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.


Anonymous said...

Looks like this Info about the Tamanu could be Vol. II of "Building Outrigger Sailing Canoes" or another chapter in a re-issue. "Fiji here we come"


Gary.Dierking said...

Where do you stop? I've got four outrigger canoes in my yard and they rarely go out in the same configuration two times in a row.

Anonymous said...

Have a couple of bottles of Fiji Bitter on the beach in Fiji with a bowl of Kokoda and you will be able to write another chapter. You and your wife Enjoy you trip to Fiji looking forward reading about it here.


Keith said...

Gary you know how to arrange a dream vacation. Best of luck to you on your new canoe project. Please send pics. Meanwhile, I will try to visualize a beautiful place like Fiji while I'm routing 1100 linear feet of woodstrip for my boat...

Bon Voyage,

Gary.Dierking said...

Visualization is very important for getting you through those long tedious hours :-)

Wade Tarzia said...

The next book should be "Building on the Beach." It could also have a chapter on building in the house (as in living room, as I hear some of Gary's clients have done). The fact that Tamanu was first built across a set of saw-horses ought to make anyone take notice who has been moaning for a lack of a workshop. Best wishes for that vacation! -- Wade

Colin Philp said...

Bula Gary,
I am part of the newly established Fiji Islands Voyaging Society and I would love to catch up with you during your visit to Fiji.
Please e-mail me on waituisurf@connect.com.fj or call +679 9992340 if you need any assistance or support while in Fiji.
Colin Philp