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Monday, December 28, 2015

Two Indigenous North American Boats in Maine Museums

A couple of trips to small museums in Maine yielded two nice boats: a bark canoe and a skin-of-frame kayak. It's almost like a snapshot from Adney and Chapelle's The Bark Canoes and Skin Boats of North America

The canoe, at the Abbe Museum in Bar Harbor, is a fine reproduction. (We've written before about the Abbe Museum.) The kayak, at the Peary-MacMillan Arctic Museum at Bowdoin College, in Brunswick, is an authentic artifact.

Birchbark canoe of the Penobscot style at the Abbe Museum, built by Steve Cayard and David Moses Bridges. It's 14 feet long, weighs 50 lb., and according to the exhibit card, it required 500 hours to build, plus 200 hours to gather materials. We've written previously about Steve Cayard's bark canoes, and not coincidentally, the canoe construction of his that we documented was assisted by David Moses Bridges. (Click any image to enlarge.)
The bark along the sides of the canoe is etched in traditional patterns. Bark is harvested in winter to obtain the brown color that can be scraped away to reveal the lighter color underneath. Seams between sections of bark are sewn with spruce root and sealed with pine resin.
Inner and outer gunwales are lashed together with split spruce roots and pegged. A gunwale cap is also pegged in place. The thwart is mortised into the inner gunwale (i.e., inwale) and lashed.  
The bow has an etched flap of bark held against the hull by the outer gunwale. It's known by the Passamaquoddy term for "diaper" and it is purely decorative.
At the Peary-MacMillan Museum: a kayak of Labrador Inuit design, built between 1860 and 1890.  
The very flat deck rises just a bit in front of the cockpit rim to make it easier to enter the kayak. Built to fit its paddler specifically, the kayak would still have been a tight fit. 
One can see the chine timber and one intermediate longitudinal member between it and the sheer timber (which is not visible). The kayak has minimal deck rigging. The paddle just above the kayak is extremely long, and the blades are especially narrow.
A model kayak just below the real one, built around 1914 by an Inuit for the MacMillan expedition's collection. 
The model has more elaborate deck rigging than the real kayak and a different shape cockpit rim. On the after deck is a harpoon line and drag. 
An Inuit child using an empty packing crate ("Spratt's dog biscuits") as a toy kayak, 1913.


Monday, December 21, 2015

An Ancient Scottish Logboat

This logboat was discovered in 1960 near the shore of Loch Glashan in Argyll, Scotland, and the boat led to the discovery in the lake of a nearby crannog -- an artificial island settlement. (This one was from the 6-8th centuries.) The boat is on display at the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum in Glasgow.

The boat hasn't been well dated, and it's thought to date from the 1st through 10th centuries. A paddle found nearby -- which might or might not have been associated with the boat, has been dated to the 6th to 9th century.

The boat measures about 3.15 meters long and a bit under 0.8 meters in breadth. It possesses some interesting features for such a basic vessel.
Loch Glashan logboat
Even considering that the sides have sagged downward, the bow is still very high relative to the height of the gunwales. (There is no evidence for the use of of additional planks that would have raised the sides.) If its height was intended to keep water out of the boat in a heavy chop, it would have been necessary to keep the boat head-on to the waves at all times.
Just barely visible is a false stem, which extends beneath the hull to form a false keel. For such a short boat, this probably was a considerable aid to directional stability. (Click any image to enlarge.)
Loch Glashan logboat
A sitting thwart is supported on cleats left standing proud when the hull was hollowed out. It's quite low to keep the center of balance low. 
Loch Glashan logboat transom slot
The stern was enclosed with a plank transom that fit into a slot that's let into the hull a couple inches forward of the extreme aft end. The transom plank (or planks) was considerably thinner than the hull. Some kind of caulking was probably used, possibly moss or some natural fiber.
Loch Glashan logboat

Loch Glashan logboat plans
The thwart-support cleats and false stem and keel can be seen in the section view. The upward bend of the bottom in the middle (in section view) is almost certainly due to deformation while the boat sat on its false keel, not the original shape. The sitting thwart is rather far forward for a solo paddler.
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Photos by the blogger, except the final one, which is sourced with a link. The illustration is from the Kelvingrove Museum.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Diversity of British Isles Coracles:

It's often said that the great diversity of small craft is a result of the extremely various uses required of boats and the extremely various environments in which they are used (along with differences in access to raw materials). I think this misses one important factor: the individuality of humanity.

In Coracles of the World, Peter Badges describes how each of the numerous types of coracle in the British Isles are native to an individual river, or even a stretch on a river, with a different type sometimes being used upstream or downstream. But surely, some of these stretches of river have very nearly the same conditions, be they in Scotland, England, Wales or Ireland, and many locales have access to the same or similar materials.

The uses to which coracles were traditionally put were also pretty consistent and of limited diversity: viz, mainly fishing with nets; angling; and the transportation of humans and cargo. This isn't to imply that angling and net-handling impose the same design requirements. But boats that are used in similar ways on similar rivers would function equally well if they were of similar designs.

I think it probable that much of the diversity in boat design is due to the impulse of individualism in so many craftsman. This impulse is often a creative or innovative one -- a desire to attempt some improvement in functionality, appearance, or ease of construction. Sometimes, though, it is probably due to a simple desire to do things differently from one's parent, employer, or neighbor; to be able to say "This is my idea/my design."

Even if the attempt at a functional improvement does not actually produce one -- even if the change just to be different makes the boat more difficult to construct or use -- the builder might continue building his boats in that manner, simply because it is his own way. And if he has a son or an apprentice or half-a-dozen customers who get accustomed to his boats, the new style might become entrenched in a small, parochial geographic zone, which the British Isles have in such abundance.

Before the days of radio and television, there were those who claimed to be able to identify the home of any Britisher to within 40 miles or so based strictly upon his speech. (I think Henry Higgins claimed as much.) No one would argue that a Cornwall dialect is objectively superior to a Fife one. (Okay, they probably do. But the argument won't hold up in court.) Coracles I think, are like that: some of the differences are simply differences, not advantages.

So let's look at some photos. The intent isn't to identify each coracle type with a specific locale: that is the point of much of Badge's book. Our objective is only to illustrate the diversity, perhaps as evidence of how the creative impulse -- along with practical issues such as river configuration, available materials, and the requirements of different uses -- produced it within the seemingly simple concept of the coracle (surely among the simplest boat types in existence) in such a limited geographic range. I've left Badge's original captions in place in the images themselves; my comments appear below them. 
coracle
The coracle of popular conception: perfectly round. (Click any image to enlarge.)

coracle
A very pleasing oval in plan view.
coracle
Sides roughly straight and parallel, one end rounded, the other mostly rounded with a slight point to it.
coracle
Pear-shaped. It starts out egg-shaped, then it's drawn in at the waist to attach the thwart.
coracle
One end dead flat; the other rounded; sides straight and parallel. This and the previous image illustrate an odd, but fairly common, characteristic of coracles: when one end is blunter than the other, it's usually the bow.
coracle
Looking now at sectional shape: some coracles have substantial tumblehome -- i.e., the bilges bulge out, and the craft narrows as it rises to the gunwales. The botttom is flat.
coracle
Another flat-bottomed coracle, but this one has no tumblehome. Its straight sides flare out.
coracle
Looking now at construction methods: this coracle has a gunwale composed of woven withies and "frames" of slender branches, doubled across the bottom.
coracle
The gunwale of this coracle is sawn lumber. The frames are nicely machined splints, fastened at every intersection with screws. The transverse and diagonal frames overlay the longitudinal ones.
coracle
The frames are narrow, riven splints. The transverse and longitudinal frames are woven over/under/over one another. Although woven-splint construction is common, this one happens to be a particularly complex example.
coracle
A very different construction method: the entire boat is woven like a basket.
coracle
A most unusual example of splint construction. The normal right-angled orientation of splints is discarded in favor of changing angles and complex curves. Note how a splint runs just below the gunwale around most of the boat, then curves down sharply to support the thwart.
coracle
The standard method of portaging a coracle: the user places a strap that passes through holes in the thwart around the shoulders. A less common method is to carry to boat inverted over one's head, with the thwart resting on one shoulder. 
coracle
Paddling differences: Two handed. Note also the bowl-shaped sections and the lattice-like structure supporting the thwart. The support structure also kept a sein net confined in the stern and prevented it from sneaking into the bow portion and interfering with the boater's feet.  
coracle
Another two-handed paddler. Compare the rough, irregular appearance of this coracle with the geometric purity of the previous one.
coracle
One-handed paddling was apparently more common historically. The man at right rests the upper part of the paddle's shaft in the crook of his elbow. The woman appears to be sculling with the paddle grasped well below the end grip, with the loom levering against the gunwale.
coracle
A large, two-person coracle for angling. (Note the "guide's" one-handed paddle grip. Most coracle angling was done in one-man boats, where a one-handed grip on the paddle allowed the rod to be managed with the other. But the one-handed method took hold as the norm in some coracle types, and was used even when two hands were available.) Net fishing was also done in both one- and two-man coracles. 

All images are from Coracles of the World by Peter Badges.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

The Donegal Paddling Curragh

The Donegal paddling curragh -- also known as the Owey Island, and Rosses paddling curragh -- is one of the odder indigenous boat survivals in western Europe. 

Donegal, of course, is a county in the west of Ireland. Owey Island is off its northwest coast, and The Rosses a district toward the southwest. Rossmen and Owey Islanders compete for the distinction as the originators of the type. 

Donegal paddling curragh
Launching a Donegal paddling curragh built by Andy McGonagle for Peter Badge, 1992 (click any image to enlarge)

At first glimpse, the Donegal paddling curragh appears to be a tiny example of curragh, per se -- that is, a heavy type of skin-on-frame, "boat-shaped" boat formerly in common alongshore use in Ireland and popularized in modern times by Tim Severin's reproduction of one for his Brendan Voyage

But as Peter Badge observes in Coracles of the World, the boat is only partly a curragh in the above sense, and partly a coracle. (The issue is complicated by the Irish often calling coracles currachs, as in the Boyne currach, which is clearly a coracle.) Its size -- about 8' LOA -- puts it in the realm of the coracle, as does the fact that it can be, and sometimes is, carried on the back of one man (although its size and apparent weight would make that a far more difficult task than carrying, for example, a Boyne currach or one of the coracles of the River Severn in England and Wales). The last quality that makes it more coracle-like than curragh-like is that it is normally propelled by a single paddler kneeling in the bows with a single T-grip paddle, as shown in the image below.


Donegal paddling curraghs at sea
Paddling Donegal paddling curraghs over the bow.
On the other hand, oars pivoting on single tholepins and a sitting thwart -- features of "true" curraghs -- were added to the design around the middle of the twentieth century, although even boats so fitted continued to be paddled as well. It is, perhaps, fruitless to argue whether the Donegal curragh is a curragh or a coracle. It bears characteristics of both: it is what it is.

Until the nineteenth century, the framework was basket-like, made of woven withies like the Boyne currach, but by the 1930, sawn oak laths were used. In the next photo, the frames appear to be fairly heavy (one suspects they were steam-bent). The frames are neatly mortised and wedged into the gunwales around both sides. 


Donegal paddling curragh
Donegal paddling curragh, set up for rowing. Note kneeling "pad" of hay in the bow, toe brace behind the pad, sawn frames and stringers moritsed into gunwales, and pieced gunwale construction.
The framing of the transom is not clear from the photo, but the tops of either stringers or vertical transom frames are to be seen mortised into the member that runs across the top of the transom. This itself is probably mortised into the gunwales, which extend a very short distance aft of that transverse member.

The forward structure of the gunwales is unusual. The main gunwales appear to end where the sides begin to curve inward. A little aft of that point, curving sections of gunwale overlap the forward ends of the straight sections and make most of the rest of the curve toward the stem. Another gunwale component overlaps the second piece on both sides, forming a kind of breasthook that ties the sides together.

Donegal paddling curraghs were originally covered with hides, but more recently with two layers of canvas or other stout fabric, with a layer of brown paper in between, and waterproofed with tar or pitch. 

Quoting James Hornel, Badges gives typical dimensions as follows: LOA: 8'4" (504cm); beam: 3'7" (109cm); depth 1'8" (51cm).

Whereas most coracles are inland craft, the Donegal curragh was and is used in both inland and nearshore coastal waters. Common uses formerly included, according to Badge, "fishing (particularly for Pollock), cutting seaweed, transporting animals to and from the mainland and shopping!, but that their current use was as inland ferries and for pleasure trips." They would travel as much as two miles offshore in conditions reportedly up to Force 8, but this seems like an exaggeration for such a small, paddle-propelled boat.

The paddler kneeled on a bundle of hay or straw, and braced his toes against a short cross-member fastened in the bottom especially for that purpose. (This can be seen in the third photo.) The recommended posture was a bolt-upright kneeling one -- not sitting back on one's haunches -- with the knees spread apart but with no other contact with the boat's interior. In contrast to typical coracle paddling technique, which is straight over the bow, the Donegal curragh boatman paddled over one side, then switched sides as soon as the boat began to veer in the opposite direction.

Content and photos from Coracles of the World, by Peter Badge.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Canoes on Lekki Lagoon, Nigeria

Lekki Lagoon is a large freshwater body to the east of Lagos Lagoon and connected to it by a narrow channel, its only outlet. Close to Lagos, it  has recently come under significant development pressure and is now among the most desirable and expensive housing regions in Nigeria. It is also a major fishery, but the rapid loss of wetlands and mangrove swamps to development will almost certainly affect its productivity.

Three types of canoes were in common use in Lekki as recently as 2008: dugouts, plank-built, and half-dugouts. The latter, also known as extended dugouts, have a dugout base with planks added to raise the freeboard. Of nearly 1,000 canoes counted, planked construction accounted for 54 percent, dugouts for 24 percent, and half-dugouts for 21 percent. 

Dugout canoe, Lekki Lagoon, Nigeria
Beautifully formed dugout canoe in Lekki Lagoon, Nigeria
Dugouts are made of red ironwood (Lophira alata) and range in length from 3.1 to 5.86 meters, with beam from 0.71m to 1m. Both draft and freeboard and low. Their size is limited by the available trees, which are subject to competition for other uses, such as furniture building. They are double-ended in design, and a small platform extends from the aft end, on which a fisherman stands while fishing, and sits when paddling. Propulsion is by paddle.

Fire is used to hollow out the trunk to a thickness of 2.0-2.3 cm, with dry grass used as fuel. The fire softens the wood, and while it is still hot, the sides are forced outward to increase the canoe's beam, thwarts being added to maintain the shape and strengthen the boat transversely. The heat of the fire also drives out insects and other parasites, and so helps preserve the boats, which have an average lifespan of ten years.

Half-dugouts are longer, ranging from 5.33 to 10.2 meters, with accordingly greater beam and freeboard, permitting larger crews and more productive fishing methods. Softwoods including opepe (Nauclea diderrichi), mahogany (Khaya ivorensis) and black afara (Terminalia ivornesis) are used for planking. My source does not specify the source of the sawn lumber, or whether it is commercially milled. No frames are used, but thwarts add transverse strength. Planks are nailed to each other with "u-shaped metal fasteners," which I interpret as steel or iron staples. Outboard engines are used on 15% of half-dugouts, the rest being paddled. Those with engines have transoms; the others are double-ended.

Planked canoe from Lekki Lagoon. The planks are not full-length. Plank bend in the bottom and bilge strakes is minimal, and the boat is formed mainly by angling the scarf joints to create rocker at the ends. The bottom strake is wide and straight-edged, while the end bilge planks are triangular, narrowing to nothing at the ends so that the topside strake cuves in the meet the outer corner of the bottom strake.   
Lekki Lagoon planked canoe under construction
A Lekki Lagoon planked canoe under construction, with one bilge plank yet to be installed. The canoe is apparently build on a form. 
Planked canoes are similar in size to half-dugouts, and use a comparable ratio of mechanical to paddle propulsion, again with transoms for the motorized vessels. Engines range from 8hp to 40hp. Plank seams are caulked with an unidentified material, and covered on the inside surfaces with sheet metal, described as "galvanized iron aluminum."
Lekki Lagoon planked canoe interior
Lekki Lagoon planked canoe interior. Plank seams are covered by strips of sheet metal. The uppermost planks are joined to a broad breasthook at the stern. Thwarts have yet to be added.
All Lekki canoes are left in the water year-round, where the wood absorbs water and is subject to infestation by algae -- both of which make the boats heavier and slower. Canoes are painted with a mixture of cement and bitumen as a preservative. Ground pepper added to the mix as an antifouling agent, although scientific support for its effectiveness is lacking. During the rainy season, canoes will sometimes fill entirely with water and swamp or sink. Sunlight causes splits and cracks to wood above the waterline.

Between one yearlong study beginning March, 2006, and another conducted the following year, the number of fishing canoes on Lekki Lagoon decreased from 1,027 to 995 -- a loss of 3 percent. One suspects that the loss of fish nursery areas to development may be impacting the lagoon's productivity, and that the increase in real estate values is simultaneously displacing artisinal fishermen.

Primary source: "Fishing crafts characteristics and preservation techniques in Lekki lagoon, Nigeria," by Babatune Eniola Emmanel, in The Journal of American Science, v.6, #1, January 1, 2010.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Sewn Canoes of the Society Islands

Capt. Henry Byam Martin, RN, was stationed in Tahiti in 1846-47, observing the French takeover of the island. Our most recent post looked at the dugout canoes of Tahiti that he observed, while the previous one examined a large sewn double canoe from the Tuamoto Islands that he saw in Tahiti This post will focus on native stitched boats that Martin illustrated in the Society Islands, of which Tahiti is one.

sewn canoe, Society Islands
Titled "Cleopatra's barge: a free translation, Utaroa, 27th October, 1846." Utaroa is a community on Raiatea, one of the Societies, where Martin visited Pomare, the queen of Tahiti who had self-exiled herself while attempting to reestablish her position and authority in the face of the French takeover. Although Martin doesn't explicitly identify this image with Pomare, I believe the sketch's title is an ironic reference to her. The stout, seated, cigar-smoking figure in blue beneath the palm-leaf sunshade matches his description of her essential characteristics. (Click any image to enlarge.)
The previous image is from the cover of a published version of Martin's journal, while this one is from the book's interior. The color and detail are better here, but unfortunately the page gutter obscures the middle of the image. Between the two, one can make out the following: 
  • Stitched upper strakes, attached to (probably) a dugout base. The stitches are discontinuous.
  • There appears to be a square transom. The long, probably flat "bowsprit" extension is in keeping with the design of Tahitian dugout canoes. 
  • Two paddlers in the bow provide propulsion, while one aft, apparently female, steers. It is remarkable that there are only two power-paddlers for such a large and heavily-burdened boat, and also that they are seated on the bow's overhang, not further aft where the hull's buoyancy would provide greater support.
  • The paddles have large, rounded blades and probably no grip at the top of the shaft. 
  • The curved, mostly-horizontal boom is a mystery, for there is no outrigger on the visible port side, and no indication of a second outrigger boom aft of it that might support the aft end of an outrigger float on the starboard side either.
Capt. Martin relates the following tale concerning canoes and royalty on Raiatea:
"Mr. Barff [a Christian missionary on the island] told me with reference to the ceremonies at Opoa point -- that formerly the Kings & Queens of Raiatea were inaugurated there. On those occasions the new sovereign landed from a canoe of state, which was hauled up the beach on the bodies of 6 victims -- one from each island. Hence it became a cant term to send for a roller -- which meant a mauvais sujet [lit: "bad subject," i.e., troublemaker] that the chief wished to dispose of." 
Although this sounds like a fantasy conjured by the prejudice of European cultural imperialism, many of the earliest European visitors to Tahiti -- those who visited before the onslaught of Christian missionaries -- observed and confirmed that human sacrifice was indeed practiced, and that those sacrificed for ritual purposes were typically -- and conveniently -- those very individuals who had made themselves inconvenient to the society.

sewn canoe, Society Islands
It is unclear at which of the Society Islands Martin observed this fascinating boat. It appears to be entirely of stitched planks: at least, the extreme rise of the stern would be difficult to form from a straight tree trunk, although carving it dugout-style from a curved tree is not out of the question. In any case, there are at least two courses of strakes, and the stitches appear to be continuous. The shield-shaped, square transom is unusual and eye-catching. Other features:
  • The spritsail rig is probably indigenous, but the square topsail may be an adoption of a Western type. There is a sheet to the upper end of the sprit.
  • The topsail has both both upper and lower yards. The whole topsail rig is mounted on a topmast that is lashed to a lower mast and overlaps it by a few feet. 
  • One can just make out an outrigger boom to port. 
  • The spar sticking out to starboard serves to anchor the lower ends of three shrouds, which all meet the mast at the same point, just above the spritsail's head. Presumably there are similar shrouds to the forward outrigger boom to port. Since there are no lines holding the starboard spar down, the man sitting on it may serve more as a mast support than as a hiking counterweight against heeling. One assumes that on the opposite tack, the man would scramble to the forward outrigger boom before the helmsman allows the sails to take any pressure of wind.
  • The attachment of the plank bowsprit to the uppermost strake is unclear and one wonders how it could be fastened securely with no visible supporting lines or brackets.
  • Steering is with a single paddle held surprisingly far forward from the transom (but fairly close to the aft end of the waterline, given the long stern overhang).  
Sources:
Images and quotation from: The Polynesian Journal of Captain Henry Byam Martin, R.N. In command of H.M.S. Grampus -- 50 guns, at Hawaii and on station in Tahiti and the Society Islands, 1846-1847.
Also: Early Tahiti As The Explorers Saw It, 1767-1797, Edwin N. Ferdon

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Capt. Martin's Tahitian Dugouts

While stationed in Tahiti in 1846-47, Capt. Henry Byam Martin, RN, made several sketches and paintings of local watercraft. Here are all of the dugout canoes which show any useful detail as reproduced in his journal. (See the previous post for a more background and Martin's illustration of a double canoe from Tuomoto.)


Tahitian dugout canoe by Capt. Henry Byam Martin, RN
The dugout canoe in this family portrait appears to have no outrigger, but it does have an interesting bowsprit-like platform, apparently curved from the same log as the hull. The sheer is very flat. (Click any image to enlarge.)
Tahitian dugout canoe by Capt. Henry Byam Martin, RN
Line fishing from an outrigger paddled canoe. The sheer is quite flat, except for a bit of rise at the bow. The bow itself rises out of the water. The outrigger booms are strongly curved, unlike the booms in most of the images below.
Tahitian dugout canoe by Capt. Henry Byam Martin, RN
A lovely beach scene with Tahitians fishing with a seine and a canoe pulled up on the shore.
Tahitian dugout canoe by Capt. Henry Byam Martin, RN
Detail of the above painting, magnified as much as resolution allows.
Tahitian dugout canoe by Capt. Henry Byam Martin, RN
The forward boom of this outrigger canoe is connected to the outrigger float by struts, while the after boom curves downward to connect to the float directly. The extension of the bow appears to be an addition, not carved from the trunk of the hull.
Tahitian dugout canoe by Capt. Henry Byam Martin, RN
Another scene in which seine fishing from shore is aided by canoes to bring the net out. Because of the man standing in the water, it's hard to tell if the "bowsprit" belongs to the boat in the foreground or the one behind it. The quadrilateral sail is supported by a mast, boom, and sprit. As in the previous image, the sterns are upturned sharply. 
Tahitian dugout canoe by Capt. Henry Byam Martin, RN
Detail of the previous image. The bowsprit seems quite thin, and it has no supporting rigging, but is apparently strong enough to support the child's weight without sagging. 
Tahitian dugout canoe by Capt. Henry Byam Martin, RN
This quicker, looser watercolor sketch shows the same features as the previous few images (upturned stern, plumb bow, "bowsprit," quadrilateral sail with three spars, and outrigger float connected directly to the boom in the rear, and with struts in the front), but adds another detail: multiple shrouds supporting the mast. All of them attach at the same point on the mast. To port, the lower ends attach to the forward outrigger boom at regular intervals. To starboard, they attach to a boom that serves both as an attachment point for the shrouds, and for hiking out (as seen in the next image).
Tahitian dugout canoe by Capt. Henry Byam Martin, RN
The top boat in this image is very similar to the previous image and may be just a slightly refined version, except that a crewman is clearly seen hiking out on the starboard boom. The arrangement of struts connecting the float to the forward port boom is clear: four struts in two pairs of inverted V's. The bottom boat seems to have elements of Western boat design.
Tahitian dugout canoe by Capt. Henry Byam Martin, RN
The hulls of the canoes in the background are similar to the preceding ones, but the sailing rig hoists a squaresail: this was probably an adoption of a Western type.
Tahitian dugout canoe by Capt. Henry Byam Martin, RN
A paddled dugout canoe with a nicely carved cutwater and fine shaping and finishing all over the hull. Its shape is rather different from the paddled dugout shown at the top of this post. The paddle has a teardrop-shaped blade and no end-grip on the shaft. 
Images from: The Polynesian Journal of Captain Henry Byam Martin, R.N. In command of H.M.S. Grampus -- 50 guns, at Hawaii and on station in Tahiti and the Society Islands, 1846-1847.