We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Is a Proa?

By Paul Scott
Updated May 23, 2024
Our promise to you
WikiMotors is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WikiMotors, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

A proa is a narrow beam, multi-hull sailing vessel typically consisting of hulls of unequal lengths. The mast-equipped hull bears the crew and load, while the second hull acts as a stabilizer. The proa is believed to have originated in Micronesia around the first century and is still popular among local fisherman in the Pacific and Indian Ocean regions in the 21st century. These sailing vessels are stable and known for their high-speed capabilities. In fact, the proa has captured the imagination of contemporary marine designers with several sophisticated modern variants based on the design.

The name proa is derived from the Indonesian perahu or Philippines prau, both being words meaning "boat." The design is thought to have originated in the West Pacific region of Micronesia in the mid-first century. Early examples of the proa have also been recorded from as far west as Sri Lanka and Madagascar, and the design is still very popular among fishing communities across the Indo-Pacific and South Pacific Ocean areas. The design is characterized by two very narrow hulls of unequal lengths. The larger of the two hulls is equipped with a single mast rigged with a gaff or crab-claw sail set-up, while the second is attached to the first by cross beams and serves as a stabilizer.

In terms of size, the proa can range from the diminutive Kor-Kor at approximately 15 feet (4.6 m) to the impressive Walap, which can exceed 100 feet (33 m). The Tipnol is perhaps the most commonly encountered proa variety and is generally between 20 and 30 feet (6.1 and 9.1 m) in length. The torque exerted on the narrow craft by the sail is usually skillfully countered by the crew, who move out along the cross beams between the hulls while underway to balance the vessel. This causes the outboard stabilizer hull, or ama, to skim across the surface of the water rather than cut through it. The exercise can be quite a feat, as the proa is well-known for its speed, with modern high-tech proas having reached in excess of 50 knots (50 miles or 93 km per hour).

It is these new, sophisticated versions that bear out the success of the proa design in general. Built from modern composite materials and fitted with lightweight masts and sail sets, these variations on the original design are exhilaratingly fast and regularly used for racing. The vessel that set the 50-knot record came very close to breaking the all-out water speed record and some new prospects still in development are believed to be capable of exceeding 58 knots (67 miles or 107 km per hour).

WikiMotors is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
WikiMotors, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WikiMotors, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.