Holopuni OC-3 Hawaiian Outrigger Sailing Canoes
Outrigger canoes are the traditional transportation of the South Seas.
In them, the early Polynesians explored and settled the Pacific, leaving artifacts to the extent of their seafaring skills that we still marvel at today.
The Hawaiian beach boys of Waikiki of the 1920's, 30's and 40's introduced many vacationers and adventurers to the joy of paddling, surfing and sailing the warm Pacific waters in Hawaiian Outrigger Canoes.
Many of these canoes were traditional hulls carved from single giant tree trunks, and had been in use for generations.
The interest in this traditional watercraft by younger Hawaiians and the transplanted mainlanders and surfers who immersed themselves in the Aloha Spirit, has helped to spawn a resurgence of the sport of canoe racing around the world.
Outrigger canoe racing is one of the fastest growing team sports in the world.
There are one man, two man, four man and six man (woman), racing classes, designated by the number of seat positions.
There are larger canoes, but they're rare.
Just last year, (2002), a three man class was initiated with the design and creation of the three man canoe, the Holopuni OC3, by Nick Beck.
The Holopuni OC3 features kayak style cockpit openings that enable the paddlers to use individual spray skirts to keep out water in heavy seas and winds.
Nick's canoes can be rigged with a single ama, (outrigger float), connected to the canoe by two iako (spars) for paddling, or can be ordered as a sailing version with twin equally spaced amas, a daggerboard for increased upwind tacking and directional stability, and a unique and versatile free standing mast and sail system that doesn't require stays and can be reefed quickly and easily to tune the sail to the wind conditions.
The iako, (outrigger spars), are traditionally lashed to mounts on the hull, and the ama is lashed to the iako.
Nick developed a very strong and quickly rigged mounting system that replaces the traditional lashing, getting you in, and out, of the water faster.
Trampolines can be added to the iakos for additional passengers, cargo and hiking out. Nick has done a lot of surf camping in his canoes and the tramps serve as a comfy bed anchored out near isolated surf breaks
Hawaiian waterman Nick Beck, pictured above steering the sailing version of the Holopuni OC3, has been building and racing canoes as well as surfing his whole life, growing up on the Hawaiian Island of Kauai.
Nick and a group of his Hawaiian buddies built a traditional log hulled Hawaiian Outrigger that was unfortunately destroyed by a hurricane that hit Kauai, also wiping out Nick's house
He also got a picture he took of himself surfing in Hawaii, with a home built water housing for the camera mounted on the nose of his surfboard, in a 1963 issue of Life Magazine.
Nick was slated to be on the cover, but Gordo Cooper went into space and Nick got bumped to the inside with the rest of the article on the surfing boom.
Nick is building the Holopuni OC3's of high tech composite materials on the mainland.
The OC3 is a revolutionary canoe that is light weight, fast as the dickens and able to surf large waves, while still being easy to handle by only one person.
The paddle version weighs in at only about 135 pounds, while the sailing version with it's additional reinforcement, dagger board well and mast step weigh in around 150 pounds.
At just 30 feet long and light, they can easily be handled by two people, racked on the roof of a Toyota 4-Runner or trailered.
Nick took me for a ride on Lake Tahoe and we were grinning the whole time.
The wind was light that day, but the slightest breeze got us moving.
Take a visit to Nick's web site Holopuni Canoes, to see what they do when there's wind.