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Thread: Inflatable floats

  1. #1

    Default Inflatable floats

    At the start of the year I added a simple sailing rig to my 12' x 30". It was fine on a lake but on the river where I wanted to sail the wind buffers around the trees and makes sailing a scary experience. I removed all the sailing attachments and vowed never again.

    I like the simplicity and lightness of the canoe and don't want the addition of sailing fixings to impact this. I have decided to creat a unit that will be self contained and strap onto the canoe. I have everything to make this except the floats.

    I had been searching for off the shelf units but decided based on cost to make my own. This morning when I opened my email amazon was selling these for 30 including p&p - I have taken the plunge

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Aqua-Marina...raining+wheels



    I figure at that price you can't go wrong, making nylon covers and using then as a bladder may be on the cards.

    This is the original rig


    And this a work in progress design




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  2. #2
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    Dagger (lee) board looks to be set rather far back ---

    Tell us more about the sail.
    This post may vanish at any moment.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by DougR View Post
    Dagger (lee) board looks to be set rather far back ---

    Tell us more about the sail.
    Thanks for the leeboard comment, I will be moving the mast back a bit.

    Sail is a balanced lug made from on old international canoe sail. It is quite the correct shape but was laying about doing nothing




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  4. #4
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    Interesting... I hope it works out for you. How many square feet is your sail?
    SB

  5. #5

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    3.2 sq meter





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  6. #6
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    Jul 2008
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    Southport, really in Lancashire, UK
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    Hi, how do the floats perform?

    I am looking forward to hearing more about your setup.

    Doug
    When there's trouble on shore, there's peace on the wave,
    Afloat in the White Canoe.
    Alan Sullivan


  7. #7

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by dougoutcanoe View Post
    Hi, how do the floats perform?

    I am looking forward to hearing more about your setup.

    Doug
    Don't know, just had an email that they arrive tomorrow. Bit tied up with family issues at the moment but did get the mast partner, leeboard partner and joking frame partly built today.


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  8. #8
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    You might be able to just lash those onto the canoe in the same way as they are intended to fit the SUP and use them as sponsons, it would allow the canoe hull to stiffen the tubes and save having to manufacture an outrigger frame. You would lose a bit of stability compared to an outrigger set up though. Just a thought.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jurassic View Post
    You might be able to just lash those onto the canoe in the same way as they are intended to fit the SUP and use them as sponsons, it would allow the canoe hull to stiffen the tubes and save having to manufacture an outrigger frame. You would lose a bit of stability compared to an outrigger set up though. Just a thought.
    Thinks, I had had that thought and is not a bad idea. I think I will experiment with both the outriggers and sponson idea


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  10. #10

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    No floats yet but some good progress,
    The mast is able to rotate very freely - this is be bearing and support



    This unit the mast partner, aka fixing and leeboard mount. It will be strapped to the canoe. The blue line tightens the white rope and tightens the akas to the frame. The plan being that I can launch from a jetty with one aka and float in place and the fit the second one afloat. I have checked the ergonomics of this on land and it works well.


    Fitted to the canoe



    At the moment I am using very cheap DIY ply which I have lying around. Once happy I will recreate with some top grade marine ply I have to hand.


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  11. #11
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    Looks ingenious. I look forward to reading more about sea trials when they take place. :-)
    Ian

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by idc View Post
    Looks ingenious. I look forward to reading more about sea trials when they take place. :-)
    Ian
    Thanks, bit more building yet and the floats have been delayed. I then need a weather / work window with a complex family life.


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  13. #13

    Default

    Grabner does a couple of rigs that are very similar to what you're constructing. Ludicrous prices, but maybe some inspiration https://www.grabner.com/en/accessories/sails/

  14. #14
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    Hobie do a set of inflatable floats called Sidekick, which are height-adjustable. Made for sit-on-tops, though; I don't know how they'd work with a canoe's greater height above the water.
    Not in Oxford any more...

  15. #15

    Default Inflatable floats

    Quote Originally Posted by The Inflator View Post
    Grabner does a couple of rigs that are very similar to what you're constructing. Ludicrous prices, but maybe some inspiration https://www.grabner.com/en/accessories/sails/
    Thanks I had not seen or heard of Grabner, looking at their products has given me a lot of confidence in my design. The very simple attachment of the floats with a plate under straps are the same as I plan to use. Boy are they expensive - I have spent a grand total of 30 ($38) so far and don't expect any further costs.
    I am just in from tinkering with the rig, not quite right yet but easy to fix.
    The floats are due on Friday, the have reached Cincinnati
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  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by maryinoxford View Post
    Hobie do a set of inflatable floats called Sidekick, which are height-adjustable. Made for sit-on-tops, though; I don't know how they'd work with a canoe's greater height above the water.
    Thanks, I do like the Hobie floats but didn't want to invest 92 into my experiment. I think they would probably fit directly onto my 32mm tubes. They probably would sit above the water which I like.



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  17. #17

    Default Inflatable floats

    Floats have arrived, seam to be make of a robust material, looks to have a weave pattern but I suspect this is decorative rather than a weave material. They are of what appears to be more robust material than quality UK branded buoyancy bags. The only potential weakness are the welded seams which only have a couple of mm of overlap. In my application the seams would rub if grounded. It is very easy to fit a cover to the bags to protect the seams


    They come with buckles on one float and long straps on the other, which has meant some temporary fiddling before sewing a more permanent solution.




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    Last edited by Tink; 7th-September-2017 at 07:30 PM.

  18. #18

    Default Inflatable floats

    Continued
    Because I had some the floats are supported by a drain pipe, I have added end caps functionally at the moment. Will make something more permanent later. The aka attachment is tie wrapped and taped on. About an hour of playing about with the rig and I am ready to go.
    Just need a test window which may be a few weeks





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  19. #19

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    Well the first sail went very well, considering it was made from recycled bits lying in the boat shed, some very cheap builders ply, old water bottles duck tape and tie wraps it went phenomenally.
    https://youtu.be/oni-3rJzxqQt
    Positives
    ✔️ floats behaved impeccably, simply provided the extra security I wanted
    ✔️ sailed upwind with good manners, with the board straight up and down he tracked upwind fine with the steering oar (paddle) out of the water (worked best with oar to leeward). Occasionally it would head up and a quick dip of the oar would correct it.
    ✔️ tacking was easy, if unusual, pull the board so it went angled forward, canoe would go head to wind, quick single stroke of the oar took the bow through the wind, return board to vertical. I do have rudder that could be fitted easily but considering the narrow river where I want to sail I think I will keep the oar.
    ✔️ assembled quickly and easily.
    Negatives
    �� one of the floats tried to toe in when pressed, this only happened on one side but I think it was a combination of the float pivot being too flexible (joint made with tiewraps and tape) and too far forward. I added fore and aft brace lines and this cured this.
    �� mainsheet traveler prevented the boom being pulled in enough
    �� did not like to go off wind, this was better when I heeled to lee ward.

    I have a big list of improvements to make things more permanent rather than tie wrap and tape but a great day.

    cheers

    Tink


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  20. #20

    Default

    Hi Tink this is very interesting I tried using inflatable banana,s but they were abit flimsy thro they worked well and very cheap.I have now switched to boat fenders which are very strong but have not tried them yet. Cheers Jay

  21. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by canoesailer View Post
    Hi Tink this is very interesting I tried using inflatable banana,s but they were abit flimsy thro they worked well and very cheap.I have now switched to boat fenders which are very strong but have not tried them yet. Cheers Jay
    These are considerably tougher than inflatable bananas and a good price. They also have a good amount of buoyancy for my setup. Hope to out again in a few weeks. Good luck with your tests, please report other pictures


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  22. #22

    Default Inflatable floats

    Not much in way of photos but a been for a sail on the Tees
    Launched off the pontoon with the dock side float retracted, cast off and extended float in the river without issue. Was able to reverse the procedure to return. The wind was up and down but managed to sail upwind for a good hour making ok progress up wind. This stretch of river is narrow and tree lined, I doubt many have sailed it before. Mainly steered by board position. In truth could of paddled and made much more progress but with the rig up this was difficult. Returned downwind in a fraction of the time. Too many ideas and improvements to list but good day nothing broke and stayed dry. Happy with my day on the river.




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    What I get up to
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