SV La Chica

An ocean going Land Rover... go anywhere, any time!



Welcome to La Chica's website

Here you will be able to view many photo's of her and learn something of her history.

La Chica has given me many years of joy and wonderful sailing. Now the type of sailing that I'm doing has changed and a different sort of boat is needed for our new adventures. This website is intended to help me find a new home for a much loved and cherished boat. It is my wish that someone who will continue to use her to voyage across the oceans will become her next owner. La Chica is cat 1 compliant and is capable of taking you just about anywhere the oceans reach, in safety and in as much comfort as a 32ft ocean going sail boat can provide.

La Chica under sail. La Chica has had three rigs to date. Gaff Cutter, Gaff Ketch and now Junk Schooner. The current rig is her best and under it she is fast and weatherly.

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Everything on La Chica's deck has been designed to be simple and sturdy. Nothing is random,  considerable care and thought has gone into the purchase and sitting of every item.

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La Chica's interior is the final product of a lot of thought and 27 years of sailing and living a board. The interior is optimised to keep you save when off shore. Everything can be secured and spaces are deliberately kept small so as to prevent you from being thrown around at sea.

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La Chica is a Tahitianna designed by Weston Farmer and extensively modified over the years by myself. The Tahitianna is a redesign for steel of the famous Tahiti Ketch, designed in 1932 by American John Hanna of Dunedin Florida, who like myself was also deaf. Hanna's Tahiti Ketch was one of the dreamboats of her time, it is believed that over 700 where built worldwide with most of the boats being built in the states. Of the 700 at least 15 are known to have circumnavigated and most of them have left books behind to tell the tale. This is a remarkable record by any standard.

Well when it came to my turn to fulfil my life's dream and build my own boat, there was only one boat for me, a Tahiti Ketch it had to be. La Chica was built over four years from 1989 to 1993. Sometimes working full time and sometimes not. She was the first boat I personally built (I've subsequently became a professional boat builder and have built another eight boats), she was and still is, a labour of love.

She was initially rigged as a cutter but the rig did not work out, as she carried to much weather helm on a reach and the Monitor wind vane could not steer her. She was converted back to a Ketch in St. Martin in 1995, one not very different from what Hanna gave the original but she still sported over 650 Sq.Ft. of sail. She has proved to be an able and sea kindly boat, comfortable both in port and off shore. We've generally had good passage times, a best of 176 miles (with a favourable current) and an average of around a 100 to a 120 miles over 24 hours. We just recently sail from Pine Harbour Marina to Urquharts Bay (a distance of about 76 miles) in 111/4 hours... not bad for a 32ft double ender.

In 2013 when we arrived in New Zealand I converted her to the junk rig. She is now faster and more weatherly than ever.

La Chica has confirmed the reputation of the originals and is a superb sea boat. In all respects, I am and remain truly happy with her.