"Ulua" Outrigger Sailing Canoe


Gary Dierking


LOA: 17'9" (5400 mm)
Hull width: 18" (470 mm)
Overall width: 6'7" (2000 mm)
Draft: 8" (200 mm) @ 400 lbs (182 kg) displacement
Hull weight: 64 lbs (29 kg)
Weight fully rigged: 122 lbs (55 kg)
Sail area: 65 sq ft (6.0 sq meter)


$10,000 CAD


"Ulua" is a modern version of the traditional Hawaiian outrigger canoe. The main hull and decks are strip planked with 1/4" white cedar, sheathed inside and out with 6 oz fiberglass cloth in epoxy. Under the decks at each end 1/4" marine ply bulkheads and watertight hatches give some flotation and dry storage space.

Waes, gunnels and manus are cherry. Seats are cedar. The leeboard is laminated from alternating grain pieces of cherry and streamlined. It is attached to a pair of brackets that slide along the gunwhales and can be clamped (without tools) within a range of fore and aft positions. Iakos are also laminated with cherry on the outside and cedar inside. The styrofoam Ama is sheathed with 2 layers of 6 oz fiberglass cloth in epoxy. Instead of a sliding seat there is a trampoline of 1" wide polyester webbing and 2" X 2" spaces, strung between the port gunwhale and the hollow ash pola.

The 4 oz Tanbark Dacron sail was easy to make, following the designer's simple instructions and clear and complete plans. For steering and for sculling there is a 10' cedar traditional steering oar that works in a chock clamped to the aft iako. The oar can be clamped in position to liberate hands from constant steering. The hollow spruce mast is easily stepped with the boom and sail attached. The jaws on the curved laminated cedar boom are made of apple, as are all other small fittings such as cleats, turnbuttons and pad eyes. A cedar steering paddle is also supplied.