Preview: Starship to Oceania, by Steve Callahan

January 10, 2020

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An oddball boat on a passage to paradise transforms a quest for destinations into the joy of the voyage itself.

“It’s a freak show,” mutters Russell Brown as dock strollers gawk at his 36-foot proa. “I’ve never seen anything like this,” says one. “I wouldn’t be caught dead sailing in that thing,” intones another. “What happened to the other outrigger?” queries a confounded sailor who thinks JZERRO is a deformed trimaran born with two heads and just one ama (float or outrigger) stretching out from the vaka (main hull).

JZERRO underway

Nautical Fusion

JZERRO is no sideshow horror, though. Her lineage spans millennia. The critics, unbelievers, and merely befuddled forget that centuries before European sailors stopped hugging coastlines to keep from falling off the edge of the earth, South Sea islanders had explored and settled the entir Pacific Basin sailing double-hulled canoes (catamarans) and proas.

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