Te wa Construction and Development















August 23, 1998, framing has been completed and the side panels have been installed.   

August 27, planking and puttying is complete and  the hull has been removed from the strongback and rolled upright. Glassing will commence in the next day or so.  

September 3, The hull is glassed with 6 oz and epoxy, sanded and undercoated.  

September 9, The interior watertight compartments have been installed.  Two coats of epoxy has been applied throughout and fillets put in some areas.  Deck framing is installed and coated.  Deck panels are cut and ready to install.  

September 20, The deck is on and glassed.  The three x-arms (iako, aka) have been constructed.  They are simple aircraft spar type box beams about 4.5 in (115mm) square, tapering slightly at the ama end.  I've scarfed the ply and stringer stock for the float (ama, te rama).  

September 30, The ama is structurally complete, but is yet to be glassed.  I've begun laminating the various connecting brackets out of 8 layers of heavy triaxial glass and epoxy resin.  

October 23,  All components have been completed and are being finish painted.  This includes the large (7' x 7') deck platform on the windward side, a 6' x 1.5' lee platform, the outboard engine bracket/pod, and many miscellaneous struts to stiffen the crossarms and ama connection.  

November 4,  Te Wa has been moved outdoors and assembled.  I test ran the Honda 9.9 for the first time today. There are only a few small jobs left to do before the launching.  I also need a few days to set a mooring off my beach and overhaul my ancient but still functional marine railway.  I have yet to begin building the sailing rig.  

November 14,  Draped in flower leis, Te Wa was launched on the 12 th.  A dozen or so friends were there to send him into his element.  I had painted Plimsol markings amidships to get an immediate reading on  the draft and was delighted to see that 10" of water is all he will need.  I smoked a big cigar and had a few beers.  The next day I clamped the engine on and we went for a ride.  We had the beginnings of a gale moving in and the wind was about 25 knots.  My main concern was about the turning ability with no rudder.  I kept the rpm down to 1/3 throttle as the engine is still being run in, but we were doing a good 6 knots at that setting.  The long slim hull is very directionally stable and did not require me to hold the tiller.  Turning in the strong wind required a large radius and made me start thinking about a possible rudder installation.  I'll test things in a wider variety of conditions before I make that decision.  I have a temporary steering oar but haven't had a chance to try it yet.  It looks like the gale force winds are here for a few more days; how very inconsiderate!  

December 8,  We've had about six outings now, most under power but one day under sail.  I'm very pleased with most things so far.  I finally got the 10 hour break in period completed for the 9.9 Honda and was able to use full throttle at last over a measured two nautical mile course.  The measured speed was 11 knots on flat water and a light headwind.  I expect that 8 knots would make an economical cruising speed.  The first time under sail was a real joy.  I picked a day with light winds as I've never shunted an Oceanic lateen rig before.  It turned out to be both easier and quicker than I had anticipated.  It does however require two people to do it efficiently.  I'm sure that sailing in stronger winds will introduce some challenges, but at this point I'm more optimistic than I was.  The mast is a aluminum section from a retired beach cat.  The boom and yard are bamboo and the sail is blue polytarp.  All in all the most bang for the buck that I can imagine.  The only major change that I'm making at this time is to the bow shape of the ama.  It throws up far too much spray at speed, some of which gets blown at me.  I've already demounted the ama and have added a deeper and sharper forefoot with foam and glass.  I shall know in a few days if it was worth it.  

December 21, The new shape to the ends of the ama is very successful.  The spray is now sent back along its length and not out to the sides.  We were out in the gulf for 13 hours yesterday.  I was very surprised to see my small training rig pulling us away from a mono with a huge genoa.  The wind was light and we haven't yet had a sail in stronger winds.  Had lunch and a swim anchored in a sandy bottomed cove.  A good awning and deck tent will be the next project.  Caught some nice fish too.  
 January 22,1999,  We've been using the boat a lot, mostly under power for fishing, but we've also had some strong wind sailing.  Still no problems with shunting so a larger rig will be the next project.  The small rig would never raise the ama, so the sailing is relaxed in stronger winds although not very fast yet.  The deck tent has been completed and tested over night in an isolated cove.  We can fit into thin water that others stay away from.  A huge manta ray welcomed us but then left us alone for the night.  

March 2, 1999,  The new much larger rig is now being built.  I've butted together two windsurfer masts for the luff spar.  The lower one is all fiberglass and the upper half is 60% carbon.  It should be ready for testing in a few weeks.  With two people and a weekend cruising load this gives me a Bruce number of 1.4.  

April 24, 1999,  The full size rig has had a beneficial effect.  You can feel the improved acceleration and speed immediately.  Windward ability has also been enhanced by a deeper draft cut into the sail.  I've also built a new height adjustable engine bracket which has a couple of benefits.  I can lift the engine high enough above the waves when sailing "engine forward", and also make fine height adjustments for efficient running in smooth or rough conditions.  It feels like I'm getting at least another knot but I will time it over the measured mile soon.


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