The vaka Uto Ni Yalo was designed and built by the Okeanos Foundation for the Sea.
It is a 72 foot Vaka Moana, double masted traditional Polynesian sailing canoe, outfitted with a solar powered propulsion system, built in 2010 in New Zealand’s Salthouse Boatyard.
Uto Ni Yalo was one of the seven traditional Polynesian sailing canoes of the Te Mana o Te Moana (Spirit of the Ocean) fleet that sailed 2011-2012, visiting fifteen Pacific nations reviving voyaging culture and advocating ocean conservation. The Te Mana o Te Moana voyage was sponsored entirely by Okeanos Foundation.
The voyage was crewed by Pacific islanders from eleven nations (Fiji, the Cook Islands, Samoa, French Polynesia, New Zealand, Tonga, Kiribati, Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu and Easter Island) and collectively they traversed 210,000 miles of open ocean, training hundreds of first time sailors along the way.
In 2014, Okeanos Foundation’s CEO Dieter Paulmann gifted Uto Ni Yalo to the people of Fiji. Today the Vaka Moana is operated by the Uto Ni Yalo Trust.
Crew of the Uto ni Yalo celebrates after the vaka was gifted to the people of Fiji in 2014
(Okeanos’ Te Mana o Te Moana vaka fleet commander Magnus Danbold in black shirt with floral wreath)
Uto Ni Yalo is recognized as one of Fiji’s national treasures and has been commemorated on a series of Fiji national stamps.
The Uto Ni Yalo’s historic voyage to San Francisco illustrated on Fiji’s national stamp.
The Uto Ni Yalo’s sailing pictured sailing in front of the Sydney Opera House.
An illustration of the Uto Ni Yalo.