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...
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
"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 bet the small ones had a steering paddle, and the big ones had lots of time for adjustment.
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.
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.
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?
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 11:45 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 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.
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 02:41 PM.
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!
Hello!! This is Chris the guy with the Waapa in Ghana! I'm back from work finally. I've been eagerly reading all this this string and was very surprised to be reading myself!! That was fun! How is your project going?
Something I never mentioned to you before when we were discussing the shunting double lug rig was that I built a sloop rigged tacking canoe (16ft "nice canoe") with an inflatable outrigger that also did not have a rudder. I was able to balance the rig and sail with the sheets and adjusting the leeboards. It was what gave me most of the inspiration for the rig on the Waapa. That boat was really a lot of fun and sailed really fast! I still have it. It has a gaff rig with a small fortriangle that I took off of a Klepper.
Comeing about is pretty easy, if there wasn't enough way to take you straight through the eye then a couple of paddle strokes got you the rest of the way really quick. Steer with the paddle until the rig is balanced. You can adjust course by moving your weight around a little, like leaning over to one side or waving your arms around, scooting forward or aft. What got me started in that direction was that I used to sail my TSL with this rig and one day when I got to the beach I had left the rudder home, so I just went without and discovered that I didn't need it!
I am sailing on the Volta River below Akosombo dam. Downstream the river becomes a lake again when it comes up against the Kpong dam. The river continues about 80K again after the Kpong dam to the sea. I built the Waapa to sail on the lake above the Akosombo dam which is very large and encompasses a lot of wilderness area, wildlife preserves and forrest preserves. I spent the last trip building the Waapa and making sea trials on the river. I plan some expeditions on the lake next trip. The local boats on the river are single hull canoes built from planks. They are typically around 12 to 18 ft. The large fishing canoes used in the sea are dugouts made from huge logs and some chine planks fastened to them. They range from 20 to 40 foot with a few larger. The seaboats use a large square downwind sail to return to the beach after fishing. The trade winds are very dependable. They mostly use a small outboard to go to weather though quite a few of them still paddle. They are very brave seamen as they go over the horizon and spend days at sea fishing. On the river the boats are universally paddled with a round primitive paddle. You rarely hear a motor. They are strong paddlers though the native paddles don't allow for any sophisticated paddling techniques. They are a heavy carved plank with a round blade. On Volta Lake the boats are the plank built kind, generally a little larger than the river canoes but not by much. A downwind sail is used on the lake and the river but it is just an unshaped square sail held up with a couple of sticks of bamboo. When I'm sailing around I know they are watching me very closely but they don't want me to notice. Going to weather under sail has to be very interesting to them. The wood they use to build the plank canoes is very dense and sinks, so if a canoe is swamped the canoe goes under. Some people perish every year from this problem. Ocasionally I'll be sailing to weather and pass some guys paddling, that's when I get some real attention. If I'm paddling when there's no wind they will alway speed up to show me they are faster. The boats are a good design and go pretty fast under paddle power even tho they have no paint and the finish is pretty rough.
I've enjoyed following Gary Dierking's blog site about the development of his new boat. I notice today that the new hull:
Has a similar shape to a New England Sharpie:
did this work? I am trying to figure out how to post an image.
Try an image hosting site and then right click the image. Copy the url that ends in .jpg and click the little image button above the reply. Paste the url and uncheck the little box on that page. Or you can email it to me and I'll do it for you--pm me if you'd rather do that.
The spec'd attachement for Ulua's leeboard is through the gunwales and a piece of alu angle screwed to the inboard gunwale and the front seat.
I have no doubt that this works bco all the successful implementations.
But under port tack, four feet of leeboard leverage on about one inch of gunwale/alu is generating a certain amount of cognitive dissonance in what's left of my mind.
I have seen a clamp-on implementation (http://tinyurl.com/89quphl) where my vision of the forces/vectors makes sense: the force is going through the bolt and trying to push the horizontal crossmember down instead of trying to twist the gunwales off.
Seems like either there's a lot less pressure than I think trying to rip that leeboard off the boat on port tack or my notion of the forces/vectors is flawed in some other way.
Would anybody care to comment?
Last edited by PeteCress; 12-25-2011 at 09:59 AM.
Now I see that the implementation on my Ulua differs from the spec'd.
On the spec'd, the top of the leeboard is pushing against the gunwale and the bolt, passing under the gunwale, is pushing down on to the seat.
On mine, the hole is drilled through the gunwale instead of below it: http://tinyurl.com/7r94wz7
Same forces, I guess, but the leverage is different bco the shorter distance from bolt to top of gunwale and the bolt is trying to twist the gunwale instead of pushing against it.
Looks like it didn't work out for some reason bc there are two after-the-fact holes drilled lower in the hull: http://tinyurl.com/728e78q and a plywood re-enforcement inside the hull: http://tinyurl.com/83zs5es
But none of this addresses my real question. I know it all works bco the experience of others.
The real question was about how much force there is on a leeboard: it seems like there must be less force than I intuit.
Oh hey, that is my clamp-on lee-board. I was not trying to solve any problem by using it. It was vestigial from when I sailed an Old Town canoe. I got it off the aca rig plan. http://www.enter.net/~skimmer/building/building.html
Happy Holidays to all...
Ordered the steering paddle yesterday, but FoxWorx says 2-3 weeks.
In the unlikely event that works out, it would be nice to have that assembly stowed up front against some situation where I just can't get back upwind without the added lateral resistance - at least until I get enough of a feel for what I can/cannot do.
One more bolt to tighten in the deployment, but no through bolt to drop overboard while fumbling with it - and in the happy event that I really can do what I want to do without a leeboard, it's just a matter of throwing it into the canoe when rigging and tossing it back into the gear box when de-rigging. i.e. no install/uninstall.
I have this same kind of leeboard on my Waapa. I have only the one because I shunt it instead of tack but there are a couple of good photos of that arrangement and it is the same more or less. As crash prevention for that board I lashed a bite of line to the bamboo where the control lines attach so's it'l pull out of the lashing if I hit a bar or stump or something. Also, on the Waapa there is very little curve to the hull there in the midships so I didn't do anything to the boat. I think I may add a rail next trip tho just as a chafe preventer. I make the boards of a fairly high aspect ratio so I get a lot of adjustment to the CLR. There are other theories about that and I have thought of short fat triangular shape. It's one of those things to think about endlessly when laying on the beach.
This post is for the benefit of whoever is laminating iakos for the first time and lists a few things which I - as a totally-clueless noob - have observed that are probably so obvious to experienced builders that they have never been articulated.
That's about it for now. I'll revise this as warrented.
- Mix resin in *paper* cups, not plastic. Not all plastic cups are created equal and paper is the safe route to ensure the cup does not dissolve. I got mine house-brand at the local supermarket. They look just like the "Dixie" cups next to them on the shelf. Don't get the smallest ones; get the ones that look like they hold about a half-cup. And while you're at it, get something made out of wood to stir with.
Edit 2012, 03-13: Per Chris Ostlind, use uncoated paper cups bc coatings can interfere with proper cure.
- Buy a box of 100 6-mil disposable nitrile gloves online. They're only about twenty bucks a hundred vs much, much more purchased onsies-twosies (as in $1.50 a pair at the local boat store!). http://tinyurl.com/78rdsal
- Now that you have plenty of cheap gloves, change them every couple of laminations so you don't get caught mid-lamination with a torn glove... after all, they *are* cheap....
- A quart of resin will do you for two iakos/4 laminations each.
- Don't chince on the resin - slop on more rather than less because the wood absorbs it at varying rates depending on the wood. You can live with having to clean up the excess but not with starved joints.
- Don't forget to cover the laminating jig with waxed paper or some other non-bonding layer.
- Cover the clamping pads (the ones that are not attached to the jig...that pad the laminations on the other side from the fixed clamping points) with something too. Theoretically, you shouldn't be sloppy enough to spill enough resin that they get bonded to the job.... but stuff happens and it's quite time consuming to have to remove an epoxied-on clamping pad. Doesn't do the cosmetics any good either. Cover those bad boys until you get a feel for it.
- Don't try to chince on either clamps or clamping points. It may look like you can get away with fewer clamping points in a test situation when the laminations are dry, but adding resin will lubricate the interface and Bad Things will happen (don't ask....). There is a reason why everybody's photo shows a clamping station/clamp about every eight inches. Go with it.... and don't ask questions.
- If you go with West System, spend another fifteen bucks and get the pumps for metering resin/hardener instead of weighing it or using syringes: big savings in hassle, and much less stressful when you're mixing batch-after-batch under a time constraint.
- If you have the choice do not have your laminations ripped to the exact width in the spec. Instead, go with at least 1/8" wider - or whatever greater width is convenient in terms of off-the-shelf lumber. Reason: Liberal application of the mallet and even some vertical clamping notwithstanding, chances are that your laminations will not line up precisely once the resin is cured. That being the case, the time to trim to spec is after the resin has cured, not before. Then you don't stand to wind up under spec after they are trimmed/evened up.
- I haven't tried this, but it seems to me like if the lams are maybe a half-inch wider somebody skilled with a bench saw or power planer could save several hours over what it took me with a hand plane to clean up the above-mentioned irregularities.
- A quarter-inch bead router bit seems tb the right size for rounding the end product's edges.
Maybe somebody with experience can critique what I've written so we don't mislead anybody over the long run.
Last edited by PeteCress; 03-13-2012 at 03:54 PM.
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.
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 08:46 PM.
Boat plans and kits:
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?
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 11:08 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.