This is a story about an unusual-looking 40-foot boat with two outriggers and a legend attached. As legends go, this one is way out there. Or, if you like, way up there.The boat's owner, Tom Kardos of Aliso Viejo, isn't all that keen about talking about it, although he believes it's true. "My wife says if I talk about it, make a one-sentence comment and then don't come back to it," Kardos says. So, in deference to Kardos, whose company I enjoyed immensely aboard the Seven Sisters earlier this week, I'll get to that part of the story a bit later.Besides, some background always helps. Kardos is 49 and the father of three children.He's an engineer with an aptitude for electronics that has put him in touch, he says, with cutting-edge scientific and medical products.
He and his wife of 21 years drive hybrid cars and consider themselves "save-the-Earth kind of people," Kardos says.
And Kardos loves the sea.
He spent his boyhood in landlocked Hungary and had never seen an ocean
until his family moved to Southern California when he was 12.
sailed from California to Hawaii and made another trip to the Galapagos
A few years ago, he was in
Hawaii and saw a boat unlike anything he'd ever seen. When he laid eyes
on the Seven Sisters, it was love at first sight.
The boat had a
standard-looking hull but came with two outrigger hulls attached in a
way that gave it a futuristic look. The locals around the yachtclub
referred to it, Kardos says, "as the 'Back to the Future' boat or the
James Bond boat or the Enterprise from 'Star Trek.' "
Kardos wanted it but didn't
like the price. However, by 2005, after it had been sold by its
designer to a fisherman, Kardos made the deal. To confirm his belief in
the craft, he took it out in 35-knot winds off the back side of Kauai
and was amazed at how the two outer "wave-piercing" hulls helped the
boat knife through the waves at a sustained 10 to 12 knots into the
But it's not just the
boat's look that impressed Kardos. He says it was designed to be
environmentally friendly and efficient — with multiple energy sources
and water-catching methods. The boat, he says, weighs 7,000 pounds — a
weight not unusual for a sailboat half its length.
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