Okeanos Marianas is a traditional double-hull sailing canoe that can carry a total of twelve passengers and crew on evening sails and/or voyages and up to 20 passengers and crew on day sails. She carries as much as three tons in additional cargo on the deck, forward and aft cabins.

Okeanos Marianas is designed to provide the people of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands with a sustainable means of transporting goods and people along the Mariana Islands archipelago as well as opportunities for alternative classroom education and disaster relief.

Our vaka (canoe) is part of a fleet of vakas designed and commissioned by the Okeanos Foundation for the Sea in collaboration with island nations and voyaging societies from across the Pacific Ocean.  These vakas are intended to help Pacific Islanders implement sustainable development strategies and share celestial navigation culture.

There are several vaka designs among the fleet of Okeanos Foundation canoes. Okeanos Marianas is a vaka motu (boat for the island), meaning she is primarily designed for commercial operation between the islands. She can be used for both inter-island travel (50 to 100 nautical miles) and long-term open ocean crossings. Her main purposes include the transportation of goods between remote outer islands and central markets, coastal fishing operations, noise-free whale watching, sightseeing tours. She can also be used as a floating school bus.

The main impetus of Okeanos Marianas is to become the typical working boat for the Pacific, built and operated by the islanders themselves. This not only revives old skills, knowledge and traditions, but also provides opportunities for economic growth and meaningful employment.

The Okeanos Marianas sails with a traditional and contemporary off-shore rig. The contemporary rig is 50 feet (15 meters) long with a 20-foot (6 meter) beam, allowing for a sail area of 615 square feet (58 square meters) and a 2.5-foot (80cm) draft. She requires four crew members for normal operation.

She is steered by a traditional wooden hoi (steering paddle). All beams are connected to the hulls with traditional lashings. She is equipped with GPS navigation, a compass, and VHF as well as life rafts, life vests, flares, and all other apparatus required by international safety regulations. Her average sailing speed is about 7 to 8 knots.

Like the vaka moana, the hulls of this vaka motu are made of e-glass and epoxy resin, a more environmentally sustainable option than wood. Eight solar panels are located toward the stern of the vaka. Each generates 230 W, adding up to 1.9 kW of power that is channeled toward he vaka’s onboard electrical instruments. Okeanos Marianas’ two inboard 20 HP Volvo diesel engines run off of coconut oil, a sustainable fuel alternative to plantation products and fossil fuels.

Okeanos Marianas contains a 4.5 foot (1.45 meters) high deckhouse that can shelter eight passengers from sun, rain, and wind. The deckhouse also provides space for a navigational area and two pilot berths. In addition to the deckhouse, the vaka motu is equipped with a port side galley and a starboard side head with a black water tank.