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PostPosted: Wed Aug 17, 2011 2:44 am 
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Aloha! The Haka bench seat/sailing platform for the AI is a new take on an ancient idea. I have talked about it a bit and I thought you might like to see them in action.

Traditionally Haka were used by the Polynesians to transport supplies, fish or passengers on the outriggers of their sailing canoes. "Haka" is fairly esoteric Hawaiian term referring to a shelf, perch or storage rack. In the old days they served many purposes - to carry provisions, people, spears and nets for fishing and probably the day's catch.

They're still are used that way today.

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Haka seen on the "modern" outrigger sailing canoes are usually made of canvas or netting, lashed across the Aka. The windward Haka forms a comfortable hammock for several passengers, and a place for the the co-navigator to handle the sheets. At speeds of 15-25mph in the open swells, it can be an exciting ride.

My personal interest in using a Haka bench on the AI and TI has been to explore better sailing positions, as an alternative to the Hobie tramps, which I love. And maybe, just maybe, to have a little more exciting ride.

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I find they work as well as tramps and have many advantages:
- A higher/dryer ride,
- Greater visibility - around and below the boat
- Greater ability to "hike out" and balance the boat in high wind
- The ability to paddle when needed
- More passenger seating
- They do not catch the wind
- They make a great resting place or fishing platform
- They add stability and strength to the extended Amas/Akas.
- As you would judge from their appearance, they are perfect for a picnic!

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These are the first generation benches built by my friend Tom (AKA Batman). You can see a wider 4-board version on the Batboat thread. These are built from treated lumber but I am looking into composite materials, possibly marine decking. I mounted them to the Akas with simple padded PVC pipe halves and bungie-ball lashing. Takes about a minute to attach - without any tools.

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It looks and feels damn cool to be sitting out alongside the hull, riding in the same fashion as the hobie cats. You can see and be seen. You could even stand on these things while sailing, though I don't plan on doing this often. Reclining on them feels great too.

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But the real pleasure comes in the "old school" sailing position. The ability to balance the hulls in high winds and quickly adjust fore/aft weight distribution is the best I have experienced so far. It's easy to keep the nose up or muscle a few more rpms out of the full sail.

As you can see, here I am passing a Hobie Cat. :mrgreen:

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And heres a video, showing the nice dry ride.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZtzpkqwSQ3c&feature=player_detailpage[/youtube]

So how did I steer? With my hand, my foot or tiller extention. All worked great, though the new up-down rudder is a bit twitchy,

Tacking from the benches is not as easy as from the cockpit, (using a little pedal assist). I got caught in irons a couple times in stiff wind and needed a quick pedal to get going again. I'll keep working on it.

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Launching and landing, I found it easy to slip between the bench and the hull to rig the boat or remove the drives, etc. The spacing of the slats is designed to accomodate the mirage drive and other gear. Virtually anything can be strapped to these benches, using cleats and straps. A 100+ lb tuna took a ride on someone's Haka recently.

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If you like, two Haka can be put on one side of the boat to create a wider bench or partybarge platform (more supermodels!)

I played in some rough surf this day and had no problems with the Hakas staying glued to the boat, even though I got pitched a few times and other items flew off. (Hey! Throw me that daggerboard will ya?!)

The benches could be removed quickly if needed. Instantly using a knife.

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I'll try straight paddling and rudderless steering tests with them, next time I go out.

Can't wait.

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Last edited by NOHUHU on Thu Oct 24, 2013 11:55 pm, edited 10 times in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 17, 2011 3:36 am 
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Sorry, but I can only see the first image and the video, all the other images give me a "Unauthorized" warning....


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 17, 2011 3:40 am 
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:oops: It's an Apple website thing,..Please try again.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 17, 2011 5:01 am 
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now they show! :)

edit: that makes your story a lot better to understand :lol:

they look nice! do they also prevent de ama's from folding in? or does the ballbungee stretch enough to fold?


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 17, 2011 7:08 am 
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Quote:
I mounted them to the Akas with simple padded PVC pipe halves and bungie-ball lashing.

So are the pvc halves screwed to the boards and than padding added between the pvc and Akas?
Also, do the bungies keep the from sliding in and out?

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 17, 2011 10:57 am 
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Yes/No
Yes/Depends

If you want them to move, just keep the bungies loose You can slide them in/out about a foot, or even fix them right against the gunwales.

In the middle of the Akas seems ideal for me.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 17, 2011 12:55 pm 
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Cool Pictures!
I like the way they look and the price!
They're begging for a bottle opener to be attached!

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 17, 2011 6:03 pm 
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NOHUHU wrote:
Tacking from the benches is not as easy as from the cockpit, (using a little pedal assist). I got caught in irons a couple times in stiff wind and needed a quick pedal to get going again. I'll keep working on it.

There's always the good ol' 270 degree jibe, but I guess you are going to want to switch sides when you tack anyway, to remain on the windward side. Couldn't you drop into the cockpit for a little pedal assist just before you begin to tack, since you're going to be passing through that way anyway?

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 17, 2011 9:41 pm 
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Thanks Chris. A jibe works great. It's also my favorite move while surfing.

Transferring is a little trickier from the bench than from tramps, but it's no real challenge.

I would like to get "unassisted" tacks wired though, so I can sail with the fins out or in the locked position.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 17, 2011 11:12 pm 
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I've been trying to nail unassisted tacks for ages. In winds between about 5 and 12 knots, I can do it fairly consistently, but much more or less than that and forget it. I spent a day doing multiple tacks and jibes in favourable conditions (about 8-9 knots) and from analysing the GPS tracks, I came to the conclusion that a successful tack puts you about 30-40 seconds further upwind than a tight jibe. By successful, I mean getting across to the opposite tack without stalling and having to reverse the rudder. Of course, if you get caught in irons too often, the time advantage from tacking evaporates rapidly.
BTW, I love the Hakas. They solve the two main problems of the tramps on an AI - flipping in high wind and being unable to paddle.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2011 1:54 am 
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Very nice work and great pics! NOHUHU! 8)
I like the simplicity of the Haka and their advantages over the tramps. I can also see them being used as a floor over the main hull for sleeping on as an alternative to Chrisj's innovative hammock! :wink:
I hate the maintenance wood requires when used in the marine environment and would be interested to find an alternative composite plank. Please keep us posted if you find something.
PS- Sailing with the drive out makes it easier to tack unassisted as there is less resistance. I rarely sail with the drive in, especially if conditions allow. (There is always the paddle to assist in a tack if necessary) :)


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2011 8:07 am 
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I am wondering if this would do as both a composite pre-made substitute.

http://www.homedepot.com/Doors-Windows- ... =202745532

Too bad it is only on-line purchase. It would be nice to see how solid they are before buying.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2011 11:37 am 
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I really like that idea! What kind of wood did you use ? It's hard to tell from the pics but it looks like pine ?

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2011 1:51 pm 
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5/4th" decking wood??

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2011 7:59 pm 
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Nothing at our local hardware store today. Lowes or HD maybe has something.

These slats are 2.5"x3/4"x72". A little under 3/4" spacing. Probably pressure treated pine. Around 15lb/Aka. These are just mockups. I'll refinish them with spar varnish soon.

Anything synthetic may bend more than the natural material, but an aluminum subframe could be used. A little flex is desirable, I think.

I see alot of outdoor deck projects on TV using composites, so the dimensions must be out there for doing this right. Many park benches and tables are made from artificial materials too.

Looking for something that is color impregnated and can be cut, sanded or planed.

If you find it please shout out.

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