Outrigger Basics


From Madagascar, off the east coast of Africa, all the way to Easter Island, the outrigger sailing canoe is one of humankind’s most useful tools, and it remains in use today throughout the Indian and Pacific oceans. outrigger sailing canoe’s beauty and elegance, combined with a ruthless functionality and efficiency, make it a very attractive option for anyone wanting to build a small boat.

evolution of the outrigger sailing canoe has spanned many centuries with little change to the basic configuration. Very few watercraft have undergone such a long development under such exacting conditions. Every island group in the Pacific Ocean has come up with a slightly different solution adapted to either local conditions or traditions. While single and double outriggers have been built in excess of 100 feet (30m) in length, most canoes in daily use today are between 16′ (4.8m) and 25′ (7.6m). That represents a practical size for the home builder, and the boats you will build in this book are in that size range.