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Selden 2020 - LEADERBOARD

Zero degrees apparent

by John Curnow on 18 Jun 2017
Nothing goes to windward quite like one - the kerosene canary SW
Lots of time spent on board kerosene canaries of late afforded me the opportunity to reflect on a lot of things. Once in the air, nothing goes to windward like one, or as quickly as one, which of course is totally fine if that is to be the mission. Remember, it is important to have an end to journey towards, but in the end it is the journey that matters!

So what of cruising? Many now require a boat with pace, and many are taking to the seas with little prior history of ever wanting to be near boats. Stemming from all of that, I recently got to come across this Wahine cruiser from Bristol, Rhode Island, USA. Certainly that’s a place that knows a lot about boats, and whilst everyone seems to be going larger, here is a 26-footer with a carbon keel floor, and a vac-bagged hull.

It’s called a Lifestyle and that term could well be the whole encapsulation of the project right there. i.e. What you’re going to do with this stage of your life and how stylish you want to be about it. It can get people into boating and doing coastal hops, before they step into the big blue, as well as being voluminous (given its overall dimensions) like all modern craft are delivered these days. A hull form with chines, a wee prodder, T-keel, spade rudder, and an open cockpit also lend themselves to having a pacier time on the water, too. That very openness will combine well with the interior, and also mean relaxation is genuinely part of the equation, as well.

So yes, you then to think to yourself, why not? It will go hard, yet still has loads of accommodation, and that sounds very good to me. Wahine says it is all about performance, comfort, style and luxury, without a big LOA, and on paper (as well as the still images), your curiosity certainly gets piqued. How it all lands in the dollar department will also be a very good arbiter to the whole discussion, as well of course with the ultimate test. Being semi-custom may also sway plenty of souls to buy… Of course, it is quite possibly the only real luxury performance cruiser in the segment, so comparisons may end up being against larger craft.

Now these hand built craft will only number 150 units in total, with each going through a 12-week build process. Given that some manufacturers launch a fully kitted out 50-foot powerboat in the same time, you get the feeling there will be plenty of man-hours involved. We’d love to hear from anyone who has been for a sail on one of the first boats, so if you have, please make contact with us via

Understanding just how open it is both below and above decks, how easy it is to get around both above and below, how well all the many light sources penetrate the cabin, the ease of controls for short-handed sailing, the functionality of the galley and wet-room, how useful the changeable configurations below decks are, and the fact that a six-footer can get about without a crick in the neck will be good to know.

For now, it certainly sounds like it is a step in the right direction of advancement, and as more people go to sea without a lifetime of experience, then the Wahine Lifestyle commands attention. Normally people do not cross oceans in craft like this, but as I was writing this editorial, I remembered the little S&S at English Harbour, Antigua, all those many, many years ago.
‘Comfortably Numb’ had brought her soul occupant across the mighty Atlantic, safely and securely. She would have been of similar LOA, far shorter LWL, and had none of the Wahine’s performance or space! So perhaps we are seeing a builder provide a solution to a part of the market that does not oft get referred to or spoken about. Again, if the solo or short-handed small craft bluewater sailor is you, and you have something to say, please let us know.

Now then, are you out there plying the seas and got something to say? We’d love to hear from you via – In the meantime, do you love being on the ocean? Well remember to love them back too. They need our help. Now more than ever! Until next time…

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