New to sailing, hailing from Austin, Tx at the moment. Any open canoe sailors here? - SailNet Community

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Old 08-05-2011
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New to sailing, hailing from Austin, Tx at the moment. Any open canoe sailors here?

Great forum you guys have here, I've already picked up a lot of useful tidbits! First off, I am 47 yrs old & went aboard a sailboat for the very first time in my life, a 27' Catalina, 2 months ago. I was instantly hooked. I've owned powerboats in my time, and have been an avid canoeist and kayaker for some 30 years, I'd always seen all those ropes & rigging on sailboats and thought..."wow, what a pain in the _*_ that must be."

I can't afford a new toy right now, but my eye fell upon my 14' Rogue River canoe. After some Google-ing, I was surprised & pleased to find out that not only is it possible to sail a canoe, but at one time in our collective history it was a wildly popular pastime. And in some places, like the U.K., (my hat is off to you guys across the big pond) it still is.

I drug the canoe into the garage.

I picked up a daysailer boat from Craigslist with severe hull damage but good rigging for cheap, and the organ transplant surgery began. I'm happy to report that scarcely one week later, I was blissfully sailing across Lake Georgetown. Great fun, & the canoe is an awesome means of sailing a small craft AND bringing along all one's camping gear, folding chairs, cooler, and of course the now sailing dog... It's still a work in progress, hydrofoiled outriggers are next on the list, but I just don't have time to tinker with it now....too busy sailing! It has a 21' carbon fiber roller reefing mast, 62 sq ft sail, 2 leeboards (though I usually only have 1 in the water unless it's really windy) a spring loaded kick up rudder and PVC pipe outriggers.

I posted a video to youtube of it, you'll see what I mean about the need for the hydrofoiled outriggers lol : ‪Homemade Sailing Canoe‬‏ - YouTube

But, even at that, I've had her out 5 times now on full day long sailing adventures & one overnight camping trip in wildly varied wind conditions with no capsizes, and only swamped her once, when fully loaded with 2 people, gear, cooler & hit a powerboat wake wrong while heeled over. The PVC outriggers did their job amazingly well, she remained sitting upright patiently while we bailed her out & simply resumed sailing.

At any rate, just wanted to say Hi, and share my 'late start in life' addiction to sailing....hard to say where it's going to go from here!


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Old 08-05-2011
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Well....... I started late too....6 boats and about 26 years ago I did basically the same thing -

Welcome.... and Enjoy
'Christy Leigh'
NC 331
Wickford/Narragansett Bay RI
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Old 08-06-2011
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Amazing, isn't it?
I've been sailing since childhood. But a few years back I found myself boatless and bought a double paddle canoe (think undecked kayak) with a sailrig. It was late fall, so I took it to Fl and learned to sail it there. I have no outriggers, I use ballast. But I still have to be careful to keep her upright, and feather in fresh breezes. The first time I kept her upright in a fresh breeze with the sail full I cracked the hull. She was never built for the stress and only weighs 45 lbs. I have other boats now, but she's a great travel boat.
Welcome aboard. Love the pics.
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