In Māmala Bay off Honolulu last week, Nainoa Thompson and crew tested and practiced deploying a new foresail, or kite, for downwind runs on Hōkūleʻa.
Hokūle‘a, with Kite Deployed, Sailing Past Lē‘ahi (Diamond Head). Cllick on any photo for a larger image and to access a slide show.
More than 80% of the Worldwide Voyage sailing routes have winds, on average, coming from behind the canoe’s beam; the kite will allow the canoe to harness winds coming off of center, from behind.
One corner of the kite is attached to the windward hull; the kite goes around the foreshrouds and stay (lines supporting the front mast), with a sheet, or control line, attached to the leeward hull. The kite is also attached to a foreshroud to make it safer to raise and lower the kite; it will be stored at the bow for quick deployments.
The kite will make the Worldwide Voyage safer for the crew by increasing Hōkūle‘a’s speed from point A to point B and decreasing the time at sea, especially on the long routes.