Perfect Foils

Proper foil shapes will have a strong influence on the performance of your sailing canoe.  It is especially evident when you decide to test your speed against a class racer with an experienced sailor driving.  Craig Walsh, one of my Ulua builders in Canada, shows a way to get that perfect shape:

"Attached are the pictures of the router jig for making foils that I recently mentioned.  In my experience as a woodworking teacher, there are people who prefer not to make jigs, feeling that any time spent not directly working on a project is wasted. I'm of the other camp; if I can break roughly even on the labour I prefer to make a jig. It's all gravy after that."
This router jig makes a NACA 0009 foil with a two point contact router base.
Router base
Setup ready to go
First side of foil with uncut strips to hold the blank level for cutting the other side.
Second side cut.


  1. I wish there was some kind of detailed plan for this. I am about to make one, and it sure would be handy to have some specifics.

  2. Gary, thanks for passing this on. Congratulations to Craig, this appears to be a more reliable setup than others I've seen. A request: would Craig consider sharing/posting the template of the jig rails? Thanks! Keith

  3. Great idea, great execution..

    my question is: how do you draw the template out of the profile you want to obtain??? That's amazing..

  4. Please drop me an email at ctw.gmale[AT] and I'll send you some more info, if you're patient.
    Cheers, Craig Walsh

  5. Nice. After hand-planning a NACA shape and using a template to try to guide the result, I do NOT think a router jig would be a waste of time! What is the bump for on the jig? It seems obvious that it is meant to stop the router there, but even so, my imagination fails at the rest.

  6. The router passes back and forth from one edge of the foil to the other. The bump in the middle of the jig rails is needed to tilt the router so that the flat end of a 1/2" straight bit continues to cut flat to the changing surface of the foil on the downhill slope toward its tail.

  7. Craig, greatly interested in your setup. Tried your email address but not sure if I got through?


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