Flaw in my collection resolved


Wooden Canoes are in the Blood
My assorted small collection of wood canoes has always had a major breach ... there are none with a sail. Sooo, I got a good deal on a sail rig on Craigslist, appears from the length of the boom, spar and mast it was for a 55 sq.ft. sail. One leeboard is pretty well shot and the rudder has a bad crack but the rest of it is all there. The canoe was rotted beyond repair so I was able to get the grundeons[sp?] too. It came with two oars as well. I intend to install it on a 18' 1923 Old Town HW that I got from a lady in Jersey. Actually the canoe is still in Jersey - the garage it was stored in is so packed full of stuff I couldn't get it out. It has sponsons and oar locks, AA grade and it appears to be in useable condition. Get this, NO rot - rather unusual for me - I don't know how to act. After I get the rig repaired and I get the canoe home I'll be looking for tips on getting it installed. The canoe is not set up for sailing so I'll have to make a mast thwart and step. I presume that I can simply replace the existing thwart located behind the bow seat with the mast thwart rather than get involved making some clamp arrangement. Correct? I will also need help installing the rudder - I don't want to screw up when I start drilling holes through the stem.

However all of it has to wait until I finish the Crandell I'm working on. One project at a time. Most of my friends and family think I'm crazy and I recognize that I have a problem but therapy is for quiters! So, I'm not stopping.

Be well,

Jim Clearwater, WCHA's newest sailor
Mast seat


You might keep your eyes peeled for a mast seat. I converted my Guide to a sailing canoe by installing a mast seat and step from another canoe into the Guide.

Alternatively, I have a clamp on mast thwart that I think has an Old Town decal. It could easily be reproduced. I will pull it out and shoot some photos and get some dimensions.

The rudders were apparently riveted on. I would appreciate some tips here before drilling holes in the Guide stem.

Ahoy, thar Matey. Yesterday was International Talk Like a Pirate Day, no?

sailing rig for a sponson canoe

I converted a 16 foot OT HW with sponsons and oarlocks so I could go canoe sailing. It has been a sweetie because it was very kind to me as a novice sailor. The sponsons help to keep the canoe from tipping over when you do all those things that you never intended to do while trying to sail! (i.e. luffing, jibing, pitchpoling, trying to sail over beaver dams and sunken logs - you name it...) The longer length of your spnson canoe should help you to keep a nice long, straight tack even better than I can. Good luck!
Mike H.

Mike and Fitz,

Thanks for your replies. The sail that came with the rig is completly shot, only a few tattered remnants remain. I see Doug Fowler listed in the builders directory as a sail maker so I guess I will give him a call. Any other reccomendations would be appreciated. I just bought Todd's book so I will be consulting that regularly. I have an Otca with a mast seat and step but I would rather not canibalize if I can help it. However I may borrow the brass ring out of that seat. I guess Jamestown would have the rest of the stuff I may need, rope and a couple of small pulleys, or should I say "line and blocks." In any case it's a project for the winter. Hopefully it will be on the water by next July for the Assembly at Keuka.

Be well,

Douglas Fowler made two sails for my rigs.
His workmanship is outstanding and he undestands sailing canoes.

Also his prices are very fair for custom work.

Happy Sailing!



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brass ring etc

I took the brass ring out of my mast seat over a year ago, and loaned it to Roger Winiarski at Bristol Bronze in Rhode Island. He made up a mould, as he has for other canoe related items of mine, and should have copies for sale. he's on the web. Be patient, he's a one-retired-guy company.
I got my sail several years ago at Assemble . They do come up on ebay once in a while. You can get one from the ACA also, I have heard.

Mike H.
JClearwater said:
I will also need help installing the rudder - I don't want to screw up when I start drilling holes through the stem.

This is covered very well in Todd's book but the basic idea is to have the top hole in the same vertical line as the bottom hole like the attached image. A good way to start is by marking the extreme end of the canoe. You can find this by putting the canoe on the floor perpendicular to a wall with the stem touching the wall. The point where the stem touches the wall is the extreme end if the floor is horizontal and the wall is vertical. The hole in the top gudgeon and the hole in the bottom gudgeon should be the same distance from this end point if your stem is still reasonably symetrical. You then may need to make some minor adjustments to fit your rudder.



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