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Obituaries

Sailor bought his Yacht from Julie Andrews

Entrepreneur Kauko Hallikainen

Originally a Finn Kauko Einari Hallikainen, who made a long career in the United States as a entrepreneur, died in California July 19 at the age of 85. He was born in Chicago January 5. 1916.

    Kauko Hallikainenís parents moved to the United States in the beginning of 1900. His father Kalle Einari was occupied in constructing big motor yachts capable of oversees voyages. He stayed often a while as a machinist on the boats built by him. As a boy Kauko had sometimes the opportunity to join his father and he learned early to know the sea and the west coast of America from island Galapagos to Alaska.

Kauko Hallikainen graduated in electrical engineering from the California Polytechnic University in 1937, started to work for Shell and continued his studies in the University of California at Berkeley.

    He joined the Navy in 1940 and developed demagnetizing methods, designed special vessels and prepared studies and manuals concerning those subjects.

He founded his own company called Hallikainen Instruments in 1952. Among his customers was the Finnish Neste, which utilized Hallikainenís equipment at its refineries.

    American Hallikainen spoke fluent Finnish with a slight eastern (Savo) accent.

Hallikainen Instrument designed and manufactured both process and scientific instruments for the oil refining and chemical industries.

    Hallikainen sold his company 1973 but continued still a couple of years in the company called Hallikainen Associates.

The sea and boating played a major role in the life of Kauko Hallikainen. In 1970 Hallikainen joined the St Francis Yacht Club, which is one of the most significant clubs in the yachting world. Hallikainen was commodore of the club in 1981 and a honorary member starting 1996.

    The flagship of the club was the 68 feet Tempest that Hallikainen bought from actress Julie Andrews. "Hal" and Tempest were not separate able. He lived on his yacht, which was equipped by open fireplace in the saloon and a Finnish sauna on the lower deck. The King of Norway, Olav the Fifth visited Tempest early 1980.   

    In October 1996 Tempest hit a shoal due to fog and storm and a navigation error made by the pilot. The helicopter rescued the people on board but the yacht couldnít be saved. Hallikainen was planning to by a new yacht but his slowly weakening health prevented him to do that.

The author is a M.Sc. in Engineering who has been occupied by similar tasks than Kauko Hallikainen.

   

JUHANI J. KOIVULA