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Thread: Canoe sailing rig

  1. #1
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    Default Canoe sailing rig

    I first saw the idea of sailing a canoe on this very forum. Cool idea, I thought.

    Canoe sailing rigs vary from simple downwind only setups, comprising umbrellas or a jumper between two paddles, to the much more elaborate, making the canoe not much different from a sailing dinghy. Wanting to only slightly overcomplicate things we opted for our sailing rig to be a downwind only design but to have more tug than the simplest of the simple (umbrellas/jumpers). I had a Terra Nova bothy bag that was a good size for the sail, a mast and mast foot were assembled from old tent poles and a sink plunger and a boom was fashioned from a broom handle (we are in fact on boom number two after an unfortunate episode involving said broom handle, a lathe and a dent in the wall). Add some rope and we have a sailing rig.



    We’ve adapted and improved the design over a few sessions on the river and now have something that can drag us at a good speed and can even steer us a few degrees either side of downwind (bonus).

    The mast is just behind the front seat of the canoe. Two stays are attached to where the front seat hangers meet the seat and the third attaches to the yoke. There’s a carabiner attached to the top of the mast, which allows the boom to be hauled up and dropped relatively quickly and without standing up (nice to avoid losing stability if it's windy and/or on rough water). The bothy bag sail is a jellyfish/mushroom cap kind of shape and is suspended from the boom. There are four control points on the sail but whether the bottom two do anything is open to debate. The bottom of the sail is attached to the seat, which stops everything flapping around so much.
    The man at the back steers and the other chap holds the sail (or ties it off and has a snooze).



    It works satisfactorily on the very lightest of breezes and carries us at a very good speed in a stiffer wind.

    The best thing about the sailing rig is its ability to turn heads and the feeling of superiority felt whilst effortlessly drifting by other, lesser equipped, paddlers.

    YouTube - Downwind Canoe Sailing 2




    The above is also at http://www.bernsbyboat2009.blogspot.com but thought this one might be interesting for the forum as well. Please have a look at the blog!

  2. #2
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    Default Close Ups

    Hi, looks interesting how you have done it. Thinking of a home made Sailing Kit myself. Could you show a few close ups of how the rig is attached to the canoe. Also, could one person operate the sail and steer?

  3. #3
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    Waterlooville,Hampshire.
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    Default

    Thats really good. I have one question for anyone with a sailing rig on a canoe and not wishing to tempt fate but what is the proceedure should an unplanned capsize occur ? Is it a drag to the nearest bank to readjust and bail out . Only interested as I'm putting together a rig and just needed a possible gameplan should i end up getting wetter than anticipated.
    16' Ivory Apache
    Apache Owners Club

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by liam4240 View Post
    Hi, looks interesting how you have done it. Thinking of a home made Sailing Kit myself. Could you show a few close ups of how the rig is attached to the canoe. Also, could one person operate the sail and steer?
    It was built with two people in mind but I can see no reason why one couldn't do it. You could tie the control lines off or tie them together so you can have them all in one hand/under one foot.
    Not sure really. Might give it a bash next time it's out.

    As for the rudder (again, never bothered trying it but will at some point) can't see any reason why you couldn't tie off the paddle shaft at the mini carrying thwart and use it like a sailing boat tiller. Tucking the paddle under your armpit to steer and using the other hand for something else is doable (have tried this).

    Will get some photos next time it's out.

  5. #5
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    Default

    We do it like this

    YouTube - Dead Lake DN

    Sundown

  6. #6
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by wannapaddle View Post
    Thats really good. I have one question for anyone with a sailing rig on a canoe and not wishing to tempt fate but what is the proceedure should an unplanned capsize occur ? Is it a drag to the nearest bank to readjust and bail out . Only interested as I'm putting together a rig and just needed a possible gameplan should i end up getting wetter than anticipated.
    Getting the boom and sail down is pretty easy. We have a standard operating procedure whereby the rope runs to a certain place and is easy to get hold of. It's tied with a slippery clove hitch so comes loose with a tug.

    Haven't capsized with it yet so not really sure. I would guess the below:
    If the water's deep enough the mast etc can just go right under and come back up again as normal. Might even be useful to lever with (though probably not - the mast foot is hardly industrial).
    If the water's shallow then it might do us a favour by not letting us go completely over. Or it might break/come loose when it hits the bottom.

    The sail being a bag full of water could be a hassle but I can see no reason why it couldn't be left to bob around (floats and is tied on) whilst bailing etc is sorted .


    I'd rather not find out how it handles in a capsize but I'll let you know if I do.
    Last edited by AHPP; 22nd-September-2009 at 10:30 PM.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sundown View Post
    We do it like this

    YouTube - Dead Lake DN

    Sundown
    Cool. Very cool.

  8. #8
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    South Lakes
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    One of largest downwind sails I've seen. Any problem with visability?

    TGB
    May the gentleness of morning, greet your silent passage through endless waters...

    May all your winds be gentle. And for ww - May it rain the night before.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by TGB View Post
    One of largest downwind sails I've seen. Any problem with visability?

    TGB
    I think it comes out looking bigger on photos and film than it really is but it couldn't ever be called small.

    Visibility isn't great. You can see me having to poke my head round the side in the video. There are clear windows but they can move around a bit in light and gusty wind.
    Maybe a horizontal periscope could be added...

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