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Rigging a Canoe

Photo courtesy Wayne Levin

The Annual
Queen Lili'uokalani Race

Learn More about the world's largest long distance outrigger canoe race.


Kai 'Opua - Our Canoes

About Kai 'Opua → Our Canoes

What is an outrigger canoe?

The outrigger canoe (Hawaiian: wa'a; Filipino and Indonesian: bangka; Maori: waka ama; Tahitian and Samoan:va'a) is a type of canoe featuring one or more lateral support floats known as outriggers, which are fastened to one or both sides of the main hull. Smaller canoes often employ a single outrigger on the port side, while larger canoes may employ a single outrigger, double outrigger, or double hull configuration. The sailing canoes are an important part of the Polynesian heritage and are raced and sailed here in Hawaii, Tahiti, Samoa and by the Maori of New Zealand.

Kai 'Opua - Inoa na wa'a (Canoe Names)

Kai MalinoCalm sea
HualalaiThe mountain she grew on lit: rising towards heaven
KamakahonuHeiau, bay and beach where we launch lit: eye of the turtle
Ho`oiTo sharpen
Kai`OpuaClouds on the horizon, also flower of the sea
UhaneSpirit of those no longer with us
Kaha LoaLong distance
Nalu KaiSea wave
Kina`oleTo do the right thing, at the right time, for the right reason
Lydia Kamaka`ehaQueen Lili`uokalani
HeleumaAnchor, as in holding one in a safe manner
KeokeaBay in north Kohala, lit: whitecaps
Ka`a kaua naluWave riding chariot, also known as "pirate ship"
Laulani Heavenly leaf or child
Kalani KaiHeavenly sea
Queen Lili`uokalaniLast Hawaiian monarch lit: red eye of heaven
Kikaha KaiTo glide on the sea
A`eEasterly trade winds


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