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Thread: Lee board

  1. #1
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    Default Lee board

    I have been asked by PM about sailing rigs and have emailed a copy of the plans that I use to a couple of people, I've had a couple of queries about lee boards and I have replied but thought my ideas on the subject may be useful to others, so here goes-

    I don't bother with a leeboard. I jam the paddle down the side of the boat at about the pivot point on the down wind side, like a bow jam, but right in the middle.
    This acts as a lee board. If you slide the paddle forward, the boat turns to windward, if you slide it back the boat bears away, so by adjusting the centre of lateral resistance in relation to the centre of effort you can steer the boat, and limit lateral drift, so you don't need a lee board or a rudder. I can maintain a beam reach like this and even head up into wind. The best I did was a six mile close reach up Loch Shiel.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phil Hadley View Post
    I have been asked by PM about sailing rigs and have emailed a copy of the plans that I use to a couple of people, I've had a couple of queries about lee boards and I have replied but thought my ideas on the subject may be useful to others, so here goes-

    I don't bother with a leeboard. I jam the paddle down the side of the boat at about the pivot point on the down wind side, like a bow jam, but right in the middle.
    This acts as a lee board. If you slide the paddle forward, the boat turns to windward, if you slide it back the boat bears away, so by adjusting the centre of lateral resistance in relation to the centre of effort you can steer the boat, and limit lateral drift, so you don't need a lee board or a rudder. I can maintain a beam reach like this and even head up into wind. The best I did was a six mile close reach up Loch Shiel.

    Well, whatever takes your fancy.......I put my feet up and had a total rest when we sailed Loch Shiel.................but then we use a lee board.

    My take on sailing is that I do the bare minimum. I'd hate to have to hold a paddle in place for mile after mile. Kind of defeats the object for me.

    (but then, as I have said before, I'm pretty lazy)

    Also, I doubt that I could manage the rudder, sheets and lee board paddle with only 2 hands. Hats off to you!!
    If it wasn't for the rain in our lives there would be no rivers. X 2

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by tenboats1 View Post
    Also, I doubt that I could manage the rudder, sheets and lee board paddle with only 2 hands.
    That's the whole point, by using a movable leeboard (that just happens to be paddle shaped) I don't need a rudder.

    So I don't carry a rudder or a leeboard, I just use what I've got, my sailing rig is a gaff rig using my poles, I'm into stuff having multi use, and apart from chopping cheese on, I can't see other uses for a leeboard.

    Once the boat is on course and settled, you only need one hand to hold the paddle in place, and because the lee board can be removed instantly depowering the rig, you can afford to tie off the mainsheet, albeit with a quick release knot.

    Tacking is really easy, and because the paddle is used to turn the bow through the wind, it's a simple matter to just allow the boat to settle on it's new tack against the paddle. No need to mess about swopping the leeboard over.

    So with just one hand, doing very little, you can settle back and relax, no rudder, no leeboard, no faff.

    I agree that it's quite nice to have a board and rudder setup, but if I wanted that I'd buy a sailing dinghy, I just want to have a real simple system that works efficiently in the quite rare times that I want to sail, using the stuff I carry anyway.

    I hope I'm not sounding argumentative, I realise that there are lots of ways to skin this cat, but I was asked about what I do, so offered it here as an idea for people to experiment with. Try it, you may find it works for you, then your leeboard can be Kelly Kettle food, oh there ya go, there is a second use for it!

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phil Hadley View Post
    I hope I'm not sounding argumentative, I realise that there are lots of ways to skin this cat, but I was asked about what I do, so offered it here as an idea for people to experiment with. Try it, you may find it works for you, then your leeboard can be Kelly Kettle food, oh there ya go, there is a second use for it!

    Phil, far from being argumentative you are providing some really useful info. You can be sure I will be trying this at the first opportunity. In fact if I wasn't otherwise committed at the w/e I'd make a special trip just for this.....................I'm not that lazy that I would try and learn new tricks.

    cheers
    If it wasn't for the rain in our lives there would be no rivers. X 2

  5. #5
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    Oh good, I should hate to fall out with someone over where to stick ya paddle!

  6. #6
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    By the way, this is nothing new, it's basically non-planing windsurfer technology.
    If you lean a windsurfer rig forward the front blows away from the wind, if you lean the rig back, the board pivots around the daggerboard and blows the back of the board away from the wind, so steering the board into wind. We are doing the same here, but instead of moving the rig (centre of effort) forward or back, we are moving the board (centre of lateral resistance) forward or back, having the same effect.

    You just need to move the paddle back to the neutral position once you have altered course.

    Wow, this is so difficult to explain by writing, so much easier practically!

  7. #7
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    Glad to hear it works well. That's what I had planned to try once I have made a sailing rig. The only down side I see is that you wont be able to easily sit on the windward side to balance the boat.

    I think we definately need a sailing meet up some time to swap ideas and teach some basic principles to the non sailers on the forum. But please don't arrange it before I make a sailing rig .

    Paul

  8. #8
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    Default Daft question time

    How do you hold the paddle in place as the leeboard?
    Chris


  9. #9
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    phil
    its nice to hear how simply it can be done.
    years ago me and my bro made a rig and messed about with leeboards and then gave it up
    i love the idead of setting your sail then moving the paddle to steer and chill out. we forget that it isnt necessary to have maximum efficiency we should just enjoy or low tech interests.
    i might just try to find the old mast and sail and give it a go
    nature is m X-box

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul C View Post

    I think we definitely need a sailing meet up some time to swap ideas and teach some basic principles to the non sailors on the forum. But please don't arrange it before I make a sailing rig .

    Paul
    You'd all be very welcome to piggy back a SOTP sailing meet onto the back of an Open Canoe Sailing Group Meet. Our program will be going up on the OCSG website some time in February.

    I can see a few advantages to this...

    There would be lots of purpose built sailing canoes around to have a look at and take ideas from (and have a go in).

    There are a few of us in the OCSG who have plenty of sailing and river tripping knowledge we would be happy to share.

    I could probably get hold of a Solway Dory Expedition rig for people to try out, as well as some of their other rigs (although no promises on this one as they keep selling out of Expedition Rigs).

    The sort of thing I'm thinking of is a separate SOTP meet at the same venue as an OCSG meet.

    How about Coniston in May?
    Last edited by Oceanic; 6th-January-2007 at 01:50 PM.

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by andym View Post
    phil
    its nice to hear how simply it can be done.
    years ago me and my bro made a rig and messed about with leeboards and then gave it up
    i love the idead of setting your sail then moving the paddle to steer and chill out. we forget that it isnt necessary to have maximum efficiency we should just enjoy or low tech interests.
    I think you make a good point there Andy. It is possible to sail the way described in the op (although it requires quite a lot of skill that is likely to ellude anyone who doesn't come from a sailing, windsurfing or OCSG background).

    However, as you say it is not very efficient - because of the small surface area of a paddle compared to a lee board, and the inability to hike out to balance the boat, you're limited to a small sail. Many people spend most of there time on whitewater and are consequently happy to put up with an inefficient sailing rig because they don't sail very much.

    My own personal form of canoeing involves expeditions where I aim to cover 10 - 20 miles to windward in a day, so for me maximum efficiency is a big deal.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phil Hadley View Post
    By the way, this is nothing new, it's basically non-planing windsurfer technology.

    Hang on, I'm sure windsurfers nicked the idea from us! Let's take credit where it's due.................

  13. #13
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    Hi Kim

    I hadn't realised you were Prospector!

    Yeah your right, lets take some glory!!!

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    Next challenge for you to try. Is how long does the lake need to be for it to be actually more time efficient to stop, set up the rig, sail down the lake instead of paddling well in the conditions.

    Last year i was about 30-40 mins faster down a loch than the sailors paddling, using the waves etc... This loch was about 4-5km long. Never mind paddling back into the river at the other end?

    My interest is at what point does sailing become more efficient than efficient paddling?

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gareth Field View Post

    My interest is at what point does sailing become more efficient than efficient paddling?
    Eh Up Gruff! Hope you and Leigh are both well.

    Lots of issues in your question. My flat water tripping take on the answer would be that I think it depends on whether you term efficiency as 'speed' or 'energy expended'.

    I did a trip a few years ago where we sailed canoes from Loch Alsh, to Rona, returning via Applecross. A group of sea kayakers were completing a very similar trip at the same time as us, I noticed that they were travelling faster than us, but that they were putting in shorther more intensive days, and consequently travelling a similar distance to us each day (12 - 22 Miles, depending on whether we were going up or down wind). I concluded that sea kayaking is faster than travelling by sailing canoe, but about the same in terms of efficiency.

    If you're doing the sort of trip where you're paddling rivers interspersed with lakes, and you're travelling in winter when daylight is an issue, then the put your head down and paddle approach might well be worthwhile (Our mutual friend Dave has for a long time been keen to rubbish the idea of a downwind only sailing rig because he says that paddling downwind is really easy) Mind you, you are quite tall, are you sure your body wasn't acting as a sail?!

    If you're flat water (or salt water) tripping in summer, then I think efficient movement is the key, even if it means doing a longer, less physically exhausting day to get to your objective. Sort of a hare and tortoise approach.
    Last edited by Oceanic; 8th-January-2007 at 01:26 PM.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gareth Field View Post
    Next challenge for you to try. Is how long does the lake need to be for it to be actually more time efficient to stop, set up the rig, sail down the lake instead of paddling well in the conditions.

    Last year i was about 30-40 mins faster down a loch than the sailors paddling, using the waves etc... This loch was about 4-5km long. Never mind paddling back into the river at the other end?

    My interest is at what point does sailing become more efficient than efficient paddling?
    But you also need to factor in the fun of sailing. Not to mention that it is more scarey than paddling WW, so quite a buzz too.
    If it wasn't for the rain in our lives there would be no rivers. X 2

  17. #17
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    Default Pacific Action Sails

    I've just realised one of the advantages of these sails... they take about a minute to rig and about 3 seconds to furl and unfurl... plus 1 minute to rig the Solway Firth lee board... no questions about whether you spend time rigging them or not...

  18. #18
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    Hey Oceanic
    Under 30 days to our wedding. You can guess how Leigh is!!!!!!!! I've had to buy a suit and shirt so am absolutely mortified!!!!!

    All day trips on flat water then sail if appropriate wind conditions.

    Sailing for the fun of it then great sail.

    As a practical tripping tool going on expeditions on rivers and lakes when does putting up a sail really mean efficient use of the day. In sweden last year the 40km loch, yes we sailed. The 10km loch we didn't. We where quicker to paddle effectively in the wind and surf down waves.

    Maybe I have a small axe to grind. I think we are too quick to raft or sail rather than developing the skills to paddle down/across the wind efficiently.

    Happy studying Oceanic!!!!

    G

  19. #19

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    Really interesting to hear about using the paddle as a leeboard - I always wondered if it would work.

    Rather than a jam to leeward, has anyone ever tried a draw to windward? I suspect it would be best done from a kneeling position. That way it could be possible to get some weight to windward. It should also be a better position to go straight to a brace or pry if things went a bit pear-shaped, especially with a cleated sheet.

    Using a sculling draw from a standstill or after a tack might help get some lift before the canoe gathers enough speed to make the paddle area effective.

    Of course this is all theory to me. If nobody has tried it I will make like a guinea pig as soon as my rig is installed and let you know!

    Chris

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