traditional style outrigger canoes - where are they?

I paddle my outrigger-less, garage sale fiberglass canoe in the ocean for fun, fishing, swimming, diving, and so on. Occasionally the surf is too rough, in which case I have to use my kayak. I love my kayak, but when I swim the sprayskirt makes climbing in and out awkward. Fishing and clamming is also annoying because one cannot move around the boat and it is difficult to get at gear. I would love an outrigger canoe. But every single outrigger canoe that I've seen on the market is of the sit-on variety, with no room for gear, an anchor, a sack of clams, a crab trap, moving around, a friend or wife; and they don't look like they can be rigged for sailing. Perhaps people will bristle at the suggestion that sit-ons are not a "traditional" style, but all I want is a canoe. Is there anywhere that sells a 15 to 21 foot outrigger canoe that's actually a canoe and that can be used as a boat (and can be purchased on the East Coast)? I've seen plenty of one-man canoes in old Hawaiian photographs - why doesn't anybody make one? Thanks for any suggestions.
Yours &c., Raoul

Submitted by Raoul on Thu, 09/15/2005 - 2:45pm

Interesting points, Raoul. I think what you are talking about sounds like a Tahitian style one-man. The Tahitian style one-man is more of a "sit-in" than "sit-on" canoe. Tiger used to make the Tevanui, which is a rudderless one-man outrigger, that follows the sit-in tradition (I just checked their website and they are not offering it anymore; bummer). It's basically a six-man canoe shrunk down to one-man proportions. I bought a used one recently and just love it. Make no mistake though, it's tougher to paddle since it has no rudder (following "traditional" design specs all the way).

#1 Thu, 09/15/2005 - 4:27pm

HI Raoul,

if you go to my blog, maybe you will find what you are looking for?

just let me know.


#2 Thu, 09/15/2005 - 6:33pm

Raoul, it kind of sounds like you are looking for more of a more practical and multipurpose canoe, where as most of the single person canoes are almost all designed for racing. Not to mention, they are all super fragile and 3 grand. I think you are right in that this kind of canoe is missing from the market. When you mentioned sailing, I thought of Nick Beck's Holopuni (, but that may be a larger than what you are looking for. You could conceivably consider a surf canoe, but I imagine the costs of getting it to the east coast would be a lot... oh here, I almost for got this one, make a 16 ft sailing canoe. Never seen one or heard anything about they're reputation/quality, more I just stumbled on their website one time.

#3 Thu, 09/15/2005 - 6:40pm

Aloha Jean-Fran├žois :

Thanks for the link to your blogspot. Loved the look of your TIMI va'a and appreciated the information on the Te Aito and Super Aito races. I REALLY want to come to Tahiti to participate in at least one of these races in 2007. I need more time on my rudderless before I attempt it, or I would be there next year!

Couple of questions about your va'a: how much does it weigh? Is it "one size fits all" or are they custom made for paddlers of different heights/weights? Any plans to export to the US?


#4 Fri, 09/16/2005 - 8:36am

Aloha Raoul,
Another option may be found up in Canada.
I recently saw some nice "sit-in", cockpit style canoes at the Kent Island relay in Maryland.
The guys and girls from Toronto had some cool canoes (I can't remember the manufacturer's name) that were well built and versatile looking. One of the guys told a story of how his canoe was blown off his car, while moving down the road, and it didn't get trashed! Sounds like it might stand up to some "fishing and clamming".
I found some info on the C-Lion, also Canadian made, but this is not the canoe they had.
Maybe Dan(?) or one of the other paddlers will see this and kick out some more info.


#5 Fri, 09/16/2005 - 10:00am

Hi it's Dan from Toronto.

The cockpit style OC-1s from Toronto are called the Albatross. They are from a company called Kayaksport Canada at and are constructed very solid which is why they are heavier than racing class boats. The Hull is Surfski like so they are great big water boats and can be double rigged or rigged right or left as well. Very versatile boats. Yes it's true we had a lady here in Toronto who had one blow off her car while driving and it was pretty much all gelcoat scratches so it is a strong boat.

#6 Fri, 09/16/2005 - 10:41am

HI, Dmehling

So I'm glad that you like the blog.

About the TE AITO race, I think u will have to be very easy on a rudderless kanu, because that race is really hard, with 500 paddlers, and 100 boats to follow the race, that makes a " washing machine " race.
But, in your case , I think that you will be qualify directly for the SUPER AITO race. Then It will be much easy, because there is only 100 paddlers.
I will contact Mara AITAMAI to have more precision for foreign paddlers.

About Timi va'a, the weight is 17 kg, and one size fits all. you will only choose the height of your chair. the norm is 17cm, but I prefer 21cm. because you have good sensations in surf sessions.

I have to get some informations, about the export.



#7 Fri, 09/16/2005 - 6:24pm

hey gang, based on what he's asking, no Oc-1 out there is appropriate - there's no room for a crab trap or a friend.. and it appears he's not a racer.

Keizo has the idea.. Raoul, try this link..

Clipper Canoes in BC Canada are making the new Northbeach OC-4.. it weighs under 200 lbs.. and is VERY well made. don't waste your time trying to find an OC-1, it won't meet your needs - swimming , diving , clamming, paddling with friends etc.. well constructed or otherwise.

I'v pesonally paddled the Northbeach ( the photos were taken at my club) it's easy to steer and fun! I beleive a sailing rig is also available.. we're going to try it with a kiteboard sail ( Kamakura outrigger in Japan does this)

what ever you choose - have fun!

Open Ocean Outriggers
"everyone deserves a fast canoe"

#8 Sat, 09/17/2005 - 5:46am

What your describing is what I've been manufacturing for several years now. An 18' Hawaiian style outrigger called the Ulua with sailing rig that carries two people and camping gear etc. You can also build your own in strip composite from patterns. Check out:


#9 Sat, 09/17/2005 - 6:04pm

so it appears there's more than one sytle out there.. good.. sounds like Raoul will have lotsa choice.. :o

#10 Wed, 09/21/2005 - 4:31am

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