Intrigued by Polynesian folklore, biologist Thor Heyerdahl suspected that the South Sea islands had been settled by an ancient race from South America. He built a replica of an Indian balsa wood raft and set sail from Peru on April 28, 1947 with five other adventurers. Mantua’s Kon Tiki is a wooden model ship kit you’ll build using balsa logs tied with rope to form a water-tight platform. The top of the platform, which serves as the deck, is finished with woven balsa strips. A deck-house, built of basswood strips and covered with laser-cut wooden pieces to simulate a thatched roof, protects the crew from the elements. The kit also includes canvas window flaps and sail material, plus a pattern for the painted sail decoration. Clear plans and detailed photographic instructions assure a fascinating historically accurate model.