Skin-On-Frame Outrigger Sailing Canoe. Chapter 1: Deck, Keel and Cockpits

Picture of Skin-On-Frame Outrigger Sailing Canoe.  Chapter 1: Deck, Keel and Cockpits
This is a 16 foot long outrigger sailing canoe. The shape is inspired by Marshallese sailing canoes. The internal structure of the hull is inspired by Inuit Kayaks and Umiaks.

This chapter is followed by:
Chapter 2: Make Ribs
Chapter 3: Lash the frame
Chapter 4: Carve Outrigger and Break Tools
Chapter 5: Hull Frame Finishing
Chapter 6: Morton's Oar
Chapter 7: Sew a Skin over the Hull Skeleton and Seal it
Chapter 8: Keel and Rub Strips
Chapter 9: Dipaakak
Chapter 10: Independent Suspension
Chapter X: Maiden Voyage

The design goals:
Light enough for one person to lift without getting hurt. That means 70lbs for men and 100lbs for women (they don't get hernias as easily). If it goes overweight Star will have to lift it.
Big enough to carry two people plus a few days of food and water.
Seaworthy enough to launch and land in minor surf.
Easy to paddle and possible to sail.
Easy to carry on top of a small car.
Quick and easy to carry from the car to the water, and possibly to portage.
Quick and easy to set up and launch.

Seen here with temporary jigs setting the shape of the keel.

Thanks to Star for much collaboration.
Thanks to Roland Chen for much advice about local conditions.
Thanks to Don Montague and Stephanie Simpson for hospitality and encouragement!

Please support the WAM canoe project as they preserve and foster canoe knowledge in the Marshall Islands.
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Step 1: Scavenge Lumber and Stuff

Picture of Scavenge Lumber and Stuff
We looked around for materials. Our host Don had some nice "luff cloth" sailcloth from his days as a sailmaker. We decided to make a skin-on-frame canoe. We kept our eyes open and grabbed various scrap lumber and materials when we saw them.
bconway13 years ago
Love the sketch table saw. I do that myself.
sailonbear4 years ago
Make the cuts, then add the ribs I imagine.
do you have to make sure to make the cut between the two ribs?
Wade Tarzia6 years ago
Yaaay! Can't wait to hear about this. How deep is the vaka going to be?
TimAnderson (author)  Wade Tarzia5 years ago
In case I didn't get back to you on this before, it's 23" deep in the middle and 17" deep at the stem knuckles. I'm finally on my way back there to sail it some more. I hope it hasn't rotted away yet!
Thanks. Rather like my (MUCH heavier) 16 footer.  I like those proportions on mine though the bow buries in rough water sometimes, so I might add a few inches of sheer up toward the bow with some add-on strakes.

Just got my plans for a 24 foot Dierking Wa'Apa, some extra length to smooth out those steep short-period waves I always seem to find myself in around New Haven. Have fun in Maui! How's the house plans coming along?
vakaman6 years ago
Where in the world are you?
TimAnderson (author)  vakaman5 years ago
Hi Gary! Somehow I haven't seen your comment before now. I'm in Berkeley CA (just bought a vacant lot) but this canoe is in Maui. I'm actually on my way back there to sail it some more.
I got your book, it's great! keep up the great work!
opusnz6 years ago
Love it. A great deal of work went into this instructable and you have supplied a lot of detail for everyone. Thanks.
kleinjahr6 years ago
Nice build. The circ saw to table bit is an old construction gimmick. I would suggest getting a switched outlet ext. cord for it. That way you don't have to reach under the table to switch off the saw. Also, be sure to secure the table to the sawhorses. A bit embarassing to push the table, with a running saw, onto the ground.
Um, about step 4. If you turn the saw so that your blade runs the same direction as the top of the saw horses it is much harder to push them over, and yes the sheet of plywood should be screwed or clamped to the sawhorses.
Chwlo6 years ago
I want to go where you are. Did you really bring tools on your trip or did you move to this place? I think this is a cool way to spend a vacation and the panduras keys part was very interesting.
benr016 years ago
"I gathered a bunch of pandanus keys to use as paintbrushes for the glue. Otherwise I'd have to wreck a store-bough brush every time I made a joint." Beautifully Psychedelic Tim. I salute you and all your instructables.
wobblestar6 years ago
I like your table saw. I'll do that!
Yeah, that tablesaw is material for an instructable all in it's own right.
Purocuyu6 years ago
What great improvisation. I particulary like that you don't have all the right tools at all the right times--you just use what you have, which doesn't seem to be a lot of tools. Very nice Instructable, looking forward to part 2.