Right before Christmas we went to the beautiful Likiep Atoll. The community currently operates the WAM Catamaran Mk I, the very first prototype of this design. After testing for 2 years in Majuro by WAM, Likiep launched the Cat a year ago and has used it quite a lot since then. Now 3 years after launch it was time for an assessment of design, use and impact.
During the field trip the Cat was extensively used for fishing and transportation to gain a better understanding for the needs of the people of Likiep. In addition performance data was collected and the WAM trainer showed local people how to use wood from the island (driftwood and coconut) to replace some parts of the deck and the rudder.
The WAM Catamaran performed very well in the lagoon conditions and was a pleasure to sail in the 20-25 kn of trade wind. It seems that the program is on a good track and that the WAM Cat is very suitable for the transport and fishing tasks in the Marshallese outer islands.