So I'll be first to admit to being a bit chauvinistic towards outrigger canoes, viewing them as stone age technology. However the response is a typical one born of ignorance when you consider that I was busy looking at kayak / canoe options, both vessles themselves as old as mankind with kayaks used by the Inuit to hunt whales!
On reflection it made sense, you get the carrying capability of a canoe with the extra stability of the outrigger (ama) which provided I don't act like an idiot will go a long way towards preventing a nasty dump on the kids.
So off to the internet for research I went (isn't it wonderful, being old enough to remember time before the internet I still marvel at it). The more I searched the more I kept coming back to a NZ boat builder / designer living in the Corromandel; Gary Dierking. In particular his Ulua design was especially appealing to me.
Other readings and videos on Youtube of Hawaiian racing canoes really impressed me with both the size and speed of these boats. One site that really impressed me was that of Tim Anderson and his trip on the Hauraki Gulf in a Ulua. To sail from the Corromandel to Auckland and then on to Kawai Island is no small feet and drove home the capabilities of this craft.