Winter 2006 (14.4)
23. When Heyerdahl made his
1947 Kon-Tiki voyage, he did not understand the mechanism of
"guara" in steering the raft. Kon-Tiki had four "guara"
that were "fixed", and which could not be raised or
It meant that his crew was entirely at the mercy of the winds.
Years later (1953), Heyerdahl learned how the "guara"
should have been used. The diagrams here illustrate his understanding
of how the boards should be raised or lowered under specific
wind conditions to stay on the desired course. The Tangaroa (2006)
had nine guara, and its crew learned to steer the craft quite
effectively, which resulted in cutting down their stay at sea
by a substantial number of days.
llustration: "Early Man and the Ocean: A Search for the
Beginnings of Navigation and Seaborne Civilizations," by
Thor Heyerdahl, Vintage Books: New York, 1980, page 227.
25-28. Various sketches to
show placement of the nine "guara" centerboards on
29. A 17th century drawing of a balsa raft under full sail off
the coast of Peru. Note the placement of the "guaras"
highlighted here in yellow (Photoshop).
30. A drawing dated 1748
by Juan and Ulloa showing a balsa raft from Guayaquil [Ecuador].
Note the "guara" centerboards, again highlighted in
yellow here, and the tall guara at the back of the raft, which
seems to also double as a rudder. Illustration: "Early Man
and the Ocean," page 227.
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