2012: Events and News
2011: Events and News
Kau Wela (Dry Season) 2011
Hoʻoilo (Wet Season) 2011
2010: Events and News
December 2009: Training Sail to Palmyra
December 2008: Plan for a Training Sail to Palmyra and Christmas Island
January 2008: Ku Holo Mau (Voyage to Satawal) and Ku Holo Komohana (Voyage to Japan)
September 2006: Hokualaka‘i Launching; 2006 Malama Wa‘a (Caring for the Canoe)
August 2006: Kapu Na Keiki: Youth Training Program
December 2004: Navigating Change: NWHI Voyage Completed
Winter 2003: Northewestern Hawaiian Islands Voyage Postponed; Sail to Nihoa
Summer 2003: Marine Education Training Center; 2003 Statewide Sail
Spring 2002: Plans for Northewestern Hawaiian Islands Voyage
Summer 2001: Ocean Learning Academy
Spring 2001: 2001 Statewide Sail
Ho‘oilo (Rainy Season) 1999: Closing the Triangle: the Quest for Rapanui; Malama Hawai‘i Initiative
Kau (Dry Season) 1998: Restoring Hokule‘a; Center for Marine Sciences
Kau (Dry Season) 1997: Aloha, Wrighto; Project Ho‘olokahi
Ho‘oilo (Rainy Season) 1996-1997: Malama Hawai‘i: 1996-97 Statewide Sail
Ho‘oilo (Rainy Season) 1995-1996: Exploration Learning Center Launched
Kau (Dry Season) 1995: A Safe Successful 1995 Voyage; Northwest and West Coast Tours
Makali‘i (November-December) 1994: North to Hawai‘i, the Marquesas Connection, by Ben Finney
Hilinama (August-September) 1994: Hawai‘iloa Sea Trials, after Modification
Ka‘aona (May–June) 1994: Training and Education Sails; 1992 Voyage: 4. The Voyage Home
Nana (February–March) 1994: 1992 Voyage: 3. Sailing in the Cook Islands
Makali‘i (November-December) 1993: First Sea Trials for Hawai‘iloa Completed; Modifications Begin; 1992 Voyage: 2. Sailing in Tahiti
Fall 1993: Blessing and Launching Hawai‘iloa; 1992 Voyage: 1. Hawai‘i to Tahiti
March 1992: Building Hawai‘iloa
December 1990: Native Hawaiian Culture and Arts Program; search for logs to build Hawai‘iloa
March-April 1984: Announcing the 1985-1987 Voyage of Rediscovery
August 1975: A Voyage into Hawai‘i’s Past (1976 Voyage to Tahiti), by Ben Finney
1974: Plans for Launching of Hokule‘a on March 8, 1975
September 1974: Announcement of 3 day Polynesian Sailing Workshop at Kualoa Park
April 1974: Wa‘a Kaulua...Double Canoe, by Herb Kane. (Training on Nalehia, a 40 ft. double-hulled sailing canoe built by Ben and Ruth Finney in 1966; plans to build Hokule‘a.)

PVS Newsletter / 1974

Edited by Sharon Serene





TIME:12:30 PM-6:00 PM


Ancient chants and traditional sacrificial offerings will be a part of the dedication of Hokulea to ancient Hawaiian gods and the natural elements, as well as a Christian blessing. The sacrificial black pig, coconuts, bananas, and guava will be eaten by the crew as Hokulea is sailed out to the reef, and the remains, wrapped in lauhala, will be offered to the sea as the canoe returns to shore. Only men will be allowed to participate in the ceremony in accordance with ancient Hawaiian custom.


Music provided by the Sons of Hawaii and dancing by various hula groups.

2:30-6:00 THE LUAU

Done in the real old style with plenty ono food and good company. Seating will be on the ground at tables made from banana and ti leaves, so dress casually and bring a beach mat or towel for park your okole.


Tickets are $6.00 a person, and must be paid for in advance by mailing in the coupon below, or contacting DeeDee Letts at the Polynesian Voyaging Society office, Monday thru Friday, 9 AM-3 PM, telephone 841-3966. Due to the limited number of tickets, it will be first come first serve, and the Shah of Persia with all his oil will not be able to purchase one after 500 are sold! DEADLINE for all money and coupons to be turned into the Voyaging Society office is FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 21. Tickets will be mailed to you.


Here's your chance to help the Society and be a part of this memorable event. Volunteers are needed in all areas, from decorating to cleaning up when the luau is Oau. If you're interested, please call Sandy at 841-3966. Food donations are also needed in the following amounts:

pineapples-120, black suckling pig-1 large, sweet potatoes-100 pounds, poi-200 puunds, raw aku or nenue-120 pounds, salmon-60 pounds, crab-10 gallons, squid-50 pounds, crab10 gallons, ake-25 pounds, chicken-60 pounds, long rice-60 bundles, luau leaves-4 bags, coconut milk-4 gallons, cornstarch-12 boxes, tomatoes-50 pounds, round and green onion 12 pounds each, chicken stock, cake, juice, paper serving things alae rock, ti leaves, flowers, kukul nuts, opihi-6 gallons

Donations can be made by calling the office at 841-3966, or call Paige Barber at home, 262-5222. Any and all donations will be accepted, and where one person may find it difficult to doante a large item alone, joint or multiple donarships are highly recommended.

For a descripton of the launching on March 8, 1976, see Kenneth P. Emory’s “Launching Hōkūle‘a.”


Hokulea will be at San Souci beach from February 15 until March 8, and any free hand will be appreciated to help with lashing of the canoe and lauhala weaving of deck shelters. The City and County Parks and Recreation Department will be helping with the instruction. If you are interested, call Sandra Maile at 841-3966 for instruction schedule.


One of the Society's most successful fundraising projects is headed by August Yee.. The Paddle Awards Committee, organized to gain support from large corporations and foundations, was started in November and has already raised $27,500. Donars of $2,000 or more are awarded an inscribed paddle, along with an official book about the voyage to be written by Ben Finney and Herb Kane and autographed by members of the crew. Contributors of $2,000 will each receive one of 24 koa paddles measuring 61/2 feet in length with 12 inch wide blades, shaped like those of the archaic Polynesians or Hawaiians. Four steering paddles, somewhat larger than the koa paddles and used for steering into or across the wind will be awarded to donars of $5,000. Two steering sweep paddles 19 feet long and used when the canoe Is running downwind will be awarded to donars of $7,500.

Lokomaikai (benefactors) receiving paddles to date are: Caroline B. Carter Trust (Mr. & Mrs. George Carter), Dillingham Corp., Honolulu Advertiser (Thurston Twigg Smith), Hawaiian Telephone, Holiday Mart Stores, Penny Gerbode, Dillingham Shipyard, Lewers and Cooke, Trade Publishing Co. (Carl Lindquist), Alexander and Baldwin, and Trade Wind Tours.


by Herb Kane

By measuring the performance of the new canoe with present techniques, anthropologists will have new data on which to form their estimates of Polynesian voyaging capabilities.

"We know how voyaging canoes were made, but we have little data on their performance. Therefore, performance is our major area of interest. Modern wood products are used where construction technique does not affect performance. However, in the hull shape, assembly method, and sail plan, no compromise will be made with authenticity.

Lashings of synthetic cord will be replaced by handbraided sennit before the Hawaii-Tahiti voyage. The sennit is being made on Nanumea, Ellice Islands. We will test the sail plan first with vivitex canvas before we cut and sew up the\precious sail matting from Kapingamarangi and the Gilbert Islands. Sailmaker, Dave Morken and lauhala expert Bobble Meheula are donating time to this experiment.

Hull shape, sail design, flexibility of assembly and rigging, operation without rudders, keels, or centerboards-these are features which distinguish this vessel from modern sailing vessels.

The speed of this double canoe depends on its I lght weight and stability. The flexible lashings by which it is assembled will impart a smooth ride, but will retard its speed somewhat.

Steering will be done with broad-bladed paddles laid to the lee sides of the hulls. Hokulea will be balanced to a slight weather helm to make these paddles effective. Long steering sweeps will be used when running downwind.

The "V" hulls of Hokulea are derived from the hull design of the Tuamotuan and Tahitian pahl . Some vestigial "V" is also found in Hawaiian canoes of the early 19th century, but by the time of Cook's arrival the Hawaiian canoe had evolved to a round-bottomed hull to facilitate paddling maneuverability (paddling being favored as the more dependable power mode for short coastal and interisland trips). These hulls should "track" well. Leeway will be carefully measured soon after launching, for the voyages to and from Tahiti are both a climb, and will probably be done on close reaches to make sufficient easting to arrive at the desired latitude upwind of the destination.

Hokulea carries two identical sails, fore and aft, each of about 320 square feet and shaped to the archaic shape that appears to have been used.

Storm sails with tie ropes for attachment to the masts will be made to keep the canoe headed on her course in bad weather, or, if she must heave to, to prevent excessive roll and keep the canoe headed into the waves. One thing this canoe will do in a storm is skate downwind, even under bare poles, and much precious easting can be lost this way between Hawaii and Tahiti. A sea anchor should be aquired, large enough to retard the drift but small enough so that the hulls will not be pulled under. Storm drill should be conducted in a moderate gale prior to the Hawaii-Tahiti voyage


The Polynesian Voyaging Society is officially one year and a few months old. There is much progress to report for this first year:

1) First and foremost, the voyaging canoe is nearing completion. Kahuna kalai wa'a, Herb Kane began designing the canoe a few months before the Society was officially organized, and with the help of Rudy Choy and Kim Thompson plans were ready this spring. Construction began in July, and because of the hard work of our expert and apprentice kalai wa'a, men like Cal Coito, Tommy Heen, Wright Bowman, Warren Seaman, Curt Ashford & Bob Fortier, construction has gone rapidly. If sufficient funds are forthcoming in the next month or two the canoe should be in the water ready for sea trials next March.

2) On the question of canoe building funds: Unlike the ancient Polynesians, we live in a money economy and we must therefore pay for much of the labor and materials that go into the canoe. So far we have been able to raise over $40,000. The Hawaii Bicentennial Commission gave us our start. Once we had raised $3,000 they matched it with $7,000 in local and Federal Bicentennial funds. A generous advance on a book contract from Dodd, Mead and Co. doubled our treasury, and since then our funds have grown primarily through the donations of hundreds of of individuals who have joined the Society and have given anywhere from a few dollars to $5,000. Now, when we have an immediate and urgent need for funds to finish the canoe we are looking to a new source of donations: the business community that serves Hawaii. We are just nows launching a "paddle awards" campaign under the direction of August Yee, to enlist corporate donars into our project. and to recognize their contributulons with the presentation of inscribed paddles.

3) All this talk about money should not, however, make us forget that much can still be accomplished in modern Hawaii without money payments. We have, for example, received substancial contributions of materials, working space and services from many, many individuals and firms. Although they are too many to mention here, it is worth noting that we would not have been able to move canoe construction along as fast as we have, had it not been for the aid of corporations like Dillingham, which furnished us with a large sned for canoe construction, or Lewers and Cooke, which has given us substancial discounts on materials.

4) As this project has progress it has become more complex, and therefore has required much expert help to keep it properly underway. Fortunately, we have been able to freely call upon the services of people like Larry Burkhalter, our own attorney at Admiralty who has kept our course clear of legal entanglements, and Les Warren, our newly elected Treasurer, whoas our accountant, has kept our financial house in order. The day to day management of the Society, plus new activities, especially those in the educational field, began to press heavily on our officers and adivsors, and some months ago we were fortunate in being able to recruit Sandra Malle as our Executive Director. Under Sandy's guidance, we have recently been able to establish a permanent office at the Bishop Museum.

5) A word about our educational activities is in order. From its inception the Society has pledged to serve the people of Hawaii by doing research on Polynesian voyaging, and then informing the people of the results of that research. But, we did not really expect to embark on an educational program until after the voyage to Tahiti. We soon found, however, that we could not avoid having an immediate educational impact. Because of the broad appeal of our project, the Society was beselged with requests for speaking engagements and consultations, and over the last year or so the officers & other members have spoken to nearly a hundred school, civic and professional groups, and have been called upon to consult in several programs of marine education in Hawaii. At the invitation of Charles Shipman of the Honolulu Department of Recreation,'the Societv has held two canoe workshops at Kualoa Park. The last one, held in October, had some one hundred enrolees who camped at Kualoa for three days to learn about Polynesian canoes by actually paddling and sailing the Society's 40-foot long replica of a traditional Hawaiian double-canoe and a half-dozen outriggers made available to us by the Park. In addition, the voyaging canoe is beginning to serve an educational purpose even before its launching. Under the direction of Nani Bowman, a number of students have begun to work on the canoe as part of their academic program at Kamehameha Schools. We plan to continue these educational efforts, and would like to expand them subject to the acceptance of grant applications we are submitting to local and nation al foundations.

6) Planning for the next two years is well underway. Next year is the Year of the Men, or more properly the Year of the Crew, since wahine as well as kane will be on the crew. Crew selection and training should begin as soon as the canoe is launched and sailing. Advance preparations for the following year, 1976, the Year of the Voyage, are also being worked on. The Tainui Association has been formed in Tahiti to cooperate with us on the voyage. The nucleus of the navigation team has been formed: Piailug, and his son, both master navigators from Satawal Atoll in the Caroline Islands, and navigations researcher David Lewis have agreed to join. And, we have done some preliminary work on the navigation sustem here at the Bishop Musuum Planetarium under the guidance of George Bunton and Louis Valier. Wind may fill the sails of the canoe, but the crew will demand food and water to keep going. Physician Frank Tabrah and nutritionist Jean Henkin of the University of Hawaii have begun work on diet requirements, and experimentation with making special voyaging foods is about to begin. Anthropoligist Kenneth Emory and Ethobotanist Doug Yen of the Bishop Museum have been working on problems concerning the transport of Polynesian plants & animals, and psychiatrist Ben Young of the University of Hawaii Medical School has begun work on crew organization. Applications are being made to a number of foundations and other groups for support of these and other aspects of the project with scientific and educational components.

7) Finally, I would like to pay a tribute to our members, who now number over 700. It is our membership which gives us strength and allows us to have a wide impact on the community. Do not forget that it is you, the members, that as a group have contributed the largest stock of funds to the Society. And, it has been to you the members that we have looked to when it comes to advice and aid. Hoe aku i ka wa'a is the motto of our Society. Literally this phrase means "paddle the canoe ahead", but figuratively it means "do your share" and that is exactly what our members have been doing.


New officers, members of the Board of Directors, and Advisors to the Board were elected at the Polynesian Voyaging Society's annual membership meeting at the Bishop Museum last November. Officers for 1975 are as follows:

Members of the Board of Directors are:

Paige Barber, Larry Burkhalter, Fred Cachola, Rudy Choy, Kenneth Emory, Kimo Hugo, David Lewis, Carl Lindquist, Sharon Serene, Frank Tabrah, Frank Wandell, August Yee, and Ben Young

Two new Advisors to the Board are: Chuck Shipman and Victor Fageroos


The University of Hawaii Committee for the Preservation and Study of Hawaiian Language, Art & Culture voted in its January 16 meeting to donate $1,000 to cover the cost of two 'iako. Ten 'lako, or cross pelces, will be used to connect the hulls of the voyaging canoe. Each 'iako is 17 feet long, 5 x 6 inches in diameter and weighs 186 pounds. This is not only a generous donation; it is a vote of confidence in the project by the organization officially delegated to promote and support significant research efforts in the field of Hawaiian culture.


Franky Adams, Eleanor Anderson, George Arremann, James Aweau, Ilisa T. Baker, Mrs. Beryl Beckly, David M. Bray, Dorothy L. Bray, Jean Claude Brouillet, Mr. & Mrs. William Brown, C. V. Crellin, Roy W. Dahlin Jr., Thom Eddy, Marie E. Eichelberger, Myrtle B. Fujihara, Dr. Roger C. Green, Joe Hu, Institute for Intercultural Studies, M. C. Kinyon, J. H. Longaker, Mary McClean, Patrick Charles Nay, Marion W. Neidlinger, Richard H. Niide, Aldon N. Roat, Bob Rocheleau, George T. Schareenberg, Lillian Schultz, Tom Silva, Malia B. Soloman, Richard C. Storre, Scott Sullivan, George Tahara, Rand Tanaka, Noel J. Thompson, Bud Watson, Gilbert Malolo Wright, George Wurzburg, George Wurzburg Jr.