A Glimpse into the Molokai’s Hawaiian Heritage

Since the debut of the Aquila 28 Molokai and Aquila 28 Molokai Cuddy, which marked the inception of the Offshore line, these exceptional vessels have become popular choices among avid anglers. However, the fascinating story behind their creation remains largely untold. Read on to delve into the enthralling history of these pioneering models as we reveal intriguing facts that shed light on their remarkable journey.

  • 2 men in sunglasses looking into the camera
    In the early 1960s, Kirk Clarke (as shown on the left), a proven multihull designer and waterman from the island of Molokai in Hawaii, started experimenting with different materials such as resin and fiberglass to use within his designs. This iconic Hawaiian island designer created a boat that rides, runs, and rests in all sea conditions. Around the same time, Lex Raas was exposed to the catamaran building traditions of his home in South Africa. Although halfway across the globe, both Hawaiian and South African boat builders deal with the same challenge, coping with some of the most difficult seas in the world. 
  • Lex Raas on Aquila 28 Molokai
    Fast-forward to a more recent Maui to Molokai (M2M) downwind outrigger canoe race held annually. Lex, now the president of Aquila Power Catamarans, entered and returned to Maui on a power catamaran designed and built by Kirk. The surprisingly smooth ride through a tough seaway spurred Lex to meet the fabled designer, which led to the the two self-accomplished catamaran authorities concluding that offshore fishing enthusiasts could benefit from their combined knowledge and expertise. An incredible new design began to take form with a shape and a stance that offers peerless performance and efficiencies infused with a blue-water spirit all its own.
  • person zooming in on the map on Aquila 28 Molokai
    After strategic planning combined with two brilliant minds, the Aquila 28 Molokai and 28 Molokai Cuddy Power Catamarans were born. These blue-water gems have massive weight-carrying abilities and offer a dry ride in steep chop. They are extremely efficient during an extended range, have reduced horsepower requirements, and lower operating costs—which have become foundational aspects of the new designs. Additionally, since the boats have such a strong Hawaiian heritage in their DNA, the name “Molokai” was a given, and a rendering of the island's outline is on the dash. 
  • two Hawaiian dancers dancing during sunset

    On the subject of Molokai, the island itself has a rich and somewhat unsettling history. Upon seeing the island’s lush green mountains, waterfalls, and enormous cliffs, not many would believe this beautiful island was designated a leprosy colony by King Kamehameha V in 1886. This location was home to 8,000 exiled lepers until 1969. On a much lighter note, Molokai is also the birthplace of the hula dance and is celebrated annually in May during the Ka Hula Piko Festival. In addition, below are some other fun facts about the island:

    • Molokai was home to Lanikaula, a famous sorcerer back in the 1500s
    • The island was formally an ancient fishing village
    • It consists of the “longest and continuous fringing reefs in the country” and consists of 88 miles of coastline
    • Less than 1,000 tourists travel to Molokai per day 
    • Molokai has one of the oldest coconut groves in the state 
    • There are no traffic lights present on this island at all

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