new non spec

my buddy told me to check out these pictures on Facebook. what you guys think? Looks like Sonny is officially making non spec canoes too…

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Submitted by jc9_0 on Wed, 07/30/2014 - 8:41am

It may be a prototype and more testing being done.

It would be great to hear directly from Sonny about design and thoughts about entering the unlimited market.

#1 Wed, 07/30/2014 - 10:27am

totally possible it's a prototype. although to my eyes it looks pretty finished. but my only experience is paddling a stripped together hull that's primered, wobbly, bondoed, with no deck and bits of wood bracing to keep it from collapsing. maybe not everyone prototypes like that?

#2 Wed, 07/30/2014 - 12:53pm

Is this Sonnys unlimited?
I know Kaiola on Kauai was one of the first clubs on the this what they ordered?

#3 Wed, 07/30/2014 - 9:46pm

couple more pictures i saw this AM, they show the hull a bit.

#4 Thu, 07/31/2014 - 6:47am

The first image shows the bow....interesting what is going on there. That seems to be a real departure from other designs. Any thoughts on it ?

#5 Thu, 07/31/2014 - 7:58am

The canoe in the image is the plug and a mold has already been made!

Unfortunately for us and pretty cool for him, Sonny doesn't do computers and still has a flip phone that doesn't have texting capabilities or at least he doesn't have texting on his service. So.....hopefully Lono of Makai Ocean Lifestyle Magazine did an interview so we can get the details from Sonny.

I do know that Raymond Lee of Hawaiian Kanaktion had a crew in it before the mold was made if you want to know how the canoe performs.

#6 Thu, 07/31/2014 - 10:47am

The orange ... Tooling gelcoat ?


#7 Thu, 07/31/2014 - 12:54pm

Uncle Nappy will be happy that at least one Manu remains :-)

#8 Thu, 07/31/2014 - 2:51pm

don't forget Rambo, there's a certain other company that puts a manu on all of it's new non spec boats too. i'll refrain from mentioning their name lest i be called a fanboy. Uncle Nappy can be twice as happy!

#9 Thu, 07/31/2014 - 1:47pm

Kudos for trying to keep a Manu, But it looks like it might hinder the entry if the surf is big? Im no Wa'a designer but seems that the more subtle the entry is, the more efficient the nose will be?

Im sure theres some kind of super spooky idea behind the double looking step up Manu...right?

Braaah is it called a "Bradley Ultra"?

#10 Thu, 07/31/2014 - 2:37pm

Or maybe its Ultralight-ning

#11 Thu, 07/31/2014 - 2:38pm

Onnopaddle -
You're correct, Its orange tooling gelcoat.

Kauaisurf85 -
Sonny is calling it the "Bradley Ultra". Also, when you look at the profile of a manu the angle helps to lift the canoe up the swell so the canoe doesn't submarine into the next.

All -
You can't really see it in the photos but did anyone notice that the Ultra has a real Pale Kai instead of a small ridge?
What about the cockpits and gunnels? You can actually do a change in this canoe without having to grab 6 plus inches higher and when you hit the seat you won't be gouging your back into what is basically a gunnel on the back of the cockpit. The lines in front of the cockpit channel water away from your lap instead of into your lap. Also check out the wais. They can be rigged traditionally with line or with quick straps.

The effort put into keeping tradition alive while advancing canoe design is unbelievable. Who ever thought you would see a manu, pale kai, and traditional rigging on an unlimited? I thought we would only see giant one mans with aluminum iakos.

I can't wait to see how the new ama and iakos will look. Right now it looks like he's using the Iolana ama with modified wood iakos to adjust for the height of the wais.

#12 Fri, 08/01/2014 - 7:06am

What does it weigh?

#13 Fri, 08/01/2014 - 8:35am

@gsmithinhb The Manu being that functional never occurred to me in our Lightning. Traditional Yes, but functional i need more convincing. Every time we surf the Lightning down swell (best spec canoe to date) the one very obvious thing I have noticed is the shear plowing of the Manu into the swells seems unnecessary(function not tradition).

But like I said I'm no hydro-engineer, or designer.

Could any of the Master Canoe builders comment on that function?

The rest of the boat looks good, as we would expect from Sonny Bradley

#14 Fri, 08/01/2014 - 8:43am

i'm clueless about hydrodynamics but i imagine the same laws of physics apply to air and water. can't understand a manu providing lift of any sort. that implies it's working like a wing and creates a pressure differential like a wing and "pulls" the nose up. now if you were to make the manu light weight and hollow and mount it on a nose which is high in volume then yes, it would float better than a smaller nose. a large nose it displaces more water and is more likely to bob to the surface like a buoy. i do understand wanting to include the manu from a cultural point of view, that's valid.

as for doing changes...hmmmm. my understanding is that these non spec boats were created with the mindset of doing iron races. this current evolution came about when Manny created the ‘Eono and was trying to capture the old school mindset where you have six and only six paddlers making a voyage from island to island. there weren't any breaks or time outs back in the day.

EDIT: also as these canoes improve and paddlers become better and faster athletes, substitutions aren't really required for a similar distance race IMHO.

#15 Fri, 08/01/2014 - 9:31am

I'm not sure what the final weight will end up being. This one is definitely heavier due to the tooling gel coat, fairing materials etc.

I understand your comments regarding helping to lift the canoe in the swell. It does seem counterintuitive but that's the case with hydrodynamics and engineering sometimes. The manu isn't flat on the front like the spec canoes though. It comes to a bit of a point along the leading edge. I think it should help spread the water to the sides as it enters the swell.

#16 Fri, 08/01/2014 - 9:21am

More food for thought on bow shapes from this link:


The Bifurcated Bow
The kayaks made by the Aleuts were unique in form and construction. The most obvious feature is a "bifurcated" bow. The front of the kayak is divided into two parts, one above the other, like the open jaws of a salmon. The lower jaw may be straight, jutting horizontally out in front of the boat, or it may be go out straight initially and then curve upward. The upper jaw more typically sticks straight out front, but sometimes it too will curve upward.

There has been a lot of speculation regarding the function of this bow form. The most obvious is it is a way to give the bow a "hollow" cross-sectional shape. The advantage of this shape is at the waterline the lower jaw can be narrow and sharp, giving a fine entry into to the water for good efficiency, while higher up the upper jaw can be full and wide for high buoyancy to lift the bow over waves. Because the skin wants to stretch straight across from the narrow bottom to the wide top so the entry at the waterline would either be wider than you might want or if you make the entry narrow, there may not be much buoyancy. If you stitch the two sides together part way up, you can get the best of both worlds. But now you may have holes where the stitches are. If you instead cut out between the upper and lower section, you can stitch the two sides together with more waterproof stitches.

The "Bulb" Effect
Modern oil tankers, bulk transports and other large ships often have a "bulb" sticking out front underwater. This bulb improves the efficiency of the boat by reducing the size of the waves it produces as it moves through the water. People have speculated if the lower jaw of the baidarka might serve a similar function to make the kayak more efficient. If it does, it can only do so while the bulb is underwater. Unfortunately, kayaks are typically paddled in large waves. This will lift the bulb out of the water where it can do no good. In fact their might be some loss of efficiency due to the effects of the lower jaw re-entering the water. Since the end of the lower jaw often curves up on traditional baidarkas, they are often not properly shaped to work as a bulb, even if they did stay in the water.

Since we can not go back and interview the original developers of the baidarka, we can only speculate regarding their intentions when the created the bifurcated bow. The best evidence of the performance of some baidarkas is inlog reports from early European explorers. Their reports suggest paddlers capable of maintaining speeds near 10 knots for sustained periods. Careful reading of the reports suggest the paddlers might have been surfing. Reliable reports of these sustained high speeds disappear from the historical record around 1800. There is very little record of the designs of the pre-1800 boats but there is reason to believe the boats differed substantially from those built in the later parts of the 19th century and early 20th century.

#17 Fri, 08/01/2014 - 4:22pm

so to paraphrase:

1- no one has any idea why those kayaks have the shape they do. if a split nose were to create lift, the top nose would have to be significantly wider than the bottom.

2- ocean liners do not create lift, they have submerged bulbous bows that neither kayaks or canoes have. nor in their present form could even make use of.

interesting read.

#18 Fri, 08/01/2014 - 7:09pm

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