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Thread: Canoe sail design

  1. #1

    Default Canoe sail design

    Hi all, Being a newbie to canoe sailing, I want to design a sail to drop quickly and have fitted a quick fit pulley to the top of my 6ft pole (using normal split pole arrangement.)
    What would be the best design- I thought the T spar might work.
    Any suggestions would be helpful.
    Pete

  2. #2
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    Default

    If you've not already got it, and like beautiful books... try and get hold of this:



    Todd Bradshaw's also made guidance available for free: "A how-to on making sails the right way, even in polytarp"... as have Solway Dory - see "making your own sails".

    Bear in mind Dave Stubb's advice that "You cannot get sufficient area on just two 6ft poles to make a decent upwind sail"... and this contribution:

    we think we can do a spritsail of about 25sq ft with the poles as a boom and sprit, and the sail fastened to a 7ft mast. It should be as controlable as our Expedition rig and the same area. It will be able to reef to half the size for running in gales by dropping the sprit
    This continues to strike me as the best solution for those who are keen to utilise poling poles: use them to hold the top and bottom of the sail... but carry an additional ~7' mast (around which the sail could perhaps be stored when poling).

  3. #3

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    Sailcut4 is a free software package that lets you have lots of fun designing sails and easily adjusting them until you are happy with the design. It will then print out each panel to be cut out as a xy plot. It has allowance for seam edges etc. I have had a lot of fun with it. i have made 3 sails so far using it.

    There are versions for 4 sided sails, spinnakers and even chinese junk rigs.

    I would agree with the post above that the best bet is a 4 sided sprit rig using your two piece pole. Keep it narrow and your arms can hold it out downwind and sheet to the gunnel upwind. I will see what can be drawn when I get home.

    http://diogenes.jerryweb.org/site/sailcut/en-sc4manual/

  4. #4
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    I would go along with what has already been said. You must understand that the performance of any sail supported by just a 6 foot mast will be rather limited. Do not expect sparkling sailing, especially upwind, with such a small sail.

    I've used a version of Sailcut software to make a suit of sails for my canoe, but it is not a straightforward process to get a good result.

  5. #5

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    Fair enough, but the costs are so low it's worth trying. perhaps if paddlers make these small cheap sails they will then have confidence to buy professional sails from SD. And then more Shearwaters - yipeee.

    So, this concept of using the two halves of a 12' pole is worth working at. Pakboats have a nice little rig and its only 1.4m or the bigger version 1.6!

    So I looked at a sail I have already "designed" ie worked out the numbers in Sailcut4. That is the very popular Optimist Sprit rig. This is about 38 sq ft, so multiplying by 0.8 for each dimension gives a sail about 2/3 size. I did this and it came out at 2.12 sq m, about right for a small easily set canoe sail. Sprit rig is the way to go.

    The luff of this sail is 4.5' so could just fit and clear the gunnel?

    I have laid out the sail in 50cm wide panels, so that the three panels can be cut from a length of 1.5m wide cloth. The program allows for edge seams and panel joint seams. So the maximum amount of cloth is the length of the longest panel which is 2.26m so a 3m length of cloth should do it. There is an eBay supplier who supplies ends of roll and seconds and I paid under 4 per m. Point North costs are about 11/m.

    Here is a pdf of the outline of the sail

    https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&p...MTA0NDdh&hl=en

    and the individual panel shapes. Note it will be worth just tweaking the numbers to avoid the tiny panel 3 at the tack.

    https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&p...NzMwYzlm&hl=en

    The half of the canoe pole that lifts the high sprit end of the sail might just fit against the mast thwart. The sail length corner to corner, tack to head, is 2.2m so the pole need to fasten to the mast above the mast base.

    I think the sprit rig is a good rig and in this boomless form will not hit anyone sitting forward. Upwind sheeting to the gunnel or thwart should possibly work and downwind why not use a paddle as a jib stick to hold it out square. Of course I bow to SD as the pros in this area.

    Brian
    Last edited by keyhavenpotterer; 8th-February-2011 at 01:31 PM.

  6. #6

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    I couldn't get those links to work Brian, it just took me to the google docs login page.

    I would be interested to see the dimensions of your 2/3 size oppie sail. I cut down an old oppie sail as an experimental lightweight rig to use with poling poles, by taking about a foot off the foot of the sail. I haven't really got round to testing it properly yet though. My poling pole is only 11', so I had to make a couple of extension for the two halves, but a 12' pole would be about right. The sail looks reasonable as a boomless rig, but better with a third pole as a mast, and one half of the poling pole as a boom.

    Paul

  7. #7

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    Hi Paul, still trying to get used to Google Docs. I shared the files to anyone with the link, but it seems you still have to log in somehow, so I have changed the access to anyone on the web, so hopefully you can see them now. I cannot check because they are my files so if you could confirm whether or not you can see them now.

    Is it possible to load a PDF the same as you can a photo?

    The dimensions are all the Opi dimensions x 0.8 so
    luff is 1372
    head is 984
    leach is 2226
    and foot is 1600
    sail area 2.13 sq m
    and a 6' sprit would be attached to the mast 570mm or 23" up the luff

    Brian

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    The links now work for me, Brian.

    Thanks

  9. #9
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    Default Optimist sail.

    I have used an Optimist sail on a 16 ft open boat. It was an efficient enough job for pottering about and as an expedition sail. I have never looked like capsizing the thing even in strongish winds. Pretty slow going upwind as you would expect from a sail designed to power a class sailed mainly by smallish children. The boom and sprit make great tarp supports.

    Cheers,

    Charlie
    It's turned out nice again!

  10. #10

    Default

    The links work for me too now Brian. It sounds like an interesting project to try sometime. I would be interested to hear how you get on if you give it a go.

    I your full oppy rig was slow upwind Pieeater, I suspect my cutdown one would be more so. I must try and properly test it this year.

  11. #11

    Default

    The post started by asking about how a sail might be fashioned using two parts of a canoe pole. I think a small opi sprit rig is a nice sail and would be fun to use, and easy to store, if home made cost little and a paddler can find out if a bit of "motor sailing" is fun.

    So, I think it might be a solution as was requested. I can confirm that the Sailcut4 software does take time to learn and sailmaking and sail shaping a lot longer. It is a very interesting subject though and well worth reading up. I have made three sails so far, a 74 sq ft lug, a 64 sq ft lug and a 15 sq ft mizzen. they all went together well. It does teach you just how much work is involved in making a sail and that sailmakers do not charge enough! Especially Solway Dory whose sails are very reasonable and far less than dinghy sailmakers charge.

    I do have some spare sail cloth left over, but no pole. However I do have a two part windsurfing mast, carbon no less, hanging about in the garage.

    I also have an brand new old stock, actually 20 years old and never used, complete Opi rig in the garage as well. I thought 38 sq ft might be too much for the unfinished Apache 14 solo boat I also have in my garage! Perhaps it would be ok. Has anyone else put a sail on an Apache 14?

    I have problems with damaged balance mechanism, hence the reason for buying a Shearwater with outriggers when one came available. This also meant I was a bit worried about sailing an Apache with 38 sq ft. My Shearwater only had 44 sq ft. However I am pleased to report the two Dave's at Solway have been creative again and have been out trialling one outrigger on a paddling canoe to see how paddling and capsizing work out. The trials look promising and you can see more and read more on their Facebook page

    http://www.facebook.com/pages/Solway-Dory/116879172422

  12. #12

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    A reallysimple option for a downwind sail using a pole would be to use a Mirror dinghy spinnaker as one of the OCSG members has. The Mirrror gunter mast is 11' so a pole would set the spainnaker at the right height.

    Seems they available on eBay going rate about 30.

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    Default Spinnakers

    Quote Originally Posted by keyhavenpotterer View Post
    A reallysimple option for a downwind sail using a pole would be to use a Mirror dinghy spinnaker as one of the OCSG members has. The Mirrror gunter mast is 11' so a pole would set the spainnaker at the right height.

    Seems they available on eBay going rate about 30.
    For a sail as big as a Mirror spinnaker, which is 4.4 sq.metres, a poling pole is not going to be anywhere near strong enough, in my view. You might get away with it in very light winds, provided it was stayed with at least one line back to the stern but the sideways forces when it flogs, which it will due to the narrow sheeting angle, are going to be very hard to deal with. Rafting a pair of canoes and using two poles in an 'A' frame would work much better - this is all for downwind sailing.

    And I reckon the going rate for these will now go up!...

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by keyhavenpotterer View Post
    I also have an brand new old stock, actually 20 years old and never used, complete Opi rig in the garage as well. I thought 38 sq ft might be too much for the unfinished Apache 14 solo boat I also have in my garage! Perhaps it would be ok. Has anyone else put a sail on an Apache 14?
    Not yet, but I'm planning to put an SD Expedition rig (the new bigger 35 sq ft one) on an Apache 16'.
    I'll try and post to say how I get on with it, once I have the sail and have tried it out.
    All the best,
    Ian

    PS I'm guessing that with my boat the low freeboard might be a bigger problem than its relative narrowness (something between 30" and 33", IIRC). In my mind, I'm wondering if I can fashion a canvas or pvc spray deck to help make a drier ride, but that may just be a pipe dream. And I still have to sort out a leeboard ...
    Last edited by idc; 10th-February-2011 at 08:47 AM. Reason: PS

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    Quote Originally Posted by idc View Post
    Not yet, but I'm planning to put an SD Expedition rig (the new bigger 35 sq ft one) on an Apache 16'.
    I'll try and post to say how I get on with it, once I have the sail and have tried it out.
    All the best,
    Ian

    PS I'm guessing that with my boat the low freeboard might be a bigger problem than its relative narrowness (something between 30" and 33", IIRC). In my mind, I'm wondering if I can fashion a canvas or pvc spray deck to help make a drier ride, but that may just be a pipe dream. And I still have to sort out a leeboard ...
    Interesting Ian, I have some concerns about lack of freeboard as well (my canoe's a Nova Craft Pal) and was thinking that I may have to make some kind of spray shield. I'm not so worried about stability though. Although my boat's relatively narrow, it's very stable (I can easily paddle it standing up and did so first time out using my firends SUP paddle). Initially I thought about having a spray shield from the bow all the way back to the mast but am now thinking that I'd make it a little shorter than that and support it in the middle to form a sloping centre ridgeline down to the bow. I suppose it'll just be a case of trying it to see how wet it is initially.

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    Re: freeboard - in theory, with an appropriate sail area you could sail anywhere you could paddle...


    Last weekend I was out testing the limits of that theory in our Jensen 18 in a force 5 with 12" whitecaps. Aside from putting on a grand display of muppetry... I did establish that:
    • Not much sail area is needed to sail upwind in strong winds
    • With the right sail area, sailing well, freeboard should be no major issue
    • When you've been a complete muppet and have swamped the canoe... you can still make headway
    Partial (fabric) side decks have been pre-occupying me considerably of late, and I've done enough testing to be pretty well settled on a design that should increase the margin for muppetry. I'm hoping to have some sorted for testing at least in time for the OCSG meet at Rutland Water in April. I'll feed back here in due course!

    Ps. I was using side and under-seat airbags to keep the swamping manageable.. and came away from that testing session thinking hard about additional ways to displace water to make sailing a swamped canoe at > 3mph more manageable... and about self bailers that work at 3mph

  17. #17

    Default Spoilt for choice.

    Many thanks for all the reply's. The Opi Sprit rig looks really good although difficult to make. I have home made aluminium poles and fitted a sailing thwart. I have fitted a quick release pulley to the top of the pole and I have plenty of sail to cut up.
    After looking at the Dragonfly canoe site, it seems for first timers and ease of sail making, the balanced lug, which can be easily dropped and rolled up, would fit the bill. Has anyone tried this design?
    Pete

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    Quote Originally Posted by mountain goat View Post
    Many thanks for all the reply's. The Opi Sprit rig looks really good although difficult to make. I have home made aluminium poles and fitted a sailing thwart. I have fitted a quick release pulley to the top of the pole and I have plenty of sail to cut up.
    After looking at the Dragonfly canoe site, it seems for first timers and ease of sail making, the balanced lug, which can be easily dropped and rolled up, would fit the bill. Has anyone tried this design?
    Pete
    Yes, I have used a balanced lug a fair bit, as have the Daves at SD. As a rig they have their virtues such as modest mast height/spar length, fairly easy to hoist and lower as well as slab reef from the bottom. If you have a high peak version they can go quite well to windward, but some do not. My avatar pic is the one I used the most - a more useful pic here:

    See also:

    The one on the blue canoe is the one I bought and used a fair bit.


    Here it is reefed.


    Here's a balanced lug ketch.

    Lots of balanced lugs in this blog: http://homepages.rya-online.net/ocsg..._june_2002.htm
    Last edited by windorpaddle; 10th-February-2011 at 01:57 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mountain goat View Post
    , it seems for first timers and ease of sail making, the balanced lug, which can be easily dropped and rolled up, would fit the bill. Has anyone tried this design?
    If you look at the Solway Dory site you'll see the virtues of the balanced lugsail hailed: "excellent cruising sail [...] ideal for fitting to an open canoe whether for solo or two up [...] sophisticated modern cut allows surprising performance from a sail of traditional appearance [...] used to be our favourite sail".

    They recommend a balanced lugsail ketch arrangement with a 30 square foot main and 14 square foot mizzen as "probably the best way to turn a standard open canoe into a two person sailing canoe".

    See http://www.solwaydory.co.uk/products...s/the-lugsail/

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