Sunday, March 30, 2014

Bamboo Spars

A good article by someone who uses bamboo spars offshore.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Mass Canoe building

This from Michael Storer recently in the Philippines:

This is a project to replace some of the 50,000 small fishing boats lost In the Philippines from Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda. These small boats underpin local communities and families.
This particular project has come from the group for the knowhow and financed by one group of classmates.
The idea is not only to give boats, but to teach the fishermen to build their own.
This particular design is locally drawn up following many of the principles that Phil Bolger and others use for construction. It is called the "Biglang Bangka" or translated "instant Bangka"

Thursday, March 6, 2014

The SlattaRaptor

Actually John Slattebo calls it the Tipnol, a Marshallese term for one of their canoe types.  The Tipnol is John's personal canoe made up from Slatts 22 and Raptor 16 parts. 
It looks like it wouldn't take many modifications to sleep two in that roomy cockpit.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

The Everglades Challenge 2014

The 2014 Everglades Challenge begins this next Saturday, the first of March, with a record number of paddlers and sailors.  We might see a proa if the Crazy Russian gets it finished in time.
You can keep track of all the participants through the Watertribe Challenge tracking page.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Summer in NZ with Dennis

Manukau Harbor, Auckland.  Stretched Ulua, Va'a Motu ama.  Dennis Bullen.  See the video here.
He looks like he needs a Laz-E-Boy.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Jak's Jester

The first of the new Bieker/Brown 32' proas has a construction blog here.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Out There Doing It

Jeremy Eagleton again, off the West Australian coast.  He's added a few features to his stretched Ulua since I saw it last,  a section of rigid deck amidships, a rudder, a jib, and some tramps.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

The Jester Class 32' Proa

This should be a winner.  At last a well designed minimal cruising proa design resulting from the collaborative efforts of Russell Brown and Paul Bieker.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Paddling Amas

The first time that you have to paddle your sailing canoe can be annoying because the large buoyant ama will sometimes seem to take over the steering unless you are well practised in anticipating it.
The optimum ama shape for paddling and sailing is very different.  The photo above shows a 45' Hawaiian racing canoe rigged for paddling only.  I've drawn in a dotted line along the waterline to show how very little of the ama is actually touching the water when in use. (Click the photo to enlarge)  The ama is also quite short in comparison to the length of the main hull.
An ama like this would not be a good performer under sail not only because of its lack of buoyancy but also how the entry is shaped when it is pushed down by a press of sail.

The above drawing shows the ama and main hull of the Va'a Motu.  The ama is stretched right up to the main hull bow to give the needed buoyancy to prevent a diagonal capsize.  The entry also has very little rocker to make it pierce waves rather than pitch over them.  Constant changes in pitch or "hobby-horsing" plays havoc with the flow over the sail and makes you go slower.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Ama Switch

Dennis Bullen on the Manukau Harbor in New Zealand recently built a new ama for his stretched Ulua to the design I'm using on the Va'a Motu.  It has a high volume, a low wave piercing bow and plenty of rocker aft.  It should throw less spray that the banana shaped amas.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

The Last Sailing Canoe of Mokil

Mokil is a Micronesian island near Pohnpei in the Federated States of Micronesia.  If you've got a big old tree in your backyard that you'd like to get rid of, this video will show you how to put it to good use.
I built a 30' power catamaran on Pohnpei back in the 70's and what I think of while I watched this video was the heat and humidity.  I also remember that with enough Micronesians, you can carry a 30' cat hull down a very steep slippery jungle trail to the water.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Canoe Surfing Hawaiian Style

Follow this Link for some great video and tips.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Wa'apas in Brazil

Felipe Monsanto's Wa'apa sailing in Rio.

Felipe used a Hobie hull for the ama.

Lashed seats.

João Rivera's Wa'apa.

João's building blog is here.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

We Want Wave Clearance Clarence

This Hawaiian 45' racer built by Bill Rosehill in Hawaii illustrates a good way to get those crossbeams raised above the top of the waves.  This arrangement is commonly seen in Tahiti but not much in Hawaii except for the canoes converted to sailing.  Note the shimming to tune the ama height.
This 175 lb cedar strip/fiberglass hull would be hard to improve on even with a big pile of carbon and honeycomb.  Strip composite can result in a lighter hull than most plywood designs provided that your techniques are good.  As Burt Rutan used to say:  "That excess resin that you squeegeed on to the floor will do a lot more good there than on your airplane."

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Reef that Crab

Reto Brehm's P5 proa "Lili'Uokalani" with a shunting Oceanic lateen rig. 

There has never been a completely satisfying way to reef a crab claw sail.  If you just furl up some of the area along the boom, you still end up with the sail at full hoist, not the best place for the area when the wind is strong.  Reto rigged a ring or loop of beads that slides down over the halyard to lower the yard and yet keep it tight against the mast.  The control line is led out to the main shroud to give a new support point to the mast and prevent any excessive bending.