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Thread: Aca sailing?!

  1. #1

    Default Aca sailing?!

    Am I missing out on something here!?
    I love the K.I.S.S principal of it, but I was wondering what is the purpose of sitting down in the bottom of the hull?
    By sitting down in the hull at a lower center of gravity does this prevent the canoe from tipping over which in turn eliminates the need for and outrigger??

    Carl




  2. #2
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    Lots of canoe sailors just "play" at what they do... going out in settled conditions, in very forgiving environments (no big tides, no massive fetch, no exposed headlands), and with no great "journeying" aspirations. Sitting on the floor can work for this... and that can make canoe-sailing a nice, easy option for folk who are not wanting to exert themselves too much.

    Howard Rice is NOT in that camp... but clearly finds himself doing this much of the time:

    Quote Originally Posted by Howard Rice
    I figure I sail in the cockpit as much or more as out of the cockpit. In fact the genre of canoe I currently sail is one of six prototypes Hugh Horton, Meade, Jan Gougeon and me developed together/independently. My friends all sail exclusively in the cockpit never to my knowledge sitting out or hiking out in heavier air.

    I don't consider the sitting out part gymnastic sailing in any way. The canoe being so narrow takes little more than me sitting fully or partially on her side deck to keep her speeding along (sailing flat as all small boats should be sailed). hiking comes in when its really blowing and I want to have more fun.


    I would say Sylph and her counterparts are all in cockpit boats and I being an odd duck prefer to lay on sail when my pals are all reefed, hop on deck and go very fast.
    IN the UK, this CAN be the case... but:
    • We famously live in the path of low pressure systems, meaning unsettled weather and strong (gusting) winds are commonplace;
    • Our best sailing is in exposed coastal areas with strong tidal flows;


    These are some averages for our prime sailing area off the west coast of Scotland - our best "adventure-sailing" environment:




    Source: Met Office

    ...and this shows the sort of environment that animates much recent interest in UK "Adventure Sailing"



    Ps. Few "need" outriggers, and Howard Rice is one of many who do without. They are a compromise that some find suits them.

  3. #3
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    Our best sailing is in exposed coastal areas with strong tidal flows
    I am sorry Greg, I don't sign up to this statement I'm afraid. Best sailing shouldn't be defined as being exposed costal areas with strong tidal flows. What you are saying is that our most challenging sailing venues are also our best! Clearly this is your personal favourite and perhaps a few others also, but it is not a veiw shared by all. Good sailing has a number of different factors.

    While I also like sailing on coastal waters, sailing fast also excites me and the best place to do this is on lakes or broads with a small fetch and uniterupted winds from low hills surrounding the lake.

    Without tidal flows to think about, one can simply enjoy the sailing for what it is. You are in effect refering to a different aspect of the sport called adventure sailing. This is more about cruising, navigation, passage planning, camping, battling strong conditions, but it should not be described as better, only different.

    As for whether sitting in or sitting out works best. Sitting out on the gunwales increases the righting moment when compared to sitting inside the canoe. A yacht with a big heavy keel deep under the water does a great job of opposing the forces of a big sail, but sitting inside the canoe will only hold up a small sail. In fact, the only way I can hold up my large full sail, is with my hiking out racks, which takes my body weight way beyond the narrowness of my gunwales.

    I am glad Howard Rice I happy with his technique, but the art of sailing is not new and it is widely accepted that in order to make full use of the sails, it is necessary to keep the mast vertical and often the helm and crew must move their weight to the windward side of the boat, not sit at the bottom of it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steamerpoint View Post
    Best sailing shouldn't be defined as being exposed co[a]stal areas with strong tidal flows
    I quite agree. As elsewhere in the world:

    Quote Originally Posted by GregandGinaS View Post
    Lots of [UK] canoe sailors just "play" at what they do... going out in settled conditions, in very forgiving environments (no big tides, no massive fetch, no exposed headlands), and with no great "journeying" aspirations. Sitting on the floor can work for this... and that can make canoe-sailing a nice, easy option for folk who are not wanting to exert themselves too much.
    The Open Canoe Sailing Group supports such play (including racing)... not least through meets. Indeed, I developed an argument to this effect when we once (not so long ago) discussed re-branding the OCSG as the "Adventure Sailing" Group...



    With hindsight... I kinda regret making the argument so forcefully... but I wasn't so confident then (as I am now) of sustaining an argument linking open canoeing (all open canoeing, not just canoe sailing) to "adventure"... or of highlighting the Hebrides as "our Boundary Waters" ...but those are way bigger arguments!

    Key things:
    • ...canoe sailing once flourished as an "adventure" based activity, and the revival has been based on the same appeal.
    • ...there's a clear sense of a continuum linking a potter on the Broads on an idyllic Spring morning (surrounded by dragonflies, looking out for Reed Warblers and Marsh Harriers) ...and being accompanied by a pod of dolphins off the west coast of Scotland.
    • ...whilst the west coast of Scotland might bear the brunt of most frontal systems ...MOST of the UK (especially to the north and west) gets something of the same weather systems!

    So you're right to note that not everyone wants to be out sailing in tide races... but the evolution of a distinctively British canoe-sailing culture (complete with approaches) owes much to all of the above

  5. #5

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    From the information that I am gathering, I do not need to install any outriggers or sit in the bottom of the canoe, if I just sail in light winds, calmer waters or just use a smaller sail to make it less "tippy"?

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    Quote Originally Posted by deltafour1212 View Post
    From the information that I am gathering, I do not need to install any outriggers or sit in the bottom of the canoe, if I just sail in light winds, calmer waters or just use a smaller sail to make it less "tippy"?
    In an ideal world, we'd possibly not have outriggers. Those wanting to go out in serious seas would either have trimarans... or would just learn to handle their boats as Howard Rice does... and that would be that.

    In the real world... lots more comes into play... and life gets confusing

    This is one of my all time favourite canoe sailing photos:



    Nothing wrong with that approach... but both those guys were vastly experienced (and highly accomplished) even then ...and both would also encourage serious consideration of Trimarans / outriggers, especially for sailing in more challenging conditions / environments.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steamerpoint View Post
    it is widely accepted that in order to make full use of the sails, it is necessary to keep the mast vertical and often the helm and crew must move their weight to the windward side of the boat, not sit at the bottom of it.
    An interesting point to come out of this discussion is the advantage of keeping the boat flat on the water since this is the most efficient position. Maybe a little contrary to how some people like to paddle.

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    "or would just learn to handle their boats as Howard Rice does... and that would be that."

    The trouble is that some of us are no longer sufficiently agile to adopt that approach - so (somewhat reluctantly) I use outriggers in more demanding situations. If I chose to sit in the boat and only used a small sail then I would not be able to cover the distances that I can by using them - and it's more fun going faster, but knowing that the likelihood of capsizing is hugely reduced and even if it did then self rescue is far more assured, even for the aging and overweight amongst us.

    I would not have been doing this and enjoying it so much:

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    I much prefer sailing without outriggers and on a summer day on the lake then I wont use them, or on the river, where they just get in the way, and rescue is simply swimming to the bank. On bigger open water and coastally I always put them on principally because they allow me to self rescue very easily. When the wind and waves get up I find that I tend not to hike out, but reef down and naturally sit more inboard (still on the gunwales not on the floor) as that lets me control the rolling and gusts much better. I guess I am not interested in speed but in seaworthiness as I much prefer sailing on the sea and frequently solo where the rescue has to be 100%. Steamerpoint may well post a video of me trying to self rescue without the outriggers - success was only twice in 10 attempts. So ourriggers are "de rigueur" for me :-)

  10. #10
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    Here you go Graham.



    Adventure Sailing" Group
    Well if they wanted to ditch the canoe and make the group sound like a sailing club, attracting dinghies and yachts, it would have been the way to go, but if they wanted to focus on sailing canoes then they did the right thing not changing the name.

    I think we need to be careful Greg not putting down certain canoe sailing activities in favour of activities you may personally prefer. A few months back you said that Rutland Water was a boring place to sail and should perhaps be dropped from the calander, but to date, it was the most heavily attandend meet of 2014 with 22 canoes attending. Clearly a popular venue to many.

    The success of the OCSG has got to be down to its flexibility in that it means many things to many people.
    Some people are attracted to to simplicity or size and lightness of a canoe allowing them to continue sailing when bigger and heavier dinghies become too hard to handle. As we get older, we become less able physically and a sailing canoe can fill that gap.
    Others are attracted by the portability and the fact that you can get on the water without a slipway. This opens up access to so many new venues and can often save money in avoiding sailing clubs that charge to use their slipways.
    Then there are the canoeists that want to use the wind as a free and convenient source of propulsion.

    The OCSG have got it right so far in my opinion in offering it's members a variety of activities and keeping it's appeal broad. Personally, I enjoy all forms of sailing and in equal measure. Sometimes I like going fast on flat water and on other ocassions blasting across the Solent or off the Scottish coast. I dislike doing too much paddling though, because a) I struggle with my shoulders and b) I am not very good at it.

    I hope the OCSG stays the same and doesn't become a Scottish coastal sailing group!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Adrian Cooper539202
    An interesting point to come out of this discussion is the advantage of keeping the boat flat on the water since this is the most efficient position. Maybe a little contrary to how some people like to paddle.
    I guess it is Adrian. If a sailing boat or sailing canoe is leaning over, it is not presenting the sail to the wind efficiently and it is giving away potential thrust.
    Occasionally though in some light winds, the wetted area of the hull could be adding more friction in the water, than loss of thrust created when leaning the canoe over, so you still see sailors leaning over their boats/ canoes in light winds. It is also done when racing as a hanging boom to leeward tends to keep the sail full, which makes full use of the small gusts of wind that sometimes come along. As a golden rule though, sailing boats/canoes should have sails and masts vertical, 90 degrees to the water.

  12. #12

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    While I am sailing without a rudder - stearing just with the paddle (SD little egret) - for me there is no sitting on the gunwales or on the bottom of the boat. But it is working: Sailing in moderate winds (4-5 Bft) to the east frisian islands was no problem. The advantages of this system is that there is nearly no hassle while the boat is on land or i am just paddling.
    I think the preparation of a sailing tour with an open sailing canoe is the point: direction and strength of wind, tidal situation, what to do when things are getting worth ... for me always an option is putting the sail and mast into the boat and paddle with kayakpaddel to the next shore.

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