Model and ultralight Uluas

An Ulua built to 1/8 scale

Reader Gord Caruk responded to the Uluas of the World post with a tale of his own unique progress


I figured that after seeing your page I would send along evidence of another Ulua. Earlier this year, I had bought a model kit of a traditional canoe. I was going to put this together over the summer while on vacation at a couple of cottages. However, I wasn’t happy with the scale, and figured I’d scale the model up a bit to be about 30″ long. The idea was to have a wooden model to ‘display’ in my office. I had bought Gary Direking’s book, so I figured if I’m going to scale the kit up and basically do a scratch built model, why not just build a model of Ulua. So that’s what I did. It is a 1/8 scale model of a 20′ Ulua. I’ve attached a couple pics. It is done in a wood called ‘makore’, with a few bits of fir, sapela, and bloodwood for accents.

I do intent to build a full size Ulua over the winter and have been agonizing over whether to use the cedar strip construction that most Ulua’s (including yours) have been built with, or to use the fabric covering over a stick from that I’ve built a couple of canoes with. The canoe in the 3rd attached photo is 13 lb. Building Ulua this way would be about 27 lb. for the hull, ama, and iakos. I’m not sure whether I’d be able to use a sailing rig on it though, because I wonder about the strength of the lightweight hull, and it being so light, maybe it would just be blown over. Regardless I intend to rig a trolling motor, but I do like the idea a sail. Assuming I do the lightweight version, I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it.

So there you have it. One (little) Ulua now, and another full sized one in by the spring.


Fabric-on-stick canoe (not an Ulua) illustrating ultralightweight building.

Nice work!  We’re eagerly awaiting further reports.

3 Responses to “Model and ultralight Uluas”

  1. 1 Jolea

    Wow, I think it’s amazing that you guys build these boats with your own hands. When I grow up I am sooooooo going to build a kayak. 🙂

  2. 2 Joe Rouse

    Geodesic Airolite! I have an idea, thanks David!

  3. 3 Burton

    Great post but I was wondering if you could write a litte more on this
    subject? I’d be very grateful if you could elaborate a little bit further.
    Bless you!

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