Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Fiji here we come

Two years ago my wife and I stayed in Fiji for a little over two months. I built the first of my Tamanu designs there and we had the time of our lives, sailing, fishing, and exploring.
Two days ago I shipped a 2 HP Yamaha outboard and a folding anchor to Fiji to be waiting for us when we arrive in early July for a three month stay. Since the original Tamanu was sold, I'll be building another on a different island. It takes about two weeks, if all goes well, to get the hull and ama finished. Excellent marine plywood is manufactured there, but my suitcase will be full of fasteners, polyurethane glue, hardware, and sails. I won't be using any fiberglass or epoxy resin. I'm trying to use as many locally available materials as possible. Cheap Chinese power tools are locally available and will last at least as long as the project.

I'll be building the same basic hull shape this time with some differences only with the deck and bulkhead layout. The ama will again be 6" (150mm) PVC pipe with a foam/fiberglass nose cone that will be in my luggage. The Rakiraki area where we will be staying is known for its high winds and is a favorite kite/wind surfing location. I'll be trying a traditional sprit rig this time because it is more easily reefable than the stub mast rig I used last time. I have a smaller triangular sail for really windy conditions.
The photo below shows the sprit rig I used this past summer on my 24' Wa'apa.
Hopefully I will be able to update this blog occasionally during our stay.

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