Several years ago I wrote an article for Cruising World magazine and later an updated version on this site about an interview I did with the legendary cruising trader and treasure hunter, Hans Klaar. It turned out that Hans was convicted in South Africa of rape in 1998, but had chosen to flee the country and I was unaware of this when I met him a year later in Trinidad. I can understand now why he did not want to share this information with me or anyone else at the time and know he hoped this would all blow over in time. However, in 2009 the law caught up with him in New Zealand and a year later he was extradited back to South Africa where he served several months in prison on a reduced sentence.
Not having been there I cannot confirm his innocence or guilt, but Hans recently contacted me and asked me to put out his version of events. He claims he is innocent and knowing him as I do, I have no reason to doubt him. If he was innocent, this has been a terrible thing for him to go through, particularly as the press and sailing community have nearly unanimously condemned him without considering his side of the story.
Albin Vega 27 projects
Last August I was contacted by Mike Watson, a submariner based in Groton, CT, who was transferring to King's Bay Naval Base here in SE Georgia. He owned a 1972 Albin Vega 27, built in Sweden, which he wanted to truck to his new home and refit the boat for offshore cruising in between sub deployments. Having just launched the Triton Salty, I drove up with my boat trailer behind our F-250 pickup, loaded his boat and brought her back to our boat shed.