Vaka (sailing)
The vaka is the main hull
Hull (watercraft)
A hull is the watertight body of a ship or boat. Above the hull is the superstructure and/or deckhouse, where present. The line where the hull meets the water surface is called the waterline.The structure of the hull varies depending on the vessel type...

 of a multihull
A multihull is a ship, vessel, craft or boat with more than one hull.-Description:Multihulls include: Proas, which have two differently shaped or sized hulls with lateral symmetry; catamarans, which have two hulls with longitudinal symmetry; and trimarans, which have a main hull in the center and...


Origin and use of the term

The term vaka is used in the Polynesian
Polynesian languages
The Polynesian languages are a language family spoken in the region known as Polynesia. They are classified as part of the Austronesian family, belonging to the Oceanic branch of that family. They fall into two branches: Tongic and Nuclear Polynesian. Polynesians share many cultural traits...

, Malay
Malay language
Malay is a major language of the Austronesian family. It is the official language of Malaysia , Indonesia , Brunei and Singapore...

 and Micronesian
Malayo-Polynesian languages
The Malayo-Polynesian languages are a subgroup of the Austronesian languages, with approximately 385.5 million speakers. These are widely dispersed throughout the island nations of Southeast Asia and the Pacific Ocean, with a smaller number in continental Asia...

 languages for a 'canoe
A canoe or Canadian canoe is a small narrow boat, typically human-powered, though it may also be powered by sails or small electric or gas motors. Canoes are usually pointed at both bow and stern and are normally open on top, but can be decked over A canoe (North American English) or Canadian...

', 'ship' or 'boat.' Other parts of a traditional vaka can include the aka
Aka (sailing)
The aka of a multihull sailboat is a member of the framework that connects the hull to the ama . The term aka originated with the proa, but is also applied to modern trimarans....

and ama
Ama (sailing)
The term ama is a word in the Polynesian and Micronesian languages to describe the outrigger part of a canoe to provide stability. Today, among the various Polynesian countries, the word ama is often used together with the word vaka or waka or va'a , cognate words in various Polynesian languages...


A proa
A proa, also seen as prau, perahu, and prahu, is a type of multihull sailing vessel.While the word perahu and proa are generic terms meaning boat their native language, proa in Western languages has come to describe a vessel consisting of two unequal length parallel hulls...

 consists of a vaka, the main canoe-like hull; an ama, the outrigger; and akas, the poles connecting the ama to the vaka. The trimaran
A trimaran is a multihulled boat consisting of a main hull and two smaller outrigger hulls , attached to the main hull with lateral struts...

uses the same terminology, with a center vaka and amas and akas on each side.
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