Expedition Sailing Canoe

I recently received this article from Frank Jackson in Ault, Colorado.  So many possibilities, so little time.

Several years ago, I went on a house boat trip to Lake Powell. It was a fantastic trip, but the whole time, I was just dying to paddle that water. However, Lake Powell has a reputation for being dangerous for boating during a blow. In many areas, there are miles of continuous cliff shoreline. So I tried to figure out how to make standard canoes safe for trips where one could get caught on angry waters. I thought that outriggers could provide protection from capsizing and spray skirting protection from swamping. I came up with some plans to build out such a canoe, and recorded these ruminations and plans in the document Expedition Sailing Canoe – For the Love of Paddling.
During this planning phase, I did do a little research on the internet, which was helpful, but recently I’ve discovered how much more there is on the internet than what I found initially. I now have to laugh at myself (join in your laughter as you read Part 1), for being so naïve.
I also love sailing. To figure out how to rig a canoe for sailing while still preserving the option to paddle, I built a model. Then I built the real thing, sailed it two seasons, and did make a trip to Lake Powell.

We had seven days on the water, paddled around 20 miles and sailed maybe 30. Originally, the plan was a mix of my sailing canoe and canoes with no sails. At the last minute, others wanted to add a sails to their canoes, so I quickly figured out how this could be done, again without the benefit of the rich material available on the Outrigger Sailing Canoes blog. In the end, there were seven of us, with my trimaran, a canoe with outrigger and windsurf sail, and a tandem canoe(s) with windsurf sail. We did the tandem canoes because we were on odd number and there was no one with enough experience and confidence to go solo. Pictures of our trip can be viewed at http://pix.kg/g/G448336657408:878098297408/scl
These experiences gave rise to numerous design adjustments, further influenced by the additional material I’ve found on the internet (especially http://outriggersailingcanoes.blogspot.com/).
Upon return from Lake Powell, I made the mistake of taking a look at Craig’s List to see if there was a cheap canoe I could pick up. I found a 17.6 Mohawk fiberglass canoe that I couldn’t resist, AND a catamaran mast/boom/sail that was a steal. So now what I’m doing is: Building a new trimaran with the 17.6 Mohawk, rigged with the gaff rig from my current boat Rigging my 19ft Ranger canoe/trimaran with the new cat rig Modifying the canoes with wind surf rigs
I’m documenting the design adjustments and wind surf rigs in the document Expedition Sailing Canoe – Part 2 (forthcoming).
I guess that is all for now. I look forward to interacting with the so many others who share in these passions.


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