Will this sailing rig fit my canoe?

ken mueller

Canton, Ohio
I recently brought home a 1943 Old Town, 17 ft. with sponsons. Model is HW. It has a mast, mast step, and bow seat to accomodate a mast. I have no other parts to the sailing rig. There is no rudder, or any holes or hardware where the rudder would be. Were these canoes sailed without a rudder?
I am looking at a sailing rig listed currently on ebay. Just wondering if this would work on my canoe. The rig for sale has parts for a rudder. Is there any difference in sail sizes between a canoe with a rudder and one without?
Are there any sources where sail parts, including spars, are available?
Hi Ken,

If I am looking at the same auction you are, then I am not convinced the rig is an Old Town rig. It has many parts that Old Town used, but others are quite different than the standard Old Town offerings (the leeboard bracket, the leeboards, details of the spars). See http://dragonflycanoe.com/otacc/index.html for more details on the Old Town sail rig components.

The rudder mounting hardware does appear to be Old Town. Canoes can be steered with a rudder or a paddle, so not all of them were supplied with rudder mounts. The rudder mounts were a standard size, so should work on your canoe. They can be mounted on the outside stem, if present, or through the inside stem if not - if the the latter you may not see the mounting holes if the canoe has been recanvassed.

The standard Old Town sail was 55 square feet, and would be the one typically supplied regardless of whether a rudder was also ordered.

Bronze sailing hardware is available from Bob Lavertue (Springfield Fan Centerboard Co.) and Old Town reproduction hardware from Bristol Bronze. Sit down before you ask for prices. Vintage hardware can sometimes be found at swap meets or on Ebay. Spars and leeboards you can fabricate yourself, or look on the Builders Directory for someone who can do it (some builders also supply complete sail rigs). Good sails can be had from Douglas Fowler or Todd Bradshaw.