Evolution and Design
How do you design a fast canoe? It’s not a simple question. Hydrodynamics may have crossed from art to science a century ago, but it’s application to an ever changing ocean environment is not so black and white. The reality is that ‘optimal’ hull shapes don’t deliver great performance without adaptations. Design concepts have to be proven in the real world.
To build fast canoes, we design, prototype, and test. Then do it again and again. Good design is part theory and part evolution. We design our canoes using a mathematical model that allow us to generate new, fair, hull shapes by changing only one aspect of an existing design. When our testing uncovers weaknesses in the design, we can change only the relevant aspects of the design.
The parametric hull model is then imported into a CAD program. The model is surfaced, and the deck is designed. From the 3-D CAD model we machine molds to build an accurate prototype. It’s a time consuming process, but it’s the only way that we’ve found to make a lightweight prototype to test the design.
The Storm is the first outrigger canoe to be molded in one piece, simultaneously eliminating excess weight and creating a stronger canoe. The construction is revolutionary, Every new design we make will feature this construction, we’re never going back. The Ehukai, Vortex, Malolo, and the new Antares are now built this way, as well as most of our ama’s. Don’t confuse the weight with the structural integrity – these are the strongest canoes we have ever built, even though they feel impossibly light.