The proa P8 KALAPUNA

Last year I lauched my new boat the proa P8 KALAPUNA for its first sea trials.

I designed the proa P5 about ten years ago, since then 4-5 boats were built and are on the water. The plans are freely available at: (A sailing video can be seen on YouTube:

Five years ago I moved from Germany to the South of Turkey, and live now in a small fishing village on the Aegean Sea.

Here in the autumn of 2009 I started building a bigger proa for coastal cruising. My "boatyard" in the garden was very small and always "open air". Hence I designed a boat for fast and simple building in plywood and GRP. But nevertheless it took about a year to finish it. I also built by myself a 7m mast from GRP and two 7m spars from carbon fibre. Maybe this part is the most interesting for amateur builders. I used standard plastic tubes as a kernel. I can write a more detailed report about the mast if requested.



Both hulls are built from 6 mm plywood with 20x30 mm stringers. The hulls are completely covered by one layer of 200 gr fibreglass, and keels reinforced with one layer of 300 gram fibreglass.


Beams are also made from plywood covered with 3 layers of 650 gram UD glass.

The mast is made up of three 2,5 m GRP kernel sections each of 3 layers of 300 gram glass. These are then joined to make a 7 m mast kernel which is covered with 3 layers of 650 gram UD glass. Weight ca. 10 kg.


Spars made of three 2,5 m GRP kernels of two layers of 300 gr glass then joined to 7 m kernels, and covered with 3-4 layers of 150 gr UD carbon. Weight each 3.5 kg.

The rudder system is similar to the one Russ Brown used on Jzzero with two retractable rudders in dagger board cases.


First sail trials show that the boat is well balanced, and the rudders are working properly. Shunting the "big" sail was a little problematic, and I am thinking about a rail guided yard for next season. Also a small outboard will be added for coming back when there is no wind (paddling is possible, but very laborious :-)


2011 update:

The yard was broken in strong wind gusting to 20+ Knots and higher. We were sailing with beam wind and good speed, when a big G├╝let (turkish wooden cruising boat) about 25 m long crossed our route. It made some big waves which we crossed. There was too much pressure on the yard and it broke in the middle. Result of light weight building :-(

After disassembling the rig I saw that the boom had also some cracks where the main sheet is fixed. So some repairs and changes are necessary with the rig.

The yard and boom have been reinforced with two layers of 450 gr carbon and two layers of 300 gram glass. First layers one meter long, then three meter long ones over that.

Kalapuna had in the meantime some more changes. I shortened the mast by one meter and fixed the yard also one meter lower. Now the yard works better running with the wind, especially in stronger winds. Also the sail is now reduced to 18 sqare meters, which I can handle better alone, especially in stronger winds.

I have done some single handed cruises of around 20 miles each, and I think slowly I reach the state of boat I dreamed of. Shunting is now no problem anymore. I added two clamps to fix the tillers during the shunts and that helps a lot.

Also I added an old small 2HP outboard which makes life easier.

On my last trip I had powerful winds on the last two miles home. I think it must be more than 25 knots. So I was happy about the reduced sail area and the lower CE of the rig. In the waves Kalapuna's ama jumped from crest to crest, but no worry of capsizing. I was sailing close-hauled, but the sail was nearly fully opened. The first half of the sail was empty, but the rest was enough for an exiting speed. After the fear had gone the fun came. Proa sailing is hot!

Boat concept - Pacific proa with crabclaw sail
Boat data

  • Length vaka: 8,0 m
  • Beam vaka: 0,6 m
  • Weight: ca. 130 kg
  • Lenght ama: 5,0 m
  • Beam ama: 0,3 m
  • Weight: ca. 50 kg
  • Beam boat: 3,8 m
  • Sail area: 20 sqm
  • Displacement: ca. 400 kg (with 2 crew)

Southern Turkey, July 2011

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