Friday, May 20, 2022

Sailing aboard a Fulaga Island Canoe, Fiji

I've finally got back onto the proa build... I've had a surprising amount of views on this site particularly given how little I've posted here. I've watched a lot of proa videos and stumbled onto this one which shows the simplicity of the Polynesian style rig. Many have went with all sorts of sail rigs but none offer the simplicity of the Crab Claw type sail with shunting to keep the outrigger on the upwind side. This has the benefit of being able to fly the ama to reduce drag. 


Thursday, December 20, 2018

Big Bamboo

I found a new source for some BAB.... big ass bamboo... I found a stand very close by with quite a bit of BAB there. BAB is bamboo that is 3 to 5 inches in diameter and often in excess of 40 feet long. I got a few pieces a couple of months ago when it was still quite warm. I want to go back and get a few more pieces to use on the proa project.

Monday, January 22, 2018

The Long and Skinny of it

This boat is long and skinny... the main hull is almost 24 ft long and about 2 ft wide on the bottom about 3 ft wide at the top. Its been on the back burner for longer than I anticipated and it was taking up valuable space and that I didn't have to start with. Loaded it up on a trailer after I secured a spot in a shop with heat and air. A purty dam good deal I horse traded with one of the best horse traders I know. He has a huge collection  of toys and more than a few could use the touch of the handyman... not only that he has shade trees to boot... just might be the new home of the Shadetree Handyman.

With a little luck I hope to get this thing on the water by the time warm weather gets here. I had originally thought I would use bamboo cross beams for this proa and had planned to use three and still may end up with three... the center one would give you a place to mount a lee board and possibly an outboard motor as well... just a few of many decisions to make as I get this thing back on the front burner. Getting this out of my work area and into a closed shop with heat and air too is a huge plus. Frees up a lot of room for me and will enable me to get other things in out of the weather... and in a secure place... when I go on a road trip... which I'm more inclined to do these days.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Ama Sides

Glued up the bottom of the ama... stitch and glue style... with epoxy/sawdust mixture a few days ago. clamped the side on for a eyeball check... the bottom is 3/8 inch b/c plywood and the sides are 1/4 inch maple plywood... it has very thin veneer and a thick core... not ideal but plan to reinforce the sides inside and out with fiberglass and epoxy.

Shooting for something that looks like the ama on the boat below

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Full Size Proa

It became more and more obvious that I just as well go ahead and build a full size version rather than continue to fiddle with the models. Sonner or later you got to build your first proa... just to see what you would do different should you build another. This is the 24 ft main hull... complete with dragon heads... and will have about an 18 ft ama. This is based loosely on Gary Dierkings Wa Pa...  though I'm thinking it might make building it easier to make the dragon heads a bolt on addition... just clamps holding this together for the pic. The plan is to have bamboo cross members... set on the stanchions with another set to be in the center. Just a plain butt splice three sheets of plywood with the stanchions located at the splice.A little beamier than his design... about 24 inches widest spot on the bottom... a bit more flare in the sides as well... I hope I don't regret it... just recently noticed that the Wa Pa's built to plans sit pretty deep in the water with two aboard... The ama will be a bit more beefy as well. More interested in more load carrying ability than maximum speed.

Like I said... you need to build one to see what you'd do different.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Proa Models

I've been working on a couple of proa models... one is your basic long skinny boxy canoe form... the other is an asymmetrical shape that is designed to eliminate the need for a centerboard.  Still trying to decide which route I would go for in a full size version. The outrigger hull would be pretty much the same in either version. Still trying to decide too on whether to use big ass bamboo for the connectives  or something purpose built. The bamboo version would probably need to be glass and epoxy reinforced both for strength and longevity. So it kind of defeats the purpose of using it to start with... which is you would not have to fabricate it. But I have harvested some and we'll have to see which method wins out. I found a good deal on some used sails that were meant for the head sail on a regular sailboat. They are quite large... I cut some bamboo that would have been long enough to use as spars for one of them had I not shortened them before hauling them home. My trailer was only about 20 ft so quite a bit hanging off the end.  They were 35 feet plus before I hacked them... kicking myself a bit now.

The pond test was mostly to see how the two hulls sit in relation to one another. The mount on the smaller hull was temporary. I think I'd want a little more displacement in the smaller hull. It's sitting pretty deep in the water.

Still working on the asymmetrical hull. I don't think it would float upright without an outrigger.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Fest Pac

There was a gathering in Guam recently for Fest Pac... Festival of Pacific Arts... with many Polynesian sailing craft there to comemorate this event. This is Ulitao... one of the attendees... they are now raising funds for Fest Pac 2020... to be held in Hawaii... the plan is to build and sail an even bigger Proa from Guam to Hawaii to attend the event. There will be multiple boats in the flotilla to help insure safe passage. I pulled this photo from Gary Dierkings blog and he has quite a few high resolution photos from all over the Pacific that are well worth checking out even if you have no interest in these boats.

Saturday, July 2, 2016

The Proa Bug

I've got the proa bug pretty good now and looking to build something with a main hull of 32 ft...  outrigger in the 20 ft range... shunting pacific style proa with a little bit of western thrown in. I found this 31 foot Te Wa by Gary Dierking. I have his book but had not seen this design... it was on his main site where he sells plans for his other designs here... unfortunately no plans for this one... but he has construction photos and story here.  I built a model with guesstimated dimensions based on his construction photos. I'll be following up with some pics of that... and hopefully a full size model in the not too distant future. I recently emailed him and he provided me with some drawings with dimensions of the main hull. He is originally from the states but now resides in New Zealand and his designs heavily influenced by Polynesian proas indigenous to the South Pacific

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Big Water Test

I finally got to take the wannabe proa out in some pretty good wind and big water. This revealed some not so endearing qualities. The spookiest is the result of the boat just having one crossbeam. This allows the ama to rotate on its mount much more than it would if there were two crossbeams. It beacame apparent that in short choppy wave conditions it would not be too hard for the bow of the realatively short ama to nose dive and with the likely result being it could rotate on its mount and flip upside down. This would be a serious event while underway... and probably fairly difficult to recover from. It should be noted that the outrigger is too small and would benefit from being longer and more bouyant.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Canoe Proa Take II

I've spent the last six weeks or so upgrading my 17 foot grumman canoe into a pacific style proa wannabe complete with shunting rig and lanteen style sail. Ultimately I would like to have a crab claw sail but I've been out a few times now and the rig is working pretty good.

Lots of rope a dope 

Added quite a bit of bonafide sailboat hardware... can trim the sail from either end.... v jam cleat stops on most adjustments.

The paddles as rudders work very well... the bungee cords pull them up out of the water when not in 
use... it was too easy ;)