Saturday, August 30, 2014

Velo o te Moana: Spear of the Ocean

The first three man canoe carved in PukaPuka for 30 years has been delivered to the museum in Rarotonga, Cook Islands.  It is similar to the very special 50-60 year old model I have from PukaPuka.
You can read more about its construction here.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Hull Varnishing

Andrew Bennett is varnishing his T2 hull and had this advice:  
"Please repeat to your followers your advice to avoid varnish fumes.  I got a nasty headache yesterday, in spite of using a chemical respirator.  I kept it well inside the garage, and so got a buzz just walking across the garage to put it on.  I keep it now at the garage door."

Friday, August 22, 2014

Outrigger Junior

The Outrigger Junior by John Harris of CLC.

Several are now being built at the WoodenBoat School.

Hollow curved crossbeams.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

The Proanauts of Poland

We are a group of friends sailing proas from Poland and Germany.  Every year we meet to share our experience and to raid together to gain some more experience.
Three boats went for Proa Raid 2014.  All of them were shunting proas with crab claw sails.  Strictly shunting, no tacking, no safety gear to protect the fail of the mast in back-wind.  No motor.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Outriggers Lost in the Sea of Time

An overlooked aspect of cultural change and conditions for sustainable development in Oceania.
By Thomas Malm

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Outrigger Canoe Surfing

Certainly one of the best videos to either excite you or make sure you never try it.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Pages of Proa History

Robert Patrick sent me a link to these pages from the July 1962 issue Of Popular Boating magazine.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

More Uluas Coming Off Their Molds

Claudio Carvalho's Ulua, being built in Brazil, is ready to come off the mold.

Stewart Jackson's Ulua in Western Australia has two extra planks along the gunwale to give it additional freeboard.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Manihi Tacking Outrigger 1954

When David Nelson's father, John M. Nelson, sailed around the world as a crew member on the brigantine Yankee in 1954, he had the chance to see and sail different types of outrigger canoes.  He was so impressed with the performance of this one from the island of Manihi in the Tuomotus that he measured it up with the intent of someday building one.  It wasn't built but his son David might just do it. (I'm trying to convince him)

The hull is a simple flat bottom and was reported to be quite light.  With a lusty crew, it should go like a rocket.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Made For Waves

Kiko Johnston-Kitazawa from the big Island of Hawaii sent me a link to this very beautiful and inspiring video.  Click on the photo above to view the video.

The Organization Na Pe'a is also doing great work in getting young people involved in canoe sailing.

Saturday, July 5, 2014


Possibly the oldest outrigger canoe plan intended for the backyard builder, this 12' paddler appeared in the July 1961 issue of Boy's Life magazine.  Sorry I missed it at the time because it could have speeded up my personal development.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Around the Workshops

Jeremy Lloyd's Ulua ready to take on Hawaiian waters.

Paul Vasterling's T2 being inspected by Quality Control

Andrew Bennett's T2 getting its ama struts setup.

Jim Richardson's stretched Ulua.

Mike Lewis's T2 ready to go.
And Phil McLean's Va'a Motu side panel on the operating table.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014


 A transom can be very useful on any boat,  where it can provide a convenient mounting for a rudder and even an outboard motor.   But with a long, narrow and pointy ended canoe, the weight  of those things are better placed more amidships where the trim will be less affected.
I must give the credit for this idea to some unknown fisherman from the Cook Islands .  No doubt similar solutions are used on many Pacific islands.  On one of my visits there, I saw a small flat bottomed plywood canoe with an outboard bracket that consisted of a length of 2x4 shoved through two rectangular holes in the sides of the canoe.  Nothing could be simpler or less prone to failure than this.

This Tamanu canoe uses the 2x4 to support the outboard on the ama side and the kick up rudder on the opposite side.  The leeboard should go on the same side as the rudder.

The above drawing shows the structure used on the Va'a Motu design.  The wood piece lashed on top of the gunwales allows more distance between the gudgeons for better rudder stability.

If the canoe is heavily loaded or trimmed down at the stern, the waves can hit the mount.  A thin plywood shield, held on with webbing hinges and a lashing, deflects any spray away from the motor.

On the Va'a Motu I used a fabric spray shield attached with snap fasteners on the outboard motor side.

The Va'a Motu cassette rudder on its mount.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Really Simple Sails

Michael Storer, the designer of the Goat Island Skiff and many others, has started a sail making loft with some friends in the Philippines. His standing lug rigs being powerful, low aspect and easy to reef, make them a good option for any outrigger sailing canoe.  The prices are good and reef points are included.  Read this page on adapting his sails to other designs. 
The worst case scenario for adapting these sails to my designs would involve drilling an extra hole for a different leeboard location and adding some extra reinforcement there.
And yes, I know that's a unimaran in the above photo :-)

Monday, May 19, 2014

Wilber in the Sea of Cortez

Wilber is a Wharram designed Tahiti Wayfarer 21' outrigger canoe built by Shaun West.  Follow their adventures in the Sea of Cortez on their blog.

Monday, May 12, 2014

For Sale

This Ulua is one of the fiberglass production models I built about eight years ago and is located in Tauranga, New Zealand.  The hull is built with vinylester resin and knitted fiberglass fabrics.  For more details and photos go HERE

Dan St Gean has one or both of these Tamanu hulls for sale.  The photo is from the Texas 200 event where the hulls were connected and powered with Hobie 18 parts.  The hulls are located in Illinois, USA.  Post a comment if interested in either of these canoes.