Model Voyaging Canoe based on Hokule‘a

RDK Herman, 2017

Manaiakalani Canoe Model









Heiau, Palawai & Rail

Navigator Platform

Small Pieces

Sails & Rigging


Now with everything done so far nicely stained, there was the matter of lashing the ‘iako to the wae. Fortunately I had trained in this under Jay Dowsett, one of the Hokule‘a canoe builders. I wrote about that experience here.

I thought (and still think) that the process would be easier if the decks were not yet glued to the hulls. The reason is that the ‘iako had to be perfectly lined up with each other, and perfectly lined up with the deck. I did this using one strip of wood across the top of the ‘iako, lining them up, and clamping them. I lined up the hulls and screwed little blocks of wood directly to my workbench, inside and outside the hatches and decks, to hold them into place.

Lashing set-up

Then I set about the process of lashing, using 20-lb hemp string, which I figured reasonably resembled coconut rope, and a large sail-stitching needle, with the aide of needle-nose pliers.

Ideally, it takes two people, each one holding one end of the rope as it goes over and under and out through the holes in the hull, then around the end of the ‘iako and back through the holes, etc. I didn't have another person, but I learned to use a bulldog clip to hold one end of the string taut while I worked the other end, switching until the entire lashing was done and tied off.




The end result was pretty successful, if not perfect. Then I carefully epoxied the decks to the hulls, which was a little tricky in its own right, since they stand on edge and fall over easily. In the end I think I did it upside down, or else wedged them to stand straight and not fall over.


Iako Lashing

Detail of the exterior part of the lashing.



The completed lashing.


Now to the fun part: carving the manu.

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