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Thread: Valkyrie Erne Tourer GRP

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2005

    Default Valkyrie Erne Tourer GRP

    Maker's Spec

    Lenght 16'
    Beam 39"
    GRP Erne Tourer finished in larch, whitewood, ash or western red cedar
    Maker's Write Up
    The GRP Erne Tourer is a 16' open Canadian canoe with a 3'3" beam. It has a broad hull design traditionally associated with carrying trade goods. This makes for a stable boat ideal for use as a camping/ touring boat and for canoeing as a family. The boat can accommodate two adults and two children.
    The Erne's size and shape make it an ideal boat for canoe based angling.
    The design has a flattened hull and minimal rocker providing excellent stability and good tracking characteristics, whilst the absence of a keel assists in maintaining good manoeuvrability. The bow and stern profile is cut low to minimise the effect of wind. The Erne Tourer is an excellent combination of design factors for those interested in flat water canoeing in a boat that has ample room and smooth handling.
    The hull is constructed in GRP with the gunnels, seats, decks and buoyancy chambers in solid timber. Depending on preference, seats may be either solid wood, cane or woven webbing.
    The boat comes with tender lines and carry lines.
    Storage ports can be added in the buoyancy chambers if desired.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Portstewart, Northern Ireland

    Default Kingfisher - my Erne Tourer with sailing rig

    I bought an green Erne Tourer from Valkyrie Craft in November 2007. It cost 100 less than the list price because it was seconds (some scratches on hull from storage). John Wilkinson (who is Valkyrie Cracft) also fitted a Solway Dory 44 sq.ft. Bermuda sailing rig, leeboard and rudder for me. The gunwales, seats and bow and stern fillets are in ash.

    The overall appearance and general build quality is beautiful

    The wood is preserved with several coats of high grade marine varnish and there is black waterproofing medium under the gunwales and fillets to give extra protection from moisture. The glassfibre hull is mirror smooth, reducing friction through the water, and stiffer resulting in a fast positive response to paddle strokes.

    The Erne Tourer is slightly wider than most canoes (3 foot 3 inches rather than 3 foot) and so is more stable and can carry more passengers or gear. Two adults and two children would be possible. It can actually float one ton of cargo ! However this means that it takes a bit more energy to paddle it and it won't go as fast as a slimmer canoe, so if you want to do a lot of solo paddling you would need to be quite fit.

    I got it in order to sail it whenever possible and paddle only a little. For this it is ideal. The 44 sq.ft. sail will move it faster than other paddled canoes in a light breeze. I haven't got to sail it in a force 4 wind (the most it will manage without reefing) but it should fairly skim along in that. It sails well downwind (running) across wind (reaching) and into wind (beating).

    You need to tack to go upwind (sailing at 45 degrees into wind in one direction and then turning to sail at 45 degrees into wind in the other direction). The leeboard (which is about four feet long) stops it sliding sideways downwind, and performs the magic of allowing you to move upwind in this way.

    Sailing across wind (reaching) is when you go fastest (even faster than the wind!) - like a stone on the end of a string. The leeboard is useful here too - it is the string that slingshots you across the wind.

    Sailing downwind goes at the speed of the wind and it feels very tranquil as you don't feel the wind blowing at all. However things can go wrong very fast if you have a gybe (the wind catches the back of the sail and blows it across to the other side of the boat - maybe hitting your head and possibly breaking the rudder with the suddenness of its force), so you need to watch the sail and the wind direction very carefully and be ready for sudden changes.

    The sailing rig is very well built with a braided cord holding the sail to the mast and boom outpull, kicking strap and Cunningham cord to fine-tune the sail for different wind strengths. It is a similar design to that used in Laser or Topper sailing dinghies.

    The leeboard is carefully shaped to provide optimum upwind pull and minimum resistance. It has a bolt with a good handle on it to tighten it in a down or up position for paddling or sailing. The leeboard thwart is securely bolted through the carrying yoke on the canoe.

    Here I am putting on the leeboard as I get into deeper water

    The rudder is supported by two brass ferrules which are anchored through the hull at the stern of the boat. A pin goes down through these, and through hinge ferrules on the rudder. A rubber bungee spring holds the rudder in the down position when sailing and is released to withdraw it out of the water when paddling. So when you hit a rock (or a shallow bottom) the rudder lifts over the obstruction instead of breaking.

    The sailing rig, rudder and leeboard add up to nearly as much as the original cost of the canoe. But they certainly add a new dimension to your experience and the things you can do with your craft. I'd definitely recommend getting a set if you're interested in the wind and what it can do to help you rather than hinder you.

    Frank Dobbs

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Castlerock, Northern Ireland


    Erne Tourer - Discontinued 2010.

    We no longer fit out this hull. The shell can be bought from Peter Spence @
    Valkyrie Craft: Canoes and Classic Boats

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