Friday, November 8, 2013

Its been a while, and I think that I've said that before. But life is on the move, I'm much improved on where I have been at for the last much too long a time healthwise and the biggest effect of that change  is that I'm much more positive in myself.  I'm getting through a lot more work although there is a big backlog so, no new design work until I'm all caught up.

I am though going to be living part time on board a boat, a dream that I'd had for a very long time but never thought that I'd have come true. My good wife Denny pushed me to make some changes, has helped finance the new boat and has been very encouraging about the whole thing.

So, I am taking my drawing board, and moving on board "Kairos" ( nee Carlotta Ann, a name that meant a lot to the old owner but not to me, the new name is a Greek word for "Seize the opportunity" which means a lot more for me).
Kairos is 40ft x 11ft x 32000 lbs , thats about 12m x 3.2m x 14000 kg.  She is powered by a marinised Ford 5.9 litre 6 cylinder diesel, will run at 10.5 knots wide open, but at that speed is using about 4 US Gals ( 15 litres) an hour.  At 8 knots though she is only using 6 litres an hour, thats about 1.5 US Gals per hour which is very cheap running considering the boats size and weight.
She does though carry up to 600 litres of fuel, and at 7 knots that gives her over 1000 miles of range, and no I'm not going to take her to Fiji.

Shes superbly comfortable in an old fashioned way, a lovely old ship which was built in 1972 and owned until 2011 by the same owner right through. She has immaculate maintenance records, a large selection of spares including a spare propellor, filters for fuel and oil, water and fuel pump parts, gaskets and fuel line fittings. The parts stock alone would have cost a pretty penny.

We bought her about 2 months ago, and to date have only had her out twice, but the second of those runs was the 80 mile run from where we bought her in Whangarei to Westpark marina in Auckland. 
She ran perfectly, did the run in 10 hours including a 30 min stop at the fuel dock at Orakei ( the diesels cheaper there)

I have signed up for a lease on a berth in the Weiti ( Wade) river just across the Whangaparoa peninsula from Red Beach. Its a pontoon berth  almost like a marina, but in the bush with songbirds and no other boats for hundreds or yards, no houses close by and a boatshed where I can store stuff and build small boats.  Its a lovely place, cheaper than the marina and peaceful.  I am looking forward to taking the pen and computer up there and spending a week at a time just drawing, catching up with the backlog

The plastic horror at the pontoon is not mine of course, and will be gone by the time I take Kairos around to her new home.  I am anticipating getting a lot more work done than I've been able to over the past while,  Denny is planning to come up to join me about every second weekend, and I'll be back at home with her alternates.
The river is easy distance from the Gulf Harbour Marina for fuel and there is a boat club with a slip maybe a mile away down stream. We're planning on cruising a lot, this is comfortable cruising, pressure hot water, shower, big comfortable bunks and a full galley with deepfreeze and fridge. There is a small RIB tender on davits, all mod cons and with her speed she is only a couple of hours away from a wide selection of safe and interesting harbours where we can hide away and relax.

So what about sailing? I can hear lots of people saying " but I thought he was a sailor"?  Yep, no problem, there is space just astern of that fiberglass monster you see above where I can drop a mooring with a running lead and leave "Spook" afloat ready to sail. If anything she'll get a lot more use than she has over the past couple of years.

I hope to have enough time to putter around building a new rowing boat, something light that will suit the river and I'll be using that to keep up my exersize program going, something that is essential if I am to get back to where I want to be physically.  ( Gyms, even with lycra clad lovelies, dont do it for me I'd much rather be out on the river, must be getting old, or sensible or something).

I'm also watching the internet trading sites for a decent second hand sailing dinghy about two adult size or so. I will be teaching sailing skills with Howard Rice ( details here ) and to accommodate overseas.  You can see what thats about "here".

The Small Craft Skills Academy website is under development right now, much more detail to come but the one that my Kiwi friends will be interested in is the Skills Academy that will be run at Lake Rotoiti Rotorua in March next. Howard is coming down to NZ to participate, and it will be be a great chance for small boat cruisers to meet him and have him mentor and teach them some of the skills that he has developed over his many years of small boat adventure cruising.
We also have several participants coming in from overseas, this will be a great social event as well as a learning one.

So there are big changes in my life,  positive ones, I've lots of work to do to catch up with the backlog which includes finishing the new edition of the book,  but then I can get on with new ideas and new designs.

John Welsford
MV Kairos.


  1. Good to hear about all these positives in your busy life. I'm glad you are going for it. Best wishes!

    1. Thanks Simeon, good to hear from you. I'll be seeing you again in April and am looking forward to hearing how Noddy is going.

  2. Hey John
    Good to hear things are on the up. Lovely boat and location. Good luck with everything.

  3. G'day John, she is a real beauty. Hope you and Denny get to enjoy many happy hours aboard her.
    Cheers - John Hall

    1. Thanks John, if ever the two of you feel like coming this way, do shout and leave a couple of days in which to go for a cruise.


    2. John, that sounds like a fine idea if the planets line up one of these years !