Sailing Canoe Design

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by NavArch Student, Mar 3, 2011.

  1. NavArch Student
    Joined: Mar 2011
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    NavArch Student Junior Member

    I have been an avid reader of this forum, and I love it.
    Here goes my first post :)

    During this upcoming summer, my Dad and I are looking to build a small boat. We have thought of building a sailboat or a kayak. After stumbling across a post about Gary Dierking's sailing Canoes, I have been searching for a design that could fit both desires. My main fear is that the sailing canoes are too heavy to be paddled for extended periods of time compared to a lightweight kayak. Is it possible to remove the outrigger and still maintain stability for paddling?
    I also would like to try to keep the length under 14ft.
    Is there such a design out there?

    Any sort of information would be most helpful. Thank you for your time.

    NavArch Student
    1 person likes this.
  2. KJL38
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    KJL38 Senior Member

  3. NavArch Student
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    NavArch Student Junior Member

    thanks so much for the help
  4. NavArch Student
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    NavArch Student Junior Member

    Would anyone happen to know how stable this type of craft is when sailing? I feel the small beam would make it capsize easily. I was wondering if the addition of outriggers would overcome this.
  5. Squidly-Diddly
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    Squidly-Diddly Senior Member

    rig used paddles as sideboards/stablizers/outrigger shafts.

    I saw a grainy photo of German troops with a Klepper type two man fabric kayak with a ketch rig(it came with a set of ketch rigged sails for a "Pioneer" version of the Klepper in bought from some old guy’s garage sale, but I digress).

    What struck me in the photo was in LOOKED like they were using their two piece kayak paddles as the sideboards and they were attached to the side of the boat with short cylinder holders just above the gunwale. One cylinder appeared to be folded flat to the sloping deck. Total of 4 holders, two at each seat, more or less.

    This seemed like a real good idea, for no other reason than having both sideboards AND paddles in such a small boat is a “deal breaker” as far as that design concept.

    Plus, I guess you could have one guy paddle, the other guy sail, or only put in 1,2, or 3 Sideboard/Paddles as conditions dictate.

    Only problem for me was Off the Shelf kayak paddles aren’t well shaped for use as sideboards(not streamlined in that direction) and I wasn’t about to make my own customs.

    However, cheap(non-spoon curved) canoe SINGLE WOODEN paddles would be easily adapted as dual use with a suitable holder.

    Maybe use dual position holders and use long paddle as outrigger shaft. Fashion a stiff foam fold and make a slit for the paddle blade and secure with cord or ‘bolts’. Maybe two paddles for each long outrigger.

    Just having some paddles secured to the boat and 'sunk' deep into the water will make the boat much more stable and slow down an capsize enough from the damping for the crew to react. It will have a lot of 'grip' on the water.
  6. messabout
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    messabout Senior Member

    Find the website of Gougeon Brothers. There you will find some articles by Hugh Horton. Horton is the grand guru of sailing canoes at the present time.

    Get the book; Lapstrake Canoes.... by David Nichols. There are some sail and spar plans in that book along with plans for three very reasonable canoe builds. These are pretty stable as canoes go and easy enough ply lap building techniques.

    If you want a strip built canoe, which is beautiful but not so simple to build, then get the book Canoecraft. See Amazon. com or other source for the books.

    Most canoes and kayaks are downwind only sailors however there are plenty of canoes that can go to windward with aplomb. Hortons boats go any direction he chooses and pretty quickly too.

    You might find even more info at the Canoe and Kayak magazine web site.

    Some of the fastest monohull sailboats/dinghys in captivity are canoes. They are called International 10 meter canoes. You can find information on the web somewhere. These are not paddling type boats, they need skill to operate and they are not for the faint of heart. I do not suggest that you contemplate one of that type but it is fun to take a look at the potential for skinny boats.
  7. DCockey
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    DCockey Senior Member

    Do you mean leeboards?
  8. Squidly-Diddly
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    Squidly-Diddly Senior Member

    yes, leeboards

    Sideboards are for flatbed trucks, I guess.
  9. Tiny Turnip
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    Tiny Turnip Senior Member

  10. NavArch Student
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    NavArch Student Junior Member

    All the hints have been excellent. Thank you so much. I researched Hugh Horton, and I really like his bufflehead sailing canoe. However I think the build is a little too advanced for me. I would love make a strip built, but I am afraid I wouldn't have the time to complete it. I hope to do this during my summer break from school, however I have a 45 day training cruise that takes up most of it.
    The pictures posted by Tiny Turnip were what I had originally in mind, but as of now the options are wide open.
    Thanks again.
  11. Squidly-Diddly
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    Squidly-Diddly Senior Member

    in the factory plastic boat catagory, the Hobie Island Adventure flipper drive tri!

    First versions only used flippers in "down and center" position for dagger boards, but this has full kick up single purpose center board.

    I guess you would/could use the flippers as additional.
  12. michael pierzga
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    michael pierzga Senior Member

    Attached Files:

    • canoe.jpg
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    • red.jpg
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  13. upchurchmr
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    upchurchmr Senior Member

    Go to to look at the sail rig. This is a design for a pair of outrigger hulls to attach to a kayak. The kayak could be virtually any of the boats they have. These have been built by a good number of people. To kayak, you just take off the outrigger set and you have the kayak you want with a minor amount of extra weight. If you do one of the stich and glue plywood kayaks, you can build one in about 100 hrs. More if you want a really nice finish. You won't have to worry about the stability of the kayak, you also won't have a totally perfect sailboat, but it will be fun and useful.

    Good luck.
  14. ancient kayaker
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    ancient kayaker aka Terry Haines

    It’s always a pleasure to welcome newcomers to the forum.

    Weight isn’t all that much of a problem when paddling, it just slows the acceleration a bit. It gets to be a hassle when you have to carry the boat of course. Typical kayaks are solos - compared with most canoes which are 2+ seaters - and therefore the kayaks can be smaller and lighter. Size for size and when using the same construction an open canoe is lighter because it does not have the full deck.

    However, sailing canoes are decked to prevent swamping when heeled by a gust so they come in heavier than most. Most designed-for-sailing canoes do not have outriggers. They are optimized for sailing and some can be a bear to paddle far.

    I have successfully sailed a kayak less than 10' long; progress upwind was slow but on a reach of a run it went very well - faster than paddling in any decent wind. It did not have a float on the outrigger, it had a Bruce Foil. It is a viable alternative to a float on an outrigger if the kayak is fairly stable to start with; the Bruce Foil offsets the heeling moment of a steady wind on the sail; a gust will start to tip it but the foil quickly takes effect - the stability of the boat slows the heeling long enough for that to happen.

    A Bruce Foil is like a leeboard but on an outrigger and inclined 45 deg to the vertical with the lower end inboard. As the wind pushes the sail sideways the boat starts to develop leeway and the foil creates just enough vertical force (up or down depending on wind direction) to counter the heeling, if the geometry is correct. Getting the geometry right is a matter of selecting the right length of outrigger - or making it adjustable. Mast height and sail geometry is a factor.

    Attached Files:

  15. Poida
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    Poida Senior Member

    Kayaking is great fun. Also I have a kayak that is both a single kayak and a double, so if I have noone to paddle with I can go alone.

    So when you build a double kayak, some of them are difficult to use alone, so may I suggest that instead of building one big kayak for both of you, build two smaller ones.

    If you wish to go sailing you can join the two together to form a cat that will be more stable.

    So you can paddle solo, paddle in pairs or use both kayaks and go sailing.
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