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Rain delays, Mala Wharf project impact launch of voyaging canoe

By Staff | Feb 20, 2014

‘Ulalena cast members and Old Lahaina Luau staff sand masts for Mo‘okiha o Pi‘ilani, Maui’s own voyaging canoe. PHOTO BY MATT LANE.

LAHAINA – Due to rainy weather in January and the start of a state renovation project at Mala Wharf, Hui o Wa’a Kaulua last week announced that the launch of the 62-foot voyaging canoe Mo’okiha o Pi’ilani will be delayed until the full moon high tide in mid-May.

Varnishing masts and spars requires dry weather to assure that the 14 coats of epoxy and three coats of lacquer bind properly. Failure of the finish prematurely drives the canoe back to dry dock for repairs.

Final curing of the finish precedes lashing the masts to the canoe and rigging to the masts.

“The next full moon high tide for launch is in mid-May,” said Capt. Timi Gilliom, canoe builder and kapena of Mo’okiha o Pi’ilani’s crew.

“Until then, the State of Hawaii will be rebuilding Mala. It will be great to launch from the new wharf.”

Hui o Wa’a Kaulua (Assembly of the Double-Hulled Canoes) crew are very grateful for the generous support and understanding of the Maui community, sponsors, donors and volunteers who are waiting to see this canoe in the water.

All hands are invited to visit the dry dock and help apply the finishing touches to the canoe daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 525 Front St. in Lahaina next to Kamehameha Iki Park. For more information, visit www.huiowaa.org.