Kotimana –  25’ Gaff-Rigged Sloop – 4sale

Kotimana –  25’ Gaff-Rigged Sloop – 4sale

Having spent a bit of time at the NZ Traditional Boat Building School, numerous times I bumped into one of the schools trustees – Kere Kemp and was fascinated to learn the Kere was having a yacht built in the USA, which would end up in NZ waters. 

The yacht is a ‘Dark Harbor 17.5 – gaff rigged sloop. Full specs below:

LOA 7.6M (25’), LWL 5.3M (17’ 6”), Beam 1.9M (6’ 3”), Max Draft 1.3M (4’ 3”), Sail Area 28.9 sq M (311 sq ft), Displacement 1,588 kg (3,500 lb)

I’ll hand over to Kere to tell the story –

“Designed in 1908 by American naval architect B.B. Crowninshield she was built by the classes of 2017-18 (under supervision) at the Northwest School of Wooden Boat Building (Port Hadlock, WA, USA).  She was launched at Port Townsend, WA, USA in August 2018 and arrived, to Auckland New Zealand by container in November 2018.

Dark Harbour 17 ½’s often, are described as “pure racing machines of great beauty.”  They were originally intended primarily for racing but have become increasingly popular for day sailing as well as overnight coastal cruising.

Construction is of traditional Western Red Cedar planking over White Oak frames with a Mahogany backbone, Teak deck and Spruce Spars.

She has a large self-bailing cockpit plus a small cuddy cabin with 1.1M (3’ 6”) head room and dual berths.  A low freeboard, slender hull lines, long ends, a deep draft and a large gaff rig makes her a powerful, fast and responsive boat.

Sails are from Northwest Sails (Port Hadlock, WA, USA) and include a full main with double reefs, a working jib and a storm jib.  Both jibs are club footed.

For added propulsion she is fitted with a Torqeedo through hull Cruise 4.0 pod drive.  This is a 9.9HP equivalent, electric (dual lithium-Ion battery) system.  This includes all shore charging systems, a morse key for forward / reverse and power control plus a computer which provides for a variety of informational outputs including Speed (GPS-based, over ground), range, power consumption and battery charge state.  In addition, hydrogeneration is possible via a fitted folding prop.

The Torqeedo system makes for easy “in and out” marina access and, also provides more than ample power when needed to go head-to-wind when reefing sail.  The onboard computer is further supplemented with a Raymarine Micro-Net 100-2 that provides digital read outs of true boat speed and depth.  All deck and rig fittings are in bronze.”

To view the A>Z building of Kotimana at the Northwest School of Wooden Boat Building click on the image / link below to view an amazing gallery of photos.


I bumped into Kere the other day at Half Moon Bay marina, while he was doing the annual maintenance – and he advised that due to health issues, sadly he had made the decision to sell Kotimana – so woodys, if you are looking for a very manageable (1>2 crew), low maintenance, gaffer in immaculate condition, that sails like a witch, Kotimana is worthy an inspection. Perfect classic for a couple of woodys wanting to continue their classic sailing interest without all the downsides of a 50’gaffer that needs a crew of 10 to take out 🙂

Kotimana made an apperance of WW back in Sept 2018, post launching – link below – https://waitematawoodys.com/2018/09/09/kotimana/

Interested parties to contact waitematawoodys@gmail.com to discuss further > view Kotimana

5 thoughts on “Kotimana –  25’ Gaff-Rigged Sloop – 4sale

  1. Pingback: CLASSIC WOODEN BOATS FOR SALE | waitematawoodys.com #1 for classic wooden boat stories, info, advice & news – updated daily

  2. In reply to Colin, I think most kiwis would appreciate its unabashed beauty, and most yachtsman would appreciate the provenance of her design as one of the great early knockabouts/daysailers, along with Crowninshields significant contribution to yacht design.

    Unfortunately not appreciating her provenance seems to fit better with the CYA, as she would be excluded from heritage landing and whatever is coming next. Sadly this also means the public won’t get to appreciate her.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Not sure NZers appreciate the provenance of this design but hopefully she will find an owner that does. It’s a beautiful unique little yacht.


  4. That’s a fantastic boat and would suit my lifestyle here on Barrier but I think due to its newness that it may be out of my price range. However in looking over the footage from her arrival there is a “related article “ Happy Hours V13 , September 22 2019. Does anyone know what the current situation is with Happy Hours? I’d be keen to find out if she’s still looking for an owner. I didn’t want to change the conversation on the Kotimana comment page so replied this way. Regards Vaughan



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