Monday, 3 November 2008

Toroa Gets a facelift

The time has finally come when I can devote some time to Toroa again.
I am fortunate that my physical condition has improved and my circumstances are such that I now have the space and resources to start again.
Toroa has been in storage and has deteriorated from having been left partially in the weather.
I have decided to lengthen his hull to increase length to beam ratio from 12:1 to 15:1, to improve performance, increase load bearing and generally improve his overall proportions. Toroa was alway intended to be around 6.5 m in length, however space restrictions during his initial build plus the potential need to fit Toroa into a 20 foot container with other contents were our primary consideration so he ended up at 5.3 m overall.

My first thought was to focus my attention on Takapu my first canoe however on further consideration I decided that for the kind of sailing I want to do in the future more free board and a deeper V hull were desirable. Takapu at 7 m was designed with a U shaped hull section and straighter run through the keel line more suited for sailing in shallow sheltered waters and controlled by Jzero style rig and rudders. (Russ and Mike came to the same design solution at the same time though on different sides of the planet with no contact!)

I have since cut Toroa in half through the mid section and separated the two ends by 1200 mm, inverted and supported on a building jig through the center board slots.

The space is our workshop which is an old country store.
The ogive dagger boards which I use for steering and to aid windward lift are protruding through the inverted hull. These assist me with visual alignment of the two sections of the hull in the X Y & Z axes. The boards are graphite gray in colour because I added graphite to the epoxy when I was finishing them in order to reduce friction in the center board cases.
The partially completed hull in the foreground is Takapu's ama which I am also rebuilding concurrently. I am reducing the topsides by 300 mm and creating a strip planked, triangle section top with connective stanchions aligned in such a way as to allow for interchangeability of the two amas from Toroa to Takapu in the future.

I then decided on a suitable medium with which to plank the mid section.
Since moving to our premises in Northland I have accumulated a large quantity of demolition timber which we have been steadily using in the refurbishment of our historic home.
Now that that project is drawing to a close some of those materials are surplus to our needs.

The timber I have chosen is New Zealand Kauri which comes from a 100 + year old building which was demolished in the area several years ago.

I rendered some planks down to 30 x 16 mm x 1500 mm lengths. I then cut 150 mm steps in both extremities of the plank and offered them up to fit into the space against the molded ply skin at each end.

Strip planking will proceed up both sides simultaneously until I reach the keel which I have lengthened with a vertical plank of kauri 70 x 25 mm glued into a slot which I cut into the existing keel halves to a depth of 150 mm each. My planks are glued to each other edge to edge using bamboo skewer dowels at 50 mm intervals. Once the planking is completed I will fair the surface with a plane and a sanding board until the hull continuity is achieved after which I will fiberglass inside and out and paint finish.

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Toroa by Harmen Hielkema & Mike Toy.

Header Photo: Toroa at Rawene by Julie Holton.

This blog is dedicated to the memory of my father Roelof Hielkema who instilled in me the willingness to learn.
These pages are intended to inform and add to the growing body of knowledge concerning the Canoe Culture of the Pacific, past, present & future, from the Tupuna, the Ancestors of the Pacific cultures to the people of the world.

These pages contain Images and text relating to our two proas, Toroa & Takapu, some history relating to our experiments & experiences.

The dissertation that I posted on this blog in April 2008 "Takapu The Proa" was written by me in 1997 in response to an assignment that I was set whilst studying for my design degree. The dissertation covers many issues that a proa enthusiast may benefit from reading about.

Waka define culture as culture defines waka

Waka reflect the individuality and uniqueness of a society which in turn is governed by the geography, geology, topography, climate, location, resources, isolation, origin, flora, fauna, flotsam, jetsam, etc.

Waka are our link to the past, they have shaped our present and define our future.

Waka are the vessels of knowledge, physical and mental development, freedom of bondage to the land, key to our inquisitiveness, expressions of our ingenuity and courage, our love of shape and form, the seat of our power.

Waka are the source of our material culture, from which all processes are derived.

Waka are who and what we are.