The Gaia, is a Pahi 63 model; most of James' designs have hard to pronounce names and are based around the ancient polynesian sailing rafts of the south Pacific. Whole communities would spend months at sea on such crafts, where, they not so much traveled the oceans as lived 'at one with it'. The great distances between the Islands of the South Pacific that defined there cultural domain made sea life as much a part of their everyday reality as their time spent on dry land; groups of families, pets, livestock, musicians, actors and often chiefs - small self-contained drifting communities spread across a vast region of the South Pacific: they were true sea-people.
One of James' earlier periodicals was in fact called 'Sea People' a term that is not fully understood until you live the experience. A core principle behind the Wharram approach to catamaran design is his concept of flexi-space - minimal baggage, maximum utility. The psychological aspects of long term sea habitation and the sociological complexities of long term sea residency as part of a group is a subject close to James' heart. To sail with him is a unique experience, to live aboard with him is when you really meet his true spirit, for although he's as down to earth as you'd expect from a Taurean raised in the North of England, a man who has worked with wood for nigh on all his life, his true spirit is never more alive than when he's living 'within' the mysteries and romance of the ocean. His common entourage of 'naturalist' female companions encapsulates the true ethos of the Polynesian sea people's ancient and simple life style. A lifestyle who's whole dependence and security is based on understanding 'from the soul' what makes an ocean crossing vessel as 'at one' with the ocean as much as its inhabitants are. Two inseparable qualities of true Sea People.