The Schooner Kia Ora was built professionally in Port Townsend and Seattle Washington. She is a 1922 design (Joanna) drawn from the famous pen of L. Francis Herreshoff. Her plans can be viewed in Herreshoff's sailing book Sensible Cruising Designs.
The Kia is 65 feet long Has traditional gaff rigging Is of a Bald Two Mast design Draws five feet of water Hull -Cement Latimere Boat Company Masts - Fir poles 58 feet from the deck Powered by - Vetus 80 horsepower Diesel Sleeps six Cabin tops are 2" Honduran mahogany Hydrostatics were performed by Bill Plice and Jay Benford.
She was commissioned and built by Earl Kent Dewey in 1979 and finished in 1980. His goal was to sail back to New Zealand. However, due to failing eyesight the Kia remained along the west coast of North America.
The Kia has made one trip to Mexico, ventured to Hawaii and Alaska under the ownership of Capt. Jim Ray.
Now under direction of Capt. N. Jake Dragseth the Kia's favorite crusing grounds are the fjords of lower Canada and the Gulf Island chain, as well as, the Orcas Islands and regions of the upper Puget Sound, Port Townsend and the Victoria B.C. .
The Kia is an active participant in the Tall Ships events in the Northwest, including, The City of Tacoma in 2005, 2008 and The City of Victoria B.C. 2005, 2008.
The Kia also participates in the Local Captain Renaud Schooner Race that occures each year in the Northwest during the middle of July.
The Kia is also involved with local Northwest schooner gatherings such as the Northwest Windjammer Fleet and other local schooner races.
Recently, the Kia expereinced very expensive upgrades, including custom period bronze cast stantions and removal of newer cleats replaced by original Herreshoff designed cleats. The rigging has been reconfigured to the helm for practical sailing. The Kia now carries a new inventory of spinnakers, stay sails, fisherman sails and water sails (A dutch form of sail).