News from Oversea

WAM, the NGO in the Marshall Islands we support as part of the TLCSeaT project, recently got a high visitor interested in the latest achievements of canoe construction:

A pleasant surprise at the open canoe-house day was the visit of the Hon. Minister of Transport, Communication and
Information Technology, Donald Capelle who came accompanied by his wife and granddaughter. A canoe sailor himself, he was exited to learn more about the latest canoes launched by WAM:
Unlike any other craft in the RMI, WAM’s latest canoe was built with stitch & glue technology. This new technique to construct canoe hulls has been introduced by the GIZ (German International Corporation) funded project “Transitioning to Low Carbon Sea Transport” (or TLCSeaT) as part of a prototype workshop at WAM in January to April 2020 (see previous post on
Stitch & Glue is an advanced technique to build plywood canoes, not unlike the traditional way for dugout canoes, but adapted to the “new“ plywood material. The individual parts are first stitched together, brought in shape and glued into place permanently by glue from epoxy resin. Due to the perfect adaptation to the characteristics of the plywood and the superior strength of epoxy as glue, the stitch & glue canoes are substantially lighter and stronger than their previous counterparts. Further benefits are a faster construction (a hull is completed in less than a week) and an expected lifetime of at least 20 years if well maintained.

Stitched canoe hull, ready to get glued. Stitching is clearly visible in the bow area.
Finished stitch & glue canoe, first of its kind in the RMI, ready to launch.

WAM plans to host more training workshops on contemporary canoe building in the future as part of the TLCSeaT project in a close collaboration with the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Transport, MISC, HEL (University of Emden-Leer) and GIZ. Starting with the next workshop in mid-February, the long-term goal is to train Marshallese canoe builder in the new construction technique to replace as many fossil fuel powered boats as possible by canoes.

In a community effort, WAM will put RMI in a leading position of the worldwide effort to reduce the CO 2 emissions of the shipping sector. Updated for the future, the traditional Marshallese canoe, still the best craft for RMI’s waters,
is ready to meet the requirements of the 21 st century and sails towards a new golden age.

We from proasis are proud to be part of this story!