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Thread: Grumman Sailing Canoe

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
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    West Kentucky, USA
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    Default Grumman Sailing Canoe

    Well, now I've done it. I just bought a 1981 Grumman 17. It has the factory sail kit. Near as i can tell all the parts are here. There are no instructions. I believe it is a Gunter rig. The mast is maybe 14 feet, The boom is 9 feet. The sail is about 12' x 8' which seems enormous for a canoe. There is a cool but complex rudder handle. There's only one large lee board. There are two mast locations with factory flange. I've assembled the parts and mounted them on the canoe, but I understand the mast needs to move to the forward position. I have no idea about rigging.
    During my research I have repeatedly run across references to an elusive man with knowledge of my canoe. He has mysterious photos stored in a land called photobucket. These photos require a magic incantation to view or maybe a magic wand.
    This man is known as OutnBacker. I hear he's been known to frequent this place and I come seeking his knowledge.
    If you see him, tell him there's a stranger in town looking for him. I'll be in the saloon.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
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    Bangor, Co Down.
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    4,460

    Default

    Welcome to our forum. You have come to the right place for advice as I've heard this being discussed here before. Sadly we are having problems with photobucket at the moment and blogs with photos stored there are not showing.
    But order another drink and hold on for a while and someone will be along to keep you company.
    Big Al.

    Only when the last tree has died
    and the last river been poisoned
    and the last fish been caught
    will we realise we cannot eat money.
    ~Cree Indian Proverb

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Eagles Nest Lakes, Ely, Northeastern Minnesota, USA
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    90

    Default

    Welcome to the forum and congratulations on your Grumman sail canoe. Mine is also a 17 footer with the Gunter sail and I have learned a whole lot from OutnBacker. He has several videos of his rig, so take a look on Utube. Hopefully there will be a way to restore photos lost through Photobucket. I don't know what I would have done without help from this forum.
    SB

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Washington State, USA, shores of Puget Sound
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    Default

    POOF!!! It is I, OutnBacker. But you can call me John.

    Hello, Walter (Silverbear). Welcome to the Forum, Wooddoug.

    Photobucket has always been problematic for me, and now they've gone All Pay and the pics stored there are gone for free access. That means they disappear everywhere they have been posted. That's the rumor anyway. Some of my pics are on Google photos, but I havens tried to post them fro there yet.

    So, Woododoug, you have an itch. Be careful. This thing has a way of becoming a rash. Lets start with a little better understanding of your rig.

    If yo have the 65 sq ft gunter, you will have three spars: One mast of 1-3/4" dia. and two equal length thinner yards. One, a boom with a casting at the aft end with two eyes. The other is the gunter yard with a smooth plug at the aft end. Both with have a jaw arrangement like a fork at the mast end.

    The sail has a sleeve the full length of the foot at the bottom that slides onto the boom. The yard also has a sleeve that starts about 2.5ft up the luff and slides onto the gunter yard.

    If you have only a mast and a boom, you have a bermudan rig, which is very different in it's rigging. So, which is it?

    I'm off to work now, but will be back later...

    John

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Location
    West Kentucky, USA
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    Hi John. My name is Doug. I live in Western Kentucky near Kentucky Lake, a premier sailing lake. My sailing experience is half dozen trips on friends boats and a couple days sailing a very small cat on the ocean, so near zero.
    I have so many questions!
    My rig is not a gunter, it is the Bermuda rig you refer to. One mast and the sail attaches with a sleeve. It only has one large lee board.
    I'm preparing to move the mast to the forward foot bracket. I'm glad you contacted me to advise if this is the right thing to do, as I'm about to build a wooden thwart (mast step?)
    Will this rig as I've described it sail into the wind?
    Should I move the mast forward?
    I attempted to include a photo of the rudder handle system. Will the boom attach directly to the pulley on the hub of this handle, or will the line go through a series of pulleys for mechanical advantage?
    Where should the lee board be located?
    My last question is psychological. Do you have any experience in counseling reticent sailors? I've paddled white water streams for 40 years around Kentucky Tennessee. I have plenty of experience swimming behind a canoe when I'm supposed to be inside the canoe paddling. And that's okay. But the idea of sticking a 12 foot tall lever on a 30" wide boat in a wind and expecting it to stay upright seems crazy, and impossible, in spite of the videos I've watched. . Can I expect any sort of success sailing this rig until I make a decision on pontoons?
    It appears I need much more flotation $$$. And eventually outriggers $$$, but I will be putting the pontoons off till I can make a better informed decisions.

  6. #6
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    Jul 2017
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    West Kentucky, USA
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    Default

    3rd attempt

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Washington State, USA, shores of Puget Sound
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    Quote Originally Posted by wooddoug View Post
    Hi John. My name is Doug. I live in Western Kentucky near Kentucky Lake, a premier sailing lake. My sailing experience is half dozen trips on friends boats and a couple days sailing a very small cat on the ocean, so near zero.
    I have so many questions!
    My rig is not a gunter, it is the Bermuda rig you refer to. One mast and the sail attaches with a sleeve. It only has one large lee board.
    I'm preparing to move the mast to the forward foot bracket. I'm glad you contacted me to advise if this is the right thing to do, as I'm about to build a wooden thwart (mast step?)
    Will this rig as I've described it sail into the wind?
    Should I move the mast forward?
    I attempted to include a photo of the rudder handle system. Will the boom attach directly to the pulley on the hub of this handle, or will the line go through a series of pulleys for mechanical advantage?
    Where should the lee board be located?
    My last question is psychological. Do you have any experience in counseling reticent sailors? I've paddled white water streams for 40 years around Kentucky Tennessee. I have plenty of experience swimming behind a canoe when I'm supposed to be inside the canoe paddling. And that's okay. But the idea of sticking a 12 foot tall lever on a 30" wide boat in a wind and expecting it to stay upright seems crazy, and impossible, in spite of the videos I've watched. . Can I expect any sort of success sailing this rig until I make a decision on pontoons?
    It appears I need much more flotation $$$. And eventually outriggers $$$, but I will be putting the pontoons off till I can make a better informed decisions.
    Hello Doug.

    I must tell you up front that I have no experience with the bermudan on a Grumman. Is it a Grumman marked sail? I know they made them. There is a gentlemen on the forum named Bob Cavenagh who is very up to snuff on Things Grumman.

    Now, having said that, I think I can answer some of your concerns. Yes, you will sail to weather smartly with a bermudan. Just look at the guys on this forum who sail their local waters - often coastal waters. They like their bermudan rigs a lot and they more often than not sail with no outriggers. To me, at my age, this is asking for trouble in the form of an unscheduled swim in icy cold waters. No, I don't want to make the substantial investment in a dry suit. I have le$$ in my entire setup.

    Can you say what size the sail is? I'm bad at math but I think it may be a 48sq ft if the dims are 12x8. That isn't a huge sail, but it is a high ratio aspect so the lever effect is or can be rather sudden and surprising. Nevertheless, the Brits over there really go at it. They do capsize but they seem to mostly wear the suits and possibly use the occasions as fodder at the pub.

    Most of the factors that lead to a capsize can be managed by a good, efficient reefing system. This is something that Grumman sails lack, generally. I added my own to the gunter, plus mod'ing some other aspects to make it a much better sail al' round. In the UK, they have Solway Dory, which is a company that specializes in some very nice goodies for canoe sailing. Their bermudan uses a roller reefing system that winds the sail around the mast with the pull of a line. Very nice in a canoe that is sensitive to crew movement.

    As to where to step the mast for that sail - I would say at the aft flange, due to the short boom. That would place the leeboard near midships on one side or the other (your choice). For starters, lay the sail flat and mark a point half way along the luff. Then another halfway along the foot. Next, draw a line from the luff mark to the clew (aft grommet on the foot). Next, draw a line from the foot mark, up to the head. The crossing point will be the theoretical CE, or near to it. Put some tape on the spot.

    Next, raise the mast and sail. Drop a line down from the tape and mark where it touches the boat. That's very close to where you mount the leeboard for starters. Adjust by sliding the leeboard fwd or aft while sailing to get the best neutral or slightly weather helm. When you find the sweet spot, you're done. Generally, you want the leeboard just very slightly ahead of the CE so the bow doesn't turn to leeward when you release the tiller. I mean very slighly, as in a couple three inches. The boat should slowly head up and stop with the sail flogging.

    Now this tiller arrangement you talk about: I have no idea what your trying to tell me. I use a Norwegian tiller, which I find suitable in a long narrow boat. It's the basic push/pull with a long painters extension pole as the tiller handle. Works great.

    I should try to post some links or pics, but you can go to my channel on YouTube. Just go there and search for OutnBacker/Grumman trimaran sailing/ canoe sailing, etc...

    As to counseling reticent sailors, well, I can probably tell you a couple things since I have some sailing in my history and very recent past, have owned some exquisite boats, plus I continue to drive my trimaran hard every chance I get, but you probably will learn that canoe sailing is quite different in some respects from sailing a say, a Montgomery 17. Canoes have really only recently been wed to sails. Only in the last 120 years really, has there been any real records of people sailing the North American Canoe. I leave out the brilliant designs of the South Seas because they are not the same machines at all.

    Just get out there and set the canoe up like I said. Where your PFD at all times. Dunk it, learn, dunk it again. Learn some more. Then, come to me on your knees and I shall guide you to the True Path of Trimaran Bliss.

    heh, heh, heh...

    EDIT NOTE: This could be very important because of the age of your Grumman. Old Grummans like ours used common Styrofoam for flotation. Over time, this material has been proven to lose significant buoyancy and should not be relied upon to keep the boat at the surface. Strap something that floats inside before you go out testing things.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Location
    West Kentucky, USA
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    Wow, that was amazing info. Yes the sail is marked G C. It's 13'8 x 7' 6" so about 52 sq ft. The boom is 8'.
    I have been worried about the flotation. I priced the mini cell sufficient for a large block under each seat but was at $350 before I bought the outrageous glue, so no.
    Once I know more I'll be thinking about trimaran or outriggers. What are the pros and cons of pontoons in the water vs higher ones that allow a little lean?
    Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. The internet can be a wonderful thing. I'll try to contact Bob Cavenaugh too.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Washington State, USA, shores of Puget Sound
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    http://www.songofthepaddle.co.uk/for...the-Grumman-17

    You may find some answers here, in a thread I started a couple days ago.

    The flotation issue can be temporarily resolved with a couple of $8 pool mattresses, rolled up lengthwise and tied under the thwarts until you figure things out. The foam I used in the video has good displacement if you go with a more permanent solution. Best to take the canoe to a shallow beach and dump it over in waste deep water to find out what goes up and what goes down. I've never replaced the foam in mine but may do that this summer - or maybe over next winter. But mine is a trimaran so it doesn't really get much exposure to capsize risk. If it's that bad, I'm either on my way in or I don't go out in the first place. My risk is losing the mast since the boat won't flip; or heel to relive wind pressure beyond my ability to reef the sail. I've bent the mast pretty far a few times. gets me thinking of shrouds...

    Bob has a great a thread here on all kinds of sails and other canoe sailing subjects. We correspond often. Perusing his comments is always informative and he knows a lot about the bermudan sails from Grumman and the other types of rudders and setups they once produced. Me? I just acquired the gunter years ago and use it because that's what I have. I've modified it to be much better than the factory offerings and it performs beautifully. Very powerful.
    Last edited by OutnBacker; 19th-July-2017 at 04:17 AM.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Location
    Lancaster
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    Hello and welcome to the wild and wacky world of canoe sailing!

    Inflatable boat rollers such as:

    https://www.ebay.co.uk/i/40095488011...1899693&crdt=0

    can also make a good, cost effective, flotation (paired with end bags/blocks). Quite a few people in the OCSG use them and you can see some in action in Keith's boat here: http://www.ocsg.org.uk/members-boats/keith-morris/ (fourth picture down).

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Location
    West Kentucky, USA
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    Hi John, I've added 7 cubic feet of blue styrofoam flotation. Hope to take her out Sunday. I'm planning pipe pontoons now. Did you use 6" PVC on your first trial? How long and how far away from the boat?

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Washington State, USA, shores of Puget Sound
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    Hello Wooddoug, My first set was made of 4" black pvc drain/waste/vent pipe. It was strictly experimental and so they were simply strapped at the ends of a couple of 10ft 2x4's about 4ft apart. The beam was the length of the lumber - 10ft. They were not at the waterline, but about 8" above it, so not like what I'm using now. At the time, I was hoping for better wind, but there was almost nothing at all so not a good test of resistance to heeling or buoyancy.

    This type of pipe is heavy and isn't what I'd call suitable as a performance accessory long term. It must support it's own weight and act as a stabilizer as well. The only buoyancy it offers is the air trapped inside. Do not add expanding foam. It won't cure once it sucks up the trapped air and will remain goopy and heavy except at the very ends. Just cap it at the aft end and add a capped elbow at the front and go with that. PVC make a decent enough stabilizer at rest and very low winds, but it will not act as a trimaran outer hull when the wind gets up. They will submerge and cause lots of drag and you'll be hiking out in much the same way as a monohull, but with dampened heeling motion.

    Edit: Here's an album showing the early PVC tubes attached to the old 18ft Grumman.

    https://photos.google.com/share/AF1Q...N3Umdzc0pGcnBn
    Last edited by OutnBacker; 11th-August-2017 at 01:46 AM.

  13. #13

    Default

    Hello,
    I am new to your site and it appears I may be right where I want to be. My father passed away recently and he had a 17' Grumman aluminum canoe with a sail kit. I believe it was purchased new in the 70's complete with the sail kit. It has only been sailed a hand full of times, while the canoe was well used through the years. Canoe has some small dents but is otherwise in great shape. Sail is still in original box and all parts are accounted for, probably including the original instructions if I know my father (he has instruction manuals for everything he's ever owed). So my question is, is there a market for such equipment? If so what would be a fair price for such items?

    Maybe one of your members may be interested? Would like it to go to someone that will enjoy it, not someone that wants it on the cheap just to turn around and sell it for a profit. A lot family memories and my dad's love for boats and sailing. Would like someone to create more family memories than make money, but I don't want to give it away either.

    looking forward to a response from someone.

    Thanks you in advance for an anticipated response.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Washington State, USA, shores of Puget Sound
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    Hello Scott.
    Sorry to hear of your fathers' passing. You ask a tough question. Grumman made several different sail kits but hasn't made any for many years. Even if I knew which one you have, the prices are all over the place. I would characterize the market as both narrow and ecclectic. Few people even know that a canoe can be equipped with a sail - easier if it is a Grumman, in fact.

    Both of my sail kits are Gunter Rigs. I paid $250 for my later one but only $75 for the much older one - both complete with leeboards, rudders, leeboard thwarts and mast partners. I recently passed on another type, a Class C Bermudan Rig from Grumman that was priced at $250. The Bermudan is a more modern type and I'd say 90% of all sail boats have that kind of sail as a mainsail. I let it go because I've done so many mods to mine that it performs at least as well as the Bermudan.

    Another common type is the Lateen. So, you'd have to determine what you have. Laid out flat, a picture(s) would really help here.

    After that, I would suggest a wide search through C-listing in various cities around the country to find a few to compare. I'm in the Seattle Everett area of Washington State, but everyone here seems to think of canoes as something to step over out in back of the garage. They go for kayaks, so canoe sails are a real anomaly.

  15. #15

    Default Grumman sailing canoe

    Hello OutnBacker,
    Thank you for such a quick reply! Below is a photo of what I believe the sail kit looks like, I haven't seen it in a looonnnngggg time, photo copied from another site. Do you believe $500.00 for both the sail kit and canoe is in the ballpark? Too high, too low? I know it's a niche item, frankly I was shocked anyone is even talking about them. In all the years I been around, and it's a few, I've never seen another one in person. Having sailed most of my life I have to say it's not the most stable craft ever designed, but we have sailed in lakes and ponds all over the northeast you could not even get other types of boats in. I hate to see it go, but would be nice if it found it's way to someone who could enjoy it.

    Hope the photo helps?

    Thanks again,
    Scott






  16. #16

    Default

    Hello again OutnBacker,
    Apparently I did not have enough posts to attach a photo. I will try again on post #3. Here goes! Thanks, Scott

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