Sunday, 10 May 2009

A few thoughts after the launch of Toroa

The weather was awful with a squally, cold southwesterly wind gusting to gale force. The sunny intervals allowed for photography, thanks Julie!
Several brave souls turned out. Julie my long suffering and patient wife, my son Robert and his girlfriend Hannah, Paul and Liz Bowker, their daughter in law Ha ping and her two daughters Anna and Madelaine also in attendance was a colleague of mine from the Hospital, Louise and her son.

The launch went as planned but for unexpected problems with Toroa's old trolley.
Mike and I had built this trolley to roll Toroa on and off the road trailer (road trailers and salt water do not mix well).
The day before the launch I inflated the tires on the little trolley to a pressure I judged suitable.
We rolled Toroa off the trailer at the Rawene boat ramp but as soon as we began maneuvering there was an enormous bang as one of the wheels exploded. The rims are of a red plastic material quite faded after 10 years in the sun. The faded outer rim decided to give up the fight for gestalt and defaulted to its equilibrium (in this case several jagged pieces).
We continued the launch and successfully motored around the boat ramp staying well inside the sheltered area. On retrieval the second wheel joined its partner in a terrifying under water explosion that covered Robert in water. Getting Toroa back on the trailer was achieved thanks to the support of the onlookers.
I discovered later that the motor was limited to half throttle which I adjusted at home.
Even at half throttle Toroa easily motored at 6-7 knots with the 2.5 horse motor.
As expected a little slow to turn to starboard (against the ama) however maneuvering to Port away from the ama went well.
Some cavitation occurred whilst turning which was expected. I'll modify the shaft with a fairing at Gary Dierking's suggestion.
The next step is for me to set up on the lawn and re assemble the rig. I'll chose an auspicious day and re launch with some pomp and ceremony, perhaps even a Maori blessing if I can persuade one of our local elders to attend.
I'll keep you posted.

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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.