Imiloa canoe

Canoe in Kona

I went to Kona, people were stoked.

The seafaring cultures of Polynesia and Hawaii survived long ocean voyages of discovery with vessels of only natural materials. Very light weight dugout canoes were often used for fishing or other chores on local islands after their arrival. Unfortunately, due to natural materials bio-degrading, not many examples remain.

This PROTOTYPE is a modern re-creation of that concept – a lightweight, durable, easy to use canoe made of Natural Fiber Composites.

Familiar materials – combined with modern thought processes – can result in strong, beautiful and useful craft – without fiberglass.

While honoring traditions in the shape of hull and manus, this hull was made with an innovative and less labor intensive production process. The materials – tested as surfboard skins for over 4 years and canoe hulls for over 15 years – demonstrate that locally grown albizia, combined with bamboo, epoxy and a sunlight resistant clear seal coat – have not only a durable structure of Natural Fiber Composites, but suggests a truly eco-friendly direction which can help sustain Hawaiian ocean going traditions.

Lightweight epoxy/albizia/bamboo hulls are being tested. The 17 foot hull weighs about 65 pounds. updates coming