Cayuco

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Early construction stage for a Wooden Cayuco used in Cayuco Race

According to the Real Academia Española de la Lengua, a cayuco is:

  1. (masculino) Embarcación india de una pieza, más pequeña que la canoa, con el fondo plano y sin quilla, que se gobierna y mueve con el canalete.

Which translated to english means:

  1. Indigenous vessel of a single piece, smaller than a canoe, with a flat bottom and no fins, that is steered and moved with a paddle.

As we will see bellow, The Panamanian indigenous cayuco and the cayucos used in Cayuco Race differ to some extent from this definition.


Contents

[edit] The Panamanian Cayuco

Accurate information is needed to complete this section
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If you would like to contribute with your knowledge, you can either become a editor of CayucoPedia
and complete the article, or mail the information to wikimaster@cayucopedia.org.
 PLEASE PROVIDE:
 * INFORMATION OF THE PANAMANIAN INDIGENOUS GROUPS THAT USE CAYUCOS AS MEANS OF TRANSPORTATION
 * PLEASE PROVIDE ACCURATE INFORMATION OF THE LENGTH OF THE AVERAGE CANOE
Ngobe native paddling an original indigenous cayuco, carrying provisions for his community (gas tanks). Santa Fe, Veraguas, Panama. Picture by Peter Pusztai.

Panamanian indigenous cayucos are roughly the same size or most of the time larger than common 20 feet long (ref. needed) canoes. Panamanian indigenous cultures settled near rivers, in the coast or in islands use them as the main means of transportation. Unlike the conventional canoe, cayucos usually transport more than 2 people, besides important supplies and materials for the communities. These vessels are also used for fishing and can be propelled by regular boat motors, which allows them to be built in even larger sizes and to have larger hull speeds.


Of the seven Indigenous groups existing in Panama [1], the Emberá, Ngobe, Naso (Teribes) and Kunas are known to still use cayucos as an important mean of transportation (please add other panamanian indigenous groups that also use cayucos).


Summing up, a panamanian indigenous cayuco can certainly be described using the definition found in the Real Academia Española de la Lengua, with the exception that the panamanian vessel is in most of the cases larger than a canoe and, besides being moved and steered with paddles, its movement can also be controlled with a small boat motor.

[edit] The Cayucos used in Cayuco Race

Misconception (black) - Wooden Cayuco.

Quoting part of the Cayuco Race Hisory:

Frank Townsend, of the Panama Canal Company, had the great idea to take a group of explorers from the Boy Scouts of America to meet a native community on the Chagres. The youths learned the culture and traditions of our native Indians, and how to use the cayuco, main method of transportation of this region. In time, the competition among them intensified and they choose to have a formal race... Traditionally, the Cayucos are made from rough dug outs of national trees by the Indian natives of Panama. Subsequently they are finished by experts of the sport. This is an art that transcends generations.

As shown in the pictures, the cayucos used in cayuco race look quite different from their indigenous cousins. The average cayuco used for Cayuco Race has a length of 27+ feet long and around 2 feet + in its widest area. They are shaped by cayuco craftmen and paddlers, to achieve a maximum performance in acceleration, hull speed and maneuverability.

Although most cayucos are built to hold four people, cayucos with more capacity are allowed to compete only in the Open Category. Good examples of 5+ seat boats include the Urraca and the Slave Galey among others.

The cayuco craftmanship is an art the takes dedication, patience, effort and good sponsorship. Depending of the material, the construction of a cayuco can be made following several procedures.

[edit] Wooden Cayucos

As
Rory Egger(?) - Working in a cayuco (which?).
the cayuco race became more and more competitive over the years, the original indigenous vessels have suffered several improvements in order to satisfy the rigurous standards set by the competitors. Wooden cayucos are usually built by special request and invole the following steps:
  • Request of a rough dug outs of national trees, to local indigenous boat builders. Regions: Darien, Chepo. The buyers specifies the rough dimensions the vessel, always leaving extra wood for shaping.
  • The rough vessel is brought to the cayuco shaper, and careful measurements are taken considering hydrodinamics, thicknes, width, length of the boat. In this stage usually the owners of the boat, or the crew that is going to paddle it, help in the rigurous work. Major reparations are also made with extra pieces of wood to seal any imperfections or holes that may have originally come with the boat.
  • After the cayuco has been shaped, several coats of sealer paintings are applied to the wood so that it doesn't absorb water that could deteriorate the core wood of the cayuco.
Chava - Wooden Cayuco.
  • Seats, canvases, and other important parts are installed in the boat, preparing it for the first tests.
  • The first tests take place and the boat is verified so that it displaces straightly, and so that the seats and footpecks are correctly leveled among others.
  • If the boat direction needs to be corrected for straightness, a rudder (for the Open Category) or Fins (for the Juvenile Category) are installed after the first tests. The right alignment will require some trial and error.
  • Once everything is set, and enough wood has been sanded out from the boat, the cayuco is ready for painting. Usually a coat of Primer is applied and then several coats (3 to 4) of the actual paint are added to give them the final color.


[edit] Fiber Glass Cayucos

Accurate information is needed to complete this section
.
If you would like to contribute with your knowledge, you can either become a editor of CayucoPedia
and complete the article, or mail the information to wikimaster@cayucopedia.org.
 PLEASE PROVIDE:
 * A NICE DESCRIPTION OF THE PROCEDURE FOR THE CONSTRUCTION OF A FIBER GLASS CAYUCO.
 * THE NAME OF THE WOODN CAYUCO AFTER WHICH CREBA BUILT THE MOLD FOR FIBER GLASS CAYUCOS.
Construction of a fiber glass Cayuco.

In 2002 CREBA allowed the incorporation of fiber glass cayucos to the cayuco race competitions. Before this season, all boats used were wooden made. These boats are built according to CREBA's Book of Rules and have the following specifications:

  • Minimum Weight: 250 pounds
  • Shape: Should be made after CREBA's fiber glass cayuco model, or approved by the club.

The mold for the fiber glass cayucos was taken after the Rapid Transit wooden cayuco (Please provide accurate information). If a team would like to introduce a new fiber glass cayuco to the competition (with a different model used by CREBA), the new vessel will have to be approved by CREBA (see CREBA's book of rules)

See a complete list of fiber glass cayucos here

[edit] The List of all the Cayucos

Here you can find a list of all the cayucos that have participated in Cayuco Race.

[edit] Parts of a Cayuco


[edit] How to get a cayuco

Cayucos can be obtained by several methods:


By: Mr.P 00:09, 27 March 2007 (EDT)

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