11.0 CANOE SAILING
11.1 What are the origins of Sailing Canoes?
11.2 Are sailing canoes raced and where?
11.3 Are there purpose built racing sailing canoes?
11.4 Do sailing canoes have any additional means of stability?
11.5 How is the canoe steered?
11.6 Is there much paddling?
11.7 Do they take a lot to rig up?
11.8 How long are the races?
11.9 How fast can they travel?
11.10 Is there an official association?
Sailing Canoes became a natural extension as an alternative means of propulsion for many types of canoe across the whole of Oceania. Sailing canoes were amongst some of the largest ever constructed throughout the Pacific and were used in Micronesia, Melanesia and Polynesia in a variety of forms.
Sailing canoes were used not only on Polynesian double hulled voyaging canoes up to one hundred feet in length, but for smaller canoe forms designed for solo use by fisherman who would paddle to their fishing spot in the still of the early morning and sail home in the afternoon powered by the afternoon sea breezes and trade winds.
Sailing rigs were used and continue to be used on a variety of outrigger types, both single, double and double hulled. Double outrigger sailing canoes are common to Micronesia and the islands of the Phillipines and Indonesia, whilst the single outrigger sailing canoes are common to Polynesia as was the double hulled sailing canoes.
Yes in Hawaii. The Hawaiian sailing canoe is now undergoing a revival. The canoes as used for outrigger canoe racing, which are essentially traditional fishing and coastal canoes, would of had provision for a sailing rig and so, with some modification, some canoes have been converted in order to allow a mast to be stepped in the canoe and a sailing rig attached.
Progressively more and more so. Some have even become very hi-tech with the inclusion of modern sail clothes of mylar and aluminium masts in order to reduce the weight and make rigging somewhat easier. They are constructed somewhat more robust in order to accommodate the weight of the rig and to withstand the additional strain created by the stresses that are created by sail power. Some are built to a shorter length for only 4 crew rather than 6.
Yes. They have the inclusion of a safety float (ama) which makes them more along the lines of a double outrigger canoe as they have a primary float (ama) and a secondary.The primary float (ama) is larger than the secondary which is of standard float (ama) size. The primary float (ama) is rigged out on the right hand size and there is the inclusion of a trampoline rigged between the two spars (iako) supporting the float (ama). Here, up to to three crew members can sit to keep the canoe stable with sail set out on the left side and this is also where the sheet person sits, controlling the sail.
A steersperson performs the usual steering techniques from the back of the canoe. Because of the speed at which sailing canoes can travel in the heavy trade winds of Hawaii it can take two to steer such a beast and often number 5 will steer also.
Yes as paddle power combined with sail power compliment one another except when it is really blowing then the forward paddlers zip up the covers and sit out on the trampoline to create some stability.
Yes. Up to six hours!
Up to 90 miles. Races between islands are the most popular. One of the most popular and well known races is the Steinlarger Ho'omana'o Sailing Canoe Race between Maui and Oahu, 75 miles, held in May of each year. It is currently in its 9th year.
Up to 20 knots!
Yes. The Hawaiian Sailing Canoe Association.