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."