My plans to retrace Captain Cook's unfinished voyage have been postponed a year while I work on the next Marine Diesel Basics book and get my new boat SV Oceandrifter ready for sea.
The Tahitiana is a “granddaughter” of the famous lifeboat built in the 19th century by Colin Archer to serve the Norwegian fishing fleet in the North Atlantic in winter time. This design of “double-ender” is renown for being seaworthy and seakindly even in atrocious weather, though she needs a fair amount of wind to sail well into the wind.
The boat is 32 feet in length, 10 foot beam with a draught of 4 foot 5 inches. Most, if not all were “home-built” – though some, like mine, were built by professional welders. There are many Tahitianas around the world – and many have made circumnavigations. The Tahitiana was designed by Weston Farmer who adapted the Tahiti Ketch (by John Hanna) to carry more canvas and be built of steel. the reason for the name is that these are boats intended to go places like the South Pacific.
They’re not fast, they’re not fashionable but they are remarkably good-looking and tough. Small enough not to be expensive (ie. keeping a would-be sailor working to pay off the mortgage before he or she can go sailing!) but with plenty of storage. They don’t have the windward abilities of more modern designs, but their motion through the water is extremely comfortable. They feel like a little ship.
In the interest of encouraging owners to share their experiences and knowledge with other owners and people interested in this robust design, I’ll be posting photo albums of Tahitianas I meet at anchor, along the dock and on the internet.
If you own a Tahitiana or have information about any Tahitianas please let me know.