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.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

The Secret life of Banka

Jim Brown, the trimaran designer, once estimated that there were three quarters of a million double outriggers in the Philippines.  This well made video shows how many of those would have been built.

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 pinoyboats.org 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.