North Sails NEWS

Story Contributors: Warwick Kerr


Spain to the Caribbean with the Kerr Family

cruising nordac dacron
📸 Ryan Borne

Warwick Kerr (Wazza), Sail Expert based in Palma, Spain, set off on a cruising trip with his wife Katrin and his three-year-old son, Kilian. They departed from Mallorca in October of 2019 and have been all over the place since, from Mallorca to La Linea, Gibraltar, Gran Canaria, Tenerife, and more recently has made landfall in Antigua and is now in St Maarten. Working remotely, Wazza and his family have fully embraced the bluewater cruising lifestyle and couldn’t be happier doing what they love. Being able to share this experience with Kilian has made it even more special.

Wazza owns a Spirit 36 called Wakaki, hull #45, built in 1991. She had one owner before Wazza. “This boat was a good compromise between my modern racer mentality, and my wife’s more traditional long keel, heavy cruiser mindset.” When the family set off from the docks in Palma; they didn’t have a firm plan on how long they’d be gone.

They had a general idea of spending two seasons in the Caribbean and then heading into the Pacific, which has been a life-long dream to tick off their family bucket list. Other than that, it’s ocean traveling from port to port, seeing new places, meeting different people, and making memories together.

“We don’t have any fixed plans, just cruising around to see where we end up. As long as we are enjoying it, which we are! We will keep on cruising!”

Wakaki is fully equipped with a North Sails 3Di NORDAC mainsail, a genoa, and a staysail. Their spinnaker is a little older, but she’s holding strong, Wazza says. “I have my sights set on a tradewinder at some point to give me even more options.”

cruising nordac dacron
📸 Ryan Borne

Wazza worked with North Sail Designer Kevin George to fine-tune his custom refit. “Kevin is a good friend of mine, and we spent a good amount of time working on the designs to find the right shape that would optimize my family sailing trip. Everything is working out great,” Wazza says. “I can say the reefs in our mainsail are perfectly positioned, which gives us a lot of wiggle room, or a little if we choose. Our sails now have a little over 5,000 nm on them, since they were installed in September of 2019.” Wakaki’s genoa and staysail are furling and reef-able too, which makes things even more ideal for his easy cruising lifestyle.

“We don’t have any fixed plans, just cruising around to see where we end up. As long as we are enjoying it, which we are! We will keep on cruising!”

From an overall sail perspective, Wazza feels that his 3Di NORDAC sails are the best investment he’s made for the boat. “My original plan was to build a set of cross-cut dacron sails. I had planned to go old-school, and hand-cut them myself, and build them like I did when I was a sailmaking apprentice, which was in 1996.”

Cruising nordac dacron
📸 Ryan Borne

“Getting caught up in the dream as we all do, I ended up choosing 3Di NORDAC, which was a one-and-done decision that has made it all possible for us. I have to say, after the miles they’ve seen, and the handling they’ve received, they are still in great shape. They have the same shape they did when I bought them, and are an image of perfection, in my opinion. We do our best to take care of them, but you know how it is, sometimes we are a bit rough on our sails, but they are holding strong regardless of our treatment.” Wazza agrees, a cross-cut sail would have done a great job, but for longevity and hard use over an indefinite period of time– 3Di was the way to go, no question.

“Cruisers are supportive, friendly, and the only regret you can have is not to give it a try!”

Katrin is also making the most of their cruising adventure. “She has always had the dream of cruising the Pacific, so being able to do it now with a family, is her definition of living the dream,” explains Wazza. “Katrin’s parents cruised the world in the ’70s, and my parents did also in the late ’90s and early 2000s. It’s part of our blood, so it’s no surprise we both enjoy it. What’s unique is that both grandparents to our son have sailed around the world, and now we can all share it together, and that is special for us.”

Kat’s dad bought Wanderer III from the Hiscocks (pioneer cruisers and authors of some of the first yacht cruising guides), and he sailed around the world for five years, during which he met Kat’s mother. Wazza’s parents left home when he was 17 to complete their dream journey, which lasted a little less than nine years. Bluewater cruising is a significant part of their family history.

Kat is not new to the sailing world; having grown up cruising and sailing from a young age, Katrin started as chef/mate nearly 20 years ago in the BVI’s with The Moorings and has since been working in the Super Yacht industry. Now the sailing duo can arrive at any port, and offer just about any type of assistance, whether it be sail and cover related expertise, or if someone needs a chef to cater a charter; both Wazza and Kat can do it all.

So this cruising life; Why should we do it and what makes it so special? “Why not!” says Wazza. “Do it, live your dream! The worst thing that can happen is you go back to what you had on dry land. Cruisers are supportive, friendly, and the only regret you can have is not to give it a try!”

Read Part II: Killian Goes Cruising

cruising nordac dacron
📸 Ryan Borne

Story Contributors

Bluewater Cruising: Spain to the Caribbean headshot
Warwick Kerr

External Service, Sail Expert — Palma de Mallorca, Spain Llucmajor, Mallorca, Spain

Warwick 'Wazza' Kerr was on the sailmaking team for two Volvo Ocean Races and one America’s Cup. In 2004, he won the Rolex Sydney to Hobart Race, and he sails regularly on Superyachts. Warwick’s sailmaking career started in 1996, and...