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Old 09-05-2013
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Advice on Making a Sailing Canoe

Hey all!

New to this forum, and fairly new to sailing but madly in love!

I sail small rigs mostly, we're talking sunfish and lasers, but looking to build my own with my grandfather.

Do to the size of my car, budget, and just versaility of use I'm fairly certain about building a Sailing Canoe out of a Cajun Pirogue kit by Uncle John's

And purchasing a Sailing Rig by Spring Creek

I have a few questions, mostly about sail size and rigs.

I wanna go as fast as possible, and I also want to be able to bring up to around 400lbs on board (though on average it'll be between 120lbs and 270lbs).

It's looking like the boat will be between 14' and 16' long and around 30" wide with two stabilizer floats (one on either side)

Will a 45 sq ft lateen sail be enough to pull 300-400 lbs?
Will 55 sq ft be too much?
Jib?
Spinnaker?

What other rig styles are there for sailing canoes?
Sloop?
Bermuda?
Cat ketch?

Any suggestions or comments will be much appreciated!
Thanks so much
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Old 09-05-2013
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Re: Advice on Making a Sailing Canoe

Building Outrigger Sailing Canoes

Proafile
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Old 09-05-2013
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Re: Advice on Making a Sailing Canoe

Gary, My son I used to build canoes.

45 sq ft would be about right for the sail. Lateen rig seems rather popular. I would suggest you join the woodenboat forum the sailing canoe expert Todd Bradshaw is a frequent poster there, and "wrote the book on canoe sail rigs.

WCHA.org (wooden canoe heritage assoc) is a very active forum also. much information and help there also.
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Last edited by deniseO30; 09-05-2013 at 04:18 PM.
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Old 09-06-2013
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Re: Advice on Making a Sailing Canoe

You could go with just one bigger float, where you could put some of your load, let's say 100-150 lbs. That will keep your entire rig simpler and more stable (weight in the float helps to balance the rig). You will definitely need dagger boards in both your hulls - without them you will not be able to sail to the wind. The easiest outrigger float would be a small kayak. You could use lee boards instead of dagger boards - they are less efficient but easier to put on a kayak or canoe.
Lateen rig is likely the easiest option - relatively short, unstayed mast, just one sail to worry about. Downside is that it does not sail well upwind. You can buy an old Sunfish rig (75 square feet) and I think it will be the right size for your canoe. 55 sq ft sounds small to me.
The other option would be to use a modified windsurfing rig - 4.5 to 6 square meter fully battened sail, 5 m fiberglass or carbon mast, and a makeshift boom (you could use a regular windsurfing boom but it would sit pretty high and be a bit harder to handle).
At one time I contemplated a similar project. I even have a lot of the gear for it.
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Old 09-06-2013
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Re: Advice on Making a Sailing Canoe

A monohull open canoe sailing setup is a horrible idea. I had one, so I'm not just talking out my butt. It will swamp wicked easily (because its open) and unless you have a lot of air bags, all the added weight for rigging/rudders/leeboards/etc will send it straight to the bottom. If you do have airbags, its not an easy setup to right after a capsize.

A canoe catamaran sailing rig is AWESOME. Tie two canoes together and slap a sail on it. Open decking is still a flooding danger, so have airbags anyways.
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