windward ability of Pacific cats and proas

Discussion in 'Multihulls' started by Gary Baigent, Oct 5, 2008.

  1. rwatson
    Joined: Aug 2007
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    Location: Tasmania,Australia

    rwatson Senior Member

    The ocean going canoes in the Auckland museum all had round bottoms. But the smaller "coastal" canoes had sharp hulls. I understand the larger canoes were always rounded due to load carrying needs and to get the biggest boat out of one tree, The islands with smaller trees, who had to make up the hulls from separate trees, invariably made sharp "wharram like" hulls.

    Long canoes tended to be built from one tree, as canoes from multiple trees were difficult to make strong enough over the length.

    The other limiting thing is the sails - usually made from woven cloth, and supported as crab claws, or simple lateen sails, wouldnt have nearly the pointing performance of modern rigs.

    Of course, the polynesians were as knowledgable about inter island currents and tides as they were about prevailing winds. In recent replica trips, often the boat could make 4 knots (over ground) in no wind when they hit known currents.

    Basically, I understand these intrepid and clever sailors were limited by their materials for large boats to average pointing abilities. The smaller boats could point better, but didnt usually do the long voyages for obvious reasons.
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