Here it is: a thread for those building wooden outriggers and proas!
Please post builds, questions, sailing pics, etc.
Here it is: a thread for those building wooden outriggers and proas!
Please post builds, questions, sailing pics, etc.
Ulua stretched to 21'
Tamanu as a catamaran
Having a tough time inserting pics today.
Here's mine so far:
I'm building Gary Dierking's Wa'apa sailing outrigger canoe. It disassembles into 8' long sections. I modified mine a bit though (dierking is one of the rare designers who actually encourages modifications/experimentation with his designs). Mine will be 20' long instead of 24', for building space/ cartopping reasons. So the center section is only 4' long. Still plenty of boat, as I discovered when I laid the unfinished hull out in my livingroom this weekend!
I also am building a modified ama. I figure the original ama, while good for paddling, has very little flotation. I have seen people standing on the amas of their canoes, and loading up their outriggers on the trampolines, so a larger ama can come in handy. Plus what better place to hang out while sailing than a well supported trampoline? I kept a high waterline/beam ratio, higher than the hull, but still have a total of 400lbs of displacement according to my rough calculations before the ama gets submerged.
(sorry for the low quality pics, low light plus cell phone camera)...
The other thing I am doing was based partly on the inspiration of Dan's double tamanu project. I have built a second hull, which will only be used in a catamaran configuration. The idea is that when I want the ability to have more crew, or to cruise further, I can rig up two hulls as a catamaran and be much more stable and more able to carry crew/supplies, at the cost of overall speed.
As far as cross beams/rig/foils/steering, although it will be a tacking outrigger/catamaran, I am still undecided about details. I have been in touch with a guy who built a wa'apa in africa that steers using two lugsails only, no rudder. There is also a way of steering with just daggerboards, but my concern is that minute adjustments can't be made quickly that way, and every boat I've ever sailed, including catamarans, has had to be constantly adjusted at the tiller... yet polynesians have been weight/foil steering for millenia, so...
I've just got a few rough proa/outrigger models built so far, but started cutting on my full-size Wa'apa build a few weeks ago. After I get the use of my father-in-law's table saw this Friday evening for chines and gunwales, the main hull should go 3D next week sometime. (In theory. Hard to commit with a two-year-old in the house.)
3M Proa, nearly built to get under Missouri's 12' boat licensing restrictions.
Heavily modified 3M Proa, converted to Imperial and stretched to 12' and made tacking. With a more positively buoyant ama. Abandoned when my wife decided she'd like to come sailing with me in the spring.
My 16' Wa'apa build can be followed here, but I'll try and post anything of significance to this thread. Hopefully I won't get too abused for using SurePly and giving it a rough workboat finish.
haha well I had to wait for my girlfriend to be out of the house to set it up, to avoid all that eye rolling !!
But seriously, setting it up full size really gave me and my building partner a feel for the seating arrangement/iako arrangement/mast position/etc., worked so much better than when I just tried to draw them out on paper... also allowed for some daydreaming on a cold winter day
My kayak to sailing tri-yak conversion is underway. Hope to have it in the water by spring:
Something tells me I'm really going to have fun with this. Gary D's Wa'apa 24 could be in our future, too.
Last edited by JimD; 12-13-2010 at 10:45 AM.
You have to carefully observe that the weight you consume with your outrigger adaptation (to include the amas, the akas and the fastening system), does not overwhelm the load carrying capability of your original kayak hull. You probably already know this, but add your kayak weight, to the outrigger system (with sail rig) weight along with your own body weight (ready to paddle/sail) and any stuff you plan to carry. If that complete package exceeds your kayak's displacement figure, you have overloaded the boat and it will not sail on her lines... making for a sluggish boat that will not achieve its potential under sail, or paddle. Something has to go and it will likely be your body weight first, followed by the gear you'd like to carry in the kayak. Or, should you be lean already and not able to drop any pounds, that poundage will have to come from your intended load, such as extraneous camping gear, stores, et.al.
"I read your concerns about steering. Don't worry about that too much. YOur probably not going to race around buoys anyway! Just keep a paddle handy for emergency turns. Paddle steering is very convenient. You can sit just about anywhere on the boat and control it. If you use some power paddling techniques to control the boat you will add a lot to boat speed from steering instead of slowing it down. If you keep a few paddles laying around the boat in stragegic locations you don't have to worry about running into anything. Most sailors oversteer thier boats. Everytime you move the tiller you are putting on the brakes! Most beach cat sailors sail with the rig out of balance, so they have to use the tiller always with some weather helm or lee helm. If they let go of the tiller for an instant the boat will swing into or off the wind. Once you are sailing on course using the boat dynamics to steer the boat the boat will change course when the wind changes direction, course corrections are easy to accomplish when you are familiar with your rig. Just lift a leeboard a little or haul in on a sheet a few inches. Also, the Waapa tracks like a freight train! Very little rocker and those long chines make it stable on course. You'll feel that when you paddle to the dock using some draw strokes!"
He has actually built a rudderless Wa'apa so his advice is pretty reliable in my book... interesting too...
I suspect that this thread will quickly turn into free advertising for Gary Dierking not that it isn't merited.
I'm building his Ulua which is nearly complete, just in time for our summer. It's taken me 44 weeks so far, mostly because of space constraints and needing to balance working on it with family time. I've blogged my progress here: Bas' Ulua Build
Some photos of the first water trials in mum's pool:
Now where did I put the assembly instructions?
Wow! It floats!
Galley slave on the paddle and The Captain in keeping an eye aft.
I stretched the hull to 6m which was the maximum I could build in my garage, that seems a lot when looking at the hull but that space shrinks a lot when on the water. I also over built the ama stretching the middle so that I could sit on it without completely sinking it for the same reasons as Peter gave.
I'm planning on going with a steering oar, myself. It just seems easier to setup than a rudder/tiller and you can use it to sweep the back end through your tack if need be. But i plan to also have a couple paddles onboard for dead weather and easily approaching a dock/boat takeout point.
Did the African fellow build a 24' or 16' version? Tacking or shunting? Just curious. For some reason I have it in my head that a shunting version is easier to steer by weight and sheet than a tacking version, but I could have easily made that up.
I actually sent my wife a link to your blog on Friday, jokingly asking her if she thought her dad would let me float my outrigger in his pool come spring, like you have done.
Was the foam ama difficult to fashion? What type of foam/styrofoam did you use to make it? I was thinking of going with big box store home insulation, if I decide to build a foam ama over the ply one designed for the Wa'apa.
I forgot to ask and just showed up with the canoe
I used building insulation Styrofoam, the branded type rather than the generic no name type. It was easy enough to work with except that it is very messy creating lots of blue dust! plus you have to be careful that you don't dig into the soft foam suddenly. I gave up on getting a perfect shape in the end as it was just creating too much mess. Getting the nose and stern glassed over was a fidely job too. And the end result is heavier than I expected it would be.
You know Trevor, I have that same idea in my head, but logically I don't see why a tacking or shunting rig would make a difference in that respect... he built the 24' version (google ghanawaapa.blogspot) with a schooner lugsail configuration, shunting version. He swears by the shunting, that it's actually easier than tacking (because light multihulls are notoriously difficult to tack). He steers just with the sheets.
My idea is to have a tacking rig, just a single lugsail (I have one from another boat may as well use it) but maybe install two leeboards, one forward and one aft. Depending on the point of sail, I could lift or lower them to balance the boat as perfectly as can be done, using the steering paddle for mild corrections. I may even rout out a channel going up and down the leeboards, the width of the leeboard bolt, so that the boards could be raised and lowered like daggerboards, giving even more CLR options but remaining kickup for shallow water and for minor corrections in balance.
I am wary of steering oars as they can really wear you out. I am wary of rudders if possible because they are always the first things to break and take hours and hours to build/install. I had a tiller break on my cartopper once (right at a knot of course). Pulled up the rudder and used an oar hanging off the side, viking style, to steer. It was strenuous, in moderate winds. Worked quite well, though, just required alot of attention. Then again, on a balanced canoe (the cartopper uses its rudder as part of its lateral plane) it might not be so bad and certainly would be convenient for tacking!
Basm that ulua looks great! I'm so jealous that it's approaching summer in OZ, here in the US we are experiencing a coooold cooold winter that has just begun :-( This thread may just turn into free advertising for Gary Dierking, but he is one of the few designers out there with practical small outrigger plans! I am still looking for plans for an OC6 type outrigger paddling canoe, for pure hawaiian racing sail/paddle canoes, and others but Dierking seems to be the only one with any plans, especially in wood. If anyone wants to prove me wrong on that please do so!
There is the Wharram Melanesia (http://www.wharram.com/melanesia.html), but it seems a little less capacity than the 16' Wa'apa. It looks like it sits lower in the water and has a less positively buoyant ama. Plus the plans are a little pricey (for me). I liked the look of it, but figured I could build from Gary Dierking's book for considerably less. CLC boats has the Mbuli, but it's not my aesthetic. And if you search Duckworks, you can find the P5 Multichine Proa. It even uses a Gibbons/Dierking shunting rig.
We went to CLC in Annapolis on Saturday to see them at their open house. They had demonstrations of strip planking kayaks, varnishing, epoxy and fiberglass. They have a 31' proa that they are building in their shop.
On the topic of time management, in reflection I could have used my time a lot better. There is quite a bit of down time with glue/epoxy/paint drying that could have been used working on the smaller perferal jobs. So try and look at the project as a whole and plan to get the best out of your limited time.
The line drawing from Shearwater's website:
The additional side panel I'm adding:
So while I'm not quite sure how deep it will sit or how badly it will sail it should certainly float safely enough and will get me on the water. Didn't calculate the displacement of the amas, either. But I'd guess around 250# each. Who knows, it might even turn out to be not a bad boat, if only by chance.
Last edited by JimD; 12-15-2010 at 01:41 PM.
Cool videos of two french guys who got a dugout canoe in the caribbean, slapped on a PVC outrigger and a tarp sail, and sailed the eastern coast of Nicaragua:
Shows me how little you really need to have fun and go fast with an outrigger canoe! And I ask myself why have I been worrying about every little detail on mine?
building for me is mostly a means to an end. decent small production sailboats are pretty scarce in the US midwest. i might have been able to find an affordable sunfish or hobie cat languishing in a backyard somewhere nearby, but for the price of buying one and fixing it, i could just go ahead and build something that would suit my needs better. if it only lasts a few years, no big deal. i get to build something new, when it does finally give out.
looking forward to some sailing pics of your ulua. it's really an elegant design. any thoughts on sail color? are you going to leave the boat bright or paint it?
I'm glad to see a small outrigger thread. I've been harrassing the WB forum with small outriggers since I've joined. (mine is home designed 16 footer, very much like Joe Henry's Flaquita except for rig), now helped out frequently by Dan and JimD and the previous Janganda/Seaclipper posters, thank you :-) . I cannot wrap my mind around how to post photos here. As soon as I learn, I forget again, so I usually just say "My outriggers are shown at www.wtarzia.com, click on the "outrigger button" for the least offensive of my boats. The proa button leads to a very crude proa, my first-ever building project with its own peculiarities and requirements.
I also documented in often literary fashion the construction of these boats at www.instructables.com, go to my 'Wade Tarzia' projects for search for "Build a Short Dragon" and "Build a Sailboat-in-a-Closet" projects. Youtube has some films of sailing my 16 footer if you search under 'wadetarzia'.
You can also now click on the "trimaran conversion" button as I am now experimenting with using two large inflatable amas to make a trimaran. UPDATE for the two or three of you were following my Everglades Challenge intentions: I am about fed up with sketching graceful ways to lower the amas a few more inches, so I am putting my straight akas aside and will start over by laminating (using again, douglas fir flooring planks) a curved set of akas that will drop the amas ~5 inches, and I will block *up* the akas (as Dan reminded me they do on the OC's) as needed to get the right clearance). And perhaps if I had listened better to my betters, I wouldn't be building a second set of akas now! On the brighter side, I have quite a collection of akas now, so feel free to drop by and borrow a set.
I like the idea of shortening the Wa'Apa middle section by 4 feet. Why the ____ can't I ever think of those things? I have a garage problem and yard problem and must keept my boats to under 20 feet. I got the plans for the Wa'Apa and wanted the 24 footer version, but I did not want to assemble so much of the boat everytime I go sailing. The Tamanu looked like the best option then, but it would be nice to beable to buiild the Wa'Apa section in my crowded basement and not kick everything out of my garage for the project. Brilliant! Maybe cut short the aft section a little to get a vertical transon and thus better rudder placement, and shorten center section, and it is done. Now that's what I'm talking about! -- Wade
A 20' Tamanu fits the bill as does the 20' Wa'apa. A more vertical rudder sounds good and you could more extensively deck the boat for something like the EC. The basement build has some real merit as my garage is about 7 degrees at present.
I get to thinking of building a Tamanu based dory hulled cat with a monocoque hard deck like Michael Schacht's Beach Cruiser, but I've got to get rid of some boats first though.
Last edited by Dan St Gean; 12-16-2010 at 10:08 AM.
I see lots of guys locally going out for paddles on plastic racing waka-amas, but the sailing outriggers hold more interest for me, especially the true proas - shunters not tackers.
I dream of building a replica of this boat, the White Heron.
Its a 14' proa from Kiribati in the Auckland Maritime Museum. I'd probably take the length out to a convenient 16' (2 sheets of ply with a butt-strap joint) I the sack cloth sail would be poly tarp. It's all down to time and storage though, I've not enough time for all the projects I have on the go, and I'm running out of storage space, already I have to sell my Mini to make room in the garage for the 12' dinghy on its trailer that I'll hopefully get started on next year.
I just saw the BBC documentary series Wild Pacific (South Pacific in the UK). Wonderful series! Many references to outrigger canoes as well. Here are a couple interesting pics from printscreening the DVD (bad quality sorry):
Nice underwater profile, showing a pointiness in the bows that is very attractive...
And a voyaging canoe from the soloman islands:
Tim Anderson has some good material on proas and tackers at http://www.mit.edu/people/robot/ He has tons of photos from that New Zealand museum (under his New Zealand canoe sailing link), as well as lines he took from Sulawesi and Madura small tacking outriggers (not to mention trip logs of his personal adventures on proa and tacking outriggers, required reading for the small outrigger crowd). -- Wade.
It occurs to me that a longer sectional hull might work best with a 13 ft section in the middle with ends attatched. That way the middle section could be used for two sleeping berths.
Yeah I agree Tim Anderson's account of trying to reach cuba in a small outrigger canoe was really inspirational for me! I have often dreamed of cruising to far off places in my small sailboats but he actually goes out and does it! I wonder why he didn't make it to cuba though? Forgive my nautical ignorance, but is the gulf stream so powerful between cuba and florida that passage is almost impossible without swinging waaaaaaay west first? Is that how cuban refugees are able to just drift to florida without much for propulsion?
On another note, did a trial fitting of my two piece outrigger last night. Rough calculation gives it about 400 lbs displacement before submersion. 16' long, widest beam 8 inches not including gunwhale, 4 inches beam at bottom. Not sure what the waterline beam will be, but even at its widest that is a pretty good length/beam figure for a multihull. Haha actually it went together so quickly, and is big enough that I'm tempted to build another one for occasional use as a one place catamaran!
Looking good, Peter. And btw, are you a bachelor? I mean, no carpet, no cardboard, no nuttin under that boat but the hardwood floor!
LOL a woman's touch is missing huh? Actually, I am building the boat with my father in law, in his house, and he is currently a bachelor yes. Makes building at his house sooooooo much smoother I have to say :-)
Interesting ama! After stretching my ulua's ama to 16' and increasing it's max diameter to 8" is was still short of flotation for stepping off on the ama side. While not traditional, I LOVE a buoyant ama and the ability to sleep on a tramp. Would you PM me the specs of your ama? I'm midway through the Tamanu build (sidetracked as a cat at present, but ultimately will be an outrigger or tri.).
21' Ulua as single outrigger
21' Ulua as tri
View from the dock. I end up putting in the boat for a week at a time and scrubbing the bottom rather than try to drag it up the rocks. It is really a better beach boat than a dock boat with the low volume ama. I also ended trimming off the iako ends since they had a tendancy to snag the dock or people's ankles.
Tamanu as cat on the Texas200.
Dan, I will post the dimensions here when I get home and see my measurements. Are you (or anyone else for that matter) planning on doing the texas 200 again? or the EC, or OBX? I am seriously considering driving down to one of these events this summer, it would be really cool to get a bunch of outriggers competing in one of these events together (like the Michalak lagunas and the PDR's do sometimes)
isn't there a texas proa championships?
I think I'll be doing the Tip of the Mitt this summer with my crew Brian. I've done the T200 in 08 on my H18 and in'09 on our Tamanu hulls with H18 everything else. The 28 hour drive kinda makes it less than appealing. Plus there's lots of places to explore. The EC doesn't work with my schedule. Not sure if the OBX is going to be an annual event or not. The Tip of the Mitt is only 6 or 7 hours away and BEAUTIFUL! Well worth you time to head out West for a trip.
Last edited by Dan St Gean; 12-16-2010 at 12:51 PM.
Guys, I am going to make a set of gently curving akas to drop my two amas 5 inches -- what kind if springback, if any at all, should I expect? I will be epoxying four ~ 5/8 thick, 10 foot DF planks into an approximate 2.5 x 2.5" square section.--Wade
Your ama looks good. It has a slight flat bottom? As I have said before, beware of slapping. Your narrow flat may be OK, but it may also drive you batty in some conditions. My two flat-bottom amas drove me to my deep-V, which I adore in many ways (were it not for its overly fine ends = low volume forward, I'd keep it). -- Wade
Ignore the Tamanu under construction and look at the laminated iakos on the left side of the picture.
As for springback, there's not much to worry about--if you go with thinner laminations than 5/8".
OK here's the dimensions of my largish ama, built in two 8' bolt together sections:
Forgive my crummy rushed job on microsoft paint :-)... If I had half a brain, I would have spaced one of the stations exactly 4 ft from the end/bolt together part, so it would be all set up to reinforce the ama connection, but haha I must have been too excited building something from scratch to really think it out...
As far as slapping, that was def a concern I had wade, especially after reading some old posts by you. It is a pretty heavy ama, my hope is that it will remain in the water most of the time, sort of like a catamaran/outrigger hybrid. Of course, my outrigger sailing experience is ZILCH, so I could def be wrong... and that could def effect speed/steering/balance also I imagine, but relaxing on the tramp sipping brews with a buddy or two was the idea you know, and if performance suffers a bit, I'm cool with that :-)
My concern with doing the V outrigger was that I wouldn't get enough flotation in them without building them way up, and that the deeper they were submerged (while hanging out on the tramp) the more wetted surface would be present and the more drag. This happens with the dory shape a bit too, but the increase in drag is much less dramatic, as less submersion is required to gain buoyancy. I have read that the V shape is the least efficient shape for a multihull, while inverted U is the most efficient, with rounded dory-type hulls somewhere in between. But like I said, there is theory.... then sea trials!
Thanks for the ama idea. I put the amas on hold--Gary designed Amu Nui for me which looks like a ton of displacement. A tamanu with straight akas and some higher displacement amas seems like a fun ride. After looking at some of the Seaclipper 16 pictures online, those tri amas need some serious displacement forward. I do like very much how the ama looks like a mini version of the hull.
Hmmm, when I met CLC's John Harris at the PT Wooden Boat show a couple of years ago, he had just been out on this . . . .SMARTINSEN
We went to CLC in Annapolis on Saturday to see them at their open house. They had demonstrations of strip planking kayaks, varnishing, epoxy and fiberglass. They have a 31' proa that they are building in their shop
Last edited by DGentry; 12-17-2010 at 07:46 PM.
A single outrigger is a good boat to experiment with reducing drag to squeeze a little extra performance. I'm not a very competitive person (except when someone is overtaking me :-) but I find it a nice pass-time (between leaning against my mizzen with feet up on the gunwale, talking to the cormorants) to sometimes try to reduce wetted surface on the ama (on the "proa track") by shifting weight and letting the ama's keel sort of skip along the water when conditions are right (I think I show a little of this in one of my 5-minute Youtube videos, the one titled something like "heading back."). It's worth half a knot sometimes and livens things up. And in such instances the ama will definitely slap.
And there will be those times when brisker conditions are going to lift the ama out against your wishes. The forces and noises and sprays might then become an irritant. But if you added a little angle or rounded off foam and glass to the bottom, much of that goes away. The new 20 ft plywood Jim Brown Seaclipper (?) trimaran took slapping seriously enough to angle the flat bottoms just enough to reduce the noise and perhaps to bite the water a little better too (would that be the case for that boat, some reduced leeway?).
The good news is that these are your amas, so if slapping ever becomes an issue, you have a doable off-season project to put some shape over the flat bottoms. --Wade
That's one of those Harry Proas, isn't it? I've heard good things, and the principal is similar to what I'm aiming for in my little Wa'apa... but really, at that point, on something that large and built for cruising, I think I might go with a catamaran, I'm just not sure how well the theory of proas/outriggers holds up when scaled up...
Anyone here sailed on one though? You seen it sailing dave, or been on board?
It isn't going to build itself so get busy!