This is the definitive comprehensive work on the history, skills and traditions of the Hawaiian canoe from ancient voyaging craft through the evolution to the modern racing canoe. Numerous specially commissioned diagrams and illustrations, along with a wealth of photographs - many previously unpublished - will delight anyone with an interest in the maritime history of Hawaii.

Starting at the time of Christ, Polynesians began probing the farthest inhabitable reaches of the Pacific. By 1200 A.D. they had settled remote Easter Island to the east, Hawaii to the north, and New Zealand to the south - in short, every habitable island in a sweep of blue roughly equal in size to the entire land mass of the Western hemisphere. They discovered the Pacific, where there were roughly two units of land for every thousand units of water. It would be centuries before western man would venture out of sight of land. Hawaii, land of the most geographically isolated culture on earth, would be discovered and settled more than a thousand years before Captain Cook was born.