Sunday, October 18, 2009

The four day wonder

Having completed my Tamanu in Fiji, and my neighbor John Caldeira having completed his two latest kayaks, we decided to help a local Peace Corps volunteer, John Leonard, build a 16' paddling Wa'apa.

Between the three of us, it was ready for paint after four days. A few details like the stems were changed to the simpler method that I use on the Tamanu. The sheer at the ends was also lowered slightly to make it easier to paddle in the strong winds encountered in the area.
The side panels are 4mm ply and the bottom and deck are 6mm. There is no fiberglass or epoxy used in the structure. Polyurethane glue with bronze boat nails hold the panels together.
The ama is bamboo with forked sticks providing the connection with the iakos.

Outrigger canoes are easily moved around on the beach with one set of wheels provided you tip it up on its side.

John is paddling from the aft seat but you may want to change to the middle seat when paddling into a strong wind.
John and John held a planned capsize drill immediately after launching. With a low buoyancy ama like this one, you right the canoe by sinking the ama. This helps to empty most of the water from the hull as it is rolling back upright.

The extra bamboo above the ama provides secondary buoyancy if the ama is pushed under the water.

The deck hatches are made from the tops of square plastic containers with snap on lids.
John reports that the canoe has already caught many fish and is a definite chick magnet.
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