Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Canoe Racks

In Tahiti and the surrounding islands, the tidal range is very small, only about a foot and always at noon and midnight.  This makes it very convenient to store your outrigger on a platform just above the high tide level.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

500 Sails

500 Sails is an organization devoted to restoring the maritime traditions of the Marianas Islands.  The above photo shows the prototype 26' proa being built in Derek Kelsall's shop here in New Zealand.  Upon completion it and more building materials will be shipped to Saipan where many more will be built.  The KSS building method produces light weight foam/fiberglass composite hulls without a female mold. 
There is a Facebook page to follow their progress.

I built my own 45' version of this ancient design in Saipan back in 1983.  I used C-flex to construct the fiberglass hull.  It was designed to take six paddlers to train for OC6 competitions.  The hull was unfortunately destroyed by a falling ironwood tree during a typhoon some years later.

Friday, January 27, 2017


Janusz Ostrowski, a long time proa designer and sailor from Poland, has a new proa design in production.  Molded in ABS plastic, it is even recyclable. 
More info at:

Tuesday, January 17, 2017


 If I could sail an outrigger like this girl, I'd be a happy man.  The modeling of the canoes is very good and the water is a great advancement from previous films.
While the canoe bodies and platforms are modeled on Fijian canoes, the sailing rig of the smaller canoe was the tacking type instead of the shunting rigs used by Fijians.  I guess we can call it "Oceanic Fusion".

Thursday, January 12, 2017


I spotted this Harry Proa moored at Taipa on a recent camping trip to Northland, New Zealand.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Monday, December 26, 2016

Ten Week Wonder

A prodigious  builder has created this fifty nine foot work of art in ten weeks (putting the rest of us to shame).   Built specifically for the Route du Rhum single handed transatlantic race, it is still not certain if it will be accepted for the race .   See more photos and info here.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Raptor 16 For Sale

John Slattebo has a used carbon Raptor 16 for sale. $3900. 
 Contact John at:

 This is a sister ship sailing in the UK.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

The Ocean Keepers

From the Fiji Times: 
When master navigator Jiujiua Bera first saw the Disney's animated movie Moana at its premier in Damodar Cinema early this month, the 51-year-old cried.
The Moce, Lau Islander said he instantly remembered times when he and his 15 siblings navigated through the open waters of Fiji, with his father Jimione Paki on the traditional double hull canoe (drua in the iTaukei language) which his family built.

Read More

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Around The Boatyards

 Noah Funk cutting the Ulua molds with a CNC cutter.

 Strip planked with Laurel timber.
Glassed up.

 Dernis Gallant beginning his Va'a Moyu project by building the foam ama.

 Ply templates help to get the shape accurate.

Some filler applied before glassing.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Ndrua Launch

From The Fiji Times:
A Double-hulled canoe or drua was launched at the Bluewater Craft boat yard at Naitata Rd in Navua last Saturday.
Called the i Vola Siga Vou, the 51-foot canoe is considered the largest built in Fiji.
Sailing for Sustainability Fiji Ltd managing director Samuel London said the idea behind building the canoe was to start a charter business and also to promote the traditional sailing culture among the iTaukei people.
"I and two other men from Lakeba and Nayau in Lau started building this canoe two years ago, one of them was crew member of the Uto ni Yalo and they possess craftsman skills," Mr London said.
"So through their help, together with some other friends, we were able to build the drua and this is one way in which we can employ those who possess such craftsman skills in canoe building and also those who know how to sail traditional canoes," he said.
Mr London added they would test the canoe this week before it started sailing.
"The materials used to build the canoe are local and we used the vesi tree (hardwood) and gasau (bamboo) and other materials.
"The canoe can carry about 15 people with four crew members and this will be confirmed after it's tested this week.
"Cultural tourism is very important and offering camakau sailing would empower Fijians to establish small enterprises with these boats, and this could be an important economic element for Fijians who know how to build and sail these traditional canoes."

Friday, October 21, 2016

Buy, Sell and Giveaway

1)  Andrew McCulloch in New Zealand is looking for an Ulua to buy. 
You can contact him at:

2)  David Perdue has a CLC Outrigger Junior for sale in Richmond, Virginia USA.
You can contact him at:

3)  Kane Glass in New Zealand has a 7M (23') shunting proa free to a good home.
You can contact him at:

Friday, October 7, 2016

The Great Ninigo Islands Canoe Race

"The Ninigo Islands lie 180 nautical miles north of mainland Papua New Guinea within the Western Islands of the Bismarck Archipelago.  There are approximately 30 islands in this group and people of Micronesian, Melanesian and German descent populate them.  These islanders are fisherman, gardeners and great craftsmen. Their understanding of the ocean is almost supernatural."
So begins the introduction to a Facebook page about  The Great Ninigo Islands Canoe RaceBe sure to watch the videos.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Outer Space Cruiser Wa'apa

Simon Brittz in Durban, South Africa is ready to launch his one piece, self bailing Wa'apa.  Amas are PVC drain pipe with shaped nose cones.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Tarawa With Spinnaclaw

There's good news and not so good news.  The spinnaclaw system works fine and would be good for a larger proa, I think at least 24'.  On my little 16' Tarawa, the short spinnaker pole interferes with where I'm sitting on the hiking seat.  I tried two different locations for the pivot point.  First I had it higher on the mast so that it would clear my legs, but that meant that the boom had to be quite high off the deck and almost level with a high CE.  I moved the pivot point down to deck level as shown in the photo but there was no way to make it work with my legs in the hull.
The good news is that it would work on a platform big enough that the crew could stay well clear on the windward platform.  Certainly the balance would be better on broad reaches.  So for now I'll go back to the shunting rail system I've shown in the book.