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Pine splashboards clad the bow, and lengths of pine 25 mm (1 in) thick and 60 cm (2 ft) wide were wedged between the balsa logs and used as centreboards.The main mast was made of lengths of mangrove wood lashed together to form an A-frame 8.8 m (29 ft) high.On August 7, the voyage came to an end when the raft struck a reef and was eventually beached on an uninhabited islet off Raroia atoll in the Tuamotu group.The team had travelled a distance of around 6,980 km (4,340 mi; 3,770 nmi) in 101 days, at an average speed of 1.5 knots (2.8 km/h; 1.7 mph).They also caught plentiful numbers of fish, particularly flying fish, "dolphin fish", yellowfin tuna, bonito and shark.Haugland and Raaby maintained regular communication with a number of American, Canadian, and South American stations that relayed Kon Tiki's status to the Norwegian Embassy in Washington, D. On August 5, Haugland made contact with a station in Oslo, Norway, 16,000 kilometres (10,000 mi) away.

Photographs also show a top-sail above the main sail, and also a mizzen-sail, mounted at the stern. The main spars were a laminate of wood and reeds and Heyerdahl tested more than twenty different composites before settling on one that proved an effective compromise between bulk and torsional rigidity. Kon-Tiki carried 1,040 litres (275 US gal) of drinking water in 56 water cans, as well as a number of sealed bamboo rods.

Kon-Tiki is also the name of Heyerdahl's book; the Academy Award-winning documentary film chronicling his adventures; and the 2012 dramatised feature film nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.

Heyerdahl believed that people from South America could have settled Polynesia in pre-Columbian times.

The voyage was also chronicled in the documentary TV-series The Kon-Tiki Man: The Life and Adventures of Thor Heyerdahl, directed by Bengt Jonson.

The expedition also carried a pet parrot named Lorita.

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