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Small sailing canoe/kayak

Posted: Sun May 17, 2009 8:09 pm
by Chinook
Our region has dozens of small lakes, in the summertime a nice 10-15km wind usually comes up in the afternoon, I have visions of myself propped up on some cushions cold one in one hand, tiller and main sheet in the other gliding or at least drifting fast across serene waters on a broad reach.

It does actually happen occasionally! although usually the winds gods play with you such that some windward ability and a good paddle are required. The kind of boat I'm dreaming of would have some of the following characteristics

Light enough to easily throw on the car and launch, under 50lbs

Paddle reasonably well, good enough to get you home against the wind or when it dies.

Float high when capsized and full of water

I'm a light weight so good form stability.

The rig would be for cruising so about 20 sqft with short spars max 6-7 feet, I should be able to work out the details.

Roomy cockpit or possibly an open cockpit like the Cape Fear although I prefer a wide kayak style cockpit with a coaming.

As small as possible but still room for buoyancy compartments at each end and room to store the sailing rig or paddles below decks, with enough room to get them past any support for the mast or leeboard
If possible once the best position is found for the leeboard I would do away with a thwart for the leeboard and re enforce the hull/cockpit to directly take the load.

Reviewing the JEM fleet the 11ft Escape might fit the bill although I have my doubts that it would be possible to get gear stored below with a leeboard thwart in the way and getting the crew weight in the right place could be a challenge.
The Escape also has that interesting hull shape with a keel, this could reduce the need for a leeboard under certain conditions although I expect for good windward ability a leeboard would still be needed.

Stretching the 11 ft Escape by another 2-3 ft might just produce my dream lake sailor a little bit more beam might also help if it didn't hurt the paddling ability too much. Or maybe the Freedom 13 if I could get the sailing gear inside?

There I go stretching a boat when I already said I wanted to keep things as small as possible maybe I should just build the 11 ft Escape and see if I can fit everything in, maybe a slightly smaller rig with shorter spars and a take apart paddle? Or the Freedom 13? So many decisions......

Re: Small sailing canoe/kayak

Posted: Sun May 17, 2009 9:23 pm
by jem
Couple issues as I see them (I not much of a sailor except catching a down-wind breeze):

Escape won't have a whole lot of room on the side to store lots of rigging. Freedom would have a bot more but they are still kayak-style hulls.

Much also depends on you projected weight on board. If the 2 you have your eye fit your expected weight range, good. If not, picking a shorter boat that doesn't fit with your weight on board will be slow and sluggish.

Sounds like a 13' South Wind would fit the bill better.

Re: Small sailing canoe/kayak

Posted: Mon May 18, 2009 5:36 am
by Tor
Don't you dare!!! :)

a 13ft South Wind don't even consider it, i haven't finished the 15 footer yet, far to small would be too easy to lift on the car, no challenge.

you wouldn't, would you...?

Re: Small sailing canoe/kayak

Posted: Mon May 18, 2009 7:18 am
by jem
Tor wrote:
you wouldn't, would you...?
maybe. :mrgreen:

Re: Small sailing canoe/kayak

Posted: Mon May 18, 2009 9:26 am
by Chinook
A smaller Southwind sure looks good.

I would be using the boat strictly as a solo and mainly for sailing the would be one person aboard of 130lbs plus maybe a 10lb daypack the sailing rig would add another 6-10lbs but a lot of that would be in the water or up in the air. Its doubtful that I would ever have much more weight than that aboard.

I looked at the 15ft Southwind but figured I just didn't have enough weight to get her down to a reasonable waterline for sailing, a 13ft might be perfect especially if the beam could be kept about the same.

How do you think the stability would compare with my weight to the Freedom 13 ? I'm not to bothered about the initial stability as long as the final stability is there, as with the Freedom I would be sitting a few inches above the bottom of the boat

Re: Small sailing canoe/kayak

Posted: Mon May 18, 2009 10:26 am
by jem
Kinda tricky to answer.

With the same weight on board, Freedom 13 would float higher than a South Wind 13 because of the Freedom has the flat bottom portion as opposed to a more rounded South Wind. You're near the lower end of the Freedom 13's recommended weight range. Floating high can make a paddle craft feel less stable.

But I'd say sitting mostly flat on the water and also maybe leaned over a bit, Freedom would be more stable.

But if you're leaning over a harder, South Wind would sit in the water a little lower and lower your center of gravity. It's rounder shape and flare would behave more predictably when leaning it over harder.

Sorry I can't be more specific in this answer. But we can explore the idea more.

Re: Small sailing canoe/kayak

Posted: Mon May 18, 2009 9:46 pm
by Chinook
Thanks Matt

Your point on predictability settles it for me, for my intended use the Southwind hull type would be better. The final stability should be as good or better even if a bit more lively at first.

Under ideal conditions it wouldn't be an issue, cruising I like to keep the heel to a comfortable 10 degrees by the time it gets to 20 degrees I'm thinking about reefing or quitting for day, its about that time that a gust or wave would come along and double the heeling forces on the boat. I imagine the Southwind type hull would give as the forces increased and continue heeling whilst the flat bottom boat would appear more stable resisting the heeling forces better until suddenly over she goes.

Its a question of how the boat feels as it approaches the capsize point, the more warning the better.

The Southwind shape is probably less liable to be caught by wave action and flipped over when heeled than the flat bottom.

Looks like a Southwind 13 would be a great sailing/paddling craft for small people. Its all a bit of a compromise 13 ft seems to be about the minimum length to get all the gear (spars) inside and more beam helps stability for small people, but too much means a small person won't have the weight to get the boat down to her waterline making paddling and general handling more difficult. A Southwind 13 with around 30" of beam seams like a good compromise.

You have at least one customer!

Re: Small sailing canoe/kayak

Posted: Fri May 22, 2009 12:50 pm
by Kayak Jack
Chinook, In what area do you live and plan to sail? I'm in lower, central Michigan. I've diddled with a sunfish and always see myself sailing too. Most inland lakes here just aren't large enough to justify carrying and mounting a sail rig plus attendant hardware, so I stuck with a paddle.

I could see a triangular sail, two booms, hinging pivot mount at the conjunction of the vee (say, a knotted rope?), bungees from bow to boom tips to pull them from stowed position (laying flat along a gunnel) to upright to sail, rope from boom tips back to limit forward travel of booms in wind, and a cold beer.

In a beam reach one boom cold lay horizontal while the other was vertical. To jibe, lay down the vertical boom and raiser the horizontal one. Being inherently lazy, I haven't gone any further.

Re: Small sailing canoe/kayak

Posted: Fri May 22, 2009 9:01 pm
by Chinook
I live in Nova Scotia about 10 minutes from Kejimkujik National park.
The big lake there should be good for sailing, we also have at least a dozen lakes large enough within half an hour, I live on a little lake a couple of miles long, not really big enough for sailing but good enough to play around with gear or a lazy drift.

I like your idea for an instant sailing rig, just pull on one rope and off you go. Not quite sure how that would work it could be quite the engineering challenge, sometimes being lazy is more work. :)

This whole sailing thing is probably more work but sailing is my first love although I'm used to large boats with a few thousand pounds of ballast below, so sailing a canoe is going to be an experience :o
This is really paddling country with a few good sailing opportunities once in while, the Southwind type hull should make a good start but it will take quite a bit of playing with gear (I like to play) to develop a good rudder, leeboard and rig arrangement that can be quickly deployed or stored.

I would like to be able to go to windward well but it might make more sense just to be able to go from downwind to a broad reach especially if a leeboard could be avoided, but not many canoes or kayaks have the required hull shape especially when lightly loaded, a few might get way with it when really heavily loaded.

That's what caught my eye about the Escape, one should have above average lateral resistance at least in the light going when not leaning over much, maybe enough to make a pleasant broad reach possible and then if the wind picks up or windward work is required just lift out the rig and store it below. It might make an interesting experiment, I could find a few other uses for an Escape anyway.
There must be a few other interesting hull shapes that might be able to handle a broad reach in light to moderate conditions and still paddle.

Re: Small sailing canoe/kayak

Posted: Fri May 22, 2009 9:16 pm
by jem