Saturday, October 1, 2011

Build your own demountable 16' or 24' canoe

A 16' or 24' canoe in 8' sections.
24' single outrigger Wa'apa
In the late 1800's, when sawn lumber began to appear in Hawaii and other Pacific islands,
the local canoe builders immediately saw it as an easier way to  build canoes.  While 
perhaps slightly less efficient than round bottom shapes they have now become the standard
working canoe seen throughout the Pacific.  The first models were simply built of three wide 
planks and came to be known as "three board canoes" or wa'apa in Hawaiian.
I built a 16'er in the 70's that unbolted in the center for easier stowage onboard my cruising
trimaran.  It proved to be a useful dinghy and a fun sailer for exploring.  This design is similar
in shape but allows for a center section to be added which stretches it to 24'.  The 24'er seats
four crew, and can be sailed as a tacking outrigger or a shunting proa. 

The Wa'apa can be built as a one piece hull  to save weight, but one of its prime advantages 

is that no hull or ama section is longer than 2.4 meters (8  ft).  It can be built, stored and
transported in a small space.   The three section main hull and a two piece plywood ama only
require six sheets of 6mm (1/4") plywood.  The hull sides and ama can be built with 4mm 
plywood to save weight. 

The construction plans for the Wa'apa outrigger canoe include three large sheets containing 

full size patterns for the bulkheads, stem, and ama panels.  You can print these patterns from 
the PDF files  The written building procedure also has additional drawings and is in PDF format.  
Thirty photographs document the construction of the prototype.

All drawings are dimensioned in both Imperial and Metric units.

Ordering Plans

E-Plans Only

The cost of the plans is US$75.00

Upon receipt of payment you will receive a link for downloading the PDF

files.  Full size bulkhead patterns can be printed locally from these


Below is a list of the PDF documents included:

Building Procedure
Tacking Sailplan for 4.8 meter (16') Hull

Tacking Sailplan for 7.2 meter (24') Hull

Shunting Sailplan for 7.2 meter (24') Hull

Double Outrigger Sailplan

Plywood Cutting Diagram

Structural Details

Bulkhead Layout


Crossbeam  Structure

Hull Assembly Alignment

Sailing Rig Options

Foam & Fiberglass Ama Construction

Team RAF at the Everglades Challenge

Chris Luomanen using a balanced lug rig

Christian Glockl paddling a 24'

Gunnar Jentzsch with two 24' hulls to form a catamaran

Joao Rivera in Rio

John Leonard in Fiji

Robert Kearney with a lug rig

Rosario Ciardo with a two masted rig