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Yep, I thinking/dreaming of another build,who knows? Hans Klaars magnificent boat Ontong Java would be the inspiration for the build. I would have to do it here in Australia though.This means access to that kind of lumber will be prohibitive thru the normal retail channels etc.A poor imitation would be in ply? Or is this wrong thinking on my part.

Please contribute to this discussion I need to learn where the pitfalls lie etc.before taking something like this on.

cheers P. 

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You are right tho mate,but as i see it there are as many hull shapes as there are grains of sand on the beach when it comes to multihulls. Broadly speaking deep V. versus some sorta cigar shaped shallow hull arrangement much favoured by condomaran designers et al.

I think I can pull it off though.The shallower hull shape must mean better load carrying,i am sure Hans Klaar took this into consideration as an old island trader? He spent four years nutting out the boat that was to become Ontong Java.Maybe he just liked the ascetics of it all,who knows?

Plywood or cedar strip would be most likely the quickest build?

Thai dragon boat could be good starting point. They are made in Ply . I think selwayfisher sells plans.

Ply would be far more suitable for that boat and far more stable, however having a flat bottomed boat would be a lot slower than a round bilge or a "V" as it would cause a lot more drag. I could knock up the lines for that boat in no time. One consideration could be doing something similar to Richard Woods Strider design, where he uses Ply for the topsides and then strip planking for the turn of the bilge, a much faster boat altogether.

Anything is possible. First comes the design. Once you settle on the design of your boat, then you can decide on the materials to make it happen.

Strip plank tortured ply is always a decent method for fair hulls, it just takes more glue.

Or you could just buy Ontong Java.... looks like Hans is in Panama and put her up for sale


haha Burket,if i where a rich man...

This is interesting,yes!

The design and character of Ontong Java certainly reflects on the experience, the ability and character of the builder. In the same way, any craft built by you will reflect whatever you have to put into it/him/her.

Easiest of all, would be to start with a recognised and proven design. Hans started out this way as,well. But it needs to be remembered that he grew up on a wooden boat that embodied many generations of experience in design and build of the type…….this was a Thai Junk, and I recognize some of the character of this old boat Maria Jose, in Ontong Java.

Using plywood instead of solid wooden planking, would of course completely change the  character of the canoe and I think is the reason why sheer size and displacement is very muh part of the Ontong Java scheme of things

Talking about building a big canoe in Australia……..there is no shortage of Eucalyptus trees, and hey,  I have seen a few boats built of this timber, which was once analysed by Dr Jagels (of Wooden Boat fame) and who determined Saligna gum to be a possible boatbuilding timber. I had a mast of Saligna gum, and which stood up well to weathering and stress.

Otherwise you might need to do what Hans has done  and go someplace where there is available hard wood….still it is not going to make a lightweight canoe, like plywood planking will do. So, taking a que from Hans, a modified Tehini looks like a viable alternative, in getting started on the route down the way to sorting all the many factors needed to start from scratch in a strange land with a few tools, and come away with a craft which sails and comes about in a sure and predictable way.


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