Length overall 17’ 9” (5400mm)
Hull width 18 ½” (470mm)
Overall width 6' 7" (2000mm)
Draft 8” (200mm) @ 400 Lb
(182 Kg) Displacement
Hull weight 64 Lb (29 Kg)
Weight fully rigged 122 Lb (55 Kg)
Sailing rig type Tacking only
Sail area 65 Sq Ft (6.0 Sq M)
Construction method Strip planked composite
The Ulua design broadly resembles the classic
Hawaiian canoe with some differences. The round
bottom, which is important in the surf, performs
poorly when sailed to windward. I've added a
pivoting leeboard for lateral resistance, that can
be retracted when paddling or landing in surf.
A steering oar or rudder can be used instead of
the traditional paddle for steering. The Ulua
hull has a little more vee in the hull than a traditional
Hawaiian model, and this improves it’s speed and
windward sailing ability. Watertight bulkheads in
each end of the hull provide reserve buoyancy in
the event of damage or capsize. Additional reserve
buoyancy can be built in under the two seats in the
form of foam blocks or hollow storage compartments.
The hull is constructed with the strip composite
method. The ama can be either solid foam covered
with fiberglass, or hollow and strip planked, with
foam or plastic bottles inside for emergency
floatation. The large ama is of sufficient size
to support cargo stored on the iakos along with
a crew member on the hiking seat. The sailing rig
shown is of a modern Hawaiian type. The
availability of fiberglass windsurfer masts allows for
a very simple lightweight plug-in rig which can be
lowered entirely while at sea and stowed on the
iakos. A brailing line folds the boom and sail up
against the mast for quick furling, and avoids
dumping the sail onto the crew.
The Ulua can be paddled, sailed, surfed or powered
by a two horsepower outboard motor. It can be
configured as a single or double outrigger. This
canoe is capable of extended coastal expeditions,
and can be car-topped to your favorite launching spot,
or carried on its side on a trailer with the ama up
in the air.
The hull can be stretched to a greater length by
increasing the spacing between the molds before
the planking begins. You can safely increase the
hull length by 150% without any changes to the
All drawings are dimensioned in both Imperial and Metric units.
The cost of the plans is US$95.
Upon receipt of payment you will receive a link for downloading
the PDF files. Full size mold patterns can be printed locally from these files.
|Martijn Nugteren's 7.2 Meter [23' 8"] Ulua built with Corecell foam and fiberglass|
|Michael Litter's Ulua stretched to 24 ft.|
|Tes Hardie Hawaii|
|Fiberglass production model|