Stray Bit

Launched July 1977 (date of contract)
Owner Kelsea, Kailen, Liza, and Casey Cummings
Purchased June 2010
Berthed Haleiwa, Hawaii
Sail Number R 198
State Registration O/N 851239, Fremantle
Call Sign
Builder Swarbrick Bros
Hull Number 41
Fit Out
Previous Owners William & Joan Bone (Stray Bit), David & Liz Brown
(Mango Groove 1991 – ?), Brian J Caldwell
Michael Stewart (Stray Bit) 2005-07
K. Kaminski, leased to Natasza Caban (Tanasza Polska) 2007-10
Previous Names Stray Bit( original name), Mango Groove, Tanasza Polska, renamed Stray Bit again in 2012

The Yacht’s Story

Bill & Joan Bone sailed Stray Bit from WA to Queensland around 1982. This from Joan in 2012:

S & S 34 Yacht STRAY BIT 1978 1991. Owners/Builder Bill & Joan Bone.

Stray Bit was built at the Swarbrick Bros Boat Yard, Perth by Bill Bone using the S & S 34 mould which he leased from them at the time.In 1977 he laid up the fibreglass hull & deck. Moving it to the back yard of their home by truck, the fitting out took place with the finished yacht being launched at RPYC on 17th November 1978.

Bill & Joan spent the next 41/2 years club racing at RPYC,S&S 34 Assn and Fremantle Sailing Club. They achieved very good racing results which included The Cathay-Pacific sponsored race off Fremantle and the inaugural 1981 International Fremantle to Bali Ocean Yacht Race.They were placed 2nd in the YAH division on the return leg Bali to Dampier.W.A.

1984 saw them leave Perth and they cruised the NSW coast and Pittwater for the next 12 months.Being able to lower the mast,( a necessity for Perth river yachts to be able to go under bridges to get to sea,) they were able to explore some interesting waterways. 1985 they leisurely cruised north to Queensland finally basing themselves at Bowen. and spent the next 6 years in the Whitsunday Islands and Queensland waters north to Lizzard Island, enjoying a life most people only dream of doing. The yacht was sold to Liz & Dave Brown in 1991 and sailed to Hawaii.

Some additional info:

Purchased by Dave and Liz Brown in Bowen in 1991 and renamed Mango Groove. They lived aboard with their two young children and cruised her into the Pacific. Contact with the yacht was lost for a while when when Dave and Liz Brown sold her to an American Brian J Caldwell who wanted to circumnavigate the world. He proposed that there be an around the world race for S&S 34s, single handed. But didn’t progress the idea. As far as we can tell he got as far as Honolulu where the boat was left on a mooring for far too long. Mike then bought her and undertook a refit. After some discussion with Natasza Caban in Hawaii he then sold the yacht in 2007 to a company that leased it to Natasza for a circumnavigation with an option to buy later.

Natasza Caban is a Polish sailor who bought an S&S 34 in Hawaii in 2007 and completed her solo circumnavigation on 2/12/09, becoming at 32 the youngest Polish woman to circumnavigate solo single handed (another record for the S&S 34!).

Click here for a Sail World article re her voyage and click  here for an article re the completion of the voyage.  Some other links are:

excerpt below from the website:

Nataszas skills together with her determination and passion for sailing made K. Kaminski, a businessman and an experienced yachtsman, a graduate of the famous Mragowo Base, the present-day Olympic Championship School, sailing on a yacht called The Lightning, help to fulfil her lifelong dream. The project includes many elements that are difficult for her to cope Ive already once with. Therefore I made this decision to help her at least with the most difficult elements related to safety (a rescue station, a computer or satellite telephone). Help was also offered by WDT company that donated some money which Natasza could spend on equipping the yacht with a couple of things indispensable to her life on sea, e.g. electronics, rigging, etc. Those elements are really expensive and Natasza was given a free hand to spend the money on what she pleased. After purchasing all necessary equipment, the  Australian owner of the boat backed out and gave the yacht to a broker for sale. Naturally, with excellent equipment. An interesting turnabout, he continues. Perhaps we got too engaged in the project, but a prompt decision was needed so Inter Pro Sailing Team bought the yacht from the owner and all rights were transferred to the  company, so there would be no doubts who was going to take further decisions in connection with the boat. The yacht was registered in Hawaii. We entered into a contract with Natasza leasing her the boat for 22 months, i.e. for the period of the voyage round the world. During this time she is exclusively in charge of the boat and it is up to her to make all decisions relating to herself, the yacht and the route she’s going to follow.

After that, if she decides so and finds a sponsor, she can purchase the yacht, which is potentially her home, from Inter Pro Sailing for the amount that we paid without any rise claim. Unless this happens, the boat will remain in Polish hands with the possibility of using it in other projects and it will praise the name of the Pole who sailed it round the globe.

From Casey Cummings, Aug 2010:

In order to update your files I provide the following information:

Casey Cummings purchased Tanasza Polska (Hull No. 41) in June 2010. Tanasza Polska will be moored in Haleiwa, Hawaii USA. She will be maintained in her original purchased condition and her name will remain Tanasza Polska. She will be sailed primarily on the North Shore of Oahu with trips to the outer Hawaiian Islands. The yacht seems to have had very few changes made since her original construction. She is in very good condition for a yacht having sailed at least one circumnavigation.

ADDIT: After meeting with Joan Bone and hearing the history of the yacht, Casey has now returned her name to the original “Stray Bit”

About the Owners

See the links above re Natasza Caban

 Re Michael Stewart in 2005:

Mike is an old member of RPYC (1991) who purchased a S&S 34 in Hawaii (Honolulu) in 2005 called Stray Bit. The yacht will be hauled out for a few months while Mike works overseas. He intends to eventually get her back to Australia. He’d like to contact the old owners, He’s after mast specs, and sail specs etc and any other info they may have pertaining to the history of the boat. She was involved in a record attempt by a guy called Brian Caldwell who can’t be contacted at all (missing!). Anyway she is sound and has all the old sails etc and numbers on her, including a sticker of a black swan and the old RPYC flag logo and Fremantle written on the transom in very faded letters… completely lost on the local boat owners though.


Photo: Casey Cummings, 2010 (click on photos to enlarge)



Refurbished mast and new standing rigging, 2016 (photo: C Cummings):

Stray Bit 01       Stray Bit 02

One thought on “Stray Bit

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *