1 (edited by bertinol 2014-09-28 17:27:02)

Topic: Mai Miti Vavau Resurfaces

Mai Miti Vavau Resurfaces

The famous Mai Miti Vavau has resurfaced in Brisbane, Australia about as far away from Stadium Rd. as you can get. 

Mai Miti Vavau is the Contessa that circumnavigated starting in 1995 with 19-year-old Brian Caldwell, who claimed he was the youngest person at that time to circumnavigate solo.  (Tania Aebi was disqualified because she took a passenger on one leg in Polynesia.)  He sailed 27,000 solo miles in 16 months before returning home to Hawaii.  Brian Caldwell has an extensive website, blogs and a book for any body interested in reading about his exploits.

See Brian Caldwell's blog http://bjcaldwell.wordpress.com/ and select post May 19, 2011, for photos of Mai and the then owner.

The new owner is Bernard Yeack, who lives in Kensington Grove, a rural residential area about 88km from the Brisbane airport, who bought the boat with plans to repair it.  He can be reached at bernardyeack@yahoo.com.au.

Mai Miti Vavau’s hull number is ZJT 03 148 1075, which stands for:  JJ Taylor / Contessa 26 / sail number 148 / laid down in October 1975, probably at the original JJT site on Stadium Rd., in Toronto.

After Caldwell returned home to Hawaii, he sailed his Contessa for a few years then lent her to a friend who got caught in a tornado on Airlie Beach in Queensland, Australia.  The boat was wrecked and abandoned for few years.  She was eventually sold to a chap in Brisbane and then to Bernard Yeack, who is refurbishing her.

As Bernard Yeack says:  “We have her sitting in a rough cradle and she was fairly basic.  Phil rebuilt the motor, and I believe the drive train.  At the moment, I am sanding and preparing the interior for a new repaint and reupholstering and new electrics.  She still has the spray hood, Hood in-mast furling and hood furler.  The wind vane is now gone.  The old electric system is now gone and binned.  I’m replacing one of the bulkheads due to delamination.  I still need to replace the teak handrails and capping strips and rubbing strip, which have sort of lost their newness.

“The sails, main and foresail, are in good condition.  The stanchions and stanchion bases and safety lines are in good shape, as are the Barlow winches.  The forward hatch is being rebuilt, and we will be fitting a Wallis diesel cooker and fan lid, new sink, keeping the rebuilt brass water pump.”