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Thread: Recent canoe sailing trip

  1. #1
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    Default Recent canoe sailing trip

    Here's a couple of videos of what a few of us got up to recently on the west coast of Scotland:

    http://www.youtube.com/user/solwaydo.../1/vzudGexgXmQ



    http://www.youtube.com/user/solwaydo.../0/_gzOBxDVPLg

  2. #2
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    Excellent, Keith: a nice addition to your growing library of blogs and video records of canoe sailing expeditions off the west coast of Scotland!

    How different it must have been from your 1994 Crinan-Portree expedition, when it appears that you sailed through some of the same channels: it would be interesting to get your thoughts on how your approach, expertise, equipment, judgement and so on have changed in the intervening decades, and on how much difference that all made to what you did this time around

    As an aside, it looks like you were not so far from the location of Gordon and Dave's Close to the Edge - Lismore, Mull & Loch Sunart... and your video's also a nice contrast to the Suffolk Open Canoe Group's blog of coastal paddling Corsica to Sardinia ~ Bouches de Bonifacio - also in what looks to be outstanding (if rather warmer) canoe sailing territory

  3. #3
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    Great video Keith, I really enjoyed watching it.

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    Greg's question of how we do things now compared with those early trips is quite interesting. The boats and rigs are very much better and outriggers give us a greater margin of safety. We are much more experienced and are better sailors, but we are also getting on a bit in years. This combination allows us to sail in more challenging conditions but at the same time we now value a good campsite on a nice beach and will stop earlier than in the past when we find one. It would be nice to see some younger people out there pushing the boundaries of what can be done but in the better canoes that we now have.
    Technology also plays a bigger part today. Keith was getting several forecasts a day on his smart phone and we were constantly looking at updates, as well as using GPS for checking where we were and where we were going and how fast and VHF for communicating with each other.

  5. #5
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    Default 17 years on

    Quote Originally Posted by GregandGinaS View Post
    Excellent, Keith: a nice addition to your growing library of blogs and video records of canoe sailing expeditions off the west coast of Scotland!

    How different it must have been from your 1994 Crinan-Portree expedition, when it appears that you sailed through some of the same channels: it would be interesting to get your thoughts on how your approach, expertise, equipment, judgement and so on have changed in the intervening decades, and on how much difference that all made to what you did this time around

    As an aside, it looks like you were not so far from the location of Gordon and Dave's Close to the Edge - Lismore, Mull & Loch Sunart... and your video's also a nice contrast to the Suffolk Open Canoe Group's blog of coastal paddling Corsica to Sardinia ~ Bouches de Bonifacio - also in what looks to be outstanding (if rather warmer) canoe sailing territory
    Yes, we were in some of the same places I passed thro all those years ago - I've been there or thereabouts several times since in fact.

    What's different? Mainly confidence in what I can do in an open canoe on coastal waters. I had already kayaked and sailed other boats on the sea a fair bit before that 1994 trip but an open canoe was still somewhat uncertain. Some things are much the same tho - reading the weather, waves and tides is still fundamental to whether you even get on the water on any given day. And where you go is dictated by judgment of those as well. That early trip was following a historic route - these days we tend to decide what and where is best each day according to the conditions. On that recent trip we lost 2 of the 6 days available days to strong winds - unusual for the time of year but you've got to choose your battles. My canoe is much the same (as in an open craft), save for better reefing with a bermudan rather than a gunter, buoyancy bags are a bit better and the gullwing outriggers provide significant reassurance. Others often have more in the way of decking, which makes them more seaworthy it could be argued. My Old Town Penobscot 186 continues to impress me tho - I take on very little water even in the bouncy wind and swell conditions encountered. When beating hard other canoes were taking green water over their bow on a few occasions, but it was in quite rough by our standards - the Penobscot only took on splashes (including some pretty big ones!) but no green ones. It is a very large and buoyant canoe though...

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    Quote Originally Posted by windorpaddle View Post
    I take on very little water even in the bouncy wind and swell conditions encountered. When beating hard other canoes were taking green water over their bow on a few occasions, but it was in quite rough by our standards - the Penobscot only took on splashes (including some pretty big ones!) but no green ones. It is a very large and buoyant canoe though...
    That's interesting Keith. I notice you had a spraydeck on the bow of your boat in the '94 trip blogg, did you find that to be a valuable addition to that particular craft or was it an experiment that you decided to pursue no further? It's something I've wondered about trying (my boat is significantly smaller than your Penobscot). I've also had a look at Graham D's spray decks (he really rates them in rough conditions). It's a topic we discussed at our recent meet up at Hickling and Greg has some interesting ideas on the subject.

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    Default Spraydecks

    Quote Originally Posted by Jurassic View Post
    That's interesting Keith. I notice you had a spraydeck on the bow of your boat in the '94 trip blogg, did you find that to be a valuable addition to that particular craft or was it an experiment that you decided to pursue no further? It's something I've wondered about trying (my boat is significantly smaller than your Penobscot). I've also had a look at Graham D's spray decks (he really rates them in rough conditions). It's a topic we discussed at our recent meet up at Hickling and Greg has some interesting ideas on the subject.
    That spraydeck was useful on that boat (16 ft MR Explorer - so a good volume boat that also dealt with rough water pretty well). I usually rigged it with a spare paddle providing a sort of ridge, or by a bungeed hook to the mast to provide the same effect; just a flat deck tends to catch the splashes and let them run back and into the boat - so no advantage over an open boat. My experience was that especially when beating into a chop the big splashes would get thrown into the air by the windward bow and land in the boat aft of the mast where there was no deck to catch them and repel them back over the side. I did toy with making an extension to that deck to cover the area aft of the mast back to the centre thwart but never pursued it beyond fitting the press studs to the hull. My other observation is that adding a deck restricts access to kit and convenience such as when you land and want to carry the boat up the beach - I had quick release fittings on mine for that purpose.

    Here's a bad pic of it in place - best I could find - sorry!
    Last edited by windorpaddle; 16th-June-2011 at 05:03 PM. Reason: add pic

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    Quote Originally Posted by windorpaddle View Post
    That spraydeck was useful on that boat (16 ft MR Explorer - so a good volume boat that also dealt with rough water pretty well). I usually rigged it with a spare paddle providing a sort of ridge, or by a bungeed hook to the mast to provide the same effect; just a flat deck tends to catch the splashes and let them run back and into the boat - so no advantage over an open boat. My experience was that especially when beating into a chop the big splashes would get thrown into the air by the windward bow and land in the boat aft of the mast where there was no deck to catch them and repel them back over the side. I did toy with making an extension to that deck to cover the area aft of the mast back to the centre thwart but never pursued it beyond fitting the press studs to the hull. My other observation is that adding a deck restricts access to kit and convenience such as when you land and want to carry the boat up the beach - I had quick release fittings on mine for that purpose.
    Good to know, thanks.

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