Monday, 7 March 2016

Moving on

The KD650 "Sparta" now has a new owner.
The project has been very fun and rewarding. She has looked after me and my family on many trips around the gulf. However time has come to move on to new things.

Saturday, 16 January 2016


On the eastern side of the Hauraki Gulf, the Coromandel Peninsular is one of my favourite places to visit for holidays. Usually I drive there. But this time I managed to get there in the KD650.

The boat went well and since I was in cruise mode I waited for favourable conditions to sail over with a reach there and a reach back 3 days later. It took about 5 hours from Auckland which isn't bad considering it is normally a 3 hour plus drive.
It was great to see places I have not seen before and a reminder of how lucky I am to live so close to such nice places.

Wednesday, 9 December 2015

More Sailing

I had a nice sail on Monday and have a new video to show.

Shortly after this video ends, a front came through with much more wind (and a bit of rain so I put the camera away) so playing it safe we dropped the main and sailed under jib for a while and headed over to calmer water to set up a reef in the main sail by which time the wind had eased off a bit. The picture below shows our GPS track firstly gybing down wind in about 10-15 knots then later coming back up wind under reefed mainsail only in about 20 knots of wind. Tacking wasn't easy without the jib in the chop but was ok if we found a calm patch. A small jib would have made it much easier, so might be on the shopping list. But otherwise the sailing balance upwind was still ok with only the reefed main doing 6-7 knots and felt safe. And the tacking angles seem ok also.

It was nice to push the boat a bit on this trip and get to know it a bit more.

Thursday, 12 November 2015

Haul out time

It's been a year now since the boat was put in the water and the hulls were getting a bit harder to keep clean and with summer sailing season here it's all good reasons haul the boat out for some new bottom paint.

In this picture after the water blasting you can see where the antifoul has been working. It came up pretty clean with nothing much to do other than a light wet sand to prep for the new paint.

And here she is ready to go back where she belongs (in the water). The paint is a strange colour when put on but becomes mostly white once it starts reacting with sea water.

And we're back. Ready to go.
You might have noticed the new bow net. I have been ok using without one until now but for the occasion when I need to drop the jib in rough conditions it adds a level of safety. It is as minimal as possible while still allowing access to hank on or off the jib.

Saturday, 2 May 2015


Another cruise on the KD650.

Easter weekend we tagged along with some other multihulls for a cruise around Waiheke Island.

First day sail to a packed Oneroa bay. The sail was down wind in 10-15 knots and there was a lot of other yachts heading out of the harbour at the same time, it felt a bit like a race start and was good to have the opportunity to compare speed with other boats and I was happy with how it went.

If you look carefully, it's hard to miss the only orange boat in the bay, despite being the smallest.

Then the next day further down to the other end of the Island for a night at Hooks Bay.

Some well known local multi's in this photo.

Headed back home after two nights on the boat via Tamaki straight, completing a trip right around the island.

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Up hill

One of the unknowns with this design is how well a boat without dagger boards can go up wind. The KD650 is an asymmetric hulled Catamaran and is designed to be able to go upwind without boards.

Below is a Google Earth image from my latest outing with my GPS track overlaid. The wind was a good 15 knots or so and a bit gusty. I sailed from the top right of the image down wind and on to a reach then back up wind again with a bit of tacking. This is the Waitemata harbour in Auckland and the tide was coming in so I was going upwind against the tide. As I got closer to the bridge I was more going for speed than height, and having some fun :)

As you can see it is not bad, considering the pros and cons of the design I'm pretty happy with this performance..

Average speeds up wind were about 7 knots and top speed on this trip was 13.6 knots.

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

KD 650 Review

I have a done more sailing and cruising now with the KD650 and can report more good things about the boat.

It can sleep 2 adults and 3 children! Was a bit of a squeeze but it worked.

I have added a prod to help manage the jib and hold the jib when it is lowered (a furler would be good if I had the money). Also I have found a good spot for holding the inflatable dinghy up front (might look a bit strange but much nicer than having it on the tramp).

The bows feel quite boyant, I have done some down wind sailing in waves, it surfs waves very well (fun) and the bows never felt like digging in, though the leeward bow has punched through a few bigger waves it felt safe, I think this is helped by the hull flare in the inner sides. The boat feels very stiff with no noticible wracking.

Highest speed under sail to date is 9.6knots (using main sail only on a reach) haven't really pushed it yet or been in winds stronger than about 15 knots. I have been effectively sailing it single handed and taking it easy.

Those rudders work very well even when not fully down. At anchor I pull the rudders all the way up and the boat does not sail around at all, in fact the motion also at anchor is nice for such a light boat, I'd say this is another advantage of the slim hulls.

I have a couple of videos to share also.
First video is sailing with just the main sail averaging 8 knots

And second video with main and jib, finally! Please excuse the slack jib halyard, I tightened it after the video was taken but still in the video the boat is matching windspeed of about 6 knots.

And finally a picture which speaks for itself :)