Feedback Page

Comments and stories from Kittiwake owners

Keith Hagan responded to questions about the inboard diesel in his Kittiwake. Following is an abridged version of his comments

K.H. 1st: when I bought the boat the engine was already installed. It fit's nicely under the bridge deck behind companionway ladder. This is near the centerline fore/aft (balance point) so trim is not affected. The fuel tank holds 10 gallons and is mounted in front of the bulkhead in forward of the outboard well. A plug is installed to fill the well. The tank when full probably weighs less than an outboard so again trim is not adversely affected. The engine is a single cylinder Yanmar 1GM 7.5 hp. and moves the boat at about 5 knots burning about a pint per hour. SWEET! It is noisy though. The rudder is not modified but the hull has a "C" cut out to clear a 10" 2 blade prop. I don't know how much this would cost to make this change but I'd imagine it's not really cost effective. I had this same motor in another boat and it's what I wanted. I bought the boat 3 yrs ago and I'm just now getting to sail her, but I still have more work to do, interior, paint, varnish, etc.

Kurt Hoye sent an email about the Kittiwake he recently bought. Following is an abridged version of emails between K.H. and Larry Franklin

K.H. I just bought a 1968 River City Kittiwake...

L.F. Congratulations on the acquisition of your Kittiwake. On the year of construction, did you mean 1978? To the best of my knowledge, River City did not begin construction of Kittiwakes until about 1975.

K.H. I'm not sure. I need to do some more research on it. The guy I bought it from was just dumping it as it was taking up space in his marina and the info he had on it was for 1985 but that's when a hull ID was assigned and the title work. I have not had a chance to see yet as we close the deal Monday. The seller told me the title work stated 1968 River city sail craft Kittiwake 23... (This email also included several pictures)

L.F. Great pictures! From what I can tell from the pictures, your boat is indeed a 1968, (possibly even earlier) built by Kenner rather than River City. If it was built by River City there would be a hull I.D. # molded into the lower right part of the transom. This number would be of the form: RVY00538M78A, where RVY identifies the manufacturer, 00538 is the hull sequence number (mine in this case), M is a spacer, and 78A denotes the year and month of construction. Boats constructed by Kenner were built prior to the time that the government mandated hull numbering molded into the hull. Kenner did provide a hull I.D. plate on their factory finished boats. It had a form of: xx23yy. The xx was the hull sequence number, the 23 identified it as a Kittiwake and the yy identified the year built. The years of construction for the Kenner boats ran from 1966-1972. I think the plate on the early boats was affixed to the forward side of the mast compression beam. I am attaching a photo of an early I.D. plate that another registry member sent me. Many Kenner boats, for whatever reason, no longer have their I.D. plate.

There are a number of tip-offs that your boat is an early Kenner.

     1. The lazarette hatch covers are rectangular instead of trapazoidal in shape. The later Kenner boats and all of the Ray Greene (RAG) and River City (RVY) boats had the trapazoidal covers that were somewhat larger than the rectangular ones.

     2. The lower aft corner of your rudder is very rounded, as were those of the early Kenner boats. Later Kenner, and the RAG and RVY boats had a much more pronounced angle shape at that corner.

     3. You have a main sheet traveler track that is mounted on a boss molded into the deck aft of the lazarette covers. Later Kenner, and the RAG and RVY boats were not configured this way.

     4. Your mast compression beam is held together with four bolts. This is true of all Kenner boats. The RVY boats have five bolts, the fifth being in the center of the beam, directly beneath the mast, which is not a good design. I speak from experience here. That fifth bolt weakens the beam at its point of greatest stress. The beam cracks there.

     5. Your boat has the port and starboard galley units just aft of the main bulkhead. These were used in the Kenner and RAG boats. The RVY boats did not have these galley units, but instead had a galley cabinet mounted between the quarter berths, aft of the companionway ladder and the quarter berths were extended all the way to the main bulkhead.

All in all the boat looks pretty good. Check for soft spots in the deck. Kittiwakes from all builders had plywood core in the decks. If water manages to penetrate into the core, it causes rot and delamination of the plywood in that area. It can be fixed, but if it is extensive, it can be a lot of work. If you have to remove any hardware, it is a good idea to drill the holes oversize and fill them with epoxy reinforced with finely chopped fiberglass. When the epoxy sets up, redrill the holes to their original size and remount your hardware.

I hope you can find the I.D. plate. The one in the picture was found in a bag in a drawer after the owner had given up on finding out what his hull # was. By the way, did you get the sails with the boat? If the main sail is the correct one, the sail number should be the same as the hull number. Let me know what you find out. I'm looking forward to including your boat in the registry.

Notes: (1) The photo of the early Kenner Hull I.D. plate can be seen on the "Specs" page. (2) Kurt later talked to the original owner who told him that the sails were original. The number on the main sail was 42. This helps to identify his boat as one built by Kenner and the hull number would be 234266.

Jerry Gilbert, wrote:
We finished our year long restoration of our kittiwake and put her in the water on July 3rd, '06. We (my wife) decided she did not want the boat named after her (June Ellen) so we settled on "Somewhere Else". Not my first choice but there will be other boats. Our restoration included 75% core replacement due to water damage, new lifelines, all new hardware and running rigging and new opening ports. We also repainted the entire exterior using "Perfection" 2 part poly paint and V2 Offshore bottom paint. The Boom and Mast were also stripped and painted white to give the boat a very clean appearance.

We made several upgrades to the exterior including taller toe rails which we steam bent out of mahogany. We made them a taller dimension for what we feel is a safer deck for our 3 young boys. The layout of all hardware and running rigging was also redesigned to allow for easier and safer deck layout. New cockpit cushions (a must). Remote throttle controls for the outboard so the hatch does not have to be opened. New compass mounted to the port bulkhead. New mahogany tiller handle and various other upgrades. The finished look is very clean and functional.

She is on Cedar Creek Lake in Texas which is only 15 minutes from our house, very convenient for evening sails. We took her out last night in 15 - 20 knot winds. I had never reefed the main before but I know how to now. She sails great in those conditions. Reefed and we were still making 5.5 kts. We plan to keep her on the lake for now while we upgrade and galvanize the trailer, then in November bring her home and start the interior project. We have already started planning a trip next summer to Apalachee Bay, Florida for a week long sailing vacation. I have attached a few picks of the finished boat but if anyone is interested in seeing more pictures of the actual work performed I would be glad to email them direct. You can contact me at the address below. Thank You,
Jerry Gilbert

Bob Gulledge, wrote:
I just purchased a Kittiwake that has been sitting under a tree for ten years. Obviously, they had to almost give it away. I know very little about sailing, but hate to see anything rot away from neglect. So I have a winter project for 2007. It was purchased from James and Sandy Wentworth of Ava, Illinois. If there is anyone who has restoration tips and would care to share them with me, please email.
Bob Gulledge

David Leach, wrote:
Greetings, I just assumed responsibility for a 1968 K23, whose name used to be Ghost. I am not sure about the number, where is it located? It needs significant cosmetic work but still sails well and looks excellent at her mooring on Anti-Poison Creek in the Chesapeake Bay. The Yankee Point Yacht Club near here has an annual regatta for "classic" yachts that I hope to enter with the K23.
David J. Leach

Patrica Clarke, wrote:
Hi--Just purchased Kittitwake with #450 on the main sail. Believe it's a Ray Greene. The boat's new owners are Matt & Pat Clarke, hailing port Lewis & Clark Lake, NE. Add us to the registry, please. Bought her in St. Louis from a guy who says he had every intention of learning how to sail but never did--sold her to us instead! Her new name--Miss Kitty. Thanks!

Ken Domina, wrote:
In the summer of 2003 Chasse Mare'e, Kenner # 160, and I sailed into Holiday Marina on the Severn River, off of Mob Jack Bay. There I saw a boat for sail and within two weeks I owned two boats. I left Chasse Mare'e there, for sale, and headed up the Chesapeake Bay, with boat # 2, to home on the West River. In September she was hauled as Hurricane Isabel approached and in the storm surge and accompanying 6' wave she was washed off her stands. When I arrived to inspect the damage she was standing upright. Her mast snagged the power line which keep her form drifting afar but also kept her among the other boats and debris for a pounding. Her hull was deeply scratched, a stanchion and fore stay bracket bent, the radio antenna and the wind vane gone but, dry as a bone inside. She now has a good home with an owner who knows boats and looked forward to fixing her up for sailing the waters of Gloucester, Virginia. I sailed Chasse Mare'e for three years. In three summers we sailed for a straight month making our way form Annapolis to Norfolk each time. In my current boat, a 26' Ocean Voyager, I can now stand below deck, I have a galley, head and inboard diesel but, I miss the ease of getting under way and the relatively low maintenance and cost. But mostly I miss the closeness to the water. The low profile hull not only drew admiring looks, it kept me close to the sea. What a great boat she is!
Ken Domina

Wayne Higgins, another former Kenner Boat Company employee (1969-1970) wrote:
Good morning Larry,
I seem to have lost the text of your message in the shuffle here (got deleted somehow so I'm going by memory). You stated that you visited the Kenner plant in September of 1969 and met John Wheeler at that time. That was during my contract year at which time that I shared John's office in the plant. It's been thirty-five years, but I vaguely remember your visit...if I'm not mistaken you were escorted from the Kenner offices, on the other side of the highway, to the plant by Bill's brother-in-law Ernest Parks. If so you probably remember that...Ernest was something more than a memorable character. Our glass fronted office was located on the south wall of the plant...John's desk faced the door as you walked desk and drawing board was immediately to the left of the door. At that time my white hulled Privateer 35 was on the line three bays to the east of the office. I have no doubt that you also met Truett Williams while you were there...he was the "rigging-master". I've not kept in contact with Truett, but John tells me his health is failing.

John undoubtedly related to you the account of the original South Coast 23 molds transfer to Shrevesport, but he may not have mentioned the backdoor deal that Hollis Metcalf (owner of South Coast) tried to cut with him (without Kenner's knowledge) thereby accelerating the process. He (Metcalf) evidently wasn't aware of, or greatly underestimated, the close friendship between John and the Kenners and hence the loyalties involved. It's my understanding that had it not been for the underhandedness of Metcalf's approach that the Kenner brothers, quite possibly, would not have been prompted hold back the hull (at the time of transfer) that was modified to become the Kittiwake and that the Kittiwake would not have come into being. I don't think the behind the scene intrigues ever became common knowledge, but I think all of the majors are now deceased and little harm would result if the Kenner "brotherhood of owners" were privy to it. Actually it isn't very important but very interesting never-the-less. John's role in this was pivotal and, hence in the larger picture, he and his response to the Metcalf offer may have been the impetus to the birth of the Kittiwake. I know for fact that Kenner employees were fiercely loyal to the Kenners and that they were enormously proud of the quality of the boats they produced.

I've no doubt that you are correct that the Kenner Kittiwake records, now in John's keeping, are sketchy with regard to the number produced...however...I think they are quite reliable with regard to the Privateers, Skipjack and the Rosie.

I don't pretend to be a great repository of knowledge in these matters as I was there only a year, but the time I spent there was spent almost exclusively in the company of John and the Kenner Brothers and I did pick up a few tales...some of them "out of school" so to speak, and John was privy to all of it. He is all that remains in that capacity.

I left Kenner's employ in March of 1970. My boat was loaded aboard one of their low-boys and I rode in the cab with the driver when we transported her to Lake Huron at Bay City, Michigan. Quo Vadis was launched the day after our arrival on St. Patrick's Day. Attached please find a photo of Privateer 35 Quo Vadis.
Warmest regards,
Postscript: I plan to start soon to do a "generic" painting of each of the Kenner production sailboats and to offer reasonably priced prints of each. Attached please find a couple of examples of my work. Until about ten years ago I used to do an annual Marine Art show at Landmarks Gallery in Milwaukee with John Stobart...perhaps you're familiar with his work?

Note:   Wayne worked as an advertising consultant to the Kenners. He is also an artist and is considering doing some prints of the various Kenner boats.

John Embler wrote:
I bought Reprieve in 2000 from Delbert Plante, the owner of River City Sailcraft. Del said she was the last Kittiwake built before the molds were destroyed in a fire. She's actually the second hull #520. The original (also named Reprieve) was hit by lightning and the owner asked Del to make a replacement with the same number - which explains the out of sync hull numbers between 1976 & 1978. Del built the second Reprieve as a semi-custom boat. The deck is cored in closed cell foam, the mast is supported by a compression post stepped on the keel, and the lead balast was cast to conform to the cavity in the keel and then glassed into place. The foil-shaped rudder was made with vinylester rather than polyester resin. Instead of a well in the lazarette there is a demountable motor bracket that fits into a heavy tube glassed into the stern. The motor and mount can be completely removed.

Reprieve's second owner had neglected her, so Del brought her back to his home in North Carolina with the intention of doing a complete restoration. Del subsequently had to deal with other obligations that delayed the project and I was able to buy the boat from him. Over the summers of 2001 and 2002 the hull was completely stripped and faired. The bottom was epoxy barrier coated and Weeks Yacht Yard in Patchogue, NY did a flawless job of awlgripping the deck & topsides.

Weeks also replaced all of the brightwork (toe-rail included)using the original pieces as templates. I finished everything with 12 coats of Epifanes varnish before installation. Bristol Bronze cast the frames for the deadlights, and George probably still has the molds if anyone wants to upgrade the aluminum frames that came with the boats.

The running rigging and most of the deck hardware was replaced, and a Harken Heli-Foil furler was added. The continuous genoa tracks are a standard Schaefer 1" section that was easy to bend to the radius of the hull as the tracks were being installed over the toerail. Reprieve came with several jibs that had never been out of their bags, but the main sail had been heavily used and the draft had moved aft - contributing to a nasty weather helm. A new, relativly flat-cut main with full length lower battens and two sets of reef points makes a huge difference in how Reprieve balances in the 15 to 25 knot breeze we often get on the Great South Bay of Long Island. I'd originally thought that restoring Reprieve would be good "training" for working on a larger boat. The biggest lesson I learned is that a classic 23' boat is plenty big enough to restore and maintain in good condition.

Dan Somerville wrote:
Thanks for setting up this great site for the Kittiwake 23's! I own #55, a 1967 by Kenner. I keep her on Harris Creek, MD, just off of the Choptank River. I'm 2 miles past the well known hurricane hole, "Dunn Cove". I bought her a few years ago for my 4 daughters to use at our summer house and it is certainly a perfect little cruiser. They all love the boat. I take her out when the wind pipes up and she really sails beautifully. I have a 3.3 hp Mercury that does a good job moving her along when the wind dies. In fact, that engine worked just fine on the 28 mile delivery on a light air day.

Jerry Gilbert wrote:
My family and I purchased hull # 264 this past weekend. My son and I drove from south of Dallas Texas to Alton Illinois on Friday. This may seem a long ways for someone to drive (11 hours by the way) just to look at a boat but for those who truly have this affliction it is but a mere afternoon drive. "Avior" turned out to be all I was lead to believe and we pulled her home Saturday (12 1/2 hours). Although in good shape overall there are the usual maintenance issues as well as a soft spot in the deck to be repaired. We are planning a gradual complete restoration of the hull and deck as well as complete refit of the interior finishes and electrical systems. Our main objective in these projects is to not have her out of service for any extended periods of time since we bought her to sail. In keeping with a long tradition she will be renamed after my best friend and wife "June Ellen".

I have been searching for the perfect boat for my family a relatively short but intense time. Through lots of reading and conversations with some sailors I had built an idea boat in my head. Trailerable, stable, room for my family, ease of use and sea worthy. A very hard bill to fill in the 22 to 25' range. Then I came across a boat for sale that instantly caught my eye. It sold before I could go see it but I started checking on this boat I had never heard of or seen before. Thanks to your website for helping me realize what a gem this boat could be. I found "Avior" on your site and she is home now. I have read and enjoyed many accounts of sailors fondness for their boats and you can tell there is something special there. The feeling is somewhat akin to realizing your purpose in life and knowing you have just embarked on that journey. I look forward to getting to know some of the other Kittiwake owners and am interested in seeing other boats.

Becky and Lance Williams wrote:
Thanks to a posting by Jerry McCann in the "Kittiwakes in Search of New Homes" section of your website, we are bringing home a derelict Kittiwake this weekend. We do not know much about her, the deal was just struck today. We haven't even seen her yet, that will happen tomorrow.

We will probably be creating a website about the renovation. We have done 3 other boats and we feel that we never documented the rebuilds enough. Thanks for your website, I am sure it will be a constantly used resource.

Roger Gravis wrote:
Hello everyone. I have had a Kittiwake for twenty five years. I live in Little Rock, AR. I gave my boat to a young man that works with me. I'm looking very forward to seeing it back in shape. It is great to see so many people keeping the old boat alive. The ones built here are hard to kill.

Pamm Howerton, a private pilot with a seaplane rating, writes about a Kittiwake she formerly owned and her recent acquisition of another.
Originally #212 was a Kenner hull and deck kit purchased and completed by Carlton "Chappie" Chapman. Upon completion he christened her "Enfin". Chappie was a charter member of the original "Kittiwake Fleet #1" located at Lake Hefner in Oklahoma City. Chappie was with the FAA and it was obvious the sea and sky were his domain as "Enfin" was as beautifully maintained as a sailor's dream. We purchased "Enfin" from Chappie in the late 1970's but parted with her in the mid 80's. My search has now ended for another. Kittiwake 23 #145 (nameless since manufacture) will now carry on "Chappie" Chapman's legacy with great honour and will be christened "Enfin". Number 212 still lives, but the guy to whom she was sold, changed her name to "Illusion", referencing a book of the same name by Richard Bach who, years ago, had written "Johnathan Livingston Seagull". "Illusion" #212 is featured on

"Illusion" was subsequently purchased by Phil Warner who has lovingly kept her in sterling condition and he is just as proud of her great lines as he is to have a boat with such "Kittiwake" history. I am so honoured to have been part of that history and so elated to be a Kittiwake owner once again. I know Phil will be happy to know that "Enfin" lives within #145. At this point #145 is a cosmetic work-in-progress. Once complete she will have a deep sapphire blue hull (polyurethane), red waterline and red or white bootstripe. Her topsides will be white edges w/ dove gray non-skid. She has a new toerail, coaming and lots of bronze on her exterior with new mahogany and brass inside to give the cabin a warm ambiance. I am adding shore power plus an inverter, a small gas range to be placed forward of the starboard quarter berth where a cabinet and drawer assembly once was but was removed when she was a racer, portlight looking forward in the V-berth and a porthole looking aft. She has a healthy compliment of sails w/ spinnaker and rollerfurling for the jib/genoa. The main is in excellent condition with reef points, the Kittiwake emblem and #145 and new boom cover. Her rigging is heavy duty as she was formerly a racer prior to the owner I purchased her from. I am looking for a good stern pulpit as she seems bare on the counter without it. All lines and sheets lead aft for single handed sailing. I hope to master that as #212 did not have that configuration. I am making a bimini top w/ clear side curtains for those sunny/rainy times at anchor and a galley sail as well for the forward hatch to facilitate a breeze. I am also making the Kittiwake insignia out of red and blue ripstop for all the sails and their bags. I am constructing the curtains out of small glossy line to be tied in square knots hanging from the original wooden dowels. Colours are deep blue, light blue, white and a bit of red.

Fred Bennett, from whom I purchased #145, is a craftsman with wood as he flys and builds small wood constructed aircraft. His wood work on #145 is very very beautiful. He also restores old cars and took my 1976 Triump TR-7 in on trade that I had purchased new in 1976. Fred is 73 and loves to tinker in his shop in southeast Dallas. He has welcomed me with open arms and gave me the keys to his shop just to accommodate me so I can work on "Enfin" right there. It is a treasure to drive to a little shop tucked in amongst old buildings in a spanish speaking area, open a gate that is at the very least 20' across and see a Kittiwake, various cars, a green TR-7 and a disassembled Mooney Mite in the shop. This is his 3rd Mooney and 30th airplane. Fred has also owned larger sailboats, sailed the Atlantic to England and back, the Gulf and south Pacific. His websites are a great photo essay to look at. Fred and his wife live in Sunnyvale, east of Dallas and his daughter and grandchildren just moved from California to Corpus Christi.

Fred will eventually purchase a fix-r-up-r sailboat and put it down on the coast as Corpus is Fred's favourite coastal town. I am blessed to call him "friend". I see many a days spent tinkering in the shop with Fred and in return I gave him a card to the marina gate to enjoy "Enfin" whenever the desire calls him.

I know Chappie is smiling. As for me, it has been a long, long wait to find and actually buy another Kittiwake. Sailboats and airplanes... blend them and a seaplane is the answer. Pilots seem to be drawn to the sea. Chappie's #212 was in my life at a time when there was such peace and serenity in seaplanes and a little sailboat. "Enfin" was a large part of that serenity. I am so fortunate to be able to share "Enfin" so many years later with my family, Brad, Izzy and Beka now. Her slip is waiting for her at Lake Lavon. Life is good and we are so blessed.

Carol Taft writes:
Hello from Lake of the Ozarks, MO (and Truman Lake)!! I'm not certain what the "23" signifies.....length? I'm interested, since today I purchased a 1967 vintage 24' Kittiwake!!! Neither my fiance nor I have any sailing experience, but have until Spring to learn all we can.

I'm very excited about my acquisition!!! My fiance, who lives in OK, hasn't seen it yet. I copied some of the pictures for him from the original brochure. Neither he nor I have ever sailed, but both have always wanted to. The people I bought it from gave me their books, I just ordered a DVD, of all....the man I bought it from is going to give us sailing lessons in the Spring!!! Right now it is still at his dock, and will remain there until Spring. I desperately want to go get better acquainted with it. I understand, from looking at the Registry site, that no one knows exactly how many Kittiwakes were built. Any estimate as to how many exist now? What is involved in the Registry? Are there ever any events where owners get together?

I think there needs to be a get-together!!! Maybe some good pictures will have to do, unless someone does care to bring their boat for show and tell!!!! Maybe it could be an annual event, and each year it could be where one of the Kittiwakes is located!!!!!

We just named the boat, since it didn't have one. Part of the name is after the people I bought it from because they were attached to it and I thought a part of them should remain with it. Her name is KC Chase. I have the former owner's name, of course, but don't know how many owners there were before them. They bought it in 1989.

George Grimm, former owner of Ray Greene Kittiwake #442 reports on how he traced and solved a problem with water getting into the bilge.
After having water in the bilge after an afternoon of sailing a Ray Greene '74 Kittiwake for about three years I solved the mystery. After much effort to solve the problem from inside the engine well I finally drilled a hole low down in aft. bulkhead (inside below the level of the engine floor) to accept the " blowing effect " of a vacuum cleaner. This positive pressure effect plus soap bubble solution on the transom revealed the leak for me. The lower bolt on the strap securing the back stay appeared to be above the engine floor but actually from the outside entered just below the flooring and exited just above on the inside. With people in the cockpit the stern was low enough so water could leak in. Backing out the bolt and applying a dab of silicone caulk solved the problem.

Also, I found the boat quite tender in fresher winds and spent a fair amount of time reefed to keep the winches out of the water on Lake Michigan. Lots of weight in the keel but not low enough!!!

Bill an Cindy Jolly write:
My husband Bill and I are the proud owners of a Kittiwake, hull #RVY00536M77I. The wildest thing happened on the way back home with her. We met another gentleman when we stopped with our trailer (we did not have the boat yet) and he invited us to his home to see his Kittiwake. He wanted to know what kind of boat fit on our trailer.

Jerry P. writes:
Here is some advice for new BOAT owners. "Experience: the ability to recognize mistakes before you make them again." I've got a really great plan.. Go over the boat and see what you need to make it GO. Do only that, and then get on down to the lake (or sea) and go Sailing. Plenty of time to repair all that pesky little nick nack stuff later (in the winters and etc.). Don't waste you life or valuable sailing time overhauling and retrofitting and upgrading. The sickness you must avoid is, thinking your boat is a yacht ! All that primping and shining is better done while floating. Patch all the holes and cover the bottom with good hard bottom paint. Put her in the water and go sailing THIS summer! Obviously a quick safety check is in order as well as the recommended equipment by your local power squardron. Thats all the easy stuff. Life won't begin till she hooks in and puts the rail down while going hull speed to weather! Great sailing to you mate!

Dan Zeitlin writes:
I owned a blue Kittiwake from 1975 through 1978. I sailed and raced her out of the Magothy River on the Chesapeake Bay near Annapolis. When I sold her she was called Shortswing and had an american eagle figure on her stern. She was equipped with lifelines (no stern rail) and bronze genoa track along the teak trim on her rails.

I wonder if those characteristics ring a bell with anyone, perhaps the current owner. I last saw her on Back Creek, Annapolis a few years after I sold her. She was in great shape. I will be glad to share my experiences with Shortswing with anyone that's interested.

Bill Todd wrote:
Kittiwake - What a beautiful boat, Carl Alberg at his best. I have just stumbled onto the Kittiwake web site and would like to add some information for the record. Sadly I note #92 is missing from the roster. I purchased hull #92 as a semi-complete kit from Kenner in June 1967. Within a week we had standing rigging, the mast stepped, some deck hardware, running rigging, main and jib and the boat in the water and sailing. During the next six months, with the help of my teenage son, we completed the interior. It took this long because if the weather was nice we went sailing, and worked on the boat when the weather was not so good. Having the help of a left-handed young man who did not complain about the discomfort of raw fiberglass was a real blessing, and the only way I would recommend one tackling a kit boat. Being a kit allowed us to be innovative with completing the interior. For example, we had a dinette table on the starboard side. I extended the sides of the outboard motor well, and put a floor in the lazeratte to make the well self bailing. A second "plug" from Kenner cut to fit the shaft of a 5 HP British Seagull solved the Kittiwake's most vexing problem. It would have been a sacrilege to hang an outboard on that beautiful transom. In Oct. 1969, as a result of a job change, I sailed the boat from it's "birth place" Cocoa Beach, FL, to Miami where it resided for several years at the Coconut Grove Sailing Club. In 1971 we went further south to Key Largo, FL. In the summer of 1973 I sold the boat to a Key Largo resident, don't recall his name. I saw the boat several years latter anchored at Elliot Key State Park. We had some wonderful times sailing that boat: Byscane Bay and the Florida Keys - doesn't get any better than that. I always get a great thrill seeing a Kittiwake. There's one in our local sailing club at Cape Coral, Fla.

When David Herndon sent in his information to the registry, he provided the following account of his experiences while restoring a neglected Kittiwake:

I actually have restored my Kittiwake twice and will probably do a minor restoration (major painting, etc) within the next year. When I first purchased my Kittiwake (I think in 1982), she was in rather poor condition.

The hull and rigging were sound, but the gelcoat was very crazed and about 1 foot of weeds were growing on the bottom. She had been moored in an off-shoot of the Chesapeake Albamare canal for several years without being used. After a major cleanup, she was in good shape. The only major repair was the rudder. The bronze fitting in the rudder was loose and had to be re-set (I had a professional do this). The tiller handle was split so I purchased a 6' teak 4"x4" and had a local cabinet maker carve a new one using the old one as a model. I also ripped out the in-place propane galley and replaced it with a more usefull chart table. The hull crazing was so bad that waxing did no good so I used a quality paint. Good paint holds on the fiberglass hull and decks last at least 5 years. I cleaned the teak and am now using Cetol Marine to keep the teak looking great (3 coats the first time and one each year after). I replaced all the running rigging and a few pieces of the standing rigging.

The boat had virtually no electrical system. I now have both a 12 VDC system and a 110 VAC system on board. I use 4 small (30 amp) gel batteries to give me 120 amps. These small West Marine gel batteries were the only ones that I could find to fit in the area on top of the keel and not reach the flooring. I put a 12 VDC distribution fuse box in the area under the port quarter bunk and ran various lines around the boat to the mast (anchor light, running power light, spreader light, etc.) to the sides and stern for running lights, to the cabin lights and to the various navigation instruments (Autopilot, Loran, Compass, Knotmeter, VHF, Cell Phone Outlet, etc.). I also installed a fuse box for 110 VAC for shore line hookup when I am at my pier or where 110 VAC is available. The only thing hooked up to the 110 VAC system is a small computerized battery charger that keeps the batteries topped.

I also installed a marine head with both a holding tank and through-hull fitting with a Y-valve for use in open waters. I made a freshwater tank for the sink pump from one of those plastic shower bags. I hang it in the space in back of and under the sink area.

The most usefull instrument aboard is my Autopilot. I do a lot of cruising by myself and when crossing the Chesapeake Bay (30 miles where I live), it acts like a mate and relieves me of routine tiller operation.

One innovation that I made was to change the OB engine exhaust system. When I first got my Kittiwake, the engine choked out at high speed because exhaust gas was collecting (from the engine spit hole) in the engine compartment preventing oxygen from reaching the engine. The only way I could go at max power was opening the hatch to let air in. I solved this problem by putting a nipple (using epoxy putty) over the engine spit hole, putting a cheap plastic through-hull fitting on the transom, and connecting them with a plastic hose. Now this exhaust gas goes out through the transom like the exhaust of an inboard engine.

I also modified the engine well. When I first got my Kittiwake, water would come in over the sides of the engine well when on a hard starboard tack in choppy water. I solved this problem by adding about 4 inches of flexible rubber sheeting on top of the well sides.

One year, after I restored my Kittiwake, she was hit by lightning even though I had her rigged with lightning protection (sharp rod on the top of the mast, and the base of the mast connected by heavy cable to a ground plate on the hull). The superbolt caused the bolt holding the grounding cable to the mast base to explode out the mast and the lightning voltage then went into my entire wiring system frying all my electrical and electronic systems and melting most of my wiring. The lightning then arked down to my knotmeter through-hull fitting and blew it out, causing the boat to fill with water and sink. Within two weeks I had her hull repaired and sailing again, but it took the better part of the year to restore/replace all the other destroyed wiring, instrumentation, and equipment.

I replaced the sails a few years ago. The sails that I had (which were probably the originals) started to rot. I replaced the main with a full-battened, loose-footed main. This allows much better sail shape and the boat now sails significantly better in both low and high winds.

I have a few minor leaks in the decking which allows minor water in during rain storms. Most of this I believe comes from the mast step. I put a mast sleave on the mast base last year and it cut the leaking in half. The core in the decking near the forward hatch is damp from this. I drilled a small hole through the bottom of the decking above the head and keep a small bucket underneath to catch any droppings. If I get the time, I will chase this leak down. I get some mold and mildew growth in my cabin (Virginia is rather humid). I have been able to eliminate most of this by installing a small solar-powered vent on the front hatch.

Although my bilge is almost always dry, I have installed two pumps. I have a small electric pump under the flooring in the engine well. The switch is inside the lazerette for easy operation by the helmsman if needed. Another pump is in the main bilge under the cabin. I have both a automatic switch and a manual switch for this pump. I also restored and now still carry the original old bronze manual pump that came with the boat.

PAINT: The paint that I used (and still use) on my Kittiwake is one part polyurethane paint. This paint is easy to apply and reasonable in price. The specific paint that I use is as follows:

Hull: Interlux Brightside Polyurethane #4241 Sapphire Blue Decks and Interior: Interlux Brightside Polyurethane #4208 Hatteras Off-White Teak: Sikkens Cetol Marine Bottom Antifouling: Pettit ACP-50 #1670 Red

LIGHTNING PROTECTION: The only thing that I would have done differently on my lightning protection system was to periodically check the stainless steel screw connecting the grounding cable to the mast base. I believe that this connection had become corroded and had a poor connection. When the lightning hit, water in the connection turned to steam and blew out the screw. Since that time I have replaced the screw with a stainless steel bolt.

This is all that I can think of right now. If I remember anything else, I will get back to you. Feel free to pass any of this on to other Kittiwake owners if you think it will be helpful. I hope some of this information will be of interest or helpful to you.
David H. Herndon
Phone: (804) 435-2056
Cellular: (804) 761-0409

Thanks David, for sharing this information.

To read about an extensive restoration of a Pearson Triton, click on the following link. Much of the information in this web site can be applied to the restoration of your Kittiwake. Triton #381

Layne Herring reports that Kenner is no longer able to provide copies of the Kittiwake Construction Manual.

Viola McAvey wrote about their just purchased Kittiwake:
We bought her last summer and brought her from the Rhode River to her new home, the Severn River (Chesapeake Bay, Annapolis, MD area). What a wonderful boat!!! It was love at first sight, and shes never disappointed us yet! On top of that, shes in great shape, just needs the usual maintenance.

Would love to find other Kittiwakers in the general vicinity. Are there any Kittiwake-specific events in the area?

Don't know if this is of any use to you, but found this spec sheet for a 1976 Kittiwake on our boat. If nothing else, it's interesting to read... The 1977 BOAT SHOW SPECIAL package price of $8,995 included choice of hull and deck color, cove stripe and boot top as well as mainsail and jib, fabric-covered foam berths, interior and navigation lights, head, galley unit, stainless steel standing and Dacron running rigging, anti-fouling bottom paint, cast lead interior ballast, oiled mahagony interior trim, natural teak exterior trim and solid teak hand rails.

Steve Plater wrote:
I have had some winch handles custom made for my bayonet winches on the mast if anyone wants or need them let me know and i will see if i can make some more, they are out of aluminum, with ball bearing plastic handles.

Ray Huber wrote:
I have hull 197 and my pedestals are through bolted and a bitch to take off so I can get at the winch. This will get you closer to the hull number where the change was made to molded-in winch pedestals.

Paul Renfro wrote:
My boat is in need of some repair but is sailable. I need to find a trailer for the boat. If anyone has plans/specs, or knows the whereabouts of a trailer for sale in Texas, please e-mail.

Raison D'Etre is in Deale, Maryland on the Chesapeake Bay. It's a 1977 River City Sailcraft that has been completely reconditioned this year. Portlights came from Newfound Metals, sails from Quantum and Osprey Composites did the Awlgrip. Owner is Pat Piper at

My boat is Kittiwake 23 #114, "Shearwater". The boat is located in a Marina on Southold Bay overlooking Shelter Island . I sail in Peconic Bay, Gardiners Bay, and Long Island Sound. Please let me know if you would like additional info.
Thanks, Blaine Burton, E- Mail

John Stevens writes:
My mother and stepfather bought hull # 78, "Briar Patch" when I was in the 10th grade or even earlier. When they split in 1981, my mother bought her from Paul Scholte, then my stepfather. Over time I have taken her over. I am now 39 and living in Mathews County, Va., on the Chesapeake. She has served us wonderfully over the years, and she has been cruised extensively on the Bay. For the past decade, she has sailed almost exclusively without an outboard auxillary. I built a sculling oar based on the Chinese yulloh, and that gets us in and out of harbors.

I moor Patch in Queens Creek, a tributary of the Piankatank River, lower Western shore, Chesapeake Bay. Yesterday I returned from the Turkey Shoot Regatta, a hospice regatta reserved for boats 25 years or older. It attracts over 80 boats, many of which are gorgeous, classic designs. On hand were several Chesapeake skipjacks, the Miss Ann from Tides Inn, and the Godspeed from the Jamestown Foundation. There were two or three Typhoons, a Seasprite, and one other Kittiwake, # 54 owned by Tom Richardson of Carters Creek, who bought her two months ago. Last year there was a very nice Triton. I talked to Tom before the start of the pursuit race on Sunday. It is really a lot of fun to see other Kittiwakes out there, and that is fairly rare in this part of the Chesapeake. I have listed her phrf rating at 270.

I am writing to encourage other Kittiwakes to make it to the Turkey Shoot next year. It is scheduled over the Columbus Day weekend, during a part of the season that usually produces great winds. The regatta is professionally managed with happy hour on Friday, and a great dinner on Saturday. If you register early, there are plenty of slips. If not, there is a taxi that makes the rounds in Myer Creek (in the Carrotoman River, just off the Rappahannock River, Northern Neck, Va.). The races take place in the Rappahannock a few miles northwest of the Rapp. River bridge. If we could get a few more Kittiwakes together, we could have a small fleet sailing together. If you are not a serious sailor, don't be intimidated: it is primarily a hospice regatta, a place to come together to see beautiful boats and have a good time. Most boats don't fly spinnakers, but you may if you wish; there is a 20 second penalty.

If you can't make the Turkey Shoot, why not a raft-up of Kittiwakes sometime in the summer of 2003? We could even have a run around the government marks somewhere in the middle or southern Bay. Do the boats in the Northern Bay do this regularly already?
I have attached two recent photos. Looking forward to hearing from other boats,Thanks for the registry.
Johnny Stevens, # 78, Mathews VA

Ben Cadbury writes:
We purchased 1974 Ray Greene Kittiwake (sail #428, RAG170120874) this past September from Drew Scott who had the boat on Catawba Island on Lake Erie. He had purchased the boat in 1995 form the widow of Stephen Sweat who Drew thinks was the original owner.

We transported the boat from Ohio and will be sailing on the Chesapeake near Annapolis, MD this season. We found the boat (which came with a trailer) on the web after a long search for a Kittiwake after falling in love with one we saw for sale closer to home and were out-bid on. It was well worth the 1200 mile weekend road trip to bring the boat to the East Coast. There is some damage to the rudder which is partially split but repairable. Otherwise, all is in great shape.

As far as we know, the boat does not have a name. Understanding the bad luck often associated with re-naming a boat and the ceremony that must take place to make things right, we have decided on Architeuthis unless you or someone has more information on the original name. Thanks for all of the great work on the web site.
Ben and Sarah Cadbury

Whit Brown writes:
Hi - I have a 1972 Kittiwake in Ft. Myers, soon to be in St. Pete, named Moir Aaill. ID # is RAG170031172. Have had her for almost 2 years, a beautiful looking and sailing boat. Hope to have her out soon for new paint. Not sure about the sail #. Enjoy your website.

Fred Bennett writes:
I would like to register my Kittiwake 23. It is hull number 145, S/N 1452368. I have owned her since 04/30/95, have done quite a bit of rework, including oversized standing rigging, New Superfurl jib system, 4 new Beckson opening port holes, paint, wiring and wood. And now am looking for a new 150 jib. I have a 6 hp Johnson/Evinrude motor in the well and love to sail her. I don't know if it is a kit or factory. I'll investgate. She is on Lake Tawakani Texas 40 miles east of Dallas. I haul her on my 18 foot flat bed trailer on a steel cradle I built. Looking for an easy way to lower and raise the mast. Thanks for the web site I'm really glad to see it.
Fred Bennett

Hi - My name is Mark Conrad I heard of your web page through Phil Elder in Tulsa, OK. I bought a Kittiwake in 1997. It presently sits on a lake in NE Oklahoma. It is in fair condition but needs to be taken out soon and worked on. I moved to Fort Worth, TX, 2 years ago. I'm trying to borrow or purchase a trailer for the boat in order to move it down. I love the boat and would like to restore it and sail it for years to come. The Hull #is 105 built in 1968. F.D.& T.D. price were $5,005 in 1968. Thanks for the web page. Let me know if I can help.

John Faunt Le Roy writes:
Hi - I just found this Registry website and am sending the appropriate information. I am the proud owner of hull ID 062366 - Kittiwake #6. We have been together since 1988 when I bought her from Steve Lerner. I believe he was the original owner. She remains in very good structural condition and she sails beautifully, but is in need of a lot of work to make her as good as new. She shows some of the common signs of age; hull and deck need repainting, crazed plexiglass in the portholes, needs new toerails, etc. One day those projects will be at the top of my to-do list. All rigging, tracks, and winches are original equipment and in good condition. Of interest is the fact that the mainsail (newly made right before I bought the boat) displays #3. As I never saw the original main I am not sure if the previous owner gave the sailmaker the wrong number for the new sail or if the original sail actually displayed #3. I have heard that sail numbers and hull numbers on early Kittiwakes may not match.

We sail in the Chesapeake Bay and our home port is in Whitehall Creek, just north of Annapolis, MD. As I type this I can look out the window and see her floating happily at our dock.

I also have an original price list (similar to that displayed on the Registry web site), original blueprints for the sails and rigging, and 2 different color brochures with some very good interior photos (one of which is displayed at the Registry web site). I have made high quality scans of all of the documents and would be happy send them to anyone who would like them. I hesitate to post them in the files or photos section of the newsgroup as each scan is about 3-4MB and I would end up using most of the allocated space; as I said they are high quality scans. I can be contacted privately at Regards,
John Faunt Le Roy

Bob Hazelbrook wrote:  Greetings, I am currently looking for a Kittiwake in need of a good home and TLC, hopefully located on the west coast, although I'd be willing to go farther. Got a look at my first one under sail last year and she's been on my mind ever since. Would prefer to rescue one in moderate distress as I like to get to know a vessel from "the inside-out." Had to sell my old Cheoy Lee 27 to finance graduate school, and now that task is near complete, so I'm looking for an example of the only other boat ever to catch my eye. By the by, this is one of the niftiest websites dedicated to a single sailing vessel type that I've had the pleasure to view...thank you!
Bob Hazelbrook
Tampico, Washington State

Larry L. Knowles wrote: Hi, I purchased the Kittiwake listed for sale by Bill Beckstrand on October 1, 2001. Boat name to remain "Tardis". The owner prior to David Reeves was William Veale of DesPlains, IL. He had the hull painted with Imron in 1985 and it still looks pretty good. I have been unable to locate him. The boat is believed to have always been sailed on Lake Michigan. If you are keeping records: Mr. Veale had the boat quite a few years and her name was "Melteni". David Reeves bought the boat in 1986 and renamed her. He sold it to Bill Beckstrand in July of 1999. Bill never launched the boat, nor ever moved it to MN, as a wooden boat caught his eye and he purchased it. "Tardis" sat on her cradle in a Chicago storage yard from October 1998, until I hauled her out of there on October 1, 2001. I towed her on her cradle, chained to my flatbed trailer. We went to the Annapolis Boat Show and on down to Oriental and New Burn, NC. I was considering putting her in the water and sailing south. However, she really wasn't in seaworthy condition and it was unusually cold at the time, so I brought her to Colorado. She is still on the trailer (going to take a crane to get her off) in an unheated aircraft hangar. I haven't located a used trailer, so will probably be having one built soon. I plan to take her to Pensacola in April, Indiana and Michigan in mid summer and the Pacific NW in late summer and early fall.

The email address for Brent Lambert, hasn't worked since last summer. I would like to see that brochure he supposedly has. Would you try to get it and post it on the website for downloading? Thanks for the great website. I'm going to Kemah, TX soon and will try to look up the Kittiwake owners listed in that area.

Any info that you can find on other boats and owners will be very much appreciated. I have not been able to get in touch with Brent Lambert either. (He is not the only one. Several people have changed their email address and have not sent me an update.) I did include his scans of the brochure in the last update. They are on the Specifications page. His brochure was pretty dirty. I spent quite a bit of time trying to clean it up but I was not able to get all of the discoloration off.

I made my own trailer for my first Kittiwake. I do not have plans, but I might be able to sketch something up if it would be helpful. Is the cradle you have made of steel? If so, you could probably use that for a start and pick up another flatbed trailer to weld the cradle to. One of the Kitti owners a few miles north of me has done just that.

Good luck on your search for other Kittiwakes as you travel. I do the same thing. I met some very nice people that way at Heron Lake in NM last fall, but I did not find any Kittiwakes there. I'll be looking forward to hearing from you about new ones you locate.

Susan Crowe wrote:
First let me say "thank you" for a great web page that has provided wonderful assistance to my husband and I as we begin the life of Kittiwake owners. A month ago we purchased ID #132366. We know the boat was built in 1966, could you please verify (based on what I've provided you) the hull number. We have not located any brass plates in the cabin, the mast or the bulkhead. But based on what I've read on the web page, I think the hull number is 13. Do you agree? It's a beautiful boat (especially after all the work my husband has done) and we look forward to lots of sail time. Our four year old son is also enjoying it - perfect size for a small family. We'll send photos soon...

Thanks for the nice words on the web page and congratulations on your Kittiwake. It appears that you do have hull #13. The numbers you sent are certainly the correct sequence for a 1966 Kittiwake. Where did you find this ID # if you haven't found a metal plate? On the title or other paper work? That is probably the best indicator since an actual ID plate is not in evidence. What number is on your mainsail? I think that in the earlier part of their production, Kenner may not have been very consistent in putting in the number plate. Then too, in the intervening years some former owner may have removed it. That is a fairly common situation.

Dan Norris wrote: Hello, I have more info on my boat! The hull and sail number is 412. And the last last owner was Lowell G. Strayer from Dearborn, MI. And this info might take my boat off the mystery list. Also I need to find a mast if you can help me out , I would appreciate it . Thanks again!! Captain Dan Norris

Thanks for the additional information. It will get your boat off of the mystery list.

Regarding your mast, check with Rig-Rite, Inc., I believe that the Kenyon "E" section or the Spartan "CD-3" will make a suitable replacement. I have no idea what the price of either one is. I hope you have all the other necessary hardware from your old mast. I am sure that building a mast from scratch using all new components will be an expensive undertaking.

Bob Olshan wrote:
Hull 184, previously owned by Andrew Hollway in Maryland has been purchased by Robert and Leigh Olshan and will be sailed in the Chesapeake Bay -Northern Neck Area of Virginia. We are presently in the process of doing some restoration-barrier coating the hull, repairing some interior rot in the forward cabin top under the mast, etc, etc. Most excited after being without a sailboat for 3 years and hoping to have her in the water in a couple of months.

Marek Barancewicz wrote about his #251:
Boat is in excellent condition. Anti-foul paint only, original jell coat, original color and equipment. Sailing Hampton Roads, Chesapeake bay, James and York rivers. I have blue prints which look like original as built drawings for this boat.

Corey Brandt wrote:
I'm so happy to find your site. I had no clue there were so many kittiwakes around. I'm from New Orleans Louisiana and I own hull #170. Boy do I have my work cut out for me. I lost 3 of the 4 hatches in a span of about 6 months b/c she was in an exposed make shift slip during hurricane season. There are numerous bolt holes from refit a number of years ago, this has left a saturated deck in some places and probably some major repairs. I sold the boat to a friend of mine a few years back and it was totally neglected, I'm just thrilled to get it back in one piece.

By the way I'm going to start soon on transferring many of the detailed drawings to Auto Cad 2002. This should allow me to get dimensions for just about any part of the hull and interior. I'll be in the Naval Architecture program at UNO for a few more years so whatever calculations or info I can get I'll pass it on. Thanks for the great site. I can't wait to spend more time on it.

Dave Anderson wrote:
Greetings from Western Kansas - Misty Lady, Hull 216, was damaged during a storm last year (mostly cosmetic). I hope to have her repainted and renamed for launching in March or April.

James Vogt wrote:
In 1972 when I was much younger my job transferred me to Russellville, AR from Neenah, WI. I had been sailing an X-Boat, and D-Scow on Lake Winnebago since I was 12 years old. After my move, I was sailing a Sunfish and a Flying Dutchman on Lake Dardanelle, when I saw this Kittiwake sailing. I just knew I had to have one. The Dutchman took at least a crew of one, but the Kittiwake, I knew could be sailed by myself. I finally got a ride on it and then I really knew I had to have one. As far as I am concerned, no other boat in the 20 to 25 foot range sails like a "KITTIWAKE".

Ken Domina wrote:
There was some confusion on my part as to what make boat I own. All my documents list her as a Kittiwake and I have a Kittiwake owner's manual. The main sail, however is from a South Coast '23, and when I checked your registry I found that my hull number and the year did not fit the pattern. I believe the sails were bought used and the hull laid around from 68 or 69 and was sold in 71. Either way she is a great sailboat! I happened to meet Jim, who told me he sailed Chasse Mare'e up from Florida. I took 3 weeks last June/July and sailed from the West River to Virginia Beach, stopping at points in between. It was my first long distant solo trip and I was glad to have such a sturdy/safe vessel.

Because of the weather this winter I have sailed straight through. If its 50 degrees and a breeze, I'll be on the bay. That makes it hard to do any maintenance though I do intend to rebuild the interior as time permits, and I'll haul her out for fresh paint when the wind dies out this summer. The exterior wood is original, it shows its age and could use a lift as well. In the mean time she's busy sailing.

Thanks for providing your web site. Its been a big help and a pleasure reading.

I enjoyed your narrative. I think that you are correct in your assumption about the mainsail. The dimensions of the mainsails are identical. I had a friend in OKC who originally bought a South Coast and then built a Kittiwake kit. He used his S.C. sails on his Kittiwake. His Kittiwake was hull # 10 and his S.C. had been #108, so he just removed the S.C. emblem and the "8".

It is great that you have been able to enjoy sailing all during this winter. Most of us are not so lucky.

Patrick Piper wrote:
Raison D'Etre is a River City Kittiwake (#524) built in 1977. it is based in Deale Maryland on the Chesapeake and is being completely refurbished this year. Quantum is doing the sails and has the insignia if anyone is in need of this.

Robert Payne wrote:
I have recently purchased 1182368. The boat has been on the Mississippi coast for quite some time. I have the past two owners but am not sure if this is complete ownership record.

The vessel has been very well maintained except for the past few years. She is very well outfitted and needs some TLC. The motor well was plugged and a 5hp outboard was mounted on a bracket. Looking through all of the correspondence on this site, I was hoping to find some info on installing an inboard diesel. I have a BMW - D7 (7hp) diesel in a box on the counter in my shop. I am currently figuring out how to get it into the boat. It looks like I may be one of the few to attempt this.

I do not know of any Kittiwakes that have had an inboard engine installed. However, I once ran across a South Coast 23 web page that had some information on a SC23 that was equipped with an inboard engine. It showed a picture of the boat sitting on a trailer and the prop cut out in the aft end of the keel and the rudder was plainly visible. As I recall, the boat is now owned by the son of the original owner and he may have some information on the installation. I would think that modifying the keel and rudder would be a fairly serious undertaking. Do a search on South Coast 23 and see what you can find.

Robert Payne wrote back:
Regarding the engine install:
1) Luckily, I'm a Marine Surveyor/designer and can call in a lot of favors from my local marine friends. 2) Right now I'm pondering the skewed install, like the old Herreshoff and Sparkman & Stevens boats. You basically install the engine at an angle that allows the prop to clear the side of the keel. Not quite sure if this will work and if it doesn't, I'll forge ahead with a rudder redo. I'm fairly proficient and as I said, I have a lot of favors I can call in. 3) The driving force behind this is that I really don't see the engine in the well as being very convienient. At this time the engine is on a bracket, its a super long shaft 5 hp Honda 4 stroke. It works ok but as you know with engines on brackets on the back of small sailboats, sooner or later you are gonna get in weather and waves that will cause a pin to shear on the prop.

The bracket plus shaft length on this engine (which is required to make it work right) makes it impossible to change a shear pin. When you tilt the engine up, the prop is way back there and cannot be safely serviced. Plus.... I've got this engine in my shed and I just can't help myself. I'm sure you know that feeling. These boats (Kittiwakes) are just such a beautiful little work of art as far as the shape and ideaolgy behind the design, I've always felt that the diesel would definately finish off this little yacht and truly put it into the class that it should have been in from day one.

By the way, I'm going to write and article for submission to "Good Old Boat" magazine about my Kittiwake, Kittiwakes in general and a little on Alberg. I am also interested in putting a set of Kittiwake drawings into autocad, mainly a sail plan and arrangement but also a full set if I can find the drawings. If not I will probably develop them from my boat. If you can give me any info regarding any scale drawings that you might have heard of I would appreciate it. I will definately be doing a set of engine install drawings for the D7. Maybe we can develop a little technical cache for the registry.

Jeff Miller wrote:
I am the owner of 516, Jeff Miller, formerly with Sailnet. I have had her out for two GOOD sails, covering about 10 to 12 miles each time. The first trip took around 3 1/2 hrs. The second around 2 1/2. I'm not sure of the kts. but we were moving! Shortly after, I discovered some severely cracked sweges and have not had her out since. I am trying to arrange a mast lowering party then have the rigging re-done. I also found a motor that fits easily in and out of the well. A 4 hp. Suzuki, it is a little slow, but we don't want to ski. I have not been able to reach the site in quite a while, so I was glad when I tried this a.m. I will continue to monitor the site and send up dates and a photo (when she's a little more presentable)

Thanks for the update Jeff. I wish all the K-23 people would remember to let me know when they change their email address. There are about 8 - 10 % who have changed and not let me know. I will update your information.

Jim Nelson wrote:
Hi - I'm glad to find you. I'd like to register my Kittiwake. ID# 612367, so, from the site I guess I have hull #61. It was manufactured by Kenner. I'm the 3rd owner and it was previously owned by David Townsend but the original owner is unknown by me. My E-mail address is I live south of Houston in the Kemah area and I'd love to be contacted by any Kittiwake owners in my area.

Just to let you know... I was in the market to switch boats (latest before this one - a C22) and hopefully to find a larger boat or at least one with personality. Every day for over a year I drove by a house with this good-looking boat on a trailer in the back yard. And for all of that year it didn't ever move. The day before I was going to make an offer on an Irwin 28 I decided to stop in and ask about this "back-yard" boat. The long and short of it is that I bought it in about 15 minutes for $2,000. I hadn't even looked inside the cabin! But, the day before the owner parked it he had purchased brand new sails and a new stainless steel bimini. It also came with a complete electrical shore/sail panel, custom bow and stern pulpits (with teak seats in each), dual lifelines, a teak & stainless Samson post, built-in charger, 10 hp. Honda fourstroke, etc. etc. Needless to say, I'm quite pleased.

Though everything is solid, I'm now involved in a full-up restoration process. I've stripped the paint and sanded and now I'm waiting for the weather to put on a couple of primer coats of Awlgrip on the deck. I can't wait to get it back in the shape a beautiful design like this deserves and go sail. She has previously carried no name but now she is "Sanctuary III" I've spoken with a couple of Kittiwake owners in the Kemah (TX) area who sail the bay and beyond. Both say she's the best sailing boat this size you could have. Looking forward to finding out for myself.

John Crosby wrote:
My Kittiwake made the Lake Sun Leader at Lake of the Ozarks where I live. It has been in the paper 3 times with the wrong main sail and dirty boat but she still looked great to me. The lake is a hard lake to sail because of the high bluffs, and the 10,000 boats on many weekends, but that also makes it more a challenging, also the wind changing directions often is also expected. Her name is I lean, hull #523.

Dotty King wrote:
Just purchased the boat 07/2001. It is a 1977 boat, name, North Star, sailing out of Old Road Bay, Baltimore, Maryland. By your web site, it appears a lot has been changed inside and out. If any one has interior pictures, I could use some help trying to get the interior back to original. Thank you, your site has helped a lot so far.

Congratulations on your purchase. I hope you get loads of enjoyment from it. Your hull number and year built would make the boat one of those built by River City Sailcraft. River City altered the interior quite a lot from the layout used by Kenner and Ray Greene. Check the registry page for other K-23 owners in the Baltimore area. Maybe you can contact them and get an invitation to look at their boats.

Jay Shick wrote:
Hey. I love your site. I can't wait to get in touch with other K-23 owners. Reg info: 1974 Ray Greene, Sail #435, Ser. #RAG 17 019 09 74. Us: Jay Shick & Jen Hawkins (current owners). Prev.: Lawrence & Heather Ireland, Carol Shaw, Bob & Maureen ?. She doesn't have a name yet. She's been on Stockton Lake (and will return there after she gets fixed up. My e-mail:

Scott Elliott wrote:
I have just purchased Kittiwake #525 and it is sailed on Canyon Lake located just north of San Antonio, TX. The year of manufacture is 1977. The boat is in good shape and I am in the process of a complete refit, sails, bottom job, rigging, upholstry,etc. I have a question though, when test sailing this boat, I noted that the boat sails a little "bow down". I was single handing the boat and there was a minimum of weight aft but it seemed to be somewhat low in the bow, is this a normal trait? It seemed to sail fine, tacked well, decent speed. Input anyone?

Congratulations on your new Kittiwake. You obviously have one of the boats built by River City Sailcraft. I am not very familiar with those boats, but the Kenner built boats included about 200 lb. of loose lead ingots to be used as trim ballast. Perhaps you have a similar situation and the trim has been located to far forward. How bad is the bow down condition with no one on board? I like to have my boat trimmed so that most of the waterline at the bow is submerged when no one is aboard. That way, the boat should trim out about level with a couple of people in the cockpit.

Dan Norris wrote:
I would regrister my boat, how do you do it? my boat is the usual Kittiwake. I've had the boat for 3 years. Bought it at Bolles Harbor, Monroe, MI. Had a fun summer with it! We brought it out of the water for winter storage and a storm hit and a tree fell on the boat. The insurance totaled it out, and I bought it back, with hopes of restoring her. Thanks! Dan

Jim Barker writes:
Just found your site and am pleased to register my Kittiwake. Over the past few years, I have completely restored the exterior and sailing gear of Harriet Ames. Awlgrip hull, Interprotect 2000 barrier coat with VC 17 finish, Awlgrip decks. Modern genoa track for 165% roller furling genoa (aluminum track, bent to the curve of the hull and bolted through the toerail -- fantastic!) , genoa winches, and this year halyards and reefing lines led to the cockpit. Would be glad to discuss my solutions with anyone interested.

Pat Conner wrote:
I bought Kittiwake #142 a year ago, March 30, 2000, and named her Dancin' Star. Since then I have been working on restoring it (it's a "workboat"), but I hope to have it in the water by mid-May. I've painted the hull, torn out the bunks and bulkheads, refinished the bunks, replaced the bulkheads, and almost finished painting the interior. I've also completely stripped the deck, including the toe-rail. Once the weather permits, I will begin painting the deck, installing the toe-rail, bow-pulpit, etc.

I would really like to see more interior shots and deck shots. As I am re-modeling my boat, I would like to see how others have re-modeled theirs. Sailing in Texas, heat is more of a problem than cold, and I am curious how different sailors have rigged their boats to accommodate ventilation and cooling. I am a member of the Lake Worth Sailing Club.

Note: Pat also had several questions which are posted on the Q & A page.

Patrick T. Lynch wrote:
I currently own a 1969 Kittiwake , I'm searching the house for the title to see if it contains the hull #. She's sound as a dollar and I'm in the process of shining her up. Doll Baby is currently tied up on the Withlacoochee River about three miles up river from the Gulf of Mexico. Got the right bag of sails and found the #195 on it. Also found the brass plate that was mounted on a bulkhead identifing her as Hull #195.

Phil Warner wrote about his #212 which originally belonged to a charter member of Kittiwake Fleet #1 in Oklahoma City.
I was very interested to learn that the first owner of my Kittiwake 212, built in 1969 by the Kenner Boat Company, was Carlton Chapman and that he and the boat were charter members of Kittiwake Fleet No. 1. That explains the word "Chappie" that is still visible in arc welding bead on the trailer frame along with the hull number 212. (I had assumed Chappie was a previous name of the boat). From a photo given me when I bought her, her previous name was EnFin which I believe is French meaning "At Last". I purchased Kittiwake 212, renamed Illusion, in February of 1989 from Michael D. Ciskowski who belonged to the Grand Lake Sailing Club in northeast Oklahoma at the time. She was my first real sailboat with my only prior experience being a single sail out and quickly back in a leaky plywood Ray Greene Nipper cat boat while my brother bailed furiously with his hat on a lake in Ohio. (the even more rotted plywood Nipper still stands on her stern in the barn 40 years later having never been adequately repaired to sail again but having been wagged from place to place in Ohio and Arkansas each time I moved). I saw the Kittiwake advertised in a local newspaper after my sailing bug was rekindled by a South Coast 22 seen for sale along the road on the way to work in Springdale Arkansas. This swing keel South Coast was, of course, a very different boat than the traditional shoal keel Alberg designs, but the coincidence of that boat, the initial South Coast relationship with Kenner, the later Ray Greene company connection, and my second beginning with the Kittiwake after the Nipper is an interesting coincidence in the Karma department. Also interesting was the name Illusion since I had recently read the book of that name by Richard Bach (also author of Jonathan Livingston Seagull) and had just read "One" by the same author and Mike, the seller, had renamed her after reading the same book. Karma again, so after a short sail on a cold February afternoon I bought her for $5000, went home and asked the wife what she thought about sailing, and, of course, she'd never thought about sailing in her life. 212 still carries the name Illusion both through superstition about changing a boat's name (after all Mike had to sell her to support his venture in the real estate business after HE renamed her) and because I thought it a fitting and a happy coincidence that I'd also been fascinated by Bach's writing. She now carries a seagull (Jonathan?) on her stern in lieu of the cast American eagle.

Mike had sailed Illusion avidly for several years at the Grand Lake Sailing Club and had even placed fourth one year in the club's annual 100 mile PHRF race which heavily favors larger boats that can finish before the wind dies; sailing all night is a tough slog for a small heavy air boat when most years have long periods of light to no air when the sun goes down.

We joined the GLSC where Illusion was berthed because we liked the facilities and the friendly folks, and I remember our first day there when Larry Prins, owner of the other Kittiwake in the club at the time, walked up and said, "I want to shake the hand of the man who bought a Kittiwake." Larry became a good friend and valuable source of advice for two neophyte sailor wannabe's. When I acquired her, Illusion had been through a period of minor neglect and the wood trim Mike had added to the hatch sides and the plywood overlay he'd added to the transom were a bit the worse for wear, and after a season of learning to sail from scratch on this very forgiving little boat I hauled her to Springdale for a little TLC which turned into nearly a year of work inside and out. A re-launch in the spring of 91 (I believe it was 91) saw her with new interior paint and bulkhead trim, new head, new switch panel, a fresh boot stripe, new transom treatment, a fitted engine well plug, a forward round portlite, forward deck light, anchor light, new windex, cockpit led halyards, new grab rails on dog house and hatch, and new cockpit speakers(which as yet still don't have a radio or player attached).

In my stewardship she's given us many hours of pleasure along with a few moments of abject terror, but she's never let us be victims of our own inexperience beyond a few groundings and wettings and things disappearing overboard from time to time. Perhaps her finest hour came in 1994 placing first in class in the Club Long Distance race (now a 50 miler for smaller PHRF boats) when she surfed to 7+ knots at times and the wind blew all night allowing her to make 3 to 5 knots for most of the course. A McGreggor 26 sailor who traded tacks with us the better part of the daylight hours said he never expected to see a kittiwake on his beam all day; I told him it was all right - it was just an illusion.

Lately, other hobbies have intervened and the last two years have seen Illusion on her trailer again awaiting a refresh from the ravages of the last ten years of weathering. In the mean time, periodic reminders get me to thinking of good friends and the good times I've had on the water when the wind is right, the sun shining, and the Kittiwake is on a nice 20 degree heel and in the groove with the sails full and the water lapping by.

Larry, attached are a few pics. One of 212 when mike bought her, and a few after her refit in 90-91. I have some of the "in-process", if you're interested, and two promotional photos that Larry Prins gave me when he sold his Kittiwake for a Chrysler 26. (BTW, Larry Prins was second in '94 with the Chrysler and in announcing the first place our Commodore said, "and in first place, in a boat like the one Larry just sold, ...".)
-- Cheers, Phil in Northwest Arkansas

Greg Brummett wrote:
Hi, I just purchased a 1971 Kittiwake (264) and was wondering how I go about registering it on your site. It is in really nice condition and we bought it in Illinois near Carlyle Lake where it has spent the last 20 years. We plan on keeping it's home on that lake. It is the only Kittiwake on the lake of course..

Jeff Miller wrote:
Greetings! I have just purchased a Kitti with sail # 516, and stumbled on this site. While I do not have the hull # in front of me today, it is engraved on the transom so I will send that in the near future to be officially registered. I could not wait to initiate contact with what will (I'm sure) become family. I have not sailed her yet, she was neglected for approx. 4 years (floating) so she needs MAJOR T.L.C. Her name is Destiny which it will remain. I have many questions and some answers regarding resources. I have gotten all of my advice and parts from SAILNET.COM, partially because I work for them, but mostly because we have some world class sailors in the organization and can do everything from interiors to rigging. I have seen many comments re: the hardware from WC and noticed in one of our wholesale catalogs that they are still in business, however I do not at this point have any specific info on their whereabouts but will share when I do. I am based in the Tampa - St. Petersburg area. I would appreciate any advice and try to field any questions from fellow owners. LOOKING FORWARD...

UPDATE: . I have now verified that it is hull 516. The serial number (engraved in the lower transom) is RVY00516M76E. I'm assuming that is River City Sailcraft and was bulit in 1976, the date the previous owner said it was built.

While I did get a phone # for Wilcox-Crittenden, they do not make any of the major parts for the Kittiwake anymore. I have gotten the "plans" from Kenner, and while they are not actual plans, they will be very helpful in restoring my boat since the interior has been completely stripped. I am currently trying to reconfigure a power boat trailer to hold Destiny while she is getting her refit. I am also trying to identify an engine that will fit in the well and provide enough power. If anyone has a photo of the well plug that can be Emailed please forward as I am going to attempt to fabricate one. Anyway, that is the update. I look forward to some correspondance from some other owners, especially from FLA.

Bob and Nancy Hechlinski wrote about the Kittiwake they formerly owned:
We are pleased to add information to your registry of Kittiwakes. Ours was Hull #193 built in 1970. We note that you have no other information about this boat. We bought her in Holland, Michigan on March 13, 1974. We are certain that we were the second owners. The original owner went on to a larger boat in Holland. We paid $4,000 for her. In this price was included a cradle, trim meter and a 6 hp Evinrude.

She was christened "Etc." Our first sail in her was a "cross country" trip to Saugatuck, Michigan. We never had a test ride in her and we had to rig her ourselves. We owned the boat for four years. Our recollections of her was that she was a very small boat as we are both relatively tall people, being 5' 7" and 6' 0" respectively.

But she was a strong boat. All of her prior life and all during our period with her, she was sailed on Lake Michigan. We put her through 8 to ten foot seas on several occassions and never did we think of reefing. On one trip, we spent the night at Port Shelton and came out into some fresh weather. We beat home into some heavy, 6 to 8 foot seas. We took only a little water on deck and nothing in the cockpit. Nancy had collected some driftwood and had casually placed them loose on the foredeck. When we came out of the breakwater, we knew that they were expendable and, without life lines, they weren't worth going forward to secure. Regardless, that stable little boat kept her feet so well that the driftwood souveniers never moved. One hell of a boat!

We think of her frequently with fondness. In fact, her trail board, an oval piece of mahogany with gold inset lettering, still hangs on our family room wall. We don't remember who we sold her to in 1978 (or so) because we didn't want to look back. Etc was a good friend and really a dependable member of the family. I'm sure we will see her again some day.

Blake Riggs writes:
I am the proud owner of "Lauren", #135. I am very excited to find your website and registry. I would like to register my boat with you. I will provide what information I have. Serial number: 1352368. (I have just learned from your site what this means.)

The original owner was a Houston geologist named Wendell L. Lewis. I never met the man, but I was told at the Houston Yacht Club that he was very successful in the oil business. The boat owner berthed next to the K23 said Mr and Mrs Lewis had many great years with the boat. Mr Lewis died and his widow sold the boat in March 1993 for $3000 to a student from California who was attending med school in Houston.

The medical student's name is Mike C. Ford. He used the boat to keep his sanity while becoming a doctor. He kept the boat where it had always been at the HYC. He sailed the boat frequently and had some fun with her. When he became Dr. Mike Ford, he left for New Orleans to specialize in opthamalogy. He put the boat up for sale for $1500. When I first saw the boat I wanted it more than anything. On August 10, 1995, we (Blake and Nancy Riggs) became the current owners of Kittiwake #135.

The boat came with a mainsail, a jib, and a spinnaker. There was a Mercury 7.5 mounted on a motor bracket. There was extensive crazing of the gelcoat on the deck and topsides. Despite the less than bristol cosmetic appearance, she sailed nicely. Other boatowners would come alongside to ask what kind of boat she was and tell us what a beauty she is.

We sailed her for a while from the Watergate Yacht Club on Clear Lake. After a couple of seasons I hauled her to do a bottom job. When we did this we found the bottom had a serious case of blisters. I decided to do a complete restoration of the whole boat. I had a trailer built and now have the the boat in a storage shed. The hull repairs were a long learning experience for me. My tool inventory has grown to where I have every tool I could ever use including a compressor, air tools, and electric power tools. It has cost more for tools and storage fees than the boat could ever return. Still, this boat is my main hobby. The work has taken much longer than anticipated. But, she will sail again and she will be the most beautiful, well-found boat on Galveston Bay.

She was unnamed before but she will be named "Lauren" when she is relaunched. Lauren is my wife's niece who was killed by drunk driver when she was seven years old. It happened many years ago but she still lives on with those who knew her.

I am sure this is much more information than you need to register our boat. I wrote more than intended. I am looking forwad to meeting other Kittiwake23 owners.

Ralph & Renda Hewitt write:
"Mania", #526 - is now at the Lynn Creek Yacht Club at Joe Pool Lake in Grand Prairie, Texas (just Southwest of Dallas). We got the old Kittiwake cleaned up and fixed up, even found the motorwell plug and took the gasburner off... what a joy to be able to once more sail in-out of a slip with out a motor (and drag).

Any time any one of you might be in the Dallas area just let us know and out for a sail you will go. The gangplank is ready to show you some hospitality. Call 972-938-2585 or e-mail and lets talk sailing.... Ralph is the first and only owner of the best Kittiwake afloat.

Harry and Renee Parker sent the story of how they got their Kittiwake.
We purchased our K23 some 6 or 7 years ago for $1000.00, this included five sails and a trailer at a used car dealership. It had been part of a trade in and the car dealer was looking to unload it. The asking price at the time was $5000.00, but we were told by the salesman that he was sure we could have it for $1000.00. The wife and I discussed this for about a week whereupon she decided on her own to take $1000.00 out of the bank and put them to the test.

On arrival she found that the boat had been moved to the back of the lot. On talking to the salesmen she learned that the boat had been raffled off over the weekend and that the new owner did not know how to sail, his car was too small to tow it, he had to have it off the lot in 3 days and he didn't have a job so he could use the money. We made him the offer and after thinking about it for 24 hours he accepted.

We brought the boat home and are slowly taking it a part and restoring it. The sales were all in good shape but the running rigging and cushions are all shot. Mostly all she needs is cosmetic work and i wish to also add holding tanks a new propane stove an engine and new elelctric and manual bigle pumps.

There is no plate on the mast support inside the hull but from reading your article, due to the mounting of the winches on the boat (seperate fiberglass pads bolted to the boat) that she is prior to hull number 200. We were told that she was manufactured in 1973.

Our intention is to finish her and put her on the Delaware River in Philadelphia, Pa so that we may sail the Delaware River which gives us access to the Chesapeake and the Atlantic Ocean.

We are not sure how many owners she has had but we are at least her second (technically 4th if you include the car dealership and the fellow who owned her for a few days). Her present name is Vulture and we look forward to when time and money avail themselves to us to finish her and get her wet.

Having looked without success for the boats' Hull Number the other day, my wife and I opened up the mainsail and found that the sail number is 82. This would seem to make our boat older than first suspected.

End of Feedback Page
Select from the links in the left margin to view a different page

© 2008