Gaualofa is a type of va’a – Samoa’s traditional voyaging canoes designed to sail across oceans. Her 22-metre-long, twin-hulls sleep 16 crew and she is powered exclusively by the wind and sun.
While traditionally crafted, Gaualofa additionally utilises modern materials such as fibreglass and is outfitted with contemporary aids – including a small engine that is powered by solar panels; a global positing system (GPS); and a marine, very high frequency (VHF) radio. Notwithstanding this, as often as possible, the crew train in traditional navigation techniques of reading waves, currents, winds, clouds, sun, moon and stars.
Gaualofa was initially in 2009 given to the Aiga Folau o Samoa, the Samoa Voyaging Society (SVS), by Okeanos Foundation for the Sea, under a lease to purchase agreement. In June of 2012, Dieter Paulmann the founder of Okeanos Foundation for the Sea and his wife Hanna, gifted Gaualofa to SVS and Samoa.
Since 2009, our va’a has sailed more than 40,000 nautical miles, a distance further than a circumnavigation of the globe! Have a look here at our past voyages.