Progress on the skin-on-frame outrigger canoe – an ama slowly takes shape

I have been making progress on the skin-on-frame outrigger canoe [note to self: you have to name this thing] on two fronts: a) updating the design a bit and b) building the ama. I hope to have the design updates done soon. I nudged the ama forward as much as I could (maybe six inches), but this was the easier task. The harder problem was reconfiguring the rig. I won’t go into the gorey detail of it, but suffice it to say that, in an effort to get the CE forward, I tried a number of rig configurations, none of them satisfactory. In the end I decided to abandon the two sails approach. Results to follow.

Now – the tangible stuff. I decided to start with the ama because it let me try the techniques of skin-on-frame building in a lower risk project within a project. I am using cheap, generic “white wood” from the local big box as well as some scrap form other efforts. I have built the three sawn frames, and below you can see the results of my first real effort at lashing. I expect those holes will not get used.

Ama - midship frame

The keel has some rocker in it. I did this by resawing the keep the length of the curve, applying epoxy to the halves, and regluing them around a mold. Thanks to Corey Freedman for this approach.

Ama - keel

The ama-iako connector is in the Southeast African tradition, one I learned from Gary Dierking. I find it nice-looking and convenient. The styling is my own, as is the frame attachment system.

Ama-Iako connector

Detail of the aft frame.

Ama - Aft frame

The bow will get a few holes cut in it to save weight, once I know where the side stringers will finally lie. The “transom” will attach to the deck and keel via the mortise and the dado.

Ama - bow and transom

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