The journey of Kaleva
The journey the 40 foot trimaran Kaleva made in finding a berth on the sea wall at Port Vila started out in a hotel room in Funafuti, Tuvalu where Sam’s Dad Brian spent many evenings contemplating the world while working as an advisor to the Tuvalu Trust Fund. Having sailed on mono-hulls for many years in New Zealand Brian had a dream to own his own boat and sail it up to the tropics with his son. Ideally it would also be shallow drafted to get over the bar at Mana, Brian’s home port, and quick to get across Cook Strait to the Cruising grounds in the Marlborough Sounds.
Brian found a boat on the internet called Run Riot. It was based in Southport, Queensland and on a return trip to New Zealand he diverted there, met up with his wife Kath and together looked her over. She was not ideal but had potential so they bought her. After Sam had sailed her a couple of thousand miles up and down the Queensland coast and a family cruise in the Whitsundays it was time to cross the Tasman and sail her back to New Zealand. We tried twice and each time broke a strut that braced the aluminum forward beam between the main hull and the outer ama. Discretion being the better part of valour, rather than try again Sam cut the beams off and stowed her on a flatbed container for the trip back to Wellington by container ship.
A local boat builder rebuilt her with new composite beams designed by Kurt Hughes of Seattle, added quarter births, new doghouse and a widened cockpit. The result was stunning.
We renamed her Kaleva (with the approval of the Tuvalu Prime Minister), which means the fastest canoe in the fleet or someone who goes the extra mile. And after three seasons of sailing around the Cook Strait area, an adventure Sam and new wife Jess with part-time crew, a friend James and Brian, down to Fiordland and around the South Island, a cruise up to the Bay of Islands for the summer we thought we are ready to head up into the tropics.
The voyage from New Zealand to Vanuatu in 2008 was another adventure for her crew of Brian, Sam, Jess and Brendon (a friend of Sam’s). The voyage took eight days including a night on a sea anchor. Kaleva is now based in Port Vila and is regularly sailed by Sam, Jess and friends (and Brian and his wife Kath when they visit from New Zealand). Kaleva’s journey to Port Vila was an inspiration to Sam and Jess. The name Kaleva had the right connotations for the super yacht agency business they were starting.