Monday, December 26, 2016

Ten Week Wonder

A prodigious  builder has created this fifty nine foot work of art in ten weeks (putting the rest of us to shame).   Built specifically for the Route du Rhum single handed transatlantic race, it is still not certain if it will be accepted for the race .   See more photos and info here.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Raptor 16 For Sale

John Slattebo has a used carbon Raptor 16 for sale. $3900. 
 Contact John at:

 This is a sister ship sailing in the UK.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

The Ocean Keepers

From the Fiji Times: 
When master navigator Jiujiua Bera first saw the Disney's animated movie Moana at its premier in Damodar Cinema early this month, the 51-year-old cried.
The Moce, Lau Islander said he instantly remembered times when he and his 15 siblings navigated through the open waters of Fiji, with his father Jimione Paki on the traditional double hull canoe (drua in the iTaukei language) which his family built.

Read More

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Around The Boatyards

 Noah Funk cutting the Ulua molds with a CNC cutter.

 Strip planked with Laurel timber.
Glassed up.

 Dernis Gallant beginning his Va'a Moyu project by building the foam ama.

 Ply templates help to get the shape accurate.

Some filler applied before glassing.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Ndrua Launch

From The Fiji Times:
A Double-hulled canoe or drua was launched at the Bluewater Craft boat yard at Naitata Rd in Navua last Saturday.
Called the i Vola Siga Vou, the 51-foot canoe is considered the largest built in Fiji.
Sailing for Sustainability Fiji Ltd managing director Samuel London said the idea behind building the canoe was to start a charter business and also to promote the traditional sailing culture among the iTaukei people.
"I and two other men from Lakeba and Nayau in Lau started building this canoe two years ago, one of them was crew member of the Uto ni Yalo and they possess craftsman skills," Mr London said.
"So through their help, together with some other friends, we were able to build the drua and this is one way in which we can employ those who possess such craftsman skills in canoe building and also those who know how to sail traditional canoes," he said.
Mr London added they would test the canoe this week before it started sailing.
"The materials used to build the canoe are local and we used the vesi tree (hardwood) and gasau (bamboo) and other materials.
"The canoe can carry about 15 people with four crew members and this will be confirmed after it's tested this week.
"Cultural tourism is very important and offering camakau sailing would empower Fijians to establish small enterprises with these boats, and this could be an important economic element for Fijians who know how to build and sail these traditional canoes."

Friday, October 21, 2016

Buy, Sell and Giveaway

1)  Andrew McCulloch in New Zealand is looking for an Ulua to buy. 
You can contact him at:

2)  David Perdue has a CLC Outrigger Junior for sale in Richmond, Virginia USA.
You can contact him at:

3)  Kane Glass in New Zealand has a 7M (23') shunting proa free to a good home.
You can contact him at:

Friday, October 7, 2016

The Great Ninigo Islands Canoe Race

"The Ninigo Islands lie 180 nautical miles north of mainland Papua New Guinea within the Western Islands of the Bismarck Archipelago.  There are approximately 30 islands in this group and people of Micronesian, Melanesian and German descent populate them.  These islanders are fisherman, gardeners and great craftsmen. Their understanding of the ocean is almost supernatural."
So begins the introduction to a Facebook page about  The Great Ninigo Islands Canoe RaceBe sure to watch the videos.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Outer Space Cruiser Wa'apa

Simon Brittz in Durban, South Africa is ready to launch his one piece, self bailing Wa'apa.  Amas are PVC drain pipe with shaped nose cones.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Tarawa With Spinnaclaw

There's good news and not so good news.  The spinnaclaw system works fine and would be good for a larger proa, I think at least 24'.  On my little 16' Tarawa, the short spinnaker pole interferes with where I'm sitting on the hiking seat.  I tried two different locations for the pivot point.  First I had it higher on the mast so that it would clear my legs, but that meant that the boom had to be quite high off the deck and almost level with a high CE.  I moved the pivot point down to deck level as shown in the photo but there was no way to make it work with my legs in the hull.
The good news is that it would work on a platform big enough that the crew could stay well clear on the windward platform.  Certainly the balance would be better on broad reaches.  So for now I'll go back to the shunting rail system I've shown in the book.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Tarawa, Out of the Shed

I'm working out how much 4mm Spectra line I'll need for the stays and the shunting lines.  I'm going to set up a "spinnaclaw" rig and as far as I know, no one has published anything about using it. 

Friday, August 19, 2016

Foam Core Ulua From A Female Mold

 Matthew Rigby and friends are building a 20' carbon/glass Ulua in Florida using a female mold.

 Stringers are installed to support the foam panels.

First foam panel in place.

12 oz Cofab glass laminated in place.  Stringers and bulkheads will be installed before the hull is removed from the mold.  This insures that the shape will remain unchanged when it is removed from the mold for laminating the exterior.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Stretched Ulua in Brazil

A stretched Ulua built by Tom Raiss in Brazil.  The ama is foam/glass from the Va'a Motu design.

Friday, July 29, 2016


We've been in Fiji for 10 days now.  Pulled the canoe out of its storage place under a house, cleaned it up, assembled it and sailed away to where we stay with friends.  The wind has been a relentless 25 knots since we've arrived and since it's July I don't expect it to change.  It has been a good workout and test of the cambered junk rig.  It's quickly reefable to any amount of sail area and the Hong Kong parrels I added this time have improved the sail shape in strong winds.
Because of my constant curiosity about alternate sail rigs, I intend to try something different again for the next trip.  I'll bring a standard balanced lug rig which is similar to the junk but without the battens.  The polytarp I used for the junk rig is nearing the end of its life so I would have to replace it in any case.
So far my wife Rose has caught a Spanish mackerel and a trevalley from the canoe; each of which fed four.
A little over a week to go and then it's back to the NZ winter and fires every night.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Hawaiians Have More Fun

 They are having waaay too much fun. 

The new ama for Tarawa is just about finished.  The six struts are epoxied deep inside and two coats of paint have been applied.  I've decided to take Russ Brown's advice and skip the undercoat.   Undercoats don't flow out so you either have to spray them on or end up sanding most of them away to smooth them.  In this country West epoxy is half the price per liter of a good undercoat, so it's more economical to keep applying resin until you have a fair and smooth surface.  Looks good too.

My wife and I are off to Fiji for the next three weeks.  We will see how well our Tamanu survived the massive hurricane they had there a few months ago.  Hopefully we'll snag some big fish outside the reef too.

Saturday, July 2, 2016

The Opelu

The photo above is of a model of the Opelu Hawaiian canoe featured in Tommy Holmes' book The Hawaiian Canoe.  The model was built by Tevita Kunato who is now carving a 19 footer from an albezia log in Hawaii.  Follow his progress here and here.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Tarawa Ama Part Two

Tarawa's new ama is out of the mold and glassed.  Fitting the six struts comes next.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016


Ulitao heading out for a sail at the recent Festival of Pacific Arts in Guam.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Ulua Turbo

Frank Schernikau in Germany has boosted the performance of his Ulua 
with a moth rig and custom foils.
BTW, If anyone in the continental USA or Hawaii has a varnished 
Ulua for sale, Hollywood needs it.  Contact me for info.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

New Ama For Tarawa

 My 16' fifteen year old Tarawa is getting a new ama.  The original ama was too small and caused difficulties with more than one person aboard.  I had this female strip planking mold hanging in the rafters for a long time which had been used for a custom canoe project.  Stripping is not the easiest way to build an ama; I still think foam or ply is faster but the mold was there so I decided to use it.  No special timber, just clear 1/4" (6mm) pine planking with square edges.  It will be painted so tight edge fitting is not necessary.  The shape is symmetrical end to end and top to bottom.

Staples and small nails were used to hold the planks in place.  Gorilla glue between the planks.

Three water tight bulkheads divide the ama into four compartments.  The inside surface has been sanded and glassed with 6 oz fiberglass and West epoxy.

The second half of the ama has also been stripped, glassed inside and bonded to its other half.  Next I will sand the outside, trowel light weight filler in the gaps between the planks, and glass the outside. 
This 13.5' (4.1M) ama has twice the volume of the old one.  Having the wind die while hiked out won't sink this one.

Saturday, May 28, 2016


Canoe Surf Castles  from Shane McCann on Vimeo.
Hawaii; where the waves are long, the sun is warm and the tradewinds caress your body.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Festival of Pacific Arts at Guam

The Festival of Pacific Arts is going on in Guam right now.  Sailing canoes from many islands in Micronesia have sailed to Guam for this event.  Hundreds of miles in the open ocean with little or no shelter from the elements.  It's great to see this revival.
More photos here.  
Thanks to Matthew Mateo for the links and photos.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Tarawa Overhaul and Repaint

My 15 year old 16' proa, Tarawa, is in the shop for an overhaul and paint.  It is in remarkable condition for having spent all of that time out in the weather.  The construction is strip planked NZ redwood with epoxy/glass inside and out.  It has a self bailing cockpit floor made from a foam sheet with glass both sides.  This was the prototype for what was to become the T2 design that I sell.  The T2 is two feet longer and has less extreme asymmetry.  I will make a new hiking seat that allows the sailor to get his or her weight farther aft.  Weight shift is an important part of getting one of these to cooperate with your intentions.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Proas Racing At Guam

 The group is called TASA, Traditions Affirming our Seafaring Ancestry. 
They're based on Guam and have built three sakman canoes.

Monday, April 18, 2016

The World's Fastest Fishermen

The Sandeq Race takes place on the West coast of  West Sulawesi in Indonesia, where local fishermen have for many years used traditional outrigger sailing boats to catch flying fish for their eggs.
See more here.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

The Big Stretch

Mike Lorincz in Florida has stretched his Ulua to 36 ft (11 M).  The cedar planking and fiberglass are slightly heavier and the hull is 1-1/2 inches wider.  A sailing rig is still under construction.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Multiple Madness

Two of CLC's 31' Proa design were recently launched in the Los Angeles area.