The Climate Challenger is a modified version of the traditional Pere outrigger design with 2 sails built by captain Manuai Matawai in Lorengau, Manus Island over 2 years and completed in 2012.
Total cost of the build was about 10,000 PNGK (Papua New Guinea Kina), which is about $5,000 AUD.
Its overall length is 48 foot with a 1.5 metre draft. It has flotation at the bow and stern and cannot sink. The hull is a traditional dugout canoe made from pencil cedar; a tree whose timber is strong, light, hydrodynamic and resistant to marine organisms. From the hull the sides are built up using planking from the same species of tree and fastened together using dowel from the mangrove tree, nails, screws and fibreglass, and sealed with a traditional putty made from tree sap. It is painted with marine paint in the traditional colours of white above the water line and black below the waterline with anti-foul.
The outrigger is made from red cedar and is attached to the main hull by a beam also made from pencil cedar. It is fastened with monofilament line and natural cane vine to give it strength yet retain flexibility.
We will carry 4 sails with us (including 2 spares) which are just plastic tarpaulins. When sailing, it has a maximum speed of 15 knots and is capable of carrying a 2 ton load. The sails convert to a shade canopy when anchored.
For navigation, a combination of modern GPS and traditional methods will be used. The sun, moon and stars, wind, waves, current and presence of birds and dolphins will guide us.
Because of the long journey, Climate Challenger will be carrying safety gear including modern technology to keep in contact with the rest of the world- EPIRBS, satellite phone, navigation lights and a 2 way radio.
Within the hull there is only room for storage of food, supplies and clothing, so crew will sleep, eat, cook, rest, do everything on the platform above!!