Thursday, January 29, 2009

John Summers Comes Onboard as Contributing Editor

General Manager of The Canadian Canoe Museum in Peterborough, Ontario, Canada, joins a stellar staff

 During more than two decades in the maritime museum field, John Summers has worked as a curator, historian, boat builder and educator, and has written, lectured and published extensively about watercraft history. He has particular interests in the history of yachting and pleasure boating, sailing canoes and pleasure boat advertising. Although a childhood ambition to be a naval architect was thwarted when he discovered that the profession involved doing math, Summers has continued to dabble with designing and documenting small craft. As well as designing the new 16-30 and building Somethin’ Else, 16-30 hull #2, he is restoring IC USA 132 Jelly Roll, a King Ferry Canoe Company International 10 Square Metre sailing canoe; he previously owned IC US 151. A veteran user of a wide variety of small rowing, paddling and sailing boats, John is a US Sailing-certified Level I instructor.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The 16x30 Sailing Canoe, a Fast and Nimble Sailer

Turn-of-the-Century Gilbert Boat Company design updated for S&G construction

John Summers, Contributing Editor, and General Manager, The Canadian Canoe Museum, Peterborough, Ontario, Canada

Would you like to build and sail a unique small boat that will draw admiring glances wherever you take it, let you learn new skills in the workshop and on the water and make you a better sailor? If so, you may be a candidate for the 16-30 decked sailing canoe.

Read more!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Canoe Sailing Magazine Celebrates Its First Year

Great support makes it possible, and fun (sorta)

During this year, Canoe Sailing Magazine has published about a hundred articles and has been read by more than 27,000 individuals on every continent, save Antarctica, for a total of more than 297,000 pages read and more than 41Gb of data transferred. As far as I can tell, it’s not too shabby for a pastime that’s so unknown to many people. So far.

With our success, we have established a presence sponsoring Facebook’s Canoe and Kayak Sailing Group with its ever-growing membership and the Canoe and Kayak Sailing Blog that provides readers yet another avenue to read some past articles and comments and observations that are more at home there than in the magazine.

We have also begun writing on Twitter (I guess that would be Twittering….) and we invite any of you fellow Twitterers to keep an eye on what we do and let us Twitter with you, too! Of course, if you are not yet a Twitterer, you can join easily enough and become part of this growing social network.

Read more!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Sailing a Tin Can

My first time sailing a canoe: the naïve approach

It has been almost 40 years since I first sailed a canoe, and now is the time to share the experience. I’ll ask the reader to do the same when the time is right, especially if it’s a good story.

I was with my Boy Scout troop out of Miami. We went for a canoe trip into the 10,000 Islands area of Florida, a place where the land and sea fight for preeminence over the very southern tip of the state.

We paddled a mélange of canoes out to an island, maybe just a couple three miles or so. We made camp on ground barely above the high water mark, scattered with coral and transient soil. Plants consisted mostly of sea grape and whatever weedy stuff grows in such inhospitable conditions good only for crabs, mosquitoes and the ubiquitous sand fleas.

By that age I had pretty much reached the point where I was too independent to be a Scout anymore and this would prove to be my last trip hanging off the umbilical of a Scout Master, especially one who (in my youthfully arrogant thinking) was better off sitting in front of the tube watching a Dolphins game than trying to lead a hardened outdoorsman like myself (at the age of 14). I had already spent many days in the Everglades and practically lived in the drained-swamp pine barrens surrounding our southern Dade County home by then. (Within a couple years of this trip I would find myself held by the foot by trap in alligator-infested, chest-deep water in the Big Cypress Swamp; but that’s another story.)

During one of the many lulls in the camp action, I took off with the canoe assigned to me and my tent mate, a Grumman, if memory serves; aluminum, for sure. Packing a spinning rod and a mullet gig, I went in search of adventure, and maybe some fresh fish for dinner. After sticking myself a black mullet and baiting a hook, I settled down in the bottom of the canoe in my usual repose: horizontal—napping. After a bit, I had a strike. Shark! It pulled hard and began swimming to deeper water with a tin canoe and teenager attached. I hung on and adjusted my rod angle so the boat would stay inline with the fish, knowing a broach would be uncalled for when a shark is on the line.

Read the rest here!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Bigger Sail, Now Need to Get to Work!

I've used a 40' lateen sail for as long as I've sailed this boat and it's fine in many conditions, but really doesn't do the job in light winds. I got a nice, light, red and white, 54' sprits'l from my Uncle Carl a couple years back, one he used on his Salmon Wherry, and I need to not only make a new mast and spars--all of bamboo--but now need to step it forward of the lateen.

I need to make a mast thwart, also known as a mast 'partner,' and a new step. The current partner [which is built into the forward seat] and step will stay in place, which gives me two rig choices.

The sprits'l needs reefing points installed though. I reckon bringing it down to 40' will be will a good choice.

Sprits'ls are a lot more efficient than lateens [how much, I don't know right off] and they allow the boat to point higher, which will be nice. I just hope the new sail doesn't over power my new leeboards!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Old Town Sailing Rig Development

Benson Gray sent me a great article on OT sailing canoes and their development from '03 - '32. I really love the looks of a 'Canadian' canoe, as they're often called--the typical open, paddling canoe--especially when sail-rigged. Yeah, they can have drawbacks, but all that open room on a pleasing form is hard to beat!

For thems of you what's interested:

A Better Leeboard Assembly

I needed better leeboards and bracket....

Having fought with leeboards that were too small for the purpose, I finally broke down and decided to make a new set. The old ones didn’t provide enough lateral resistance to allow me to sail close to the wind, or as close as could be expected by an open, “Canadian” canoe, and they were overpowered by higher winds. To add to the need, the old boards had been beat to death by running into shoals and had finally cracked.

It was time.

As with any project, careful consideration of what one wants, and what one needs, must be taken into account. This one was no different, but it came with its own requirements that others may not consider or recognize. The reader may be well aware of my opinion that two boards are generally better than one (see “An Argument for Twin, Fixed Leeboards ”) because twin boards provide a wider range of control and flexibility under more conditions. Thus, this would be a twin-leeboard project.

Moving away from that, I had the regular expectations of leeboards, and a couple “wants” as well.

-Leeboards significantly contribute to a boat’s lateral resistance, the force that counters the lateral force sails apply to the boat. By balancing resistance against force, the boat will make way, or go in the direction intended by the helmsman (or -woman.) Boards that are too small don’t get the job done, too big and they add unneeded drag.

-The boards must be easily managed. The skipper must be able to raise and lower them with the least amount of hassle, and they must not become a problem when striking an impediment like the odd log or manatee (both of which I’ve struck while at top speed.)

See the rest of this article here.