Chestnut Deer - Mast holder advice please


Curious about Wooden Canoes
I have a Chestnut Deer that I would like to sail using a rig made from canoe poles or even a purpose made small lug sail. The sail area will be no more than 25square feet. I do not want to fixed a mast foot to the boat, certainly I don't want to drill into the boat and I want something that looks pleasing.

One option is to fit a mast thwart and then profile a mast foot to fit across two ribs which will stop the forwards backward movement. Would side to side movement then be held by Velcro attached to the floor of the canoe and underneath the mast foot? If this is not enough I could make two struts running from the mast foot to the underside of the thwart. Would aluminium section be sufficient for this?

Option two would be to fit a mast thwart then fit a flush mounted stainless steel fishing rod holder to place the mast in. This holder is 9inches long with an internal diameter of 1.5inches. It would hang below the thwart but still be several inches from the floor. The bottom of the rod holder has a cross beam to stop the mast going through and I would re-enforce this.

I would be grateful for your advice / opinions on the above and any other designs that fit the criteria.

A drawing might help since I'm having trouble picturing everything that you have described. Velcro alone would probably not hold a mast step in a strong wind. It sounds like you could use something like the Rigging Deck shown at since this requires no permanent modifications to the canoe. It is also important to have an easy way to quickly take a sail down if the conditions change quickly. Let us know what you decide to do and how it works out. Good luck,

I have included some photos to illustrate how I am thinking.

Option 1 would similar to the picture below but using aluminium supports instead of steel.


Option 2 would be using a stainless rod holder fitted to a thwart with the tube lying below the thwart. The rod holder I am thinking about is below.


As the sail area is so small I can take down the mast if conditions change. What do you think?


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I suspect that option one could be made to work but option two would probably have enough leverage to bend or break things in anything more than a very light wind. Even a small sail can be difficult to handle in a high wind so I would encourage you to include some type of a halyard so you can drop it all in a hurry if necessary. Good luck,

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