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Thread: anybody sailing a narrow beam (28-30") canoe?

  1. #1

    Default anybody sailing a narrow beam (28-30") canoe?

    I've been considering an Apache 12/14. I like the looks/lines and value these offer.
    I would also like to have a go at canoe sailing in the near future. I spoke to SolwayDory earlier and they mentioned narrow beam boats being a possible issue with stability.

    The apache's come in with a beam around 28-30" hence the question.

    Is anybody sailing the Apaches specifically or narrow beam in general and what are your experiences?
    Is your experience of the narrow beam that they unmanageable due to instability?

    ta in advance

  2. #2
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    Hi, iamsailing and paddling an osprey solo homebuild. Just meassured 72 cm wide. Greg's flashfire is about the same. Both sail imho well

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    idc sails a 16' Apache, I'm not sure how much (if any) more beamy that'd be compared to the smaller boats that you favour. I've seen Ian (idc) in action and he seems to go well in his boat. I think there may be some issues with the area of sail you'd be able to carry on such a small canoe as well though. Greg S sails a Bell Flashfire (13' and around 28" beam) and he's found that it sails better using the smaller 25 sq ft SD Expedition Rig than the 35 sq ft version he started out with.
    I'm sure some of those folks I mention above will be along to offer first hand advice soon. Dave S will have good knowledge on the topic as well as SD make a 14' 3" canoe with a 30" beam called the Little Egret which is a lovely looking boat.

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    Here's a good thread to read and Chris did a short video too! http://www.songofthepaddle.co.uk/for...light=Hickling

  5. #5

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    thanks

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steamerpoint View Post
    Here's a good thread to read and Chris did a short video too! http://www.songofthepaddle.co.uk/for...light=Hickling
    You can see in the thread above that Greg was being kept fully occupied by his rig in those photos. That was his 35 sq ft Expedition Rig which he has now changed in favour of a smaller 25 sq ft version. I don't want to put words into his mouth (and he's abroad on a canoe trip/holiday at the moment so unlikely to respond in person for a while) but I'm pretty sure he finds the smaller rig more manageable and controllable whilst still retaining enough power to propel his narrow, light canoe well. There's a nice video of him sailing the same canoe with the smaller rig at the Summer OCSG meet at Tighnabruaich here

    As you can see he's coping fine in an exposed coastal location with daughter and dog onboard (and keeping pace with dedicated sailing canoes with 5m rigs). Big is not always better.

  7. #7

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    nice one, thanks for that.
    I've committed now and dropped the deposit on a new 12' Apache. (don't have space for the 14 unfortunately.)
    going to get to grips with it paddling first and then look to pick up the sailing rig in a few weeks time.
    excited now!

  8. #8
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    Good morning , what is the canoe specs for the one Greg is paddle sailing in the above vidio ? Im thinking its about what Im after Its still lite enough to portage by ones self, (why have a canoe or kayak if you cant portage in one efortles stage ?)

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    Hi Mick, Greg's boat is pretty light.
    Kevlar - 28 lbs.

    Length: 13'
    Bow: 17"
    Mid: 12"
    Stern: 15"

    Rocker: 2.5” / 2.5”

    Width:
    Gunwale width – 26”
    Max width - 28"
    4" WL width - 26"
    These figures are for the Bell Flashfire which is no longer made. A company called Colden have started building their take on the design again but I'm not sure what kind of availability they have.
    http://www.coldencanoe.com/Flashfire.html
    As I said above Greg is away on holiday (paddling) at the moment but I'm sure he'd be more than happy to answer any questions about his boat when he gets back.

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    Good morning,
    the Golden boats arnt avalabel dow hear, I can get hold of mad river and Winona canoes as well as sume home grown ones that dont realy fit my wonts

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    Yeah those Coldens do look nice but I don't know if they're available in the UK either. What about a second hand Bell if they were imported to Oz? You may have to search for one even if they were as I imagine they'd be in strong demand now (they're like hens teeth over here).

  12. #12

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    okay, the boats here courtesy of Stu at Apache who is a top bloke.
    buoyancy sorted for now care of endless river.
    just fitted the thwart for the lee board to eventually attach to.
    trying to decide which solway dory rig to fit.
    the 25ft expedition lug seems the obvious choice but the expedition Bermudan seems to offer the opportunity to start reef'd down small and then add more sail as my skills and confidence increase.
    I wonder whether 35sq ft on my 12 footer may be a little 'over gunned' though and never really see action? Decisions decisions.
    anyway here's the work in progress.

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    I'd say 35sqft will be useful in light breezes - the bermudan can be reefed so easily, as you realise, that it makes itself the one I would recommend.

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    Greg once used a 35-sq/ft Expedition rig on his Flashfire, but think he has now gone back to using the 25 sq/ft lug sail.

    I wonder if 35 sq/ft isn't going to be a bit big for your canoe. The new Bermudan rig, when assembled, it is a tall rig and 35 sq/ft pushes my very heavy 3-seater 16-foot, very stable canoe at a fair pace. You might find that your reefed in most of the time!

    I don't want to put you off going for the new Bermudan, but I might be tempted to talk to Greg first.

    Actually ISABELLA is selling her 25 sq/ft lug sail at the moment I think. Perhaps a chance to get one at a good price.

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    Looks like I need to get on with producing some sort of guidance on sailing and paddle-sailing solo canoes... but here are a couple of thoughts...

    • Solo canoes are easily driven: they are easy to paddle. This does vary between designs, but by and large they don't need strong paddlers OR huge sails in order to be moved along at a good pace. All we need (maximum) is ~25 sq. ft.

    • Stability (directional or otherwise) is not a big issue with a small, well cut and properly positioned sail. Above force 4-5, we might want to reef to below 25 square feet.

    Now I'm generally paddle sailing... and didn't have the right set-up at first. Through trial and error, we established that the following helped enormously:

    • Mast thwart well forward of the paddling station. This keeps the centre of effort well forward, and seems to help enormously with directional stability.

    • Fixed leeboard: predictable response, balances the rig and doesn't go AWOL at inopportune moments.

    • Paddling on the upwind side with the leeboard adjusted so the canoe wants to turn into the wind.

    I've not sailed a 12' Apache, but would expect it to sail ok so long as the mast was set well forward and the paddler sat well back. I'd certainly like to give it a go.

    Ps. You'll find that in all my small-solo canoe sailing, I've got substantial (48") airbags front and rear. To put this in context, when I sail my tandem, I scale that up massively: two end airbags, 4 side airbags, and usually more under the front seat and elsewhere. Either way, I aim to have a canoe that can be righted and bailed with me in it (and out of the water).

  16. #16

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    thanks Greg for the first hand experience.
    There is precious little difference in price between the reefing 25' lug and the expedition Bermudan.
    The Bermudan has a larger range of reefing options and will sail closer to the wind.
    This seems to offer the best of everything hence my initial thoughts on going with the Bermudan.
    If I go with the Bermudan I may, of course, end up with a sail that only ever gets used reef'd as the 35' may prove to be over powered for day to day use.
    I'm not sure what I think about this yet.
    On the other hand I think the lug sail looks prettier than the Bermudan
    I will be solo paddling the Apache but also out right sailing it as well (that's the plan anyway) with full sailing gear including the rudder and obviously want to make the best of this.
    Based on the length of the boat and the Solway Dory recommendations for the lee board to be about 2.5feet behind the mast I'm looking at the mast thwart being at approx 3ft from the bow and the lee board just forward of centre of the boat.
    So far I've not decided which way to go and all input is gratefully received before I make the final decision and place my order.

  17. #17
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    I can't remember whether you actually phoned Solway Dory but I'd strongly recommend doing so if you haven't. The Daves have a huge amount of experience based on years of sailing themselves and of supplying their customers and will be able to give you great advice. They're also really nice blokes who will advise you honestly as to what they think would be your best options. Also Greg's advice is based on first hand experience of sailing a smaller canoe and his comments about using a maximum of 25sq ft may well have some relevance for your own set up. My boat is 16 feet so I can't really offer any meaningful advice other than to say that the Bermudan and Lugsail Expedition Rigs are both fantastic bits of kit (I'm lucky enough to have both ), it's just a matter of working out which will suit your canoe the best. Congratulations on your new Apache btw, it looks lovely.

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    How much paddling have you done, and how much in a small narrow canoe like this? I would make sure that you are very comfortable and confident with this before considering putting a sail on.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steamerpoint View Post
    Greg once used a 35-sq/ft Expedition rig on his Flashfire, but think he has now gone back to using the 25 sq/ft lug sail.

    I wonder if 35 sq/ft isn't going to be a bit big for your canoe. The new Bermudan rig, when assembled, it is a tall rig and 35 sq/ft pushes my very heavy 3-seater 16-foot, very stable canoe at a fair pace. You might find that your reefed in most of the time!

    I don't want to put you off going for the new Bermudan, but I might be tempted to talk to Greg first.

    Actually ISABELLA is selling her 25 sq/ft lug sail at the moment I think. Perhaps a chance to get one at a good price.
    Where are you based ? Can you get to any OCSG meets ? If you can get a chance to try out the options, I'd think that woud be very useful.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ISABELLA View Post
    Where are you based ? Can you get to any OCSG meets ? If you can get a chance to try out the options, I'd think that woud be very useful.
    That's very good advice.

  21. #21

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    Unfortunately I'm in deepest darkest Devon so getting to the meets is unlikely.
    I'm a very experienced k***ker, paddling dedicated surf and playboats so I'm very used to unstable craft.
    I'm also comfortable that I take part in a water sport that means I occasionally capsize, get wet, swim and bail!
    I spoke with solway dory before the expedition bermudan came about and their thoughts were with a narrow beam canoe to go for the 25' lug.

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    That is probably good advice. I occasionally make it down to Torrington/Appledore where my wife's family are. Maybe I could bring my Apache plus 35' SD expedition lugsail some time if you are in North Devon and fancy a sail on the Torridge estuary. I've sailed it with success, but would be interested to try the 25' lug as my suspicion is that I'd probably not be disappointed by less power. (35' is an exhilarating sail at times, and I might find I'm as happy with a 25'er.)
    Good luck, whichever you opt for.
    Ian

  23. #23

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    thank you Ian, that's very kind.
    I like the idea of having that extra power for an exhilarating sail when the mood takes me but also being able to reef down easily to suit conditions/lazy days pottering about.

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    Quote Originally Posted by White2505 View Post
    I'm a very experienced k***ker, paddling dedicated surf and playboats so I'm very used to unstable craft. I'm also comfortable that I take part in a water sport that means I occasionally capsize, get wet, swim and bail!
    Now that's what I call a positive approach

    I'll try out the 35 sq. ft. expedition Bermudan just as soon as I get an opportunity and report back on how it works on my Flashfire. If there's one at the forthcoming Barton Turf meet... that feedback could be just 4 weeks away.

  25. #25

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    cheers Greg.
    It is a watersport afterall
    your thoughts on the 35 would be very welcome.
    Last edited by White2505; 4th-May-2012 at 10:00 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GregandGinaS View Post
    Now that's what I call a positive approach

    I'll try out the 35 sq. ft. expedition Bermudan just as soon as I get an opportunity and report back on how it works on my Flashfire. If there's one at the forthcoming Barton Turf meet... that feedback could be just 4 weeks away.
    I will bring one down for you to try. Remind me nearer the time.

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    No-one has tried the 35 Bermudan on a small solo canoe yet, so i cannot be sure how it will go, but having the ability to reef down if it becomes too much will be a big plus. It is good to hear about your experience, as you will probably be ok. I am sometimes wary of giving general advice on the suitability of a rig for a particular canoe as the skill and experience of the paddler can vary a lot. Just because Greg can manage a rig in his Flashfire does not mean that most others would also.

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    On a slightly off topic matter I'm anticipating there may be a local OCSG meeting organised for Devon in the next month or so.Watch this space...

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    Quote Originally Posted by unk tantor View Post
    On a slightly off topic matter I'm anticipating there may be a local OCSG meeting organised for Devon in the next month or so.Watch this space...
    That would be great - I was just looking at our local meets calendar and thinking it's a bit quiet so far - Sunart excepted of course!

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    Keep us posted. It may not work for me what with various other commitments I have next month, but I think the West Country really ought to have some meets. It is such a beautiful part of the country with loads of interesting places to sail.
    All the best,
    Ian

  31. #31

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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveS View Post
    I am sometimes wary of giving general advice on the suitability of a rig for a particular canoe as the skill and experience of the paddler can vary a lot. Just because Greg can manage a rig in his Flashfire does not mean that most others would also.
    Cheers Dave, advice is just that as far as I'm concerned. I always temper peoples advice with the knowledge that only I truly know my skillset/experience/willingness to push boundaries/future plans/willingness to get wet!
    I figure I'm in something of a voyage into the unknown as Greg appears to be the only person I'm aware of with a similar size sailing set-up to what I'm looking at and even then his canoe is different to mine. Should be fun finding out what works and what doesn't though.
    I'm tempted back towards the expedition Bermudan again because no-one appears to have done it before on a canoe this size and the experience of that alone (along with the reefing options)should be good for a giggle.
    I really should make my mind up!

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    [QUOTE=White2505;400011I really should make my mind up![/QUOTE]
    Don't be in too much of a rush though, better to take a little time and make sure your decision is the right one for you (although I understand the excitement of getting your new toy out for a sail). I think if Greg were to struggle with the Bermudan for any reason when he tries it that may be a good indication to go for the Lugsail as he's a very capable paddler and has unique experience of sailing smaller canoes. Of course he may well find it to be fine.

  33. #33

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    agreed. I'm due a payday in two weeks time at which point funds are sorted and the decision becomes more pressing before SWMBO finds something more important for me to spend it on!

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    Quote Originally Posted by White2505 View Post
    agreed. I'm due a payday in two weeks time at which point funds are sorted and the decision becomes more pressing before SWMBO finds something more important for me to spend it on!
    Hmm, pressure indeed!

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