My friend, Tevita Kunato, was commissioned to build a canoe for the Rainbow Hilton in Waikiki. I guess it will be used in their private lagoon for photo shoots as part of a “honeymoon package” – you get to paddle around for a bit while they take your picture.
Tevita is a wood carver/artist (read my blog post about him here) and has made several traditional outrigger canoes from whole tree logs but he was concerned that with daily use the hotel wouldn’t maintain the canoe properly. Knowing I make canoes from marine plywood and fiberglass he asked me to build the hull, once it was complete he flew over from Hilo and stayed at my house for a couple weeks. I assisted him as he worked his magic transforming a plain outrigger canoe hull into a ‘Pacific Island Fusion’ work of art!

This is another Origami Canoe but this time it is 16 ft so I made a longer strongback/frame to help me maintain the shape.

The view from the stern, you can see the individual “planks” in bow and stern while the center section is whole and ‘bent’ into the frame.

Once the hull was complete Tevita flew over to my house to begin the next building phase – the first thing he did was cut about 4 inches off the sides! He likes his outrigger canoes low and sleek…

Tevita has carved the gunwhales and we’re clamping them in place.

This outrigger canoe will have a deck in the center and 3 iako.

The bow deck was carved out of 2″ thick solid mango wood and stained red.

Anini Beach, Kauai. I’m paddling while the ‘artist’ gets a free ride!

Time for a bowl of kava (Hawaiian ‘awa) to bless the canoe and celebrate a successful project!

Tevita at the Canoe Blessing Ceremony at the Rainbow Hilton, Waikiki, Hawaii.