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May 6, 2006

Tangaroa- Pacific raft expedition in the footsteps of Thor Heyerdahl

Here is one especially for raft-builders: Tangaroa is a raft expedition, following the route of Thor Heyerdahl's famous Kon-tiki raft that sailed from Peru to Polynesia in 1947. Heyerdahl's grandson is part of this expedition, and the raft got underway on the 28th of April - 59 years to the day after Kon-tiki did.

Here is some information on the Tongaroa (if my Norwegian can be trusted):

11 Balsa base poles
7 longitudinal poles
16m long
8m wide
Height of shelter: 1.5m (not sure I translated this right)
Mast: 13m high
Sail area: 60 sq.m
Centreboards (guaras): 9 x 4m long boards

From the photos, it looks to be built with traditional manila/hemp rope, like Kon-tiki was. In principal, the skills used to build this raft are skills that most scouts have (not too many scouts have 16m long balsa trunks lying around though)

You can buy the book or the DVD of the original Kon-tiki Expedition at Amazon.

Keep track of the latest news reports here and live blog posts from the raft here (BBC news also has some photos of the raft construction here).
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