Brad Wards Kontiki – built in Lockdown 2021
I used a pipe 3200mm long, but it depends on what you have. This is 2400mm along the flat and bent up at the front. The horizontal distance, from the flat to the tip lengthwise, is 340mm. I measured from a square on the pipe, and out 340mm for the bend. The axle is usually 1200mm. I turned a little insert stub axle for putting through the one-inch (25mm) bush in the centre of the wheel and into the axle. You could also turn down the axle to fit. It’s a straight bush because bearings and saltwater don’t mix.
In two consecutive issues of The Shed, we followed the build of a tiny house on the banks of the Whanganui River.
There are several New Zealand-designed and created fishing kontikis on the market but when I thought about having one, I wasn’t going to buy it.
I had the ability, so I did what any good Kiwi would do, I decided I would make one myself.
Over the years I’ve tried sails, kites, giant bags, kayaks and surfboards to get hooks out where the fish are. After watching torpedos on the beach, I find it is now obvious that there really is only one way and it requires 12 volts and a motor.
Of course every challenge is only really about what you can learn in the process, so I set about building a kontiki torpedo and winch from scratch for as little as I could. I had to enlarge my capabilities especially in aluminium casting, plastics forming and in electronics.
Some time back I built the excellent pizza oven featured in this ﬁne magazine and it provided weeks of building pleasure. We have had many evenings of entertainment where we cook everything in it we can think of (in the learning stages, I use the term “cooking” very loosely).
It was almost a shame to ﬁnish it and I I have pined ever since for something like it. There are just so many pizza ovens you can ﬁt in a backyard. As keen try-hard ﬁsherman and someone who lives for spicy food, I wanted to get into smoking ﬁsh and salamis as well as cheese, sausages and hams, with taste and preserving the product being the main goals.
To build it, I concentrated on the advice of most waka ama advocates: that the canoe should be made of locally available materials, quick to assemble on the launching area and very cheap to make.
This waka cost me less than $200 by using recycled material and left-over house paint for the finish. I did not work from plans but used a cardboard model that I made as a guide. The waka takes less than two minutes to assemble after we take it off its trolley.