Monday, December 31, 2012

T2 by Paul Sobon

Paul Sobon's T2 proa PROAZAK at the Jersey shore.
Installing the hinge between the first and second deck boards allows the platform to swing up while the rig is up. This allows one to stand between the iakos and lift the whole boat at the balance point of the vaka and ama, which is about 10 inches outboard of the gunwale. The whole boat, sails, oars, paddles, etc. is about 150 lbs. so single handed launching is straightforward.

The dimensions of the lashcap legs and the gunwale bracket risers add up to slightly less than the depth of the iako. The gap allows the stress generated by the iakos to be born by the lashings instead of the wooden fitttings. The lashings are checked periodically and tightened once or twice a season.

Paul decided to hinge the end of the oar stanchion after two mishaps. He uses two oars when singlehanding. Twice, when sailing fast in rough conditions, the stowed non-steering oar bounced into the water. The pressure on the oar produced enough torque to tear the stanchion off the boat. Alarming to say the least.

And yes, it all fits on the roof racks.  Lots more photos and details here.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Wa'apa in Luebeck, Germany


From Christian Glockl:
"I built this 24ft-version using your plans and paddled it first in 2010. The year after that I spend equipping the "Nukunonu" with sails ... unfortunately my budget was kind of low and I wasn't too sure about my abilities of making a sail, so I took what I could get - a too stiff windsurfing sail, a mast that was too small and a small sail from a kayak. All in all the sailing abilities weren't too good, but I'm going to improve on that the coming year, especially as Johannes (the one that wrote about is Wa'apa rig on wheels) gave me some advice of how to do it.

Apart from that I'm really proud of my Wa'apa. In 2010 some friends and I did a 500-mile paddle tour with 4 persons and a lot of luggage in it down the river "Elbe" - and made it to tell the story. I'm hoping to find the time to build hollow-box Iakos and a new rig this year."

Friday, December 14, 2012

Jzerro, A Seriously Good Proa

Russell Brown has made a few rigging tweaks to his Jzerro and now it sails even better.

I took these photos almost 10 years ago when Jzerro was hauling out in Auckland, NZ.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Kitewing Ice

This video has been up for several years but it's worth another look at a close relative to our winged proas.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

The Big Stretch

If you decide halfway through your Ulua project that you'd rather have a 27'er rather than the standard 18'er, then do like Jim Richard did and stretch it with a surgical implant amidships.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Die Fledermaus

No one can illustrate a sailor's feverish dreams better than Michael Schacht.  Read about it here:

Sunday, November 18, 2012

New World Speed Record

On the 16/11/12 VESTAS Sailrocket 2 set out on it's 13th run for this session at Walvis Bay Namibia. In moderate conditions with around 25 knots of wind average... VSR2 smashed the previous Outright world record by the biggest margin in the records history*. Paul larsen averaged 59.23 knots over the record 500 meter course and peaked at over 63 knots. The waters of Walvis Bay became speed sailing holy turf and the home of the outright record for the first time. This represents the culmination of 10 years hard work. The team promise it still represents the beginning of this boats potential. Africa turned on a spectacular setting and the flamingoes are just the icing. You couldn't make that stuff up. Happy days.
* Subject to WSSRC ratification

 Update 25 November:
 Fresh off the TRIMBLE... 68.01 over 1 second, 65.45 over 500 meters!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Windsurf Powered Tamanu

Klaus Riedl of Hamburg Germany built this Tamanu and powered it with a 10 sq meter (107 sq ft) windsurf sail.  Windsurf technology has been at the leading edge of sailing for a long time and it would be hard to imagine a more efficient sail.  Yes, I know a kite might be faster yet... unless you happen to need to go upwind.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Sabik launched on Saipan

Sabik, a 16' Wa'apa was recently launched by builder Dave Johansen at Pau Pau beach on the island of Saipan in the Mariana Islands. It will have a traditional shunting rig and I'm looking forward to photos of it under sail.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Wa'apa Rig on Wheels

A letter from Germany:
Dear Gary,
Instead of boatbuilding pictures here are some of a few sails we made for Beachsailing!
Your book was a great help. There isn't much literature on sailmaking, in German we actually didn't find any.

The Pictures were taken on Römö, a sandy island on the westcoast of Denmark, which is 3,5 hours from our hometown.

The big white sail has 7,5sq m, it's great for low to ultra-low winds:a whisper on your face and you start going!
The orange one has 2sq m, made for the heavy breeze. Top-speed was 62,5km/h (38,5mph), about two times windspeed. It has also a good size at lower wind for children to practise.
The intermediate white one has 3,5s qm. It almost runs the speed of the (much more expensive) hightech-sails of a similar size.
All are made of Polytarp, not common for sailmaking here, with our trusty old sewing machine.
Maybe a sailing canoe will follow someday....
Greetings from Lübeck, Germany: Bernhard and Johannes 

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Wa'apa by Dave Carter

Dave Carter in Illinois recently launched his 16' Wa'apa after 162 hours of labor.  He wrote:
"I did have a couple of other sailors on the lake ask about the canoe.  I was passing everyone on the lake so they were wanting to see what I was sailing.  It was their first experience of seeing an outrigger sailing canoe in person."

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Desesparado in Panama

Chris Grill has sailed his stretched T2 all the way from Vera Cruz Mexico to Panama.  His blog from the beginning of the voyage could be a classic of seafaring literature.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Ulua by Matt Covill

Matt Covill is now sailing his Ulua in Long Beach, California.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Wa'apa on the Cornish Coast

 Mat Arney sailing his Wa'apa off the Cornish coast.  More info on his Blog.

Mat maximized the use of recycled and renewable materials in the construction.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Ulua by Michael Litter

Michael Litter has updated his stretched Ulua with a new wave piercing ama and a new safety ama. 

There is now enough buoyancy to be able to sleep on the trampoline.  Michael is documenting his experiments on his blog.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

T2 at Mystic Seaport

Thanks to Thomas Armstrong at the 70.8% blog, I have these photos of Paul Soban's finely built T2. 

A very interesting fitting for the lashings.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Ulua in Okinawa

Tom Burkard built this beautiful stretched Ulua in Okinawa.

Wanted to Buy

If you have an Ulua or Wa'apa in New Zealand and wish to sell it, let me know.  I may have a buyer.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Czech Wa'apa

Vladimir Stepan built this Wa'apa in Prague, Czech Republic.  I like the 
design he painted on the sides.

Stepan has a website with construction photos.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Ulua in Southern California

Eric van Hamersveld sailing his Ulua.

Eric van Hamersveld sanding his Ulua.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Robert Gillett made some nice passages with this tacking outrigger some 25 years ago in Fiji.  Peter Evans created a table of offsets for the hull and has published them on his Tacking Outriggers website. 
Plans for this canoe are available at:

Monday, June 25, 2012

Tahiti Tacker

With advertising or not, everything just seems prettier in Tahiti.  Note the stout forward crossbeam and the slim flexible one aft.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Aitutaki Paddling Canoes

I took these photos during a visit to Aitutaki in the Cook Islands in 2008.  Some are dugouts but most are flat bottomed plywood.  They are mostly used in the shallow area of the lagoon and are pushed along with a long pole.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Ulua Sailing in Germany

Frank Schernikau in Germany recently got his Ulua rigged with a sail, a
 temporary leeboard, and a paddle to steer.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Wa'apa Splash

Trevor in Springfield, Missouri has launched his 16' Wa'apa in time for lots
of summer sailing.  More info and photos on his blog.

Thursday, May 10, 2012


 I found this Balinese jukung on a recent visit to Hawaii.  It had a
 fiberglass hull and a transom for an outboard.

The most interesting part is the joint in the crossbeams that produces the "gullwing" shape.  The scarf joint had a dowel through it and some lashings.  I could not tell if any glue was used.