Vaka Motu bridges past and future
Vaka Motu is the 21st century version of the traditional Pacific vaka or oceangoing canoe. The vaka, while incorporating ancient and traditional navigation methods uses futuristic propulsion systems powered by and renewable energy like windand solar. It is designed to carry freight.<!--more-->
[caption id="attachment_4643" align="alignright" width="294"]<a href="https://pacifictradeinvest.com/PTI/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/Saltwater-Boatbuilders-20.jpg"><img class="size-full wp-image-4643 " alt="Nick Peal, Magnus Danbolt and Peter Dawson coming down from Okeanos. Pic: Eleanor Ikinofo" src="https://pacifictradeinvest.com/PTI/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/Saltwater-Boatbuilders-20.jpg" width="294" height="162" /></a> (Top to Bottom) Nick Peal, Magnus Danbolt and Peter Dawson coming down from Okeanos. Photo: Eleanor Ikinofo[/caption]
Sharon Evans of Oceanic Nature Film Productions invited <b>Pacific Islands Trade & Invest</b> to the boatyard to see the vaka Okeanos before going to Fiji to participate in a research project at the University of the South Pacific. Ms Evans says she was hired to make a film documentary ‘Our Blue Canoe’. The film, to be released later this year, documents the design and building of seven vaka and follows them on their journey throughout the Pacific Islands showing the need to conserve the oceans.
However, the journey also highlighted the high cost of fuel and transport in the Pacific and inspired the concept of using the vaka as a viable form of transport with less reliance on fossil fuels.
[caption id="attachment_4642" align="alignleft" width="245"]<a href="https://pacifictradeinvest.com/PTI/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/Saltwater-Boatbuilders-11.jpg"><img class="size-full wp-image-4642 " alt="(Left to Right) Magnus Danbolt, Peter Dawson, Nick Peal, Adam Denniss and Sharon Evans discussing the refit on the deck of the Okeanos." src="https://pacifictradeinvest.com/PTI/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/Saltwater-Boatbuilders-11.jpg" width="245" height="135" /></a> (Left to Right) Magnus Danbolt, Peter Dawson, Nick Peal, Adam Denniss and Sharon Evans discussing the refit on the deck of the Okeanos. Photo: Eleanor Ikinofo[/caption]
The 'Okeanos' was designed by naval architect Nick Peale and built by Salthouse Boatbuilders in Auckland. It was trialled extensively in Vanuatu and returned to Auckland for a refit to make it more sustainable and to allow further storage area with a single boathouse on deck on and below decks with the use of foldup bunks.
Okeanos can carry up to 2 tonnes, up to 14 crew and can travel at 5-6 knots depending on its load, the motor battery powered by solar energy lasting several hours.
The project was initiated by German Philanthropist 72 year old Dieter Paulmann. The marine conservationist has helped fund the not for profit project and has already gifted the first seven vaka back to the islands.