronics, safety systems and spare parts


Phase 2.4:

Storage, transportation assembly and launch


Started: November 2nd 2021

Started: November 2nd 2021

In progress

Paid in full: 20th Nov 2022

Phase 3:

Sailing to the Solomon Islands

Deadline: November 2023

10,000 USD

The plan per today is to sail the vessel from the Philippines to the Solomons with an all YWAM Crew. Two crew will be locals from YWAM Solomons, while the captain and first mate will be westerners.

We have a yearly weather window from November to March where the winds are in our favor. We plan to set sail in December 2023 and spend 3 months sailing to the Solomon Islands.

Gallery of the sailboat