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Am in the  50% stage of rigging my Victory and looking to begin ordering lumber for a Maori war canoe and a Polynesian double hull using the Holukea as a template.


That being said earlier GRSJAX responded to a post advising Polynesian canoes were constructed from Koa wood and gave me a lead on a vendor in Hawaii. Was going to paint like the Holukea but changed my mind and am going with Koa wood to stay in somewhat historical boundaries.


Dashi replied to an earlier post and got me interested in the Maori War Canoe and noted those were built from Totura wood. 


I will build the Maori canoe first noting the single hull and it has a large amount of decorative carving and will note be as easy as it looks, Since I have never carved anything but a turkey and butchered that on more then one occasion it ought to be interesting.


1. I have a good vendor for Koa thanks to GRYJSX in Hawaii.


2. Now to the gist of my ramblings I contacted Rod with Forest HoldingsTimber Mill in Tauranga New Zealand, and was quoted a price of $ 57.00 plus export and packing fees. Was this a fair price for a piece of Totura 2"x 4"x 36" am willing to to purchase to stay within historical context instead of using another wood and painting or staining. Totura seems fairly rare only grown in that area from my research and the price seems reasonable.


You good folks from that are please respond with advice or another vendor.  


Thanks John


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  • 1 month later...

Hi john,

Nice project.

What's the size of the model?

Although it's cheaper here in NZ depending on quality the timber price sounds reasonably fair given postage to the US and it'll probably be a nice clean piece. It's ironic that I have bought timber for boatbuilding from the US and here you are importing something that seems relatively common to me. I guess we always want some thing exotic.


Like most nz native timbers Totara is protected and can't be felled commercially anymore as vast tracts of it were on the way to disappearing before it was stopped a few decades back.

Totara available now is either recycled from previous use ( there's still a lot of fence posts out there made from this lovely dense timber) or single trees from private stands.


Let me know if you need any reference pics of waka. A fleet of probably the most impressive in the country are based not far from me and are brought out for a big annual regatta. They are quite a sight when on the river.


The newspaper I work for has pics on file that while showing them manned and in the water should also show some carving detail. I could send some if it's any help.



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Thanks for the response, and assistance. A set of chisels I ordered and a flexible extension for my dremel arrived last week.


as stated earlier I have only carved a turkey and at times butchered that. I am going to practice on some cypress I have before I ruin a $ 70.00 piece of wood . I think I have it right the Waca could be up to 60' so .5:1 would be 30 inches Maybe??


I am playing now have to finish rigging my Victory when I am ready I will start a build log by displaying and un-boxing my stick. :rolleyes:


thanks again

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