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Thread: Newby Canoe Sailer - Qustion

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Llanrwst, Dyffryn Conwy

    Default Newby Canoe Sailer - Qustion

    Dear Forum,

    This is perhaps a 'how do I..?' question that should be in that section, but I am hedging my bets in this area. I am new to canoe sailing; I do not have a beautiful rig like many of the members here - just a normal river going Prospector with a mast foot behind the front seat. I am using a two pole set up for the mast and sail arrangement without rudder or outriggers. My biggest 'light-bulb' moment was lying down in the boat as per Ray's book, which seemed to make a massive difference.

    My question is about steering. While sailing across the wind, I have found that the boat tends to move towards windward when I move the paddle (held as an improvised lee-board) towards the bow. The opposite happens when the paddle is slid aft-wards. There seems to be a sweet spot, perhaps related to the lee-board paddle coinciding with the centre of effort? So is it possible to steer without a rudder by changing the relative position of an improvised lee-board (it certainly feels so) or is in fact the boat merely changing its angle to the wind and skidding across the surface? Solway Dory used to make a nice looking clip-on lee board which would free up my hands to do a stern rudder with a paddle. The lee board is however no longer available.

    Thanks in anticipation for your thoughts.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    south Cumbria


    Chris - yes you are right that, if you get the improvised leeboard/ie paddle in the right place, it should balance the forces and go straight. As your sail is not all that big, the relatively small area that a paddle presents to resist lateral movement isn't such an issue so it could/should allow you to go reasonably well. The small sail area has to try and overcome the drag of the whole setup both in the water and the air, so will never perform as well as a more powerful rig. But horses for courses - it's quick and easy and doesn't commit you to carrying more stuff that you don't always use. You could try sighting a transit on shore ahead of you and see how much you are going sideways, as well as forwards or use a GPS to record your track (do it on both tacks to see the angle you can get to the wind). If you get the chance to try a higher spec rig even just as a passenger then grab it, just so you can see and feel what is possible. And get along to one of the OCSG events to see some other boats and rigs - there are a few opportunities coming up in the autumn at Bala.

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