Proa cruising sailboat design, help get this idea out of my head...

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by 360weatherbound, Mar 2, 2010.

  1. sharpii2
    Joined: May 2004
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    Location: Michigan, USA

    sharpii2 Senior Member

    Some good points.

    I have considered the idea of an Atlantic with a single helm station. The rudder would be 1/4 the length of the boat from one end with the cockpit extending from it towards the other end of the boat.

    The idea is that, on one tack, the rudder is in the stern and. on the other, it is in the bow. It would have to be able to turn a full 360 deg. to be workable, but could be a very strong spade design. It could be retractable into a trunk and replaced with an oar when beaching the boat.

    The big problem I see with any kind of a proa is that, on larger sizes, the steering system is either complicated or make shift and often both. Hence my interest in a single outrigger, where the bow stays the bow and the stern remains the stern.
  2. AnalogKid
    Joined: Sep 2009
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    Location: Auckland, New Zealand

    AnalogKid Junior Member

    I've looked at a lot of traditional proas in various museums, principally the NZ National Maritime Museum.

    It seems that the long thin canoe with a single log-like outrigger was traditionally reserved for smaller craft. Some were paddled only, others sailed. Here a V shaped hull was preferable to limit leeway, since no boards or rudders were used. In these smaller craft, steering was principally by weight shift with a steering oar on standby.

    For larger, inter-island and trans-oceanic craft, the two hulls are much closer in size and a substantial deck, often with a small hut built on it, was employed rather than the open structure lashed together on to the amas of the smaller proas. Again, the hulls tended to be deep V shapes but large steering oars were used rather than weight shift, I presume because the crew weight was less significant on the larger vessels.

    Big or small, the idea of fore/aft symmetry rather than port/starboard symmetry is the same, and all these boats shunted rather than tacked, with no rudders, centre or lee boards.

    I'll dig out some photos if I can, I think I took some of a large Fijian proa and a couple of the other bigger craft in the Pacific hall.

  3. AnalogKid
    Joined: Sep 2009
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    Location: Auckland, New Zealand

    AnalogKid Junior Member

    It seems I went straight past the big boats, I was particularly interested in this boat and took about 30 photos and a dozen or so sketches, and only a couple of shots of two other small canoes in the Pacific Hall. This boat is WHITE HERON, a 14' Kiribati proa built by the Sea Scouts of that island group.
    Kiribati Shunting Sailing Canoe.jpg
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