‘Hinemoana’, the female deity of the ocean, was the flagship of the ‘Te Mana o Te Moana’ fleet of seven which voyaged the Pacific Ocean 2011-2012. During this epic two year voyage, Hinemoana was crewed mainly by indigenous people from all over the Pacific. Hinemoana returned to Aotearoa in December 2013 after 4 months of tourism and whale watching with the Tongan Voyaging Society. In 2014 she was destined to move to European waters for education with young people in the Mediterranean when ‘The Hawaiki Rising Voyaging Trust’ put forward a proposal to purchase Hinemoana as the vessel for strengthening Māori and Pacific people and communities. So Hinemoana was sold to the Trust in September 2014 and remains in the Pacific with her brother and sister waka. And her story continues…
Hinemoana embodies the best of traditional knowledge and design with modern technology and is a showcase of different cultures coming together. She also symbolises the astonishing “can-do” attitude of the early Pacific voyagers who built their waka from only nearby natural materials and sailed for thousands of miles.
When James Cook first came to the Tuamotus and other Polynesian islands around 1770, he was inspired by the canoes and made drawings of them. On the basis of James Cook’s old measurements and lines and through the initiative of Sir Thomas Davis, the first Vaka Moana “Te Au O Tonga“ was built in 1994 in Rarotonga/Cook Islands.
Seven Vaka Moana have been recreated at Salthouse Boatbuilders in Auckland, Aotearoa NZ, are following these same lines and are based on the traditional double-hulled polynesian sailing canoe design. However, in contrast to traditional vaka with hulls made of one big tree trunk, our hulls are made of E-Glass and Epoxy Resin.
All beams are connected to the hulls through traditional lashings. They require no use of fossil energy as they are purely wind and solar powered.