Sunday, November 17, 2013

Ama Switch

Dennis Bullen on the Manukau Harbor in New Zealand recently built a new ama for his stretched Ulua to the design I'm using on the Va'a Motu.  It has a high volume, a low wave piercing bow and plenty of rocker aft.  It should throw less spray that the banana shaped amas.


  1. Could Dennis comment on the LOA of his vaka and the fore-aft distance between iakos?

    My Ulua is about 21' long and the distance between is 10'6" - which I find kind of long for convenience. i.e. a lot of spars and things are around 8', but 10'6" is awfully long to bridge. So I'm toying with the idea of moving them closer together if/when I make a new ama.

  2. Hi Pete. The canoe is 24ft long. Iako distance 2.400 c/c. The iako's have been strengthened and raised one inch above the hull.

  3. Nice ama. Is this from an actual design, or by eye? I'm thinking about doing similar for my 18' Ulua.

    Any suggestions/advice?

  4. Scott, you can write me privately and I'll give you a link to download the plans for this larger ama.
    gary.dierking (at)

  5. Hi Gary,
    I am curious about something. Your outrigger canoes are typically not designed with larger volume amas. Hawaiian outriggers, for example, are generally higher in volume ( at this moment, I have in mind the sailing canoes featured in one of the posts on my site - ). I realize, of course, that changing one thing in a design usually entails changing many other things. But with that in mind, what are the negative trade-offs to larger volume amas, in your opinion? You must have a very good reason(s) for featuring your designs with slimmer, lower volume amas.
    As always, thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  6. I have tried to make my series of designs closer to traditional proportions rather than just focusing on the highest possible performance. There are plenty of high performance tris out there with full buoyancy amas. My Searunner had them and I wouldn't cross an ocean without them. Beach boats are another matter.