South Sea Vagabond....how it all started.
Back in 1986, after years of cruising the South Pacific in a 35' monohull that he'd built, the chance to race on a catamaran in Vanuatu turned Simon's preconceptions on their ear. He was quick to realise the advantages of multihulls, especially as charter boats, and started to plan the perfect boat.
With lots of ideas and an open mind, it was a matter of communicating with as many multihull designers as possible. After an exhaustive research programme, Kurt Hughes in Seattle was the most willing to listen and to adapt his design to meet our needs. His boats had the right look and he had experience in designing large sailing charter catamarans.
The final design incorporates ideas derived from years of cruising and sailing as well as Kurt's expertise in the design field.
Construction began in 1998 in a large shed beside the Wairoa River where the vessel would be launched 2 years later
The name "South Sea Vagabond" comes from the name of a book by a NZ author. Johnny Wray, about the building of a yacht called the Ngataki. We strongly recommend anyone remotely interested in sailing or adventure to try and get a copy of this book, it is an amazingingly entertaining story of a young mans desire to build his own yacht and 'go cruising'.( For more on this see below.)
Some of the features and ideas incorporated in the design are:
Galley on bridgedeck, so that cooking becomes part of the communal activity on board. Avoids heat and smells in the accommodation areas. We also have galley connected to outside BBQ area so that in tropical weather most cooking can be done outside.
Good bridgedeck clearance from the waterline gives the vessel true bluewater capabilities.
The freestanding swing rig will make for an easily sailed and safe charter boat, no highly loaded winches and sheets, dangerous clews and restricted visibility to worry about.
The raised helm station gives excellent visibility, important at all times but especially in crowded spectator boat areas.
Retractable centreboards ensure sparkling sailing performance and shallow water capabilities, you don't have to be anchored miles offshore, shallow lagoons are suddenly accessible.
The vessel is equipped with a fast and comfortable tender so that cruising areas can be fully explored.
The retractable hydraulic drive legs mean that there is no compromise in prop configuration as sailing performance will not be affected. The wide spacing of the legs enable the boat to be turned in it's own length and easily manoeuvred in tight spaces.
The hulls and superstructure are constructed from light but amazingly strong foam and glass laminates. Built to stringent NZ Survey standards she is designed to take whatever the sea throws at her and is licensed for up to 50 passengers for daysails and has comfortable accommodation for 10 .
Numerous other design features, arrived at after many years of sailing and skippering charter boats make this vessel unique, and we believe the best in the S.Pacific for the purpose we intend.