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Thread: Testing Out My Sailing Rig

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    Default Testing Out My Sailing Rig

    I'd thought I'd share some piccies of my newly created sailing rig for my Old Town. The other reason for doing this was to attempt to upload some photos for the first time.

    Anways the rig comprises of a wooden thwart with a 28mm hole in the middle to allow the mast to be passed through. I have deepened the depth of the thwart to give the mast some more stability. For the mast I have used some old aluminium poles which connect together. They are from a Sevylor Inflatable canoe and are the paddle shafts. The sail is a Spinnaker from a Mirror Dinghy, I found it amongst some tat I had at home. I have rolled up the bottom edge 1) to not have such a big sail and 2) so I can see under it. ( This has been improved now the pic shows early version!)

    The pictures show me and the girlfriend testing it out off Lowestoft Beach. It is perfect for down wind sailing and in the abscence of Leeboards can just about get a broad reach, but requires a lot of corrective paddling. I'm not sure exactly how fast it sails but we over took a few joggers running along the promenade so I guess 4-5 knots.



    Of course it was a calm day, and I don't think I 'd go out on the sea in any bigger waves.



    Going at full tilt with the sail full. Great.

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    Looks good. My only concern would be the pole looks as if it is struggling a bit.

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    Yeah I know what you mean; but it seems to hold up well. I am on the look out however for an alternative.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bazwaldinho View Post
    Yeah I know what you mean; but it seems to hold up well. I am on the look out however for an alternative.
    Hi, I'm planning to build a lugsail rig this winter, but have been astounded by the cost of alloy poles from the usual boaty suppliers. However, I'm pretty sure that an alloy TV pole like this one would do the trick, for a lot less money. Worth considering anyway.

    My other idea was to cut down an old windsurfer mast. Most people use carbon fibre nowadays, so if you know the right people, someone's bound to have an old glass-fibre one lying around (I have 2 for instance!). This may end up being too thick at the base, depending on what mast foot arrangement you've got, but again worth a thought?

    Cheers,

    Blutack.
    The Canoeist's prayer: "Lord grant me the serenity to walk the portages I must, The courage to run the rapids I can, And the wisdom to know the difference".

    John Muir Trust - Wild Places for Nature & People.

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    Default Windsurf rigs

    I have been thinking of that too - one option might be the top half of a carbon 2 piece - might be possible to pick up especiallu if someone has damaged the bottom. Was think I might go and have a rummage when I am next down at my mother's palce (storage of crap I have not got room for at home... and yes I do feel guilty every now and then) - there should be some old windsurf stuff there. My only concern about glassfibre masts is that they were rather heavy as I recall. With canoe rigs we are asking a lot as they lack the support from shrouds, spreaders, backstays etc.

    I must say I was thinking of going lug sail and was thinking if it was possible to arrange some kind of back stay - what does anyone think?

    Rob

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    Quote Originally Posted by Blutack View Post
    Hi, I'm planning to build a lugsail rig this winter, but have been astounded by the cost of alloy poles from the usual boaty suppliers. However, I'm pretty sure that an alloy TV pole like this one would do the trick, for a lot less money. Worth considering anyway.



    Cheers,

    Blutack.
    Great idea. Have one on top of the chimney. Wing has been after me for two years to take it down - as we now have satellite TV. Might get done quicker when thought of as a potential mast.

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    A cautionary note follows ... These poles are pretty thin walled. They have no internal strengthening whatsoever, and the alloy isn't really alloyed for too much material strength on that axis, most weight is vertically down the length of the pole.

    If you do use one, it will fail just above the top most point at which it is fixed, as the tube will fold when provoked. Although the poles do take some big antenna arrays, the weight loading is much less than a sail will produce. I'd suggest a fairly rigid rigging to limit the movement, but this will not help the sailing.

    The 2 inch poles were stronger (as they had a bigger cross section), but these would be big to handle and probably a pain to mount in a boat.

    I've fitted antenna's for the last 20+ years now, and from experience I'd be wary of using one as anything other than a proof of concept. I'd swear that the poles these days are much thinner than ones I was fitting ten years ago, let alone twenty.

    If you do try it tho' - make sure someone nearby has a camera handy

    However ... What about getting a cheap old windsurfing sail rig out of the local paper, and cut that mast down, that way you'd know if was built for the job.

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    In the town where I live is a firm who make trailers, horseboxes, etc. They use aluminium and steel tubes/poles and other materials by the ton. Such places can be a good source of materials if they are willing to sell you some, they are usually good on price as they are not selling at full retail price.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Seadog View Post

    I must say I was thinking of going lug sail and was thinking if it was possible to arrange some kind of back stay - what does anyone think?

    Rob
    ideally you need to find some marine grade ally, something like a spinnaker pole from a 505 dinghy [like wot I got]. This can double up as punting pole, tarp support etc etc, so worth getting summat decent. hunt around the local sailing club dinghy park, there's usually a wreck with bits you can scavenge, if you ask nicely

    as for lugs, you need to avoid rigging, the best things about a standing lug is that the centre of effort is fairly low down but it's still an aerodynamically efficient sail, especially a high peaked one. The mast needs to be free to rotate so if it gets too hairy in a squall you let go and the whole rig rotates and weathercocks down wind.

    I made mine from the top bit of my soling jib, so it's not super-light
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    The original plan was to cut a mast from a doug fir plank I have laying around. It is sound and clear, the kind of wood you have a hard time locating anymore. Guess it will be back to the original plan.

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    Quote Originally Posted by monkey_pork View Post
    A cautionary note follows ... These poles are pretty thin walled. They have no internal strengthening whatsoever, and the alloy isn't really alloyed for too much material strength on that axis, most weight is vertically down the length of the pole.
    Hi MP, thanks for that. My thoughts were based on the fact that Solway Dory make some really nice canoe sails using 16WG Aluminium Alloy tubing. In other words, looks pretty similar to the TV mast mentioned earlier. Though I would love to buy a Solway Dory rig complete, I don't have the cash, so need to come up with something homemade that will do the trick.

    The problem with windsurfer masts is the tapering. This makes them pretty thick at the base for a canoe rig (even when cut down). You've got me thinking about the 505 kite pole though Don. I had already dismissed my old laser topmast section as too thick, but I wonder what anyone else at the sailing club has lying around......

    Cheers,

    Blutack.
    Last edited by Blutack; 22nd-August-2006 at 02:43 PM.
    The Canoeist's prayer: "Lord grant me the serenity to walk the portages I must, The courage to run the rapids I can, And the wisdom to know the difference".

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    For my big rig I use an alluminium canoe pole as a mast. So far it has stood the strain of a large (in canoe sailing terms) sail. Sure it bends a bit in the gusts, but so far so good.

    A proper rig is the way to go if you can justify the expense.
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    Quote Originally Posted by tenboats1 View Post
    For my big rig I use an alluminium canoe pole as a mast. So far it has stood the strain of a large (in canoe sailing terms) sail. Sure it bends a bit in the gusts, but so far so good.

    A proper rig is the way to go if you can justify the expense.

    It was certainly bending a bit when I tried it out on Loch Lubnaig.

    I haven't got round to making a sailing rig yet, bit I think canoe poles are definately the way to go because they are multi functional. Sailing will be secondary to canoeing for us, mainly because Silvergirl doesn't trust sailing boats (or not when I'm sailing them anyway). We have enough clutter on most trips anyway, so want to keep things as simple as possible.

    Paul

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    Default Bermuda Rig

    Hope Baz doesn’t mind, but just thought I would tag this onto his link. I made this sailing rig out of old windsurfer rigging for my Coleman 16. Cut down mast, chopped up 3.5m storm sail, and half a wishbone used as a boom for a basic Burmuda rig.


    The leeboard is shaped from a piece of pitch pine stair. It is heavy and about 4ft long so plenty of stability.


    She even heads up wind quite well, though a flatter sail would work better (this winter project). The mast just drops into a hole cut into a 2” thick thwart, with a solid block mast foot secured to the aluminium internal frame. Rigs and de-rigs in a couple minutes. Unfortunately, the missus was going for the artistic rather than dramatic shot, so no pictures of me hanging out over the side while planing along during a brief squall (I was actually keeping up with a sailboat). The only rigging I have is the kicking strap secured to a cleat on the thwart, and a main sheet on the end of the "boom", held either with my toes, my hands or my teeth, but never tied off!
    Pete.
    Ryb An Avon.....

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    Very impressive. I have still to really try out my lea board but doubt I will ever made any progress into the wind.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Blutack View Post
    Hi MP, thanks for that. My thoughts were based on the fact that Solway Dory make some really nice canoe sails using 16WG Aluminium Alloy tubing. In other words, looks pretty similar to the TV mast mentioned earlier. Though I would love to buy a Solway Dory rig complete, I don't have the cash, so need to come up with something homemade that will do the trick.
    Hmm, curiouser and curiouser.
    Now I'd like a look at the Solway poles, just to get a feel for them - yours is the obvious conclusion, given the links ...

    Solway prices are here - their alloy poles are a bit dearer (than antenna poles), but I wonder what the difference is for your money ... maybe none at all .

    Quote Originally Posted by Blutack View Post
    The problem with windsurfer masts is the tapering. This makes them pretty thick at the base for a canoe rig (even when cut down). You've got me thinking about the 505 kite pole though Don. I had already dismissed my old laser topmast section as too thick, but I wonder what anyone else at the sailing club has lying around......

    Cheers,

    Blutack.
    Ah, I can see how this'd be a problem.

    These people do fibreglass 'flag' poles, (link found via google, no connections etc ...) which would probably be a bit scarily thin - but they may be able to put you onto their supplier, who in turn may do more suitable versions ?

    A quick look online didn't exactly overwhelm me with possible suppliers I have to say ...

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by monkey_pork View Post
    Hmm, curiouser and curiouser.
    Now I'd like a look at the Solway poles, just to get a feel for them - yours is the obvious conclusion, given the links ...

    Solway prices are here - their alloy poles are a bit dearer (than antenna poles), but I wonder what the difference is for your money ... maybe none at all .
    Solway Dory tube v. antenna pole

    Solway Dory tubes are made from T6 grade aluminium. They can supply a wide range of different wall thicknesses and lengths. (They usually have a much wider range of tube available than the few stock items listed on the website). Delivery is difficult to arrange when sending tubes longer than 8', so you might have to collect it.

    I've looked at the 1.5" tubing you can get from our local tv aerial shop, it looks to be the same gauge as the tubes that Solway Dory use for their booms, ie thinner than the tube they use for their masts. Obviously you can't tell what grade of aluminium it is by looking at it, but I suspect that the tv aerial tubes are T6 aluminium as well.

    Solway Dory buy in bulk and add on a mark up before selling on. They're enthusiasts who are just about making a living from doing somthing they love. They're certainly not making megabucks.


    Quote Originally Posted by Blutack View Post
    Hi, I'm planning to build a lugsail rig this winter, but have been astounded by the cost of alloy poles from the usual boaty suppliers. However, I'm pretty sure that an alloy TV pole like this one would do the trick, for a lot less money. Worth considering anyway.

    My other idea was to cut down an old windsurfer mast. Most people use carbon fibre nowadays, so if you know the right people, someone's bound to have an old glass-fibre one lying around (I have 2 for instance!). This may end up being too thick at the base, depending on what mast foot arrangement you've got, but again worth a thought?

    Cheers,

    Blutack.
    Free canoe sailing advice

    Blutack, or anyone else considering building themselves a sailing canoe would be very welcome to come along to a meeting of the Open Canoe Sailing Group.

    http://www.ocsg.org.uk/

    If you do come along it's best to come in the morning (or the evening) as most boats will be out sailing at other times. You'll see lots of canoes which are set up to sail well both up and down wind. Admittedly the boats we sail won't appeal to everyone, they're relatively high performance boats that sail about as fast as a Mirror or Topper sailing dinghy.

    Making Sails

    It's not that hard to build a sail which will propel you straight down wind, but making a sail that will allow you to make progress up wind is a very very skilled business...

    I've seen loads of amateurs try this approach and end up with a sail that didn't work very well, and which they were not satisfied with. I do know a couple of amateurs who have built their own sails successfully - one was involved in building jet fighters for all of his working life, and the other worked as a rocket scientist!

    My general advice to people is that if you enjoy building things, and have a reasonably high level of skill, then by all means make your own leeboard, mast, boom etc, but you'll have a lot more fun if you fork out for a properly designed sail.
    Last edited by Oceanic; 3rd-September-2006 at 04:44 PM. Reason: spelling error

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    Hi Oceanic,

    I have already dealt with Dave at Solway Dory when I was after rudder and leeboard fittings. He gave gave great service and advice, and I have since pointed several others in his direction.

    Quote Originally Posted by That Oceanic Feeling View Post
    Solway Dory buy in bulk and add on a mark up before selling on. They're enthusiasts who are just about making a living from doing somthing they love. They're certainly not making megabucks.
    I picked up the idea of using a TV mast from another forum somewhere before realising that S.D. used anything similar (may have been the sailing canoes yahoo group?). I wasn't convinced at first, but have since seen several successful rigs made using similar materials including canoe poles. If I could use a TV pole this would make life much easier since I could source one locally. However, if S.D. can supply poles at not much greater cost I would happily pay the premium since I value businesses like that being there.

    Quote Originally Posted by That Oceanic Feeling View Post
    My general advice to people is that if you enjoy building things, and have a reasonably high level of skill, then by all means make your own leeboard, mast, boom etc, but you'll have a lot more fun if you fork out for a properly designed sail.
    Yes, but I'm a 'make your own' freak. I've found there's nothing quite like paddling a canoe you've built yourself, and it would seem a shame to complete a home made boat with a commercial rig. Besides, buying the rig complete would cost more than the canoe did, and I simply can't afford it.

    As I said, I hope to make my own rig this winter partly with a view to attending future OCSG meets. Many thanks then for your input T.O.F. If you have any other useful hints and tips for those hoping to get sailing I know they will be gratefully received by all on this forum.

    Hope to meet you out on the water soon!

    Blutack.
    The Canoeist's prayer: "Lord grant me the serenity to walk the portages I must, The courage to run the rapids I can, And the wisdom to know the difference".

    John Muir Trust - Wild Places for Nature & People.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Blutack View Post
    Hi Oceanic,

    Yes, but I'm a 'make your own' freak. I've found there's nothing quite like paddling a canoe you've built yourself, and it would seem a shame to complete a home made boat with a commercial rig. Besides, buying the rig complete would cost more than the canoe did, and I simply can't afford it.

    As I said, I hope to make my own rig this winter partly with a view to attending future OCSG meets.

    Hope to meet you out on the water soon!

    Blutack.
    Hi Blutack,

    I'm pleased to hear that you're considering coming along to the OCSG.

    I'm assuming from your post that you've got a plywood or woodstrip canoe, we've got plenty of wooden canoes in the group.

    I'll put my cards on the table, and say that Dave at Solway Dory is a good mate, so I am biased towards pushing business his way. However I should also say that before I got to know him, I tried to make a lugsail at home, and although it looked very neat and impressive, it was a waste of money and time because it didn't work.

    If I can't talk you out of the idea of making your own sails, then some useful sources of information are...

    Canoe Rig - The Essence and The Art, Todd Bradshaw, Wooden Boat Books. This provides a basic introduction, but the sail making section assumes that you will be employing a sail maker, so it doesn't actually explain details like how to broad seam.

    Make your own sails, R M Bowker and S A Budd, Macmillan. Now out of print, but I've seen quite a few copies for sale 2nd hand. Quite hard going, but it does describe how to make an effective (if rather old fashioned) sail.

    http://www.ukdinghyracing.com/store/download.htm This website has free software for sail design. I know someone who used the software, although the sail wasn't up to professional standards, it did enable him to sail at 45 degrees to the wind.

    Good luck with your project, and I hope to meet you and your boat at some point in the future.

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    Default Ignorance is bliss

    Quote Originally Posted by Blutack View Post

    Yes, but I'm a 'make your own' freak. I've found there's nothing quite like paddling a canoe you've built yourself, and it would seem a shame to complete a home made boat with a commercial rig. Besides, buying the rig complete would cost more than the canoe did, and I simply can't afford it.

    Blutack.
    I agree entirely, I think the most expensive part of my rig, was the drill to cut a 2" diam hole for the mast foot. Everything else was sourced from junk & cast outs (the recycling centre and e-bay) which was a lot more satisfying than buying the kit complete. I know my sail is the wrong shape, (a storm sail with too much curve in it), but I made it in about 3 hours, and I can sail 45deg to the wind no problem. I am sure I could buy a better performing rig, but the satisfaction of using something I made far exceeds that, and since I have never tried a "proper" rig, I dont know what I am missing. Also, I can always try and improve on it, which can also be a lot of fun.

    Pete. P.S. hope I got the quote working right, first time I tried it.
    Ryb An Avon.....

  21. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Thompson View Post
    I agree entirely, I think the most expensive part of my rig, was the drill to cut a 2" diam hole for the mast foot. Everything else was sourced from junk & cast outs (the recycling centre and e-bay) which was a lot more satisfying than buying the kit complete. I know my sail is the wrong shape, (a storm sail with too much curve in it), but I made it in about 3 hours, and I can sail 45deg to the wind no problem. I am sure I could buy a better performing rig, but the satisfaction of using something I made far exceeds that, and since I have never tried a "proper" rig, I dont know what I am missing. Also, I can always try and improve on it, which can also be a lot of fun.
    Hi Pete,

    I'm pleased to hear that you're enjoying sailing your canoe. I completely accept that what appeals to me might not appeal to others, so please see the following as a description of a different point of view, rather than as a suggestion that you should change what you're doing...

    I kind of have the diy gear bug myself, in the past I've made throw lines, tracking bags, canoe poles, bivi tarps, gaiters, hammocks etc. If I had the time there's a whole load of other stuff I would consider making for myself ie. a plywood boat, waterproof jacket, dry trousers.

    I just wouldn't ever try to build myself a sail though, this is because I know that while I could make a pretty decent waterproof jacket, or pair of dry trousers, the complexity of building a sail is just way off the scale.

    Was the photo in your avatar taken at one of the Pete Whitfield / Warin Kelly canoe sailing events in the SW?

    Steve

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    Quote Originally Posted by That Oceanic Feeling View Post
    Hi Pete,


    I just wouldn't ever try to build myself a sail though, this is because I know that while I could make a pretty decent waterproof jacket, or pair of dry trousers, the complexity of building a sail is just way off the scale.

    Was the photo in your avatar taken at one of the Pete Whitfield / Warin Kelly canoe sailing events in the SW?

    Steve
    No wurries, my main point was that you can make a workable sail and sail up wind with it, and I have only very basic skills, so I don't agree with you there.

    I don't know about either of those meets. I missed the OCSA meet at Roadford in April as I was oversees. The photo was taken at Roadford Reservoir though.

    The canoe is my bit of eccentricity, a melanesian design by James Wharram, It was built at Filton park special School in bristol and was featured in the April 1999 issue of Water Craft magazine. She is an absolute bitch to sail, so I have a love hate relationship with it. I have modified the rigging to make it easier to handle. I either go solo, or take a light crew member as I weigh 185Lbs and two large adults are too much, the hull is very narrow with very little displacement. I still have to find the perfect set of the sail as the pull on the starboard tack in a strong wind is phenominal, despite having a 6foot long steering oar. But the thrill of getting it balanced so the outrigger is clearing the water and she is bombing along is brilliant!
    Ryb An Avon.....

  23. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Thompson View Post

    The canoe is my bit of eccentricity, a melanesian design by James Wharram
    Have never sailed a Melansian but have seen someone else sailing one. Yes very eccentric. James Wharram is pretty eccentric as well. A firm believer in free love he carefully designed the cabins on his larger boats to enable easy bed swapping! As the name would suggest the boats are based on melanisian fishing canoes. The thing is in Melanisia the wind blows off shore in the mornings, and off the sea in the afternoons. Consequently ease of upwind sailing was never a high priority for Melanisian fishermen!

    Okay, admit this is a bit off topic for an open canoe forum, but hey, James Wharram is a bit of a legend - I bet Bill Mason never lived on a 30' rafted canoe with 2 wives!

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    Love your canoe Pete! Does look as though rig balance and steering might be a problem in a blow though!




    Oceanic - any chance of a picture of your sailing canoe? I'm scouting around for ideas!

    Blutack.
    The Canoeist's prayer: "Lord grant me the serenity to walk the portages I must, The courage to run the rapids I can, And the wisdom to know the difference".

    John Muir Trust - Wild Places for Nature & People.

  25. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by Blutack View Post

    Oceanic - any chance of a picture of your sailing canoe? I'm scouting around for ideas!

    Blutack.


    This is a picture of me sailing my old canoe, a Pyranha Prospector fitted with a Solway Dory rig and leeboard and a home made rudder. There are some detailed pictures of this boat in the BCU Canoe and Kayak Handbook (the one with the orange cover).

    I don't have any pictures of my present boat, but it is a standard Solway Dory Avocet, link to Avocet website here...

    http://www.solwaydory.fsnet.co.uk/sa...et/avocet.html


    Steve

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