About Watari

SV/Watari is a Sparkman and Stephens 30. She was built in Japan in 1973 by Kato Boat Works as an offshore racer. As such she was built very heavy, very strong, and with very few creature comforts. She’s famous for being a seaworthy design that’s fast and sails well to windward, but is also built like a tank and can handle offshore weather. Her sister ships have crossed the Atlantic and Pacific. Her bigger sister, the S&S 34 holds more records for single handed circumnavigations than any other boat ever built and is a proven bluewater voyager.

Her basic hull design resulted in several 30′ boats being produced around the world, with varying cabin and rig configurations. The USA built Yankee 30 is a very popular version, as is the Tartan 30, the Palmer Johnson 30 less so. In Australia the S&S 30 Defiance has a strong following, in Canada she was the Northstar 1000, in the UK the She D30, and in Denmark the Sagitta 30.

The name Watari is based on the verb Wataru (渡る), Japanese for “cross over”. Wataribune (渡船) is “ferry boat” and Watarimono (渡り物) is a migratory bird or animal. I like the image of Watari crossing oceans and safely voyaging to the other side. It’s also a bit of a play on words as “Watari” sounds like the English “watery” 😉

I love her classic lines, old-school craftsmanship, and the fact that she’s got a rock-solid hull and decks with no signs of waterlogging/rotten deck core. She needs a complete overhaul of her running gear and interior, but she’s got a very solid hull to start from. It’ll take a looooong time to get her back in shape, but here’s a little snapshot of how she would have looked when first launched 40 years ago:

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Here are her original plans:


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