Sir Thomas Davis built the first Vaka Moana “Te Au O Tonga“ in 1994 in Rarotonga/Cook Islands, and essentially, our Vaka Moana recreated at Salthouse Boatbuilders in Auckland, New Zealand, are following these same lines and are based on the traditional double-hulled polynesian sailing canoe design.
However, in contrast to traditional vaka with hulls made of one big tree trunk, our hulls are made of E-Glass and Epoxy Resin. Our Vaka Moana has a set of traditional crab claw booms and a set of offshore rights with reefable Bermuda sails for safety during long voyages.T he revival of traditional voyaging in the Pacific using majestic ocean voyaging double-hulled canoes was largely due to Papa Tom.
Few could match his skill as a traditional navigator, designer and builder of these great ocean going canoes. He designed and built three ocean voyaging vaka, Takitumu, Te Au O Tonga and finally, when he was in his eighties, a 24 metre vaka for Te Wananga O Aotearoa. He became an honorary Professor of Polynesian Migration and Culture with Te Wananga O Aotearoa
For this reason our starboard hull is called Pa Tuterangi Ariki and bow sprit carved with the sun, Te Ra… tributed to the late Sir Thomas Davis for his wisdom and dedication towards our voyaging. Our port hull is called Te Tika O Te Tuaine and our bow spirit has carved the moon or Te Marama this hull being tributed to the Late Te Tika Mataiapo Dorice Reid who was a steadfast powerful lady in our voyaging.
Our A’au or lashings have been dedicated to all those who have pledged in our fundraiser, many names to mention from all walks of life in our Cook Islands communities as well as Hawaiian Voyaging societies…we are humbled by you allowing us to carry your mana with us… a plaque will be carved and attached to the vaka for us to carry where ever our vaka goes.
Building the Vaka Moana
We appreciate Nick Peal’s contribution to the newly designed centerboard as well as to the shape of the sails; they were adapted with modern knowledge of sailing, and interestingly they are meeting very ancient shapes again. One year after this huge project started all seven Vaka were indeed completed. Now they are ready to cross the entire Ocean in beauty and dignity. They can now make a stand for the heath and integrity of the ocean and reconnect all the Pacific people to it. Without the expertise of the Salthouse team we wouldn’t have been able to reach this goal, and the generous aronui of our philanthropist and benefactor Mr. Dieter Paulman – Okeanos – Foundation for the Sea and ONP(Ocean Noise Production)