Talanoa & Development Project Vaka Fanaua

An "island freighter" trimaran designed by Dick Newick as affordable, safe, economic, flexible and regular transport for Pacific outer island communities.

Constructon began on the Vaka Fanaua, in Pipiroa, New Zealand on 1 April 2014.

VAKA FANAUA (Two masted sailing vessel in the Tongan language) combines old Pacific island tradition with modern construction to safely and quickly carry almost three tons of people and/or cargo on deep sea voyages.

She can average about 10 knots in usual trade wind conditions. A small diesel engine will give an economical 6 to 8 knots in a calm and increase her manoeuvrability in small, shallow harbours closed to larger vessels. A 14 foot tender is carried to load and deliver people and goods to islands without a harbour.

Wood construction, sheathed with epoxy and fiberglass, gives a moderate first cost, and, equally important, low maintenance by islanders.

An experienced skipper, helped by an apprentice and the passengers, when needed, keeps manning requirements to a minimum.

The lug schooner rig was developed by English Channel smugglers a few hundred years ago when seaworthy speed was necessary. They were quite successful until Revenue Services learned to copy their rigs.

- Dick Newick


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