yapluka 60
The catamaran vessels of today are the direct descendants of the highly evolved Polynesian sailing canoes. The double-hulled canoes had two important qualities,
which are good buoyancy and stability, and it is those two qualities that led to the
development of the modern catamaran.
It is therefore with great enthusiasm that I accepted to make the leap, or may I say
the progression , from Polynesian double hull canoes to making a scale model
of the Yapluka 60, a 60 foot long-distance cruising catamaran from La Rochelle yard Yapluka on the French Atlantic coast.
This very elegant catamaran – with its hulls made out of aluminum – was designed
by Jean-Francois Bourdin. Its naval architects were Berret-Racoupeau. The interior
designer was Michel Tual, assisted by Laurelle Bourdin, the wife of the yacht’s builder.
Here are a few more specifications:
Hull length: 59 ft (18m)
LOA: 62ft2in (18.95m)
Max Beam: 30 ft 2in (9.2m)
Displacement empty: 19 tons
Draft, fin version: 4ft 11in (1.5m)
Mast height: 82ft (25m)
Engines: 2 x 130 hp diesel
Mainsail: 1.345 sqft (125m2)
Gennaker: 1399 sqft (139 m2)
Spinnaker: 2690 sqft (250 m2)
Solent jib: 646 sqft (60 m2)

The scale at which to build any model defines its complexity and the time it will take to build.
I decided on a scale of 1 inch to 20 inches , which put the size of the model at 36 inches
(91.44 cm) in length and 17in1/4 (43.2 cm) maximum beam.
The collector’s requirements were that various Hawaiian grown species of wood shall be used for the entire model, including the sails.
I therefore decided to build the hulls out of tamarind, the bridge, the top of the galleys and cabins in lemon wood, the sails with Wili Wili, but many other species of wood were used.
As for additional specifications of Yapluka 60, all I had to work with was the specifications mentioned above and a set of deck plans that I found in a magazine. Those deck plans did not indicate sizes. The shipyard never provided me with detailed specifications other than those mentioned in yachting magazines.
I therefore had to spend countless hours online, researching the architecture of similar
boats, and make props to ensure myself that all proportions are correct.

I worked on this model over a period of one year and during that time visited literally
hundreds ship model websites. I could not find a single one where a catamaran on that
scale , made entirely out of wood was recently built. By end of 2008, no publication or website about a similar project could be found online.Learn more at www.hawaiiancanoes.com
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