1st Voyage

S/V KIZUNA GOU was built by Mr. Bokens’s 7th grade class. This fall the students divided themselves into ten teams each responsible for a different part of the project. KIZUNA means “the bonds (between people), (emotional) ties, connections, relationships” and GOU is a common word that is added to the end of boat names in Japanese.

  • November 27, 2019 - Ready for launch

  • November 28, 2019 - Launch Day

    The Columbia River Maritime Museum Miniboat Program hosted LIVE videos on Facebook for the launching of the 2019 Japanese Fleet of Miniboats from 20km off the coast of Hachinohe, Japan on Thanksgiving Day. Check out the event details here.

    Arrival at the docks:

    Student handoff to the boat:

    Heading out to launch site:

    KIZUNA GOU was the first in the water:

  • February 14, 2020 - Crossed the International Date Line

  • August 18 - 2,000 miles from Columbia River

  • February 2021 - Last reported at sea

    KIZUNA GOU sent its last GPS report on February 1, 2021, only a thousand miles from Oregon. She traveled over 15,020 km while the GPS was reporting!

    As she continues to sail, we wonder where she’ll end up.

The program was developed by the Columbia River Maritime Museum in partnership with the Consular Office of Japan in Portland, and Educational Passages and is supported by Pacific Power, the U.S. Coast Guard, Columbia River Bar Pilots and many others.

The Columbia River Maritime Museum’s Miniboat Program provides a global, multidisciplinary STEAM learning experience for 5th – 7th grade students in the Pacific Northwest and Japan by empowering them to cooperatively design, build, launch, and track seaworthy, GPS-equipped boats on a journey across the Pacific Ocean.

Since the CRMM program start in 2017, more than 1,200 students on both sides of the Pacific Ocean have been involved in the launch of 24 miniboats (traveling a total of 53,469 nautical miles and counting). These boats are tracked daily, and students are still building on the skills they honed to launch them.