Wa'apa outrigger canoe proa/trimaran build

Discussion in 'Multihulls' started by TwoBirds, Oct 24, 2017.

  1. TwoBirds
    Joined: Aug 2016
    Posts: 40
    Likes: 1, Points: 6, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: Gulf Islands

    TwoBirds Junior Member


    Just starting a Wa'apa from Gary Dierkings book "Building Outrigger Sailing Canoes"

    The Wa'apa can be built as a 16' or 24' outrigger canoe that can be rigged as a proa or a trimaran.

    Alternately, it can also be built in 8' sections that bolt together so one can have a 16' or 24' or even 32' boat as one wishes.

    I'm building in sections, partly because I can build the boat in my spare room over the winter, but mostly because I like the idea of being able to mix and match sections to make different boats.

    I'm going to be making some changes, starting with the freeboard, the plans were drawn with the side panels at just under 19" high, I changed them to 24" below are pics of the designers cut plan, my cut plan and the waste from the sheet.

    ut plan.jpg DSCF1540.JPG DSCF1545.JPG

    all the panels for the end modules are cut as well as stock ripped for gunwales, chinelogs, and bulkhead framing, still need to make the stems.


    Ran into my first screwup, I pre-drilled and countersunk the holes for the side panels, then realized I'd countersunk the wrong side of two panels, so I had 4 port side panels and no starboard panels, a boat with a 4mm beam :) ooooops.

    So I've filled the countersunk holes and I'm just trying to decide if I should pre-drill and countersink between the filled holes, or through the filled holes.

  2. jorgepease
    Joined: Feb 2012
    Posts: 1,620
    Likes: 51, Points: 48, Legacy Rep: 75
    Location: Florida

    jorgepease Senior Member

    I see the stitch and glue guys always over size drilling holes, filling them and then redrilling to prevent water contact with the wood
  3. garydierking
    Joined: Sep 2004
    Posts: 191
    Likes: 72, Points: 28, Legacy Rep: 174
    Location: New Zealand

    garydierking Senior Member

    Don't feel bad, you're not the first.
    JimMath and dsigned like this.
  4. TwoBirds
    Joined: Aug 2016
    Posts: 40
    Likes: 1, Points: 6, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: Gulf Islands

    TwoBirds Junior Member

    sounds like a good idea actually, the screw would also be completely enclosed in epoxy so never get wet, and the epoxy fill is probably stronger than the wood that was drilled out, I'll have to keep that in mind.
    I ended up drilling between, always nice to be able to fix a mistake with a few cents worth of epoxy, it's the ones that I have to go buy more plywood to fix that I feel bad about.

    haven't got a lot done the last couple days, for some reason everything else seems to trump boat building, I did get the sides, stems and bulkheads dry fit today, so she's 3d, looks not bad at all. Waapa gone 3D.jpg

    Here's a sculling boat I'm working on, always good to have two boats on the go so you have somewhere to use up those leftover bits of epoxy before they cure :)
    Sculler almost done.jpg

  5. TwoBirds
    Joined: Aug 2016
    Posts: 40
    Likes: 1, Points: 6, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: Gulf Islands

    TwoBirds Junior Member


    I glued the end sections together last night, one came out pretty dang good, but the other is off about 2 mm at the bulkhead where they bolt together so I've got one curved side and one straight side when I bolt them together, at the moment I'm trying to decide whether to:
    A) plane down the high side, or
    B) glue a spacer onto the low side, or
    C) leave it how it is and call it an asymmetrical proa :)

    one downside to my rearranged cut plan is that the gunwales and chines come together at a very noticeable valley/peak, won't be a problem when the middle section is in between them but it's a not pretty with just the two end sections bolted together.
    I'm playing with the idea of making a short section to tie them together and smooth out the changeover, maybe 2' long or less, it'd also let me put a mast step right in the center of the boat, as is the bulkheads are in the way.

    I've decided to put a junk rig on it, probably a split junk rig, I'm still researching but it looks to be about the simplest and safest rig to singlehand with and I really like the way they look.

    the plan is to get the 16' Proa version together and sailing and then start on the middle section for a 24' proa, I'd like to put a hard cabin in the middle section but that's something to think about another day.

    Ama is Polynesian for outrigger, Vaka for the hull, and Iako the crossbeams.

    I haven't started on the ama or iako yet, I can't paddle due to a bad back, can't take the twisting motion, so I need to rig the boat to row, to do that I may need to be able to bring the ama closer to the vaka so I can row over top of it.
    I figure I can rig a rowing seat on or below the trampoline between the vaka and ama, so one oarlock would be on the lee gunwale and the other would be on the cross member that runs between the iako parallel to the ama/vaka. I'm thinking something like an outboard cart except I'd have a kickup weatherboard/rudder at either end.
    oars are going to have to be quite long to reach over the ama and the extra 5" freeboard I added on isn't going to help either, 10' plus I think, I've made a few sets of oars so no worries there, might even try birdsmouth oars.

    I'd like to make the iako out of telescoping birdsmouth spars.
    a pair of 5' birdsmouth spars would be lashed to the vaka and the ama would be mounted on 6' spars that would slide through the 5'spars, it would cost a few extra pounds, but I'd have the resilience and force dispersal of the lashed iako and still be able to rig my boat quickly, might not even have to take the ama/iako off at all, just slide it as close to the vaka as possible and go.

    when tacking the 5' spars would be set to hold a narrow tramp. and possibly a safety ama to leeward and a tramp to windward.

    When shunting the 5' spars would be set flush with the vaka to leeward or possibly just far enough to support a safety ama, and support both tramps to windward and the ama could be set further out to windward.

    now that I've gotten all that out of my head maybe I can get some work done :)

  6. geronimo2168
    Joined: Feb 2019
    Posts: 2
    Likes: 0, Points: 1
    Location: Sonoran Desert

    geronimo2168 New Member

    Any update on the build, TwoBirds?

    I like the idea of increasing the freeboard... Wondering how the build is going.

  7. Aaron_de
    Joined: Jun 2016
    Posts: 13
    Likes: 3, Points: 3, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: Avoca Beach, Australia

    Aaron_de Junior Member

    Hey mate, there's no need to increase the freeboard of you build the boat light. My 16ft wa'apa has freeboard to spare, I used 3mm plywood sheathed in fibreglass which means the vaka (main hull) weighs only 28kg.

    Here's the boat in some of my YouTube videos...

    First sail with a new Lugsail

    Boat walkaround with commentary

    Rigging setup
    Last edited: May 12, 2019
    JimMath and minno like this.
Forum posts represent the experience, opinion, and view of individual users. Boat Design Net does not necessarily endorse nor share the view of each individual post.
When making potentially dangerous or financial decisions, always employ and consult appropriate professionals. Your circumstances or experience may be different.