Instructables
Picture of Kenya Outrigger Sailing Canoe
chop.jpg
Here's a 12 foot long outrigger sailing canoe I built in Kenya this spring.
It has folding "beds" for two, a removable roof, and a sail.
It's easy to build.
The only tools needed were a machete, knife, drill, chisel, spokeshave, hammer, screwdriver.

Here Nathan Eagle, Eddie Elliot, and myself get the boat ready to launch.
In the second photo Powell Muli age 9 carves outrigger parts.
 
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Step 1: Specifications

Picture of Specifications
All measurements are actual not milled.
The wood species names are what the locals call them. The wood is grown locally and probably not related to the species we call by the same name. Their "cedar" is heavier and stronger than ours.

The hull is 12' 2" overall, made from 6mm cypress plywood joined with 3/4" cedar sticks at the edges. The hull is 18" deep, 18" wide in the middle. The stems are 2'x4" cedar carved into a wedge shape. The stems stand tall and the front one is carved into a dog's head.
The crossbeams are 2x2" square pine, 102" long.
The outrigger floats are 1" thick pine boards 127" long, carved to an upturned point at the front.

The mast is a 12 foot pine 2x2 shaved into an octagon shape, tapered down to a 2" diameter rod at both ends. The sprit is 1" square.
The sail is a 6' square shower curtain rigged as a spritsail. They don't have polytarp in kenya, and tarp like things are expensive.

in this photo Nathan Eagle, Eddie Elliot and myself get the boat ready. I'm lashing a tiller to the rudder with strips of innertube.
TruthHunter3 years ago
"it might be wise to take it out in the morning before the big waves show up."

Could you have added "but we had to leave for the airport instead?"

I'm curious what happened to this boat after you came home.

The hull looks a lot like a 3 board version of the Lepa Lepa you posted on the mit site.
Its probably a little lighter than the dugout, but still looks be happiest with someone under 70 kilos

I wonder how it would work with a bamboo outrigger on one side like the ones
in Indonesia. I think it would work pretty well.

orisj4 years ago
great! I love the 'quick release crossbeam lashings', what a great idea!
richardat5 years ago
What is a quot ??????
lucius1085 years ago
is this even ur project cause i dont see u in any of these pics
Chwlo5 years ago
I have been reading Tim's adventures and just figured it out, your on permanate vacation traveling the world building culturally appropriate outriggers everywhere you go. Man I am ENVIOUS!
Interesting rudder. this is probably the simplest rudder i have ever seen.

it must be difficult to sail downwind in chop though, because it would get lifted out of the water occasionally.
or is that a safety feature? it's impossible sail downwind and therefore impossible to break?

Do you get much wobble? I really like how it's stiched on. i wish I had thought of that.

P.S. last summer I spent 3 months sailing my own outrigger following you inspiration: http://www.flickr.com/photos/22017239@N00/

cheers
TimAnderson (author)  dominic.tarr7 years ago
I just looked at your pix - nice boats and trips! Give Gary Dierking a hug for me - where do you live?

I thought the shallow rudder would be a problem too, but that's how the Kenyans do it on their Sharpies and Ngalawas. Your rudder has to work the hardest when a wave is pushing your stern around, and then the rudder is deeply immersed, so it works out fine. The wave is climbing up your stern and pushing, but to do that it has to climb up your rudder also. Wobble isn't a problem. There's plenty of play in the lashings, but you don't notice it when you sail.
yeah I know Gary, I live in Auckland. I dropped in on gary on my trip. thats right! when i was reading sailing stories on the internet I got the impression that the reason you need lots of rudder downwind was because of sail imbalance. when I was actually sailing I found it would sail along it's lines even with the sail all out to one side. It was the waves which pushed it around. I'll have to try something like this on my next boat. cheers.
Wade Tarzia7 years ago
The "clothespin" attachments are interesting. Do you think they are meant to be the easily replaceable part of the outrigger system? That is, if something is going to break, it is better for this to be the 'clothespin' which can be duplicated from scrap wood, etc.? Did you notice if the native craft pictured carried any spare clothespins, or if some of its clothespins seemed replaced and others 'original'?
TimAnderson (author)  Wade Tarzia7 years ago
Mine were weak, made from softwood, and the notches at the end made it easy to split the piece. Theirs are hardwood, longer past the through hole so harder to split. Theirs are heavily lashed. Probably the lashings are shock absorbers, with friction to spread the load over time.
Wade Tarzia7 years ago
Ey! Back to outriggers at last! I thoroughly enjoyed that....the three-board canoe lives! Four grown men paddled in a 12 foot canoe through surf!? Wow, the laws of physics are always impressive and surprising. Nice to know it could do that; perhaps the canoe would have come through surf very well with only one person aboard. I LOVE those crossbeam quick-attachments, a lesson applied partly from the Indonesian steering oar set up? I could be convinced to try that on my new 16 footer. Did you camp-cruise later and will a trip log being showing up on your web-site?
TimAnderson (author)  Wade Tarzia7 years ago
It was two paddlers in surf. The other two guys were helping us get launched. On flat water it would have carried all of us. The canoe could displace (or contain) ~1400 lbs of seawater. Good eye, there are some Indonesian canoes that use the twisty-stick quick-attachment. No camp-cruise, that would be another good trip - want to do that one yourself?
Sure would, but afraid my adventures have to remain in New England (unless I can borrow your friends in Kenya?), although finding places to park overnight for weekend cruising is sort of an adventure.... But I built the new canoe with a sleep deck like yours -- about 6 inches under gunwales, with the seats folding out over foot wells to create the full length sleep deck, and about 18 inches width at deck level, so I was interested in hearing about sleeping adventurees on yours before I tried mine ;-)
Leon Close7 years ago
Great work. This sort of quick boat building is by far my favourite.
ryzellon7 years ago
Great instructable, but please(!) rotate your photos so that none of them are sideways. I think drawings or diagrams of the components would supplement this instructable nicely, too.
TimAnderson (author)  ryzellon7 years ago
Done and done. Those pictures were weird, they were right side up on my computer. The drawings are rough, but that's what I have.
Awesome!
rimar20007 years ago
Very nice, congratulations. Good work, good instructable, good fun.