As promised in the previous posts we would like to explain in detail what exactly proas.is supports in the Marshall Islands:
Under the umbrella of a big Climate Change project called “Transitioning to Low Carbon Sea Transport” (short TLCSeaT, funded by the German Government and implemented by GIZ) we work together with the local NGO “WAM” on a revival of traditional and contemporary sailing canoes in the Pacific outer islands. The island people have a high demand on fossil fuel free transport means (fuel is ridiculous expensive) but rely mostly on outboard engine powered boats. The native sailing and canoe building skills (you can see a traditional sailing canoe in the video of the previous post) were lost in some places due to american colonization.
To change that, we teach selected Marshallese how to build high quality plywood boats with contemporary materials. Henrik is holding a 3 month boat building and sailing course together with Rob Denney from HarryProa.
Within the workshop 2 new designs will be build:
Mini Cargo Proa
The WAM catamaran is a basic 20ft double canoe with V shaped hulls, build in stitch and glue technic. It was designed in 2018 by Henrik in collaboration with the boys at WAM.
Main requirement is to carry 6 bags of copra (dried coconut meat) in each hull, that’s close to 1000kg payload all together. A nice side effect of that is the spacious interior (for a 20ft cat). 2 adults can easy sleep inside (4 if they like each other) and the cabin offers enough headroom to sit upright. Passenger transport and fishing trips will be a pleasure.
For reasons of simplicity a traditional Marshallese sail is used (in the western world known as “crab claw”). It can be made from anything between polytarp and dacron on a domestic sewing machine, doesn’t require shape (in fact its flat) and offers great performance (better than most cruising sails). On top, the mast design doesn’t put any tension on the cross beams.
The entire catamaran can be build in 3-4 weeks on a budget of approx. 2000 USD. We will come up with a separate information page about the construction and some sailing footage soon!
We made it in the local newspaper, the Marshall Island Journal:
The Marshall Islands Journal call themselves the worst newspaper in the world. To maintain that spirit they put, to the amusement of their readers, little mistakes in every article. I won’t say more than Rodney from Germany and Henrik from Australia 😉
Aside of that, the message is pretty clear: keep the fossil fuels in the ground and safe these beautiful islands!
The boat building workshop in Majuro (Marshall Islands) started 3 weeks ago. In preparation, Waan Aelon in Majel (WAM, Canoes of the Marshall Islands, our partner and source of inspiration) got major facility upgrades such as a beautiful new workshop just on the edge of the lagoon funded by the project “Transitioning to Low Carbon Sea Transport”.
WAM took care over the procurement of all necessary materials for boat building and selected 10 Marshallese as trainees for the boat building workshop. Final goal of the entire project is to train future trainers in boat building and by that eventually replace engine powered boats by sailing vessels for transportation, fishing and travelling in the Marshall Islands.
The workshop is guided by Rob Denney (famous proa designer from Australia) and Henrik Richter-Alten (engineer and part of the Proasis team from Germany).
During the next 3 month they will build two different prototype designs and do a refit with their trainees: a traditional based catamaran, the Mini Cargo Proa and an old glass fiber catamaran (Ailuk lagoon bus).