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Thread: The Solway Dory Crew.

  1. #1
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    Default The Solway Dory Crew.

    A bit of a rambling start to this to establish the context. After the Barton Broad paddle organised by Blott, I took the opportunity to take my Laser 2000 dingy to Hickling, where I really learnt to sail, for a nostalgia cruise. I'm now pretty old, and have, for about 60 years, been a dinghy racer. In the last couple of years I have lost enthusiasm for racing, but enjoyed choosing suitable weather and destination for "just enjoying sailing". During the 60 years I have mainly sailed high performance dinghies, often with trapezes, but the 2000 is a simple boat, jib, main, asymetric spinnaker, sit out.
    On my Broads trip I seemed to take an age rigging, mast up, strings on, spi in its sock, furled jib up and at the end of this faffing a guy strolled up, took off the cover from his dinghy, put in the unstayed mast and tied on his balanced lugsail. We launched close together, he having taken about a third of the time I'd taken to rig. At the end of the dyke he anchored and I tied up to a post, we both hoisted the main (in his case the only), and set off down the broad in company with two 22ft half deckers of traditional broads design, also with balanced lugs. We broad reached down, me with my spinnaker up, and generally kept pace with each other until we separated to go to different destinations. On my return, with all the faffing, the lugsail guy had dropped his sail, taken out his mast and put the cover on, in no time at all.

    I had plenty of time on the drive home, and in subsequent days to come up with a new plan. I would build a stitch and glue mini gaffer, and make short trips to places like the Crouch, the Walton Backwaters, Chichester harbour, may be the Solent, Falmouth, Plymouth etc, for mini cruises. Whilst in this thought mode, I happened to see a photo of a Solway Dory Trimaran.

    I've been pretty sarki on these pages regarding sailing canoes, their seaworthyness (And hitching onto an organised event to take advantage of safety provided by others for others). All that until I encountered, in print, Windorpaddle, and others, whose exploits in outrigger canoes were amazing and far beyond what I would have been happy with in an unaccompanied dinghy. From this, and a short electronic sparing session with my old mate Greg, came an invitation to see Solway Dory's boats, may be sail one, and see how what I had, by that time, identified as potential problems could be over come.

    The plan was to leave Hexham on the day after the Tyne Tour, drive over to Cartmel, look at the boats and meet the guys, and then may be sail one. All this collapsed when I couldn't find my Wallet on Monday morning, and squandered valuable time looking for it. However, better late than never I met with Dave S and Mark, having had a long phone chat with Dave P on the phone some time before.

    Their base is unprepossessing, as you pass from farm yard, to barn, but the workshop is certainly a boatyard. I've been in some boat builder's premises in my time, and this fitted exactly. There was a part-completed hull in carbon kevlar, test sections of trial laminates, rudders, lee boards, all the paraphernalia of a state of the art boat production. Outside were examples of finished work, all showing superb attention to detail, and brilliant design. The arrangement for locking and releasing the lee board, the beefed up Topper system in stainless to hold the mast in place, the leading of the rudder up haul and down haul through stainlesses fittings, the clever use of available dinghy fittings in another task, the lightness of construction....all made it clear that these guys had taken time and experience to work out solutions and carry them out.

    We then examined and rigged the Tri on the trailer. Brilliant, again attention to detail. The system for fixing and locking the floats to the cross beams and the hull, the way it can be adjusted to allow alongside mooring and getting on and off, all superb. It took very little time, but there were two of them, and there were one or two bits that would have taken longer to line up if on my own.

    So, in the end, will I be having one? Well no, but it comes down to background. Just as the Solway guys had an answer to all my "problems", I felt that a traditional but light dinghy could solve them, and I could go on sitting a right angles to the direction of travel, and using the tiller /extension system I'm used to.. Currently I have two solutions. The first is quite simple. Buy a winch that hooks on to the car tow bar, to pull the 2000, which is quite heavy, up any ramps. buy a jockey wheel to the trolley that has a handle. Unreave the spinnaker haliyard, before dropping the mast, but use that to leave a runner on the mast to re reave it, allowing spinnaker to be left in the sock with sheets and spi haliyard in the boat, load the mast onto the trailer with the foot forward, and in a bag, meaning the shrouds don't have to be removed. A considerable time saved, and even more with a trailing cover. The second is to build a stitch and glue light dinghy with a centreboard and a lugsail. I'll try the first first.

    I must thank the Solway guys for three things. The invitation, the tour, and the excuse to drive from Hexham to Cartmel over the Hartside pass, along Ulswater, over the Kirkstone, along Windermere, with snow on the hills and a bright blue sky.

    Impcanoe

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    Peter, I've no clue what you're talking about, but it was a good read nevertheless
    Nin Wanakiwidee Tchiman

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    Failed at the first hurdle
    Basically
    I'm an experienced sailor, looking for a new craft
    Now I've met them I don't want one of their trimarans,
    BUT
    if I did, I'd go to them like a shot
    'cos their work is super, and attention to detail amazing

    Is that any clearer??

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    Is that any clearer??
    No, it was the technical terms I didn't understand
    Nin Wanakiwidee Tchiman

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    I've several jobs I don't want to do, so here goes
    Each hull design has a speed it can reach with the normal amount of power applied. general this varies in proportionally to the square root of the waterline length, and speeds below this are referred to as displacement sailing. speeds above are known as planing. Sailing boats tend to be able to plane downwind with normal sail areas, but bigger sail plans are needed to sail up wind, and more power has to be exerted to keep the boat upright and level. This can be done by extra width racks, trapezes (a wire from high on the mast to a belt on the crew) or sliding seats, or by floats on outriggers (Catamarans, two hulls, trimarans, three). The most recent method is by hydrofoils, which can also reduce wetted surface and hence drag to allow very high speeds. Generally dinghies that will plane to windward are considered high performance, and require greater skill, fitness and agility.
    Spinnakers are a large, extra sail for down wind sailing. Initially they looked like a section of a sphere, set on a spinnaker pole at right angles from near the bottom of the mast. A rope, or pair of roaps went from each lower corner of what was also triangular back to the back of the boat, guys to the end of the pole, sheets to the "free" end. Gybing is the sailing action when the boat turns, presenting the stern to the wind, which means the wind will suddenly blow on the other side of the mainsail, requiring skilled control. The spinnaker pole must then be moved to the other side (In contrast, a tack presents the bow to the wind, allowing the wind to "change sides" in a controlled and stress free manner.

    As high performance boats developed it was realised that the boats would go far faster in a broad reach 100 to 160 degrees from the wind than dead running, 180 degrees to the wind, and so boats started to sail with several gybes. The concept of VMG, Velocity Made Good which considers that vector concerned with getting down wind with that of going fast. It was soon realised, by the highly specialised Sydney Harbour 18 ft skiffs, (see them on utube), that time was lost moving the pole in every gybe, and so asymetrical spinnakers which were fixed in one corner to the bow or a bow sprit, were far quicker to gybe. They were also easier, and so asymetric spinnakers have appeared on general purpose boats where the VMG "gain" may be negative. As most racing is either one design, where all the boats have the same characteristics, or hndicap, where the characteristics influence the handicap, ths does not really matter.
    Dinghy spinnakers nowadays are stored and launched from asock which finishes in a former to hold it open somewhere near the bow. It is launched by a halyard up the mast, pulling this string also lauches the bow sprit, and the other end passes through varios gizmos to pass up the sock and fasten to the middle of the spinnaker. Pulling the haiyard the otherway collapses the spi, and draws it into the sock. Fitting all this up probable takes about 10 mins and can easily go wrong.
    The mast is usually held up by three wires, two shrouds and a forestay. A lug sail has a shorter mast and four corners, as apposed to three in a bermudian rig. The Top of the sail is fastened to a yard or gaff, the bottom to a boom, and a single rope attched someway towards the middle of the gaff is the halyard to the sail. It is restrained at the top of the mast /gaff, and at the bottom, boom / mast.and contolled, as are all mainsails, with a main sheet.

    That covers the first 5 paras OK so far??

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    Bloody hell, my head hurts, how many paras are there ??
    That certainly puts into perspective what sailor has to learn !!
    Nin Wanakiwidee Tchiman

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    I have had 67 years to learn it. You might believe that I am an RYA racing coach

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    Sounds like a call for a Goat Island Skiff.

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    Thanks Doug. I hadn't come across this one. off to look it up

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    Find I had seen it, but discarded (in the early days) because of the flat bottom

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    The designer is sporadically active here as Boatmik,
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  12. #12

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    You might also consider Ross Lillistone's stitch and glue "First Mate". 15ft long, 5.5ft wide, centreboard, 80kg weight and a balance lug sail. about the same a Laser but a bit drier.
    Plans aren't cheap, but reading various blogs, the builders are full of praise for them.
    I'm considering it myself as I have a Wayfarer, which is a great boat on the water, but a killer to get out onto dry land afterward solo because of it's weight.

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    A shame you aren't really interested in canoe sailing; you would fit right in and probably contribute a great deal to the group!

    The OCSG is a wonderful organisation and one of those unusual groups which is much more than the sum of its parts....

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    Lime. I'm fascinated by canoe sailors and canoe sailing. Since having my 10sqm international canoe sunk by a rescue boat I have followed the class, and still have friends in the class. Over the years I had more than 35 sailing boats, and probably 20 + canoes and kayaks. Excluding boats owned for the kids, the slowest have been a Firefly, two Solos and several Laser 1s. I currently own a laser 2000, and a 3000, have owned 5 5o5s, a 5000, a Int.14, an RS 600 and an RS 700, three Contenders, 2 Blazes, 2 Micro Cuppers, and Mini Tonner and a Half Tonner. I've done World and National Championships with varying degrees of success, the Fastnet, Cowes Week, Cork Week, Torbay week, Burnham Week, Medway Week, Round Sheppey, The Nore Race, the Medwy Marathon, the Birket and the Anglesey Offshore.
    My considered opinion, which may not fit with people reading this thread, is that, with the exception of the trimarans (so called because they are pointed at both ends??) so called sailing canoes are like a camel, something designed by committee to achieve no purpose satisfactorily. Until old age and the growing arthritis prevent me, I wish to sit out, trapeze and perform actions in stable dinghies and keel boats, sail to windward with little lee way, tack with confidence, capsize and recover, self drain. carry a spinnaker, plane a supersonic speeds (allegedly!!) I do not wish to sail with pocket handkerchief sails, land on distant beaches, carry camping kit, undertake heroic cruises in challenging water.

    But if I did, I might well have a boat from Solway Dory

    However Lime, thanks for your comment. I'm flattered.

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    Prospectorbuilder

    Thanks,another one I've not seen. I'm not sure whether I like a flush foredeck, which most of my boats have had, or a lower one with exposed topsides, like both the Mirror and the Laser 2K. Its taken enough mental thought to not only convince my self not to get a tri, but to explain to my self why not.

    Where are you, and where will you build? I might juts build in Anglesey, if in fact I build at all

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    An informative and interesting read so far, if not a little heavy in places for the non sailor in me.
    Good luck with the quest.

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    If you want something explained, please ask. If nothing more its a secret "bump" for my enthusiasm for the Solway Dory Crew, to whom I owe a debt for a most interesting visit, not forgetting the thought processes, both before and after which have influenced my decision.

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    After reading your posts I have three groups of thoughts. But first:

    Now in my mid '70's, I have only been sailing 40+ years, but I have had a very wide range of experiences. At this stage of my life, my most important goal is to be on the water. No racing, just pottering about and exploring new places.

    1. Despite its flat bottom, the Goat Island Skiff is a sweet/hot little number, light and easy to manage.

    2. I sail both canoes and traditional sailboats and each has a place. The canoe can go most anywhere on top of my car. I haven't yet felt the need for security outriggers (which are very definitely NOT what I think of as trimarans. I may try a pair; they will still be easy to transport.) So far I just moderate my sail area to suit. Sails have been an integral part of canoeing since the 19th century--but admittedly not for everyone. ONE CAN OWN BOTH canoes and 'conventional' sailboats. For something really relaxed, look at the Bufflehead.

    3. (I need some help here: I don't understand the need for a winch and bogey wheel for what I think of as a smallish hull like the Laser 2000. This may be the result of my North American experiences with trailering boats. It is a rare ramp I can't back a trailer down to launch. I also know that in the UK launch trolleys that go up on trailers are common, but I have never quite understood that need either. Sometimes a VERY shallow launch ramp suggests the addition of a tongue extender to keep the vehicle out of the water. I have quite routinely trailered boats of up to 3500 pounds and just backed them down the ramps. A good vehicle helps a lot for the heavier ones, but otherwise most anything has worked.)

    Beyond that, if you'd like the performance possibilities of your Laser 2000 in a slightly lighter and perhaps slightly hotter hull, and the ease of a lug sail, look back in time to the Uffa Fox Albacore dinghy. These hulls lend themselves very well to conversion to a balanced lug rig. The mast tips up to its partners, which can be reinforced for a new free standing mast. The 'bury' is quite sufficient. You might beef up the step, too, but both jobs are easy. The long centerboard will give good service in working out hull balance. And old hulls are often quite economical. Save the original sloop rig with its (typically) tapered mast and you can choose a rig to suit the day and your ambition.

    Bob

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    Bob. Thanks for your thought provoking piece. I will reply in due course, but right now I'm off to watch the U tube of todays Sydney Harbour 18ft skiff race

    Peter
    Impcanoe

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    I used to sail a flying fifteen - which is a heavy lump by dinghy standards but a comparative lightweight by keelboat standards.

    Launching from a slip using an ordinary two wheel drive car was easily done and without using a separate launch trolley.

    I would rig the boat on the road trailer and back the whole plot onto the slip taking care to keep the drive wheels above the slippery part of the ramp, then use a rope to lower the trailer down the slip, the rope was snubbed on the tow hitch and the boat fastened to the trailer by its painter.

    Once the boat is afloat (and the trailer wheels submerged) the painter would be passed up to the jetty and the trailer puller out of the water by the car using the rope .

    Retrieval was basically the reverse.

    Wheel bearings....
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    That is essentially what is done at Datchet Water with their Flying 15s. My idea for the winch is to keep the car off the steep or slippery (or very narrow)

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    Perhaps I have been lucky in the launch ramps I use. Only a few in Maine have been slippery, and then when launching or retrieving at low tide. I carried a rake and broom for those occasions--the issue was mostly seaweed that was left behind as the tide fell.

    The Dachet Water site seems very low and flat, and I suspect has no tides, but that is just from a glance at their website.

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    Tidal ranges in the UK vary - a lot, down here we have 30 to 40 feet at springs, whereas on The Broads it can be as little as three feet.
    A shallow angle slip and a ten metre range can be a lot of slippery concrete.
    ,
    pays to launch nearer high water.
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    Datchet is a drinking water reservoir between Central London and Windsor Castle and is part excavated and part high embankments. Jokingly it has "tides" due to the balance of the thirst of Londoners and the limit on allowed abstraction from the Thames.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DougR View Post
    Tidal ranges in the UK vary - a lot, down here we have 30 to 40 feet at springs, whereas on The Broads it can be as little as three feet.
    A shallow angle slip and a ten metre range can be a lot of slippery concrete.
    pays to launch nearer high water.
    I have launched/retrieved routinely with tides of 9-15 feet. To encounter more than that one must go further east in Maine and on to New Brunswick (Canada) where the Fundy tides hit 50 feet. I'll leave those for someone else. Much further south the tides are lower.

    I often find shallow ramps more of a chore than steeper ones, especially if the boat sits high on the trailer.

    I still haven't figured out the launch dolly + trailer combo and how/why it is used.

    Bob

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    The trolley trailer thing is for several reasons. To keep the trailer bearings out of the water and save the cost of waterproof bearings. To lighten the load, with no hitch, mudguards, road worthy strength, To reduce the space needed to store the boat on its trolley at a sailing club, although many leave their trailer there and just park the trolley above it.
    Most recreational powerboat users do as you say, and have a trailer that can be immersed, but that means the slip must be strong enough for vehicles, and my last three clubs have banned cars from using the slip.

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    Doug we are getting into exciting territory here

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    I think Peter you have missed one of the really good reasons for having a sailing canoe, in that they are light enough with a portage trolley not to need one of those slipways. And with a small portage trolley you don't need to end up somewhere else with another slipway and no means to get the boat out of the water. I invariably launch from a beach near a car park, as you would with any canoe . And the trolley comes with me so I can get the canoe out of the water when I land somewhere else.
    Last edited by DaveS; 28th-November-2016 at 04:06 PM.

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    No, I've only missed it in the discussion. It was a major consideration, and a major plus. However, with my concerns over sailing stability, it of course, in my eyes, becomes three canoes. My improved 2000 system, which is what I expect to be trialing next year, still has a trailer, but the advantages (as seen by me) or disadvantages (as seen by you) have been substantially reduced. I think repeat rigging time will be down to about your tri time, and possibly the biggest attraction, I will be able to use all those reflexes and instinctive and did-I-do-that? actions I have taken so long to master. I will also, I hope, be launching from suitable beaches or slipways for my trolley and combi.
    Your scenario of place to place cruising either assumes a shuttle, the bete noir of my WW paddling, or camping, which is not on my agenda.

    But thanks again, not only for the visit, but for all the info this thread has, unexpectedly, produced.

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    Hi

    I have a Goat Island Skiff, not sure what the problem with the flat bottom is that you are seeing. It enables me to take the trailer to the water's edge, ie wheels on dry land, slide the boat off on the rollers - large fender style, and do the same in reverse with a winch. It makes launching and recovery very easy.

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    I'm very taken with a GIS, have joined the Facebook Page, and will be looking for a test sail. I see no problem with the flat bottom, perhaps vulnerability at the chine, but I like to test before I commit.

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    Calanish. Still looking seriously at a GIS. However the Facebook group seems populated by sailors in exotic areas, well the Americas and the Antipedes. Do the UK guys, if there are more than just you, lurk on any forum or magazine?

    Peter

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    Interesting thread. I used to own small yacht with an expensive marina berth, but it was hardly used, since I needed willing crew, rather than an unwilling wife. In my quest for simplicity I ended up windsurfing, for 30 years, until I realised that I spent far too much time waiting for wind (force 4+) that often didn't materialise.

    Canoeing is easy to do - can be done solo, easy to get to local rivers, no trailing, no rigging, minimal gear and is less critical of the weather.

    Trouble is, I feel drawn back to sailing or windsurfing - my 'first loves'. I've been looking at Solway sailing canoes, but they seem as complicated and expensive as dinghy's, but without the advantages of efficiency and recovery from capsize.

    I have my eye on a Laser 2000, funnily enough, and a Cornish Cormorant (have you checked these out Peter - balance lug or gunter rig), but I'm NOT a lake sailor, so being 2 1/2 hours from the Solent/Devon/Dorset, the more I think about the faffing about involved with driving time, towing, rigging, launching etc, the more I keep returning to canoeing... 5 miles to the Wye, Avon and Severn... it's just easier!

    Not really contributing much to the thread... just trying to figure things out...


    https://www.cornishcrabbers.co.uk/di.../cormorant-12/
    I'm at that difficult age... somewhere between birth and death.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Duck Feet View Post
    Trouble is, I feel drawn back to sailing [...] I've been looking at Solway sailing canoes, but they seem as complicated and expensive as dinghy's, but without the advantages of efficiency and recovery from capsize.
    Gavin Millar downsized from yachts to get back to the minimalist simplicity of sailing a canoe.

    They couldn't really be simpler. As they're so easily driven (low drag) they have compact, very simple (unstayed) rigs which can be set up, reefed and/or removed and stowed whilst afloat... generally in a matter of seconds. They're so light we can launch / land almost anywhere and can generally car-top single-handed.

    In terms of cost... there's no comparison - sailing a canoe can be done on a shoestring... and a brand new Solway Dory set-up can be got for a LOT less than a brand new cruising dinghy such as a Wayfarer.

    In terms of efficiency... if you sail perfectly in fine winds you may find a Laser in good shape is faster... but if you check with those in the Dinghy Cruising Association, I think you'll find Kieth Morris, Gavin Millar and others have more than held their own in a journeying context.

    As for recovery from capsize - I doubt ANY craft is easier than a sailing canoe!

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    Hi Greg. Where has this suddenly come from???? A lot has not happened since my last post on this subject. I've tracked down some GOskiff people, nearly, not quite bought one, looked at some other designs, sold my Laser 3000, worked on two Mirrors for grandchildren use, not sailed at all, paddled very little, though a great deal. Of my latest "grown up" boats, Laser 1, Laser 2000, Laser 3000, Blaze, 5o5 they are all selfdraining. I know that the sailing canoes can have a great deal of buoyancy, but I would expect them to come up with water in them that needs bailing. Of course my Int Canoe, being fully decked was non filling rather than self draining.

    I have looked at an OZGoose, a kitchen drawer on steroids, but don't think I have the nerve to own one, not because of its sailing characteristics, but because of its looks.

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    ^^^ I guess it's me that should apologise for resurrecting the thread. I didn't realise that after only six or seven weeks, it was 'dead'... my mistake.
    I'm at that difficult age... somewhere between birth and death.

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    Sorry Duckfeet. I have a long time "thing" going with Greg. I'm pleased to see the thread continuing, if only to raise the subject of the "Solway Dory Crew" again. I say again, that if I wanted to do random distance cruising with finishes on beaches with camping, then I might be prepared to go for a sailing canoe, but I don't.

    Impcanoe

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    Quote Originally Posted by Impcanoe View Post
    Sorry Duckfeet. I have a long time "thing" going with Greg. ...
    ^ I won't ask. FWIW, those chines on the GIS scare the hell out of me just looking at them.
    I'm at that difficult age... somewhere between birth and death.

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    I hope you have looked at the OZGoose. It took me some time to realise that if you sail the GIS heeled, as other than down wind you are almost certain to do, the underwater shape is a V hull

  41. #41
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    The OZGoose is WILD!!! The sort of boat SpongeBob Squarepants would sail.
    I'm at that difficult age... somewhere between birth and death.

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Impcanoe View Post
    Sorry Duckfeet. I have a long time "thing" going with Greg
    Yup - but in this case I was just responding to Duck Feet - we were merely high jacking your thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Impcanoe View Post
    if I wanted to do random distance cruising with finishes on beaches with camping, then I might be prepared to go for a sailing canoe, but I don't
    That's all I ever wanted to hear, Peter - acknowledgement that they have their place even if it's not doing what appeals most to you!

    Quote Originally Posted by Duck Feet View Post
    The OZGoose is WILD!!! The sort of boat SpongeBob Squarepants would sail.
    Quite fancy giving that a go - but maybe just on a one off basis!

  43. #43
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    I've an reputation in slightly off the wall things. Might just build an Ozgoose.

    In the light of this thread, may I just reiterate that I am highly impressed with the exploits of sailing canoes of the extreme types, in the same way I am taken with the extreme kayakers and canoeists.I just have no longer any desire to do that stuff. All power to those that do.

    Impcanoe

  44. #44
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    Feb 2012
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    Ozgoose is just a bigger lower bolger brick. Easy to build

  45. #45
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    Madmoir explain please. I know its easy to build, whats the first bit?

  46. #46
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    So all this has reached a conclusion. I've bought a secondhand or rather "pre owned" Goat Island Skiff. Won't have it for a bit, but we will see how expectations and reallity fit.

    So Thanks to DougR for the suggestion, and to Greg for stimulating me to work out what I really want. However, WindorPaddle, and Selway Dory Crew, I don't expect to camp on a beach in the outer Hebrides!!

    Impcanoe

  47. #47
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    The GIS that i once saw on Hickling Broad was really impressive and i am sure you will enjoy sailing her.

  48. #48
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    That one now lives in Scotland I think.

  49. #49
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    May 2007
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    Looking forward to the next installment.
    This post may vanish at any moment.

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