14' outrigger canoe steerage issue

hi all,

Hello,  new here..any outrigger experts?..I have an issue with an outrigger i just purchased , it 14' classic hawaiian design probably built in the late 50's early 60's ( it has a 1962 calif tag on it)...seems i have some sort of alignment problems that makes it pull to the port(ama side)..it is extremely difficult to compensate for this by trying to paddle out of it, and when the "drift" reaches a certain point, it becomes impossible to correct... there is no alternative but to break off paddling and steer or break drastically with the paddle to prevent this drift...the canoe is 14" ,the ama that came on it is almost 10'...have been experimenting with shorter ama's still experiencing the same phoenm though to a lesser degree...going to try a more rounded ama next attempt (and heavier due to starboard capsizing fears), thinking that the sharper hull angle of the current ama I made is somehow creating tracking the issues...I haven't seen any mention of this issue or how to overcome it in any builders discusions or notes..this canoe has been around along time, i can't image that it never worked correctly..any help or insight would be appriciated..Greg 

3 replies:

« Previous Post       List of Posts       Next Post »

RE: 14' outrigger canoe steerage issue


You have a V1 from the 50's?  Cool!

 Have you tried varying the angle between the ama and the hull?  they don't have to be parallel for the boat to track best.  We strip built a six man outrigger canoe & were advised to orient the ama with a little bit of toe in (bow end of ama closer to the hull than the stern end of the ama).

Surely you will fix this issue without having to resort to putting a rudder.  ($$)

A hui hou. 

RE: 14' outrigger canoe steerage issue

thanks for the reply...

  accually tring a second design on the new ama i made, giving it Alot more rocker hoping it won't track so much...i did try toeing the first in (not too much, but definetly toed in..) the ama may have been riding a little low causing the canoe to tip towards that side ..that mightve created some additional pulling..so ive added hieght and rocker to the new design, to bring the canoe hull to level across the gunwales..I imagine all that will help, but i think the capsizing issue will surface as the next problem...its an open canoe with no sealed chambers, so it sinks like a stone ..I was really wary of this, but the oldtimer that was helping me decided to test rocking the boat to prove his point that it wouldnt flip..There's a reason they say "don't rock the boat"...he realized hewas instantly wrong.. and quikly went for a pie-eyed swim ,dockside...and crawled dripping wet, back to the drawing board..haha    I suggested a saftey ama, sealing the fore and aft chambers a lifejacket and shallower water next attempt...obviously there's a learning curve here..


RE: 14' outrigger canoe steerage issue


I wish I knew enough to really be helpful.  The bow of the amas on our outrigger canoes ride higher out of the water.  Our 2 seat outrigger canoe has an ama about 13' long & 9' is in the water, but I don't know if it's toed in.

Liked the huli (capsize) story.

I'd love to see a picture of the boat, but couldn't begin to tell you how to post one here. If your paddling isn't limited to flat water, I'd say put fore & aft decks with bulkheads on the boat to provide flotation, but not if the boat has historical value.

So cool that you're so open minded re: ama designs.  What construction method do you use on the ama?  How long does it take to build each ama?

« Previous Post     List of Posts     Next Post »

Please login or register to post a reply.