Welcome to the Maunie of Ardwall blog

This is the blog of Maunie of Ardwall. After a six-year adventure sailing from Dartmouth to Australia, we are now back in Britain.

Monday, 17 August 2015

Building a sailing canoe in Fulaga - photos

Getting involved in building a sailing canoe in Fulaga was an amazing experience. There'll be a short video on YouTube soon but, in the meantime, here are some photos of the process:

August 2014 - the late, great Meli lightening the canoe hull where the tree was felled three months before

Hauling the canoe out of the forest over very rocky terrain

Reaching the sea

The new canoe on the beach, where it lay for almost a year, following Meli's death.
(First four photos by Bob & Ann Johnson, s/v Charisma)
August 2015 - a tree is felled for additional timber for the decks, side planks and steering oar

Cutting a straight line! Mini starts to cut the tau (fore deck)

Shaping the tau

Pio cutting the side planks - he has an amazing ability to cut parallel lines just by eye

Health & Safety officers should look away now!

The first two planks nearly complete

Mini and Damian with the hollowed-out tau deck

Sel Citron's big dinghy carries the components across the lagoon to the canoe
Planing the top sides of the hull

The 'sai' side planks cut to fit

Damian applies some non-traditional sealant to the deck joint

Team effort
Graham fitting a stainless steel plate he had on Maunie to reinforce a cracked plank

Mini and Lutu enjoying the use of a cordless drill rather than their hand-cranked one

Drilling holes for the lashings to hold the cross beams in place

Copper nails added as well

Taking shape - the outrigger in place

Akosita playing in the hull

Graham adding non-traditional stainless steel screws

Fitting the front board - the latex gloves are because the paint ain't really dry!

Palagis (foreigners) at work

Launch minus 24 hours - painting the deck

Sail makers at work 
Detail of Graham's lashing to hold the outrigger firmly in place
Launch Day - adjusting the mast and rigging 
Test sail, with Pito, Kerry, Dianne and Mini aboard

The side is engraved with the names of the builders - Meli, Alifereti (Lutu), Mini, Pito and Jio - plus the three yachts who helped with the build - Sel Citron, Ithaka and Maunie


  1. Really nice story - and sailingcanoo

  2. Building with green wood must be an adventure in evolution. Thank you, I enjoyed the story and gather Fuluga is exceptionally beautiful
    Rona on Hello World at present in Savusavu

  3. Wonderful stuff, thanks for sharing! I think I may have been most amazed by the quality of the chainsaw work :)