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Same sail, different canoes, world of difference

Discussion in 'Canoe Sailing' started by Treewater, Jun 18, 2012.

  1. Treewater

    Treewater Wooden Canoes are in the Blood

    IMG_2364.JPG IMG_2365.JPG For those sailing old towns I had posted my refurbished 50# and sailed for the first time today. Thought I'd post this under sailing since that is the subject.
    This is the same sail and mast on two different canoes. The red is a 1948 17 ft HW with sponsons. I sailed last year and while it was very good down wind or cross wind it would not tack to speak of. It was a disappointment.
    Today I want out with the same sail on a '63 50# and it was a world of difference. It tacks great andwas not unstable, as I feared. The breeze was not strong, no whitecaps and it is a small lake and thus no rollers but it sails the way it should. I had made a lee board bracket from the portage yoke, single lee board, and that worked great as well. I am very pleased and can only wonder if the sail, 50 sq ft, is just too small for that big heavy (132#) canoe.
    That fifty [pounder is wide and flat enough to be stable and allow for good sailing w/o my have to sit on the gunwales.
    IMG_1932.JPG IMG_1933.jpg
  2. Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

    Very small differences in the conditions, sail, ballast, etc. can make a huge difference in the experience of sailing a canoe. I have an 18 foot long sponson sailing canoe similar to yours with two mast seats, rudder gudgeons on each end, and two different sized sail rigs. This allows me to select a single 45 square foot sail, a single 55 square foot sail, or both for 100 square feet of sail depending on the conditions. You are the movable ballast so tacking may be much easier if you move forward temporarily while you turn into the wind for example. Moving the leeboard bracket position torward the stern a few inches can also make it easier to tack. Play around and have fun,

  3. OP

    Treewater Wooden Canoes are in the Blood

    Thanks Benson,
    I gather I should be looking elsewhere than the size of the sail for why that heavy canoe will not tack. We who sailed factory sailboats all our lives never had to face these decisons.
  4. Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

    Absolutely, we had white caps earlier this month at the Maine Canoe Symposium where I teach the sailing program. Several beginners had no trouble in 18 foot long canoes with 45 square foot sails. Experienced sailors with smaller canoes and larger sails had a much bigger challenge keeping their canoes upright. Experimentation with changes in the rig are a big part of the game. Enjoy,

  5. Pernicious Atavist

    Pernicious Atavist Canoe Sailing Publisher

    The weight of the canoe isn't the issue, it's the placement of your sail vs leeboard. All weight does is slow you down...while making you more stable. I've sailed my 16 White, 40' lateen, with two women and me on board and all was well....
  6. Canoeal

    Canoeal Canoe/kayak builder/resto

    In looking at the pictures it appears the leeboards may be too far aft in the sponson canoe. the leeboards are aft of the center of effort. try moving the leeboards forward to say 30" aft of the mast and it should tack better.
    The ACA sailing rig with a slightly higher aspect lateen sail recommends theirs be 28" from the center of the mast for a canoe your size...

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