Nick Kats on Teddy

UPDATE to the UPDATE: He’s on again! My cousin Nick (that’s Nicolas Kats, a naturopathic doctor and acupuncturist currently residing in Ireland, depicted above on the vessel in question) has in fact decided to move back to Portland, Oregon, and wants to take his boat along with him. Having studied the charts, he has concluded that the most logical route from A to B leads through the Northwest Passage, and he is looking for crew to come along on the journey.

Here’s the voyage precis he sent me:

Trip – Clifden, Co Galway, Ireland – W Greenland – NW Passage – Bering Strait – Unalaska – Columbia River to Portland, Oregon. About 7000 NM.

Leave mid June, get there late Sept. 3 to 3.5 months.

Temperature in NW Passage (middle third) is 20 to 40 degrees F avg – need to dress warm & dry! Good probability, but no guarantee, of getting through. If passage is blocked by ice, will back out & go down to East Coast USA.

Me – 54 yrs old male. Started sailing as a kid. Coastal sailing all my life, mostly New England. No racing. Mostly self-taught. Last 4 years – started offshore sailing with present vessel, based in western Ireland: to Spain, Portugal, Azores, Faroes, Iceland, Hebrides, Orkneys, S Norway, Denmark. About 5000 NM bluewater sailing. No ice experience.

Boat – 39′ LOD steel ketch, 16 ton, 25 yrs old, built in Denmark, virtually no rust, full keel, similar to Colin Archer, but is narrower & has a square stern. Is insulated, has diesel stove & wood/coal stove for heating – will be warm below at all times! Rigging is 10 & 12 mm galvanized cable, thimble spliced. 9 sails, 3 sea drogues/sea anchors, 4 anchors & a grapnel for ice, 8′ hard dinghy & 10′ inflatable with sail, no outboards. Engine is 30 HP Sabb. 120 gal water, 120 gal diesel. Steers herself upwind, reaching & downwind just by setting the sheets – wind vane not needed. Extremely strong, simple, low-tech throughout, essentially 19th century in solidity, performance & character. She is fine in gales, have been in about 20 on her. Attached are pictures.

Expenses will be shared; contact me for details.

Here some pix of his boat, Teddy, designed and built by one Arne Hedlund in Denmark in 1988:






Teddy plan

If you’re interested in pursuing this, you can get in touch with Nick via his Facebook page.

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6 Responses
  1. Jonathan Powers

    That is such a beautiful boat! And to take it through the NW passage… wow! It is too bad he’s not doing it, allthough I wouldn’t have been able to come anyway. Maybe someday on a boat like that…

  2. Charlie

    Hello Ingvar: He is doing it. Nick changed his mind and changed it back again shortly after I first posted this. (Note the UPDATE to UPDATE tag up top.) Jonathan’s comment was in response to the first update (Nick deciding not to go). As far as I know right now, he does plan to go ahead.

    Hello Kc: No, I am not. Should I?


  3. Drazen

    Hi Charles, im a guy from Sweden that has sailed a few short years. I own my own boat and i aim to take it across the Atlantic. However this journey seems to good to pass out so if you can get back to me with the details on my email. Or help me get in contact with Nick in a diffrent way than on Facebook since im not using it.

    Thanks in advance!

  4. Lisa Landry Anderson

    Hi Nick!
    I’m the friend that came to Ireland with you and your family in the early &70s and stayed the summer. Victoria Foote was the other friend who came a bit later in the season. My folks were from Conn. and my dad and yours became good friends from the commute to NYC by train. Anyway i was looking for you and your brothers because after your dear mum left i lost track of all of you. I hope that you are well. How is Ivan? I wrote to him but never heard back. I see you are a sailor!!! If i sail between california and Hawaii, i’ll have sailed around the world! And most of it on a Colin Archer 42′ beauty! If you get this please let me know you are well! Best wishes,

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