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What is the difference between Tangaroa and Kon-Tiki?

Sist oppdatert:
Thor Heyerdahl continued his research into balsa-rafts for twenty years after Kon-Tiki reached Polynesia. His knowledge is built into Tangaroa.

When Norwegians built viking-ships a thousand years ago, indians sailed rafts along coasts of Peru and Equador. Both the viking-«knarr» and the Indian rafts were used to transport people, goods and livestock, and could carry several tons of cargo.

Tangaroa is bigger than Kon-Tiki, and has a much lager sail-area. The ancient rafts did’nt just float along the ocean-currents, they were manoeuvred using sail and centreboards. The steering was done by use of the centreboards fastened between the balsa-logs. When they are hoisted and lowered, the area of the keel behind the mast is altered, and the raft turns.


- Number of balsa-logs: 9
- Number of support-beams: 9
- Length: 14 m
- Width: 7,5 m
- Heigth (bottom to deck): 1,5 m
- Mast: 9 m
- Sail: 27 m2
- Centreboards (guaras): 4 rigid ones, 2 m long and rectangular. Made of pine.


- Number of balsa-logs: 11
- Number of support-beams: 9
- Length: 16 m
- Width: 8 m
- Heigth (bottom to deck): 1,5 m
- Mast: 13 m
- Sail: 60 m2
- Centreboards (guaras): 4 adjustable ones, 4 m long, made of algarrobo. Fin-shaped horizontally, curved vertically.


Kon-Tiki was not infested by shipworm, probably because the logs were transported down the Quevedo-river. The river impregnated the logs with fresh-water, scaring away the sea-living shipworm.

The logs for Tangaroa will also be transported down Quevedo. The raft is built on dry land, and the expedition plan to sail full speed the first week to get quickly away from the coast were the shipworm density is high.

New technology

Thor Heyerdahl had a short-wave radio aboard Kon-Tiki, but sometimes several weeks passed between reports from the raft. Tangaroa is equipped with a satellite antenna, and can be on-line from the middle of the Pacific.

The crew has digital cameras in under water housings, portable computers, solar-panels and wind-generators. Drinking water is produced by desalinating sea-water.

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