Mission Statement

The purpose of KWAI is to carry cargo, passengers, and crew in a well found sailing vessel between the islands of the Pacific Ocean. The objectives include:

· To maintain and build further on our strong working relationship with the islands we service, through freight, trade and passengers.

· To finish the refit of the KWAI as a strong safe sailing ship for world voyaging, with accommodations for 8 paying passengers and cadets and 8 professional crew members.

· Incorporate facilities for divers, researchers and scientific personnel to make the ship suitable for expedition charters.

Voyaging under sail

The main goal of this project is voyaging on the high seas. The present service is a packet vessel between Hawaii and the Cook Islands which offers excellent year round sailing across the trade winds in both directions. Adventure travelers and crew immerse themselves in a life at sea, sharing the opportunity to learn seamanship, navigation, rigging and ship and small boat handling. A round trip schedule of two to three months will allow for half the time at sea and half the time in port or at anchor.  The ocean passages are memorable, but so are the relaxed stops at very remote islands.

Why a Sailing Vessel?

A powerful sailing ship, driven only by the free energy of the wind, dependent only on nature and the resources she carries aboard is not only a work of art and beauty, she is a proven, economical vehicle of transportation where fuel is expensive and often scarce.   Our sails are our the subsidy, and the fuel in our tanks  often goes ashore to run island generators, while the ship quietly rides the waves in the timeless tradition of her pedigree.

Trading Opportunities

For centuries these islands were supplied by infrequent ships arriving to sell their cargoes to the local inhabitants.  Even in these modern times many of the small islands on our route are still not supplied on a regular basis.  With approval and support from the local governments and island councils we  provide a comprehensive service.  We deliver ordered cargoes from the least expensive sources in Hawaii, and charge a purchasing fee and freight on all goods.  We now take back dried seaweed as return cargo to Hawaii and have proposed to carry copra from Washington to Christmas, a much needed service.   

Adventure Travel opportunities

Adventure travel remains a lucrative niche in the tourism industry. We offer a unique chance to visit remote islands, most accessible only by ocean voyages. On our vessel, passengers are be able to witness and take part in historical sea travel and trading. Long term, rewarding relationships have been established with the island communities and our passengers will be happy to meet the locals and able to pay for guided fishing, snorkeling, or exploring trips. In the age old island style, bountiful luaus ashore and lively parties aboard will be inevitable. We appeal to the eco-tourist as well as sail power is an environment-friendly way to see the world. The Pacific Islands will continue to offer risk-free destinations where political turmoil can be left behind.

Expedition charters

We make 3-4 trips per year between Hawaii and the Cook Islands with other time available for expedition charters in the Pacific area. Her cargo hold and strong cargo gear will allow her to hire out for dive, salvage, scientific or movie charters. Her sails can carry her cheaply to remote spots wherever work is found. With her limitless range, 24 comfortable bunks and a large cargo hold which can be fitted out to the charters’ needs she has wide appeal in this market.

Management Team

Captain Brad Ives is the President of Island Ventures Ltd and the Senior Captain of the S/V KWAI . He has 25 years experience in traditional sailing and commercial seafaring. KWAI is his third project converting an old ship to a sailing ship. In the 1970’s he was the captain and part owner of the SOFIA, a 90’ Baltic Trader converted to world voyaging. She carried cargo in the West Indies and later trade goods, from sugar to ebony elephants, through the Pacific and Indian Oceans. In 1978 he purchased the EDNA, a 100’ ex fishing vessel in Denmark, refitted her in Portugal, and operated her as a sailing cargo vessel for 9 years, trading mostly in construction materials. Tropical timbers for boat building became her specialty and Brad continues to supply these to boat builders throughout the US. In 1978 he earned the US Coast Guard Master of Sail License for up to 300 gross tons, now upgraded to 500 tons. Under his command SOFIA sailed around the world and EDNA made 3 Atlantic and 8 Pacific crossings. Brad has extensive experience building boats as well, installing engine, electrical, plumbing and navigational systems aboard the yachts built at Gannon & Benjamin Boatyard on Martha’s Vineyard. He is uniquely qualified to undertake the conversion of KWAI and to direct the trading and sailing operations throughout the Pacific. Island Ventures Limited will hire a full time captain when the ship is operating and Brad will serve as general manager and relief skipper.

April Fountain or Mama Kwai, is Brad’s wife and Manages the office in Hawaii as well as being the Ships Agent .  She brings many years of successful business experience in both her own and other businesses. She has done 3 ocean crossings as the head cook aboard the KWAI and sailed on numerous sailing ships around the world. 

Please contact us if you have any questions or wish to participate in the Kwai.

Mahalo nui loa/Kia manuia