Page 1 of 4 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 60 of 239

Thread: Side Buoyancy Or Outriggers

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Peterborough, England
    Posts
    1,393

    Default Side Buoyancy Or Outriggers

    I am trying to decide whether to fit side buoyancy airbags at a cost of 40 for a pair plus 30 for six D-rings, total cost 70 or spend the extra 230 and just go for a pair of 300 outriggers.

    Would I need both?

    I already have two (Front & rear) buoyancy wedges to stop the canoe sinking to the bottom but during last weeks capsize, I don't think I would have been able to get back into the canoe even if I had emptied most of the water, being less athletic than I once was!

    So my dilema is this. If I fitted two side buoyancy bags, would they help me self rescue because they would support my weight in a totally full canoe and allow me to bail out from within the canoe and then sail off again?

    Or

    Should I forget about the side buoyancy airbags and go for prevention rather than the cure? I.e. A pair of outriggers. Presumably the outriggers would go some way to keeping the canoe afloat while I bail out the canoe from outside of it and then when much of the water is out, the outriggers would support the canoe sufficiently to allow me to climb back in? They would also go some way to preventing a capsize in the first place, whereas the side buoyancy bags wouldn't.

    I would like the ability to take the canoe out sailing in windier conditions rather than worry about a capsize & getting back inside the canoe when this happens.

    Currently as things stand, I do not feel that I have the energy to get back into my canoe when it is full of water especially if I am unable to stand on the bottom of the lake, loch or canal. This is giving me second thoughts about going out solo especially if there is any kind of wind over a F2. My bigger Enterprise is more stable and getting back inside after a capsize is rather straight forward. This is not the case with my canoe, so I wondered what everyone else does when they capsize and whether outriggers are the preferred choice if it was one or the other.

  2. #2

    Default

    I've got side buoyancy on my canoe and have to admit having mixed feelings about the fitment of outriggers to sailing canoes, I can understand that people might wish to have them on open canoes if they fear getting swamped by a wave or knocked down by a gust but are they really necessary on decked canoes? Of course if they give people greater confidence and increase the number of people willing to get involved in the sport then that's all to the good but to my mind they detract from the purity of the sailing canoe.
    On the other hand ask me what i think about aesthetics when I'm expiring from hypothermia unable to get back into my canoe on a lonely windswept estuary and I might have changed my mind...

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Lincs
    Posts
    737

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Steamerpoint View Post
    I would like the ability to take the canoe out sailing in windier conditions rather than worry about a capsize & getting back inside the canoe when this happens.

    Currently as things stand, I do not feel that I have the energy to get back into my canoe when it is full of water especially if I am unable to stand on the bottom of the lake, loch or canal. This is giving me second thoughts about going out solo especially if there is any kind of wind over a F2. .
    I personally think that you have answered your own question here. If the fear of not having the energy to get back in is putting you off there is only one answer and that's prevent a capsize....fit out riggers.

    Sounds like the use of your canoe for sailing is rather limited without them.
    --
    Andy

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    grange over sands, cumbria
    Posts
    930

    Default

    I have side buoyancy in my open sailing canoe and i know that they allow me to right a capsized canoe, re-enter and bail. I usually reckon on removing the rig if the canoe turns turtle, and then right the canoe and get back in. When i have bailed i then retrieve the rig and re-step it or put it away and paddle back. I have found this to be fool proof and something i have practiced and am confident with. If you leave the rig in then the extra force needed to right the canoe can swamp the canoe more and also the rig can tip the canoe as you try and climb back in . I can get back in with the rig up but it is less certain so i prefer to do it with the rig removed.
    I have only accidentally capsized twice in 16 years of sailing canoes but i now try and practice a few times every year to make sure that i can still manage self rescue.
    In the OCSG we sometimes have training days where many members will try capsize recovery and most people manage it. But sometimes our older members will not have the strength or perhaps someone less agile or overweight may have problems. For these people the sensible solution is to always sail with outriggers. As yet i have not heard of anyone who has accidentally capsized whilst using the SD mini outriggers. We have practiced capsize recovery using the mini outriggers and they are quite difficult to get the canoe to turtle. They are small enough however to allow the canoe to be re-righted (although small light people can have difficulty sinking an outrigger to right the canoe. When the right way up the outriggers hold the canoe and allow you to put a lot of weight on the near gunwale whilst climbing back in and make this very easy for most people. We use the outriggers on a gull wing beam that allows the canoe to heel nearly to the gunwale. This makes it easier to get back in and also allows you to use the natural stability of the canoe before the outriggers come into play.
    I have a set of outriggers but i only use them when i am sailing on the sea on an expedition. I use them then to give me a wide margin of safety so that i can continue sailing even when the wind is very strong as we need to keep sailing to keep moving on .

    I think for most people side buoyancy is a must. If you can then easily get back into a capsized canoe then you should be fairly safe. Sailing in company with others will increase your margin of safety. As well as being fun, it is also reassuring that if something goes wrong your friend may be able to assist.
    If you cannot get back in with side buoyancy then outriggers are a sensible choice (or give up sailing a canoe)

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    A, A
    Posts
    632

    Default

    I would say that from a point of self rescue, outriggers, rather than side bags would be the biggest benefit when it comes to climbing back aboard the boat.

    I never used to like the thought of outriggers and when I first sailed my canoe I never had any at all. I even sailed in the sea without them. I'm not worried about getting wet so that was that.

    However, the turning point came when I was sailing at Saundersfoot on a windy choppy sea. Although I could deal with the wind by sitting out I was very near to capsizing several times due to the chop, which rocked the boat back and forth whilst I was sat right out over the side. I realised that if I did capsize the chop would make it very difficult to get back in the boat at all.

    After that I made outriggers and the boat was transformed. It can comfortably deal with winds of force 5 - 6 with no risk of capsizing and can deal with reasonable waves too.

    Basically I went form starting out in the purest sense of just a canoe with a sail and was soon prepared to forget the purist bit when I realised I could do so much more with outriggers.

    I think you should get outriggers and fit them when your trip or conditions dictate. On calm waters, where you know you can climb back aboard you can still enjoy sailing without them.

    Happy canoe sailing

    Steve

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Helensburgh, Scotland.
    Posts
    1,740

    Default

    Here's my 2p's worth (FWIW!) Chris we spoke briefly about paddle floats at Hickling and I feel that they can be a valuable tool to aid self recovery of a capsized boat. They have a bit of a mickey mouse reputation in sea-kayaking circles where anything less than a bombproof roll (as they refer to a reliable eskimo roll) is sneered at but I think they have a place as one option for getting back in your boat (it's sensible to have more than one option). There are other things you can do to help get back in too, consider leaving a stirrup attached to a thwart on your canoe so that you can deploy it in the event of a capsize to give you a leg up into your boat (a sling or loop of rope will do the job).
    I think the bottom line is that you need to get out there and experiment in controlled circumstances and find what will and won't work for you personally. Practice is vital (as Dave mentioned) and if you pick a nice warm sunny day it's good fun as well but as with any new skill, you'll only get better at it by practicing. Last summer myself and two mates paddled out onto Loch Lomond with a barbeque and spent a few hours messing about trying different techniques for re-entering our boats (we also swopped boats and tried each others and there can be a big difference between different models in terms of ease of re-entry). It was a great day out, good fun and we felt far more confident afterwards. I intend to do the same thing again this year.
    I find I can get back in my canoe when it's swamped and paddle it in that state but it's very wobbly so my preferred method is to bail some water out before getting back in or get in with the paddle float deployed as an outrigger then I can bail out at my leisure. That's with end and side buoyancy bags fitted though so I have a headstart over you in terms of the volume of water they displace. I've also tried to do the Capistrano flip (that Greg's so proficient at) but I found I couldn't manage that with my boat even though it is relatively light (Royalex Lite, 26KGs), maybe it's something I need to practice more.
    I wouldn't rule out buying outriggers but I think you should consider experimenting a bit first to see if you can find a system that works for you (it'll stand you in good stead even if you do get outriggers). Don't panic too much, it was your first capsize after all.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Peterborough, England
    Posts
    1,393

    Default

    Thanks fellas,
    Chris, there is no way I could do the Capistrano flip with my canoe especially if I couldn't touch the bottom of the lake! (Normally is Rutland Water and here it is very deep) In fact I predict my canoe is over 40kgs and I have enough of a job getting it onto the car roof, let alone flip it over while treading water!!! That said, I like the idea of a sling loop and the paddle floats.

    I also like Dave's idea of fitting side airbags & dropping the mast & sails, though I want to be sure that they will not sink to the bottom first!!

    Now that I have joined OCSG (Yes Chris you heard me!!!) I hope to attend the next Norfolk Broads meet and perhaps the water will still be lovely and warm to practice some capsize drills. Can anyone do something about the smelly mud first though!!!

    You know, I kind of see the outriggers at a form of bicycle stabilisers, which you take off once you've got the hang of it, so I see what the purists are saying. I don't mind getting wet as it's part of the fun, (Though I need to get better protection for phones and camera's!!!) but I need to find a way of getting back in, bailing out and carrying on with the fun, rather than rely on someone else to help get me back inside tha canoe or tow me back to dry land.

    Think what I will do, is get me some D-rings and some side airbags and try this first. If I can't make that work, perhaps I can try a canoe recovery with outriggers fitted.

    I have also wondered if there is a water pump on the market that can shift water out of the boat quickly and effortlessly. Dam bailing out took most of my energy away, so the prospect of trying to get back inside the canoe did not look promising!

  8. #8

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Steamerpoint View Post

    I have also wondered if there is a water pump on the market that can shift water out of the boat quickly and effortlessly. Dam bailing out took most of my energy away, so the prospect of trying to get back inside the canoe did not look promising!
    I saw one of these fitted to an sailing canoe the other day; an electric bilge pump that ran on 3 'C' batteries, I think they might be purchased from sea kayak outlets and the like. I don't think they would be that must use in a capsize but would help get rid of spray and waves breaking into an open boat.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Helensburgh, Scotland.
    Posts
    1,740

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Steamerpoint View Post
    Thanks fellas,
    I like the idea of a sling loop and the paddle floats.

    I also like Dave's idea of fitting side airbags & dropping the mast & sails, though I want to be sure that they will not sink to the bottom first!!

    I have also wondered if there is a water pump on the market that can shift water out of the boat quickly and effortlessly. Dam bailing out took most of my energy away, so the prospect of trying to get back inside the canoe did not look promising!
    Paddle floats are available for reasonable money here (unfortunately out of stock at the moment). They're decent quality (my mate has one);
    http://www.ewetsuits.com/acatalog/ka...le-floats.html

    There's a video of a paddle float re-entry into a kayak here. I leave mine inflated and already on my paddle when I'm sailing and I use two straps to lash the paddle shaft securely onto a thwart in my canoe (to save holding it in place). I leave the straps on the thwart permanently so they're always ready to use. You can see how the guy in the video uses the paddle and float to help get back into the kayak, it's easier in a canoe as you don't have to worry about getting into a small cockpit like on a kayak. You probably wouldn't even need to use a stirrup. Once you're back in the canoe the paddle works as an outrigger while you bail out.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QyoT0ylenvU

    SD recommend leashing the Exped Rig into your canoe with a length of rope, this means you don't have to worry about the rig sinking while you're recovering your canoe, just pull it back up with the leash once you've bailed out (I leash my rig from the eyelet that the kicking strap hooks onto with a shackle and length of line to the seat at the front of the boat so it's well out of my way).
    The side airbags will also help a lot (your boat will effectively float a bit higher in the water when swamped meaning less water coming over the gunwales and less for you to bail out).
    There is a battery powered self contained electric pump called the Attwood Waterbuster (Keith has one so he would be able to tell you how effective they are). Info here;
    http://www.marinemegastore.com/produ...ASE&gb_exvat=1
    Hth

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Helensburgh, Scotland.
    Posts
    1,740

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by unk tantor View Post
    I saw one of these fitted to an sailing canoe the other day; an electric bilge pump that ran on 3 'C' batteries, I think they might be purchased from sea kayak outlets and the like. I don't think they would be that must use in a capsize but would help get rid of spray and waves breaking into an open boat.
    Sounds like the Attwood Waterbuster I linked above. They're supposed to work well in a sea-kayak but the volume of water is a lot less in that situation than in a swamped canoe. I think it would be a handy thing to have for bailing out, you could just leave it running while you bailed with a bucket/bailer and if you needed to stop for a rest it'd still be working away. I don't think it'd shift enough water to be used on it's own though. I've thought about buying one several times as I reckon I could plumb it into my sea-kayak with hozelock fittings and just unplug it to use in my canoe as well. As you say Unk Tantor, it'd be handy for getting rid of spray/waves/submerged gunwale water while you're sailing.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Hunter Lake, Minnesota, USA
    Posts
    3,753
    Journal Entries
    40

    Default

    I have no experience with side boyancy airbags, in fact I'd never heard of them before your post.

    I've never dumped a canoe when I've had outriggers on it - so I don't know how they would be for self rescue - though I'd imagine they would be helpful. I most often use outriggers when sailing and there they are very useful in keeping the canoe from capsizing. I've also used them for fishing where they make a world of difference, allowing you to easily move around the canoe and to cast while standing up.

    I have used outriggers in some very large seas on Lake Superior and there they make the difference between going out and staying on shore.
    The perfect canoe -
    Like a leaf on the water

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    A, A
    Posts
    632

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by pierre girard View Post
    I have used outriggers in some very large seas on Lake Superior and there they make the difference between going out and staying on shore.
    That's my take on outriggers. It means I can sail in conditions that most (not all) canoe sailors wouldn't even consider doing. Sailing in estuary's where there can be waves, shallows and fast tides (often all at once), most folks wouldn't stand a chance of recovering a capsized sailing canoe until it eventually got washed into an eddy or washed ashore.

    Steve

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    south Cumbria
    Posts
    1,195

    Default Electric pumps

    I have one of those Waterbusta pumps - originally for when seakayaking but also used on WW descent races a bit when the boat had loads of airbags. I've been trying it when sailing and it is sort of useful for keeping the level down, from splashes and spray etc but it would not shift enough, fast enough to be very useful in a capsize recovery situation, other than as a supplement as mentioned above. Having used pumps for sorting out swamped Wayfarers in the past when on Safety boat duty at a training centre I can say that for a pump to be of any use it will need to be a stonking great submersible powered by a big 12v battery - easy in a RIB with an electric-start outboard but not feasible in a canoe. I know some US WW paddlers use lecky pumps but the volumes are much less due to the boat being more bagged out.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    grange over sands, cumbria
    Posts
    930

    Default

    Side buoyancy bags do more than just displacing water in a swamped canoe. If a turtled canoe canoe is righted over the side buoyancy bag it floats the canoe high on its side and will only allow a relatively small amount of water to flood in. Instead of a canoe with end bags coming up flooded to the gunwales, the one with side bags may only have a few inches of water in. Technique in flipping the canoe over quickly can reduce this even further. Having the rig in the canoe can stop this quick flip and you will need to pull down on the far gunwale to lever the canoe and rig back up which will cause it to flood even more.
    Greg demonstrated the Capistrano flip on a video i took last spring. He certainly was proficient at it but it was with a canoe that only weighed 45lb. Towards the end he rights the canoe by flipping it over from the side and it shows how effective and relatively easy this can be
    Last edited by DaveS; 18th-June-2011 at 02:38 PM.

  15. Default

    Hi all.

    First post, as I move around the board.

    A neat little trick I was shown (and currently use) for getting back in to canoe is the use of an old rock climbing sling. If prepped with strategically placed knots you can use it as a ladder to climb back in to the boat.

    Either just onthe opp side of the boat (I use either the yoke or kneeling thwart as an anchor) to keep the boat flatter, but also a good kick off point.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Peterborough, England
    Posts
    1,393

    Default

    Dave, what I think you are saying and this is a very valid point missed by myself and no doubt others until I played the video of Greg several times.

    Basically as the image below shows, the side buoyancy bags lift the canoe out of the water as it flips over, where as without them, half the canoe would be under water in this photo and the canoe would be half full once it is shinny side up again!

    Keeping it high up as can be seen here, means that only a small amount of water is currently in the canoe, so very little to worry about once your back inside! Got it now, thanks.

    My problem would still be getting back inside with a frozen shoulder and a post operative hip, but I like the idea of paddle floats & a sling. I am also thinking about a mast/ rig float to enable me to pull the rig out and leave it bobbing about while I right the canoe.

    Unlike my Enterprise, should I capsize my canoe in a race, its game over. Whereas an Enterprise with self bailers (Mine doesn't have them incidently!) you jump on the centre board to right it, climb back in and sail it dry!


  17. #17
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    grange over sands, cumbria
    Posts
    930

    Default

    If you didn't realize how side buoyancy bags work in a canoe when recovering from a capsize then perhaps i need to go over how they work on our website, and on the OCSG website. This is important safety information that works but obviously isn't that well known.
    In the OCSG we have known how well they work for at least 15 years and virtually everyone uses them.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    south Cumbria
    Posts
    1,195

    Default

    Capsizing during a race is not necessarily game over - provided you have your strategy for recovery sorted. Two of the only three times I have capsized unintentionally were when racing over 20 years of sailing canoes. Both times I recovered to continue the race and wasn't last either! In fact I won one of them - it was a long race and it was a small cockpit canoe with a self-bailer.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Helensburgh, Scotland.
    Posts
    1,740

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by DaveS View Post
    If you didn't realize how side buoyancy bags work in a canoe when recovering from a capsize then perhaps i need to go over how they work on our website, and on the OCSG website. This is important safety information that works but obviously isn't that well known.
    In the OCSG we have known how well they work for at least 15 years and virtually everyone uses them.
    To be fair Dave I think it's pretty clear on your website. I suspect Chris may have just missed the info. I was certainly well aware before I bought my side airbags (it's the main reason I bought them).

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    South Ayrshire
    Posts
    193

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Jurassic View Post
    Here's my 2p's worth (FWIW!)... as with any new skill, you'll only get better at it by practicing. Last summer myself and two mates paddled out onto Loch Lomond with a barbeque and spent a few hours messing about trying different techniques for re-entering our boats.. I intend to do the same thing again this year.
    your 2p's worth is very good value - my rig is finally ordered, along with side buoyancy and now I need to learn more - can I please join this years rescue practice (I have my own paddle float ) and watch you guys in action?
    JJ

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Helensburgh, Scotland.
    Posts
    1,740

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by juliejules View Post
    your 2p's worth is very good value - my rig is finally ordered, along with side buoyancy and now I need to learn more - can I please join this years rescue practice (I have my own paddle float ) and watch you guys in action?
    JJ
    Of course Julie the more the merrier. Let me know if you want to get out for a sail sometime as well once you have your rig. At the moment it's usually just me by myself or myself and Gailainne so it'd be nice to have more folks for company (not to mention being a lot safer than solo sailing) .

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    South Ayrshire
    Posts
    193

    Default

    Superb, Jurassic; lots of rescue practice imminent. I am hoping to ask SD if gear will be ready for the Ullswater meet and collect plus start to learn to sail the same weekend.
    best laid plans...

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    West Yorkshire
    Posts
    3,647

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by juliejules View Post
    my rig is finally ordered, along with side buoyancy and now I need to learn more - can I please join this years rescue practice [...] and watch you guys in action?
    Glad you're signed up

    You learn more by doing than by watching: can we watch you in action

    Can you make the Tighnabruaich meet over 26th - 29th August? I'm sure we can get around to getting wet at some point over that weekend

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Helensburgh, Scotland.
    Posts
    1,740

    Default

    I'm planning to attend the Ullswater meet (Lakes Classic) myself, in fact I must give Keith a shout and let him know and also ask Gailainne if he's going. I'm really looking forwards to it. Hopefully you'll get your sailing rig in action there too.

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    South Ayrshire
    Posts
    193

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by GregandGinaS View Post
    Glad you're signed up

    You learn more by doing than by watching: can we watch you in action

    Can you make the Tighnabruaich meet over 26th - 29th August? I'm sure we can get around to getting wet at some point over that weekend
    Fun.

    Been told today that I am a reflector & theorist so I have to watch first before I learn by doing.... (sorry, after you). I can make Tighnabruaich but looks like it is not a novice trip so I was going to see if I was making enough progress before inflicting my novice talents on the trip (plan to come along and observe even if my sailpaddling is not up to the mark (really depends on conditions I guess)

  26. #26
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Helensburgh, Scotland.
    Posts
    1,740

    Default

    Tignabruaich is novice friendly (grade 1) Julie so you should be fine if the weather's half way decent. I'd really like to go to that meet too but it clashes with work commitments for me. I was wondering if anyone was going to make a week of it (I think Julie and Wayne D are doing) so that I could join them midweek for a couple of days. It's a long way for folks to travel from England just for a weekend.

  27. #27
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    grange over sands, cumbria
    Posts
    930

    Default

    We hope to be spending the whole week at Tighnabruich, work permitting. Jurassic is right in that it will be open to novices, as well as allowing more experienced sailors the chance to go and do something more adventurous.

  28. #28
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Helensburgh, Scotland.
    Posts
    1,740

    Default

    Excellent Dave, if people are going to be there midweek I'll definitely come round for my midweek days off. I discussed exactly that with Julie and Wayne at Loch Ken and was hoping that a few others may be about as well.

  29. #29
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    West Yorkshire
    Posts
    3,647

    Default

    Is the plan for additional days before or after the meet?

    Our plan is for dad, dog and daughter to spend late August and early September up north whilst mum is busy preparing for the new term... but we'll struggle to reach Tighnabruaich before the 24th.

    Would be nice to see folks for more than just the weekend

  30. #30
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Helensburgh, Scotland.
    Posts
    1,740

    Default

    Well I should be free Wednesday, Thursday the week before and Monday, Tuesday and Friday (and Saturday, Sunday) the week after so I was hoping to fit something in with whatever anyone was planning. Given how close to home Tignabruaich is for me I could probably meet up the week before and after if people were in the area and interested.

  31. #31
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Peterborough, England
    Posts
    1,393

    Default

    If you didn't realize how side buoyancy bags work in a canoe when recovering from a capsize then perhaps i need to go over how they work on our website, and on the OCSG website. This is important safety information that works but obviously isn't that well known.
    In the OCSG we have known how well they work for at least 15 years and virtually everyone uses them.
    In fairness, there seems to be a variety of benefits to fitting side air bags. Please see one benefit below from Chris's blog. (Jurasic)
    When the canoe takes on lots of water from waves and spray there is a danger of the water slopping around from side to side and you losing the form stability . That is when the boat heels away from you and all the water runs down into the leeward bilge, the weight of the water is cancelling out the weight of you on the windward side and hence the capsize. I cannot remember if Steamerpoint has side buoyany. This helps to reduce this effect by displacing the water in the part of the canoe furthest from you.
    I notice that Greg doesn't have side buoyancy but then his canoe is probably too narrow to fit and still allow him to kneel in the bilge.
    If you do get a lot of water in , a bucket is effective at removing it quickly. I often see people with small bailers that are little more than sugar scoops.
    This suggestion is that the side buoyancy airbags displace the water within the canoe while actually sailing. It probably does this aswell to some degree, but it is not really the main reason and I'm sure that it was not suggested as much.

    My understanding has always been that with more trapped air inside the canoe, there will be less space for water and therefore the canoe will sit higher in the water when full. I.e. The gunwales are 6-inches above the waterline instead of only 2-inches. This would also allow someone to climb inside and start bailing from a floating canoe. It never occured to me that the airbags would allow the canoe to be flipped with less water inside it when it is the right way up again.

    My experience with sailing dinghies is that they always have side buoyancy and I have never tried to right one without side buoyancy so have never questioned benefits/ disadvantages before. It is also not as apparent on a heavier sailing dinghy as the airbags are not as effective at keeping the dinghy out of the water. Generally they are still well submerged as can be seen in the two photos below, so when they come upright again, the boat has a lot of water onboard. Greg's photo with such a lightweight canoe, the little Egret, exaggerates the point making it clear to see and just why having side air bags in a narrow canoe is probably ever more of an advantage than in a typical sailing dinghy, especially as modern sailing dinghies have integrated side buoyancy these days and is something that is rarely discussed.

    Having re-read the SD side airbag paragraph on the accesories page, it reads correctly Dave, only it didn't actually register for some reason.
    The paragraph says:
    Side buoyancy bags, secured tightly under the gunwale at the centre of the canoe, will float the canoe high out of the water when it is on its side as you right it. This will result in only a few inches of water in the canoe after it is righted.
    The key words that didn't register were "when it is on its side as you right it"
    As you can tell, I like photos to highlight a point, but that is the beauty of this forum. You can discuss things that may have been missed.

    While I doubt my heavier plastic canoe could be righted with such little water inside after side airbags have been fitted, but it has to be better than it is right now.

    Now that I understand the dynamics (And I am sure quite a few people following this thread have also learned about side airbags fully), I need to understand where to fit the D-rings. Initially I was going to glue them low down near or on the floor of the canoe, but now I can see their main role, my guess is that they need to be glued to the side of the canoe, but probably still low down.



    Last edited by Steamerpoint; 18th-June-2011 at 10:56 PM.

  32. #32
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Peterborough, England
    Posts
    1,393

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by windorpaddle View Post
    Capsizing during a race is not necessarily game over - provided you have your strategy for recovery sorted. Two of the only three times I have capsized unintentionally were when racing over 20 years of sailing canoes. Both times I recovered to continue the race and wasn't last either! In fact I won one of them - it was a long race and it was a small cockpit canoe with a self-bailer.
    Depends where you were in the race to begin with Keith!
    If you were half way down the field before the capsize and don't have a self bailer, I can only imagine being at the back after the boat is righted again!

    In my early days of Enterprise racing (Around 1986) I would crew for a very experienced helm called Eddie McKean, even though I had passed the RYA level 1 & 2 courses at the time. Unfortunately Eddie missed a flight for a race against another RAF Station team (On the Norfolk Broads as it happens), so I was asked to helm with a crew that had only been out a few times. Nightmare as the wind was at least a F4 or F5. As you would expect, we were in 6th place going gingerly around the course and in front of me, I could see every boat capsizing at the Jibe mark. I knew that we would capsize too, especially will my limited experience, so instead of making a jibe, we did a 360 degree tack and stayed upright.

    Because our boat was still empty & light, we passed every other boat and won the race. As our team made 1st (Us!!), 3rd & 5th place, we won silver that year and my lack of bravery at making the Jibe won me a mention in the RAF news. 2nd, 4th & 6th (Us!) would have been the results had we capsized also and would have lost us the team race.
    Last edited by Steamerpoint; 18th-June-2011 at 11:46 PM.

  33. #33
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Halifax, West Yorkshire
    Posts
    43

    Default

    I sail with side airbags when I can, if it is really windy then I opt for outriggers. My contribution is that the foam wedges fore and aft can really be improved. I have taken some polestyrene made to a big wedge - (bigger than the wedges for buoyancy you'd buy) and inserted 30 litre barrels. This provides extra buoyancy and means on days out I have an instant space for spare clothes food etc. On bigger trips where I had just buoyancy I now have storage which is also buoyancy.

    Colin
    Last edited by skeathy; 19th-June-2011 at 08:58 AM.

  34. #34
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Eastern England
    Posts
    1,136

    Default

    Were I to make my own side outriggers of the SD type, what dimensions of ash beam would the collective wisdom consider sufficient?

    I've been looking at geodesic boats and other skin on frame offerings and thought it might be fun to build two mini floats first to test the process prior to building a full-size boat.

    Thanks for your thoughts.
    Ian

  35. #35
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    grange over sands, cumbria
    Posts
    930

    Default



    Steamerpoint says "While I doubt my heavier plastic canoe could be righted with such little water inside after side airbags have been fitted, but it has to be better than it is right now."

    The buoyancy bags that we use have a buoyancy of 112lb and are 10ins diameter and 46ins long. They will completely support an unloaded canoe provided that the are securely strapped into the side of the canoe. A bit of water can get into the canoe around either end of the bag but this will equate to a few inches in the bottom.
    I put a pair of fittings just under the gunwale and another pair 9ins down in the centre of the canoe. The bags have locating loops 28ins apart so i put the fittings 14ins either side of centre. I prefer to have the bags higher on the side than low down in the bilge as it allows you to get your knee into the bilge if you want to heel the canoe over for paddling. I find that leaning against the bag whilst paddling is reassuring .
    Last edited by DaveS; 19th-June-2011 at 09:26 AM.

  36. #36
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    grange over sands, cumbria
    Posts
    930

    Default

    The SD mini outriggers are on a beam 8ft long and they have a buoyancy of around 40lb. The outriggers are 4ft long, 10 ins deep and around 6 ins wide in the middle of the deck. We have found that this size works well for preventing a capsize (we don't know of anyone who has capsized in the last 5 years whilst using them) They don't appear to have a significant drag when sailing fast and submerging them although i try and keep them out of the water by sitting out on the gunwale. If they were any larger or further out on a longer beam it would be difficult or impossible to right the canoe if it did capsize and turtle as you wouldn't have enough weight to sink it if you were in the water When you stand on the outrigger you can push it down but as it gets deeper you sink into the water and the water supports you and you loose your weight (float) and you cannot continue to push down.
    The beam needs to be strong enough not to break when it has submerged the outrigger. Our beams are solid ash, at least 3/4 inch thick and about 5inch wide. I have seen people try 2 by 1 softwood and that is not strong enough

  37. #37
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    West Yorkshire
    Posts
    3,647

    Default

    From a paddler's perspective, what takes priority in considering positioning of gear and/or airbags (or anything that displaces water) may be ergonomics / convenience, but even that needs to be balanced against weight distribution: I like enough room to get my knees into the chines and to move around to pitch the bows down a little... and easy access some bags whilst afloat.... but I'm always conscious that as a rule, a canoe will handle better with the heavier kit fairly central (which is why the paddlers are close together in a slalom C2).

    End airbags have obvious advantages as that discourages the placement of anything heavy so far from the centre of the canoe. Another advantage is that you can empty the canoe pretty reasonably by lifting one end and allowing the other to be supported on the buoyancy (assuming any heavier bits of kit are leashed in rather than lashed in, keeping the weight manageable).

    If I'm carrying much kit, that gets priority over airbags nearer the centre of the canoe, but if it's lashed in, that will do the same job of displacing water as airbags will do. If weight distribution and space allows, though, I'm completely sold on side airbags as a paddler's solution though - I can and do manage without them, but they have obvious advantages that are perhaps rather less under-appreciated outside of the canoe sailing community.

    Outriggers are another matter entirely...

  38. #38
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Eastern England
    Posts
    1,136

    Default

    Dave, thank you very much for sharing your experience here. 4' long is longer than I imagined the outriggers and 3/4" is narrower than I thought the beams would need to be. (In other words I learnt something. ) A beam an inch thick and 6" wide sounds like it would more than do the job then (thinking aloud, I wonder if an inch thick and 4" wide would suffice) and hopefully would still be bendable. In order to avoid putting more holes in my gunwales, I could probably drill a hole for the mast and attach it in place of my mast thwart, couldn't I?

    Thanks again. Lots of food for thought there.

    Ian

  39. #39
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    grange over sands, cumbria
    Posts
    930

    Default

    We steam our outrigger beam to give it the Gull wing shape and have managed to do this with 1inch thick ash, but it is a lot easier to do with 3/4inch thick. You could replace the mast thwart and put a hole in the outrigger beam but i prefer to have the mast thwart permanently fixed and only put on the outriggers if i think it necessary.

  40. #40
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Peterborough, England
    Posts
    1,393

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by DaveS View Post

    Steamerpoint says "While I doubt my heavier plastic canoe could be righted with such little water inside after side airbags have been fitted, but it has to be better than it is right now."

    The buoyancy bags that we use have a buoyancy of 112lb and are 10ins diameter and 46ins long. They will completely support an unloaded canoe provided that the are securely strapped into the side of the canoe. A bit of water can get into the canoe around either end of the bag but this will equate to a few inches in the bottom.
    I put a pair of fittings just under the gunwale and another pair 9ins down in the centre of the canoe. The bags have locating loops 28ins apart so i put the fittings 14ins either side of centre. I prefer to have the bags higher on the side than low down in the bilge as it allows you to get your knee into the bilge if you want to heel the canoe over for paddling. I find that leaning against the bag whilst paddling is reassuring .
    Thaks Dave. I can see the side airbag d-rings on one of the SD website photos and will mirror the positions against the side of my canoe. I still have some G-Flex which I will use to attach them.
    Will need to get some from you through the post before I see you at the end of July, else I won't have them fitted for the meet. The leeboard can be fitted to my canoe on the day, so this could travel down with you.

  41. #41
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Helensburgh, Scotland.
    Posts
    1,740

    Default

    Well ironically after all my talk of paddle floats, I noticed that mine now has a puncture! I have no idea how this has happened and hope to be able to repair it (it still holds air long enough to allow a rescue anyway but the fact that it's leaking will annoy me ). Mine is an expensive Palm one not a cheapy Lomo, needless to say if I decide to replace it a Lomo float will be on the menu.
    I got thinking last night about making my own float, I reckon two large plastic milk bottles gaffa taped together then paced in a drawstring bag (stuff sack) would work fine. The disadvantage would be that it'd be a lot more bulky to store but I may make one to try and (if it works) use it when I'm sailing empty and save my pukka float for trips when I'm fully loaded.
    I also wondered about making one from closed cell foam (you can buy solid floats made from this), the advantage of that would be that it'd be pretty indestructible and you could use it to sit on when you stop for a brew!

  42. #42
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    grange over sands, cumbria
    Posts
    930

    Default

    I bought a large rectangular fender made of closed cell foam It is about 2ft by 1ft by 4inch thick. It makes a nice seat when i land. It can be used as a soft landing to park the boat on when i land on a rocky shore, and could easily be used as a paddle float. I might try it this weekend to see if it can help me get back into my decked Fulmar. I made it so that it comes up dry after a capsize and it has a bit more freeboard than normal so it isn't easy to get into.

  43. #43
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    south Cumbria
    Posts
    1,195

    Default

    I have a paddle float from my sea-kayaking days. I tried it once with the canoe the strain on the paddle was considerable and I did not consider it a viable rescue method for me - I must eat fewer pies....

  44. #44
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    grange over sands, cumbria
    Posts
    930

    Default

    If the strain on a paddle using a large float is going to be excessive i might try first with a length of ash 3 by 1. If the idea works for me i could then refine it. The fender does other jobs so it is still worth taking along anyway.

  45. #45
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Devon ..just up from the bottom and right a bit.
    Posts
    2,369

    Default I was bored one day..

    [IMG]
    Airbags!!!! by Teign Beaver, on Flickr[/IMG]

    But now I have a fishing kayak for the more 'iffy' days at sea!

  46. #46
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Helensburgh, Scotland.
    Posts
    1,740

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by DaveS View Post
    If the strain on a paddle using a large float is going to be excessive i might try first with a length of ash 3 by 1. If the idea works for me i could then refine it. The fender does other jobs so it is still worth taking along anyway.
    I'm not sure why the strain would be too much on a paddle, all you're doing is balancing your body on the gunwale and using the paddle to support your legs while you swing them around into the canoe. I use a glass shafted Carlisle split kayak paddle (my spare kayak paddle) and whilst it does flex a bit I've never thought it excessive. You can use a paddle in a similar way to get into a kayak from a river bank which must put at least as much stress on it. That's how I was taught to get in a kayak as a kid, by putting the paddle across the rear of the cockpit with one end on the bank then supporting all your weight on it as you slid your legs into the cockpit (before the days of the huge modern kayak cockpits that make entry so much easier).

  47. #47
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Cumbria
    Posts
    271

    Default

    You can get blocks of minicell foam from Brookbanks, cut with a carving knife, and make drawstring bags to fit the foam, with a separate pocket for the paddle blade ( makes it slide in easier).
    If you have a split paddle you can (a) adjust the feather so that both floats are horizontal and (b) extend the shaft with extra bits of alloy tube.

    Certainly makes it difficult to capsize a canoe.
    Have not yet tried the set-up out as outriggers for sailing.... but am planning to have a go.

    So far have used it :
    • As an emergency back-up
    • As a camp seat
    • As a child seat ( fits snuggly between the side air bags )

  48. #48
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Cumbria
    Posts
    271

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Teign Beaver View Post
    [IMG]
    Airbags!!!! by Teign Beaver, on Flickr[/IMG]

    But now I have a fishing kayak for the more 'iffy' days at sea!


    At least one member of the OCSG regularly sails with sponsons. Main problem is attachment - they only work if they are held just under the gunwales.

  49. #49
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Devon ..just up from the bottom and right a bit.
    Posts
    2,369

    Default

    Hi Isabella,re the sponsons twas only done in curious fun but did swiftly dawn on me they would need fixing below the gunwales. I actually achieved this by clipping a carabina around each tie down to encircle the float. Ie made a loop. If you see what I mean. I did actually think these stupid looking floats maybe useful if say... You paddled on open sea or large lake , pitched camp over night, only to awaken to a windy choppy day a you need to get going..a bit of puffing and lashing and your off...

  50. #50
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Helensburgh, Scotland.
    Posts
    1,740

    Default

    I'm just back from a two day trip with Gailainne. We had very light or non existent wind on the first day so once we'd set up camp we had a capsize recovery practice session. I was able to get back in my canoe without using my paddle float outrigger but it was a lot easier using the float.Just as a matter of interest I took this pic to show how much water was in the canoe when I righted it (it took about five minutes bailing to empty). I was able to paddle the boat in this condition without too much trouble. I had quite a few attempts at Capistrano Flips to get the boat up drier but never managed any significant improvement in the quantity of water in the canoe.
    P6250105.jpg
    Gailainne tried and failed to capsize his canoe (it has Solway Dory outrigger floats mounted using his own outrigger spars). In fact he was able to sit on the gunwale with the float semi-submerged and the canoe still wouldn't flip!
    P6250099.jpg
    It really was a pretty impressive demonstration of how effective outriggers are. I've always regarded them as a bit of a cop-out but I've revised my opinion and think in many situations they would be a very sensible addition to a sailing canoe. I often sail solo on large bodies of open water (well Loch Lomond anyway) withmy canoe fully laden and I'm beginning to think that not using outriggers is foolhardy in those circumstances. I'm confident I can recover my canoe without assistance when I'm not carrying camping gear but it'd be a total nightmare (and maybe impossible) with it loaded up.
    Gailainne had a bash at getting back into my canoe to try it (since his boat was all but impossible to capsize) and managed it fairly easily (he said it was easier than he expected).
    A lot for me to think about then........
    Attached Images Attached Images

  51. #51
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Peterborough, England
    Posts
    1,393

    Default

    Thanks for posting this Chris. A real eye opener is all I can say.

    An update from my end is that on Friday while at my local sailing club chandlers, I negotiated a good price for a shorty wetsuit (Something I used all the time in the forces and have been meaning to buy for years) and two side buoyancy airbags that I intended to buy from SD, but was virtually the same price and buying them there, helped me achieve a good price for the wetsuit.

    I figured that if I'm going to be spending more time in the water while canoe sailing than in dinghy sailing, I might as well be warm enough.
    Okay, the water was nice and warm in the shallow waters of Hickling Broad, but Rutland Water (My normal venue) is much deeper and much colder normally.

    Another reason why I capsized was due to slipping on the wet floor of my canoe. I'm not sure what the answer is here. Both my neoprene sailing boots, deck shoes or bare feet don't seem to stick very well. I picked up a new pair of neoprene boots at the chandlers hoping that this might help, but when I got home, I noticed that the new pair are just as slippy!!! I am now considering some form of grip tape/self adhesive grip mat that can be stuck to the floor of my canoe, but before I spend any more money, I think I'll try roughing the surface with some wet & dry sandpaper or run a naked flame over the floor of the canoe. (In the area I move about the most, not the whole canoe) These new plastic canoes are very slippy indeed and wonder if there is some residue left over from the manufacturing process that needs to be removed!!!

    Still need to get some D-Rings to attach the airbags as they didn't have any in stock and still intend switching to a pivoting leeboard next time I meet up with Dave, but for now I am trying to get better prepared to throw the canoe about (Now that the mastfoot is screwed down) even if that means get wet a few times!

    I think that we have two choices. Get serious about getting wet and having a fighting chance of righting an upside down canoe or investing in some outriggers so a capsize is unlikely.

    It's cheaper getting wet, but later when I'm bored with capsize drills, I might have to buy some outriggers to stay shinny side up, but come on, it's only a little 35-sqr ft sail after all. Maybe I need to invest in a big Bermudan before I can justify outriggers! Hmm.... now there's a thought!
    Last edited by Steamerpoint; 27th-June-2011 at 12:18 AM.

  52. #52
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    south Cumbria
    Posts
    1,195

    Default

    Good canoe kit shops will have kneeling pads that are faced with grippy/rubbery fabric

    e0430.jpg

    - I wouldn't be without them for kneeling on and not sliding around. Aiguille is one brand: http://www.aiguillealpine.co.uk/cgi-...showprod_E0430

  53. #53
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    grange over sands, cumbria
    Posts
    930

    Default

    Just because you have capsized Chris, don't suggest that this is inevitable and is going to happen often. Keith and i were practicing capsize on Coniston yesterday and talking about this. Keith thinks he has capsized only three times accidentally in 20 years of sailing his canoe and i can only remember doing it twice. This usually happened racing with a full bermudan sail up in gusty force 5 when we were going for it. You dont need to sail like that and if you sail defensively once you have mastered the basics you should never capsize. Firstly sort the problems out with the slippy floor. (the last time i capsized which was last year was due to this in a new royalex canoe belonging to someone else.). Secondly fit your side bags and practice getting back in till you are confident and have a procedure that works every time for you. Once you have this confidence you will start to sail better. Thirdly sail defensively and stop capsizing. If you practice sailing defensively and start to build up your confidence you will soon be able to take everything that the wind and waves can throw at you. Lastly, practice your paddling skills so that you can get out of trouble by dropping your sail and paddling to safety.

  54. #54
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Peterborough, England
    Posts
    1,393

    Default

    Cheers Dave.

    I need to knock something up or attach some more rope that will attach the rig to the canoe and stop it sinking to the bottom of the lake during a capsize, rather than tieing the halyard off on the sailing thwart. It's hard enough reaching the mast with the yoke, sheet, leeboard etc. without then having to untie the halyard and lower the sail, when things get tricky.

    That said, I have never felt the need to drop the mainsail when things get tricky. I have always backed off the jib and hove to, something I don't think is possible without a jib? There is something very reasuring to know that you can simply park an Enterprise in the middle of a lake in a force 6 and sort things out without fear of capsize. I have yet to learn a way of doing this without a jib.

    In one of the photos I saw of Greg on Hickling Broad, he had his sheet out and the boom was over the bow, while he was working on his canoe. Because my sheet is too short, I couldn't do this. My only choice was to point into wind, but soon I was being blown round again. My only option of bailing out, was to do this on a run or reach spilling much of the wind as I went.

    One thing I need to learn is paddling better and then raising the sail from the middle of a lake, rather than from the club house in tricky conditions. I also struggle with the paddling in such a heavy canoe solo with quite a lot of freeboard when the winds are anything over a force 2. We will get there, I am sure. As you say, practice makes perfect.

  55. #55

    Default

    This is a useful and informative thread.

    Without some kind of aid, a canoe can be harder to enter from the water than a kayak. A kayak’s low, flat rear deck allows the cowboy method but the higher freeboard and wider beam of a typical canoe will frustrate the non-athletic. A swamped canoe is easy to bail without side floats. Turn it right-side up, move to the bow, grab the painter firmly and just give it a good shove. The water in it will want to stay in one place while the boat just moves out from under. A painter line is a life saver in windy conditions; I tie the end to my PFD.

    The paddle float works with a canoe IMHO but with the shorter paddle you may need a larger float. My canoe is used with a double-bladed paddle so I don’t have that problem. There’s a lot more storage space in a canoe than a kayak so carrying a larger float or a dedicated re-entry pole should not be much of a problem. Of course if you have a mast handy . . .

    I like to keep a short lashing line tied on the thwart and a stirrup line; with the float on the paddle, the paddle lashed to the thwart and a foot in the stirrup it’s easy even for an elderly somewhat arthritic paddler like myself. Because of the higher freeboard of a canoe compared to a kayak it may also be practical in heavy conditions, but I haven’t tried it.

    BTW if you’re stuck without a paddle bag emptying out your water jug should get you back in the boat in a pinch.

    I would have thought a deeper outrigger section would be stronger for a given weight, 3/4 x 5 equates to 1.7" square, but that would be impossible to steam I imagine.
    Terry Haines

    Boats are like rabbits: you can have one or many, but not two - A. Onassis

  56. #56
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Helensburgh, Scotland.
    Posts
    1,740

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by windorpaddle View Post
    Good canoe kit shops will have kneeling pads that are faced with grippy/rubbery fabric

    e0430.jpg

    - I wouldn't be without them for kneeling on and not sliding around. Aiguille is one brand: http://www.aiguillealpine.co.uk/cgi-...showprod_E0430
    I need to look into getting some of those Keith, my knees are black and blue from bracing against the gunwales yesterday. I found that an effective method of ensuring that I wouldn't slip in the bottom of the canoe like Steamerpoint did.
    Quote Originally Posted by DaveS View Post
    Just because you have capsized Chris, don't suggest that this is inevitable and is going to happen often. Keith and i were practicing capsize on Coniston yesterday and talking about this. Keith thinks he has capsized only three times accidentally in 20 years of sailing his canoe and i can only remember doing it twice. This usually happened racing with a full bermudan sail up in gusty force 5 when we were going for it. You dont need to sail like that and if you sail defensively once you have mastered the basics you should never capsize. Firstly sort the problems out with the slippy floor. (the last time i capsized which was last year was due to this in a new royalex canoe belonging to someone else.). Secondly fit your side bags and practice getting back in till you are confident and have a procedure that works every time for you. Once you have this confidence you will start to sail better. Thirdly sail defensively and stop capsizing. If you practice sailing defensively and start to build up your confidence you will soon be able to take everything that the wind and waves can throw at you. Lastly, practice your paddling skills so that you can get out of trouble by dropping your sail and paddling to safety.
    I agree with this in principle but surely there are circumstances when sailing without outriggers is foolhardy Dave (that's why you guys use them on the sea while cruising isn't it)? I'm starting to think there are some times when the consequences of a capsize are too serious to ignore (no matter how unlikely that capsize may be) . I'm wondering if they may be a sensible option for me for solo sailing while fully loaded. I hate the look of them and I also dislike the idea of being dependent on them (which really ties in with what you say above) and not really learning where the limits are but for solo sailing in a big cold lake with camping kit? I am coming under some pressure from Mrs Jurassic on this point too. If I do fit outriggers though they won't be on all the time, I'd definitely differentiate between cruising/tripping and what you could call "sport sailing" where I'm just out for a day or a few hours in an unladen boat.

    Quote Originally Posted by Steamerpoint View Post
    I think that we have two choices. Get serious about getting wet and having a fighting chance of righting an upside down canoe or investing in some outriggers so a capsize is unlikely.
    It's cheaper getting wet, but later when I'm bored with capsize drills, I might have to buy some outriggers to stay shinny side up, but come on, it's only a little 35-sqr ft sail after all. Maybe I need to invest in a big Bermudan before I can justify outriggers! Hmm.... now there's a thought!
    I don't think the sail you use has much bearing on the argument really Chris. You and I have now both proved that the Expedition Rig is more than capable of capsizing a canoe if you make a mistake. It's the consequences that concern me. A small busy lake like Hickling or Rutland Water in summer is relatively safe but a big quiet lake in winter is a whole different story. Of course other things can affect the potential seriousness of a capsize as well (such as not being able to recover your capsized boat for whatever reason). In the final analysis we all have to decide what constitutes an acceptable risk to us personally and make our own decisions based on that.

  57. #57
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    grange over sands, cumbria
    Posts
    930

    Default

    I have to agree with Jurassic that if you are sailing alone on a large lake like Loch Lomond then outriggers vastly reduces the risk that you are taking. I personally also have a problem with the look of outriggers and very rarely use them, except on expedition on the sea. However i always sail in company and usually in an empty decked canoe.
    I rely on a knot in the end of my sheet to keep the rig attached to the canoe if i decide to dump it in a capsize. Provided that all the lines, eg kicker or halyard are cleated off tight the rig will remain set on the mast and the sheet will keep it attached to the canoe.

  58. #58
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    On the Forth
    Posts
    122

    Default

    I don't really mind the outriggers, its peace of mind for me at the moment, I guess like training wheels on your first bike . BTW I really did try and capsize the boat, even getting into the shallows and putting the end of the canoe on my shoulder I still couldn't turn it over. I get what you were trying to tell me at Loch Ken now Dave, I'm a bit slow sometimes .
    With Chris's canoe I wanted to see how little water I could leave in the canoe, so rather than turning it from the end as Chris did, see video, I turned it from the middle, and then re-tipped and lifted, using the side bag to help get more water out, the getting in wasn't difficult at all, but I was more concerned about shipping all the water I had gotten out back in again . With my boat I just fell over the side, put one hand on the gunnel and one on the outrigger spar, and was back in again, there was more water came out of my palm shoes than anything else .
    I'm not sure what benefit side air bags have if you have outriggers fitted, the only reason I keep them is because I still paddle my canoe (no sailing rig) so they are a standard fitting. Once I get more proficient at sailing I'm sure the outriggers will be left at home more often, back to the side airbags.

    http://s161.photobucket.com/albums/t...t=DSCF1010.mp4

  59. #59
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Peterborough, England
    Posts
    1,393

    Default

    Thanks for the video. I think Chris would have found it harder to get upright again with a rig attached and would like to see how he gets back in the canoe when he can't touch the bottom, perhaps using a paddle float or similar.


    I know what you mean Chris. The 35 sqr/ft rig was designed to give more power and it is nearer in size to the Bermudan than it is the 25 sqr/ft rig, so plenty powerful enough to capsize a narrow canoe in a force 3. In fact, the standard un-reefable 35 sqr/ft rig could be more challenging in strong winds than any other canoe rig, cos your stuck with all 35 square feet of sail all of the time! I don't mind though as I will be sailing for fun and if it gets too strong, I drop the sail and paddle back.

    I just need to practice my capsize drills and do more to prevent a capsize happening in the first place with more sailing in stronger winds. I need to find the canoe's limits and this normally means capsizing a few more times!

  60. #60
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    West Yorkshire
    Posts
    3,647

    Default

    Last Saturday, two of us were out in the Solent in a force 5-6 (reportedly a 7 up at the Needles, and we were only marginally sheltered from that direction). The conditions were near ideal for serious canoe-sailing, with entertaining swells (augmented at times by some fantastic bow waves)... and whilst I was taking it seriously in my boat, we were quite clearly looking at play-conditions for a well set up, fully decked sailing canoe in capable hands.

    I was in my Jensen 18 with a 44 square foot bermudan (without outriggers, but carrying fabric side-decks a lot of airbags) and was out alongside a decked Shearwater with 5 sq. m. of bermudan rig plus outriggers. For the more exposed waters of the crossing, we both put in a couple of furls around the mast to reef our sails somewhat. Had we BOTH been in Shearwaters, I don't doubt we'd have made Cowes to watch the later finishers of the round the island race (and that we'd have coped with stronger winds and lumpier seas that we actually encountered). We weren't both in Shearwaters, and eventually retreated with me having a little to reflect on in terms of what made the other boat that much more seaworthy.

    Into wind, the biggest difference wasn't airbags / outriggers, it was self-bailers: the two canoes were fairlly evenly matched when empty... and mine was the drier in terms of spray (albeit my fabric side decks are porous, so I was leaking water when heeled past the gunwales)... but the other boat emptied as fast as it filled without any need for cleating off the main / releasing the tiller - a huge advantage. I'd say the fabric side decks were critical though: most of the spray landed on them.... and even my test decks (not even waterproof) allowed me to heel well past the gunwale without shipping a huge amount of water.

    Sailing upwind / across the wind, the water on board slowed me up a little, and increased the likelihood of me taking on more water, but was otherwise no problem: I never managed to get the canoe flat enough to have the water sloshing from side to side, so it stayed put and I was happy. Downwind was rather a different matter though: that's a lousy point of sail in any vessel.... and especially so once water starts sloshing around - so lessen two (after the one about self-bailers) was that side airbags need to stretch from AT LEAST the bow seat to the stern seat. I suspected I'd need to upgrade, and I'm now convinced 12" bags would be a significant advantage over the 10" versions I was using for the way I like to sail.

    I was less concerned at not having outriggers, but that's basically because I was comfortable (at least sailing without my usual crew) with the prospect (and when running, swamped, the reality) of self rescue in those lumpy seas. The outriggers wouldn't have hurt one bit, but the key things that made the Shearwater more seaworthy were the self bailer and the side floatation chambers under the side decks.

    Ps. I really do think it's critical that an undecked canoe can be sailed when swamped: mine was SLOW when swamped, and I found tacking a challenge when swamped... but you want to keep some wind in the sail and the canoe heeled to keep the water on one side of the boat so that you don't end up back in again!

Page 1 of 4 123 ... LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •