Kialoa IV was the first of a new breed of maxi-raters, just over 80ft long, and was designed by Ron Holland in 1979 and built using a composite sandwich-laminated hull and deck with aluminium reinforcing. The latter being in the shape of a space-frame chassis incorporated into the hull to take keel and rig loads. Kialoa IV was built by Holland's brother-in-law Gary Carlin at his Kiwi Yachts yard in Florida, which had also built the famous Imp which pioneered the space-frame concept. The composite laminate was influenced by studies carried out by both Kiwi Yachts and Dupont's research department in Wilmington. Holland noted at the time that "While all-up hull weight advantages were not a primary consideration, the tests showed lighter ends and deck were possible compared to Kialoa III".
|Kialoa IV in early days, possibly during the 1981 SORC|
|Kialoa IV during the 1981 SORC (photo Seahorse)|
Kialoa IV was launched in November 1980 and Kilroy immediately began a working-up programme for the new boat which involved her trialing against her predecessor, Kialoa III, which would later be converted for cruising. This was a unique opportunity, where use a pace boat had previously proven effective with Admiral's Cup size yachts (such as Big Apple and Marionette in 1977), but this was the first time that this had been done with ocean racing yachts at this scale.
|Kialoa IV powers upwind - 1981 (photo Hood sails)|
|The bigger they are ... (photo Colin Jarman/Seahorse)|
|Kialoa IV and Condor during the California Cup match race series in 1982, which was won by Condor (photo Sobstad sails)|
|Kialoa IV in fresh running conditions|
|Kialoa IV about to cross tacks with Condor (centre) during the 1982 Clipper Cup, with Windward Passage not far behind (right) (photo John Malitte/Sea Spray)|
|Kialoa IV to leeward and behind Condor during the 1983 SORC (photo Larry Moran)|
|Kialoa IV to leeward of Windward Passage in light airs during the 1983 SORC (photo Larry Moran)|
The design was a successful one for Holland, and along with sistership Condor, she generated commissions for Round-the-World derivatives Lion New Zealand and Drum for the 1985-86 Whitbread, and the 'inshore' Maxi Sassy, although none of these boats made much an impression on the race course, being shorter than Kialoa and Condor, and heavy for their length. Lion New Zealand did, however, finish second in the 185-86 Whitbread Round the World Race, with greater structural integrity than some of her rivals.
|Kialoa IV during the 1983 SORC (photo Larry Moran)|
Kialoa IV's reign at the top of the Maxi class was relatively short however, and the decision was made in 1985 for the replacement maxi, the new Frers-designed Kialoa V. She went on to compete in the 1987 Antigua Race Series, before Kialoa V was commissioned in 1988.
|Kialoa IV in more recent times, seen here in La Rochelle, France (photo Sail-World)|
More details (and photos) about Kialoa IV can be seen on the "Kialoa US-1: Dare to Win" website here, and a record of all her race results are here.
A Sail-World obituary for Jim Kilroy is here.