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Skinny Hull

Canoe & kayak Sailing Magazine


Skinny Hull What’s Inside? DIERKING COMES ON BOARD........................................................................4 ULUA.............................................................................................................6 STILL MADNESS AFTER ALL THESE MONTHS ............................................................16 PVC MAST STEP..............................................................................................26 JAPANESE-TYPE PULL SAWS................................................................................30 EXPEDITION TO THE ORIGINS OF THE WIND....................................................35 WHAT BOAT TO BUILD NEXT...........................................................................42 FISHING FROM SAILING CANOES AND KAYAKS ....................................................46 ANCHORING SURELY AND KEENLY.....................................................................52


- The Rudder


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Canoe & kayak Sailing Magazine Skinny Hull covers the world of sailing canoes & kayaks, Chesapeake log canoes, proas and all sorts of skinny-hulled sailing boats. We’re published on the shores of the Gulf of Mexico in Dunedin, Florida. Skinny Hull is the Global Voice of Canoe & Kayak Sailing Editor & Publisher Edward C. Maurer Contact: editor@ (727) 798-2366 A publication of Edward Maurer Consulting, LLC. Copyright 2012 All rights reserved. Actions, activities, building, modification, travel, techniques, etc. seen within are examples of what others do and participate in and should only be carried out by qualified individuals. The outcome of your activities remain your own responsibility. Properly wear and use all safety equipment. If you’re afraid of the water, stay away from it.

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DIERKING COMES ON BOARD For many, Gary Dierking’s name is synonymous with Pacific outrigger canoes. We have tried--on and off--for some time to have Gary join us in Canoe Sailing, and now Skinny Hull, magazine. He was kind enough to allow us to bring his material to our sailing audience. From here on out, except where noted of course, is Gary’s vision, plans and concepts presented in his own words and from his web sites. Our copious thanks to Gary! Ed.

Introduction: Of all the types of multihull sailing craft that I’ve been involved in, the outrigger canoe still holds the greatest fascination for me. While catamarans and trimarans are now common in ocean racing, cruising, and charter fleets, the characteristics of the sailing outrigger canoe are still unknown to most sailors.  While hull  and outrigger float (ama) shape  come in a wide variety, outrigger sailing rigs are divided into two types; those that tack and those

5 that shunt. Tacking rigs are similar to those seen in most parts of the world, but shunting rigs change tack by reversing the sail from one end of the hull to the other.  The former bow becomes the stern and vice versa.  The Micronesian shunting proas always sail with the outrigger on the windward side.  There are many variations throughout the Pacific, but the most arresting feature of a shunting proa is the asymmetric hull used in some parts of Micronesia.  Video from the Marshall Islands. Polynesians sail both tacking and shunting types.  The Ulua is an example of a tacking outrigger.

My book Building Outrigger Sailing Canoes has now been published by International Marine / McGraw-Hill.  Plans for three designs are included in the book along with a table of offsets to produce your own mold patterns.  Full scale pattern sets can still be ordered from this website: http://

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“Building Outrigger Sailing Canoes” is available in the USA at Amazon, Borders, Barnes & Noble, and Waldenbooks. In New Zealand it is available at Boatbooks, and  can be ordered from Whitcoull’s. In Australia it is available at Angus & Robertson’s.

ULUA The Ulua is an 18’ (5.5m) classic Hawaiian style outrigger canoe. It is cartoppable and meant to replace some of the ubiquitous kayaks with a superior watercraft.  You can paddle it, surf it, sail it or clamp on a 2 hp outboard.  It will carry two adults with camping gear.  The sail rig uses an unstayed windsurfer mast and is easily stored on the crossbeams while paddling. You can even stand up, move around and look over the horizon while underway.

7 Two watertight bulkheads give it a high survivability quotient. Construction is female molded biaxial fiberglass and Derakane vinylester resin.  Crossbeams, gunwales and seats are oiled timber.   The hull weighs 64 lb (29 kg); the ama 14 lb (6.4 kg), and the crossbeams 10 lb (4.5 kg) for a total of 88 lb (40 kg). Construction plans in strip composite are now available. [http:// ] See a video of the Ulua under sail!

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Cedar Key Meet, 20

Photos and perspective courtesy Hugh Hort




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So, there I was just sailing alo

“Goke� Tomlinson


ong, minding my own business....

in the white hulled, round bilged Bufflehead capsized just outside the cut on the SE side of Snake Key

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Wes White an

nd his proa


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STILL MADNESS AFTER ALL THESE MONTHS (A PROA UPDATE) A series by John C. Harris, Chesapeake Light Craft

Lots of emails in my box asking for an update on Madness, my 31-foot Pacific proa. Last time I promised a summary of what such a thing costs to build, and here’s what I’ve got in it so far:

I’ve used typical marine discounter prices. $6000 in materials is a ton of money by kayak kit standards, but by homebuilt-performance-multihull standards: It’s peanuts. Did I read that right?!?  $80,000 for an average 30-footer? I think I’m going to come in for a landing with a materials bill of around $8000.  Mast, rigging, sails, and outfitting will probably add another $8000-$9000.

17 A couple of things in the numbers are worthy of comment. $768 for peel ply is high-roller money to me.  But it’s strategic.  Using peel ply for almost every fiberglassed surface allowed me to achieve finish-quality surfaces in one step---no recoating of the fiberglass and very little sanding, and less epoxy was used.  If I assign even the meanest hourly wage (and I’ve been guilty of that), I’ve saved multiples of that number in labor.  And weight and cost in epoxy. Also unlike a kayak kit, there’s a lot of odd fiberglass types and sizes.  A goal of this project has been to create an ultrahigh-performance sailboat hull without any exotic materials. (I’m looking at YOU, carbon fiber.  Maybe that’s how they get to $80,000 so quickly on that Farrier trimaran estimate.)  I’ve saved a bundle by staying away from the graphite glitter.  But to hold this lashup together at 15 or 20 knots, I still need a few hundred bucks in high-modulus fiberglass supplies of a kind that isn’t usually kicking around the home-builder’s garage. We’ve weighed everything with CLC’s digital scale.  As of this writing, the main hull weighs about 340 pounds, the crossbeams 50 pounds each, and the little hull about 100 pounds.  All will gain weight, but I’m still safely on budget, which allows for a 1000-pound (454kg) sail-away weight.  (For perspective, PocketShip, at 15 feet, has a sail-away weight of about 850 pounds.) I finally found a mast.  A persistent CraigsList search uncovered a decent aluminum section, which I’ll keep as a spare.  Russell Brown found me a factory-second carbon stick for $800, plus $500 in shipping.  Spendy, but only a third what a bespoke carbon tube would have cost me.  That was a lucky find.

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Here are some progress photos, to bring us up to date.

Checking the fit of the rudders in the trunks There was much tedious fiddling with the rudders. With the rudders finished, we could finally build the trunks that hold them.  In this photo, a rudder is being tested in its trunk.  The trunk is clamped to the work bench.  In the trunk the rudder slides against graphite-coated bearings.


Trunks installed in lower hull. Once the trunks were assembled, they could be set into the lower hull and ‘glassed in place. The hull is so narrow that the trunks had to be installed early, before the side panels were stitched on.  Only a trained Rhesus monkey could have reached the bottoms of the trunks for ‘glass work once the sides were on.  In this photo, Carey is actually rotating the rudder blade.

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At last came the big day when we could attach the side panels to the bilge panels. It wasn’t hard to find a crew to wrangle the flexible 6mm side panels into place.  It’s really cool to assemble a 31-footer in one quick step! That’s me aiming the video camera.

Assembling the hull for the last time. Just like a stitchand-glue kayak, bulkheads were inserted, the sides stitched onto the bottom panels, and fiberglass tape laid in. Unlike the kayak kit, we used some very big, ugly ‘glass tape:  26-ounce biaxial.  Note the care taken with masking tape and plastic to quarantine the gallons of epoxy required to wet out that stuff. Final Hull Assembly.

21 It was handy to be able to hike the boat over on its side for the fiberglassing work, one side at a time. This photo shows the inside of what will eventually be part of the cabin.

The light-colored stripe is the 26-ounce biaxial fiberglass tape, awaiting epoxy.

Finishing the epoxy fillets and fiberglass work on the interior left the hull light and stiff, and ambulatory on its own little dolly. It got stashed in the unfinished new CLC shop while we got on with other things for a week or two.

Ready for exterior ‘glass.

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Finishing the bow(s). Before the exterior was fiberglassed, the flared bows were built up with polyurethane foam. For reasons I won’t go into, we also cut off the epoxyand-plywood heels of the stems and replaced them with foam inserts.  The blue foam is just peeking through the filler in spots.

23 I used Trilux 33, which is a hard, smooth, non-ablative type. It’s meant for metal boats, but works great on trailerable boats with epoxied hulls. The hull received a single skin of fiberglass, a lot of sanding, and finally a couple coats of bottom paint.  Once flipped upright, I hope I never see it in this orientation again! Bottom paint.

Meanwhile, on the benches, CLC boatbuilder Olivier Dupont-Huin has been assembling other parts. This is the sturdy bulkhead on which the mast is stepped.

Mast Truss Bulkhead

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Mast Truss Bulkhead Detail - Some of Olivier’s nice carpentry. Thank goodness for CNC machines! The details worked into the bulkhead doubler will support various interior fittings. This is the bulkhead that separates the cockpit from the cabin. The scooped-out bit is the companionway.  This is 6mm plywood, epoxied and ready to be filleted into place.




Cruising Sailing Canoe for the 21st Century

The Bufflehead design follows over twenty years of investment in monohull sailing kayaks and canoes for cruising; replicas and re-invention I’ve tried to avoid. Physics, and today’s materials and ideas about aero- and hydrodynamics I’ve tried to respect, while attempting to apply the lessons of the 19th and 20th century boats. Bufflehead follows eight decked sailing canoes built on a proprietary hull—the best we could find at the time— Dave Yost’s Bell Starfire. Puffin and Meade Gougeon’s Serendipity were the first two, then the six Serendipity sisters, all with sheers re-cut for decks. Bufflehead is 15 feet 5 inches by 33 inches. Her shape differs greatly but subtly from most 19th and 20th century designs by tilting to fast sailing under a broad range of conditions. Depending on how one chooses to build her, weight will likely be 40-60 pounds compared to the lightest Starfire hulled sailer at just under 40 pounds. Bufflehead’s cartop weight is 58 pounds, but she has a heavy, oyster resistant bottom. Displacement is 380 pounds, reasonable for an expedition boat considering freshwater needs in the tropics. Bufflehead’s systems were developed further with the Serendipity series. Three rig styles have been used. Rudders are kick-up aluminum plates controlled by steering sticks. The leeboard pivoting system relies on a Jan Gougeon innovation. The seat design is effective for sailing and paddling, and adjusts to fit anyone. For more information about plans for building your own Bufflehead, contact Hugh Horton at

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Another Ubiquitous Solution from Tom Lewis I’ve used pvc before in canoe sailing to make clips to reinforce bamboo and as mast collars to allow varying diameter masts to fit a large diameter mast step. Recently I had some windows replaced, and the contractor used what he called pvc lumber (http://www.workbenchmagazine. com/main/wb297-pvc01.html and http:// to make the sills and frame in the new windows. The material was intriguing because although it had a smooth pvc skin, the interior contained air pockets. I took a piece of scrap to some water and it floated. There was enough scrap to make several mast steps for our Grumman 17’s. Should be easily adaptable to almost any canoe. • • • • • • • •

The pros: Easy to work with hand Saw/drill, heat bend, fast glue, stainless screws No Rot - can sit in water Ubiquitous - available in a dumpster near you or at Home Depot, Lowes, etc. Comes in many dimensions from lattice to 2x6 and up Cheap as scrap Looks good Easy repair Floats

The cons: • The sun’s heat can “warp” things if the design doesn’t consider this and the rig left on a vehicle for extended hot sunny periods. Cold weather makes things brittle, and I don’t know yet what the UV deterioration

27 might be. It’s also not as strong as wood under certain loads (it’s really meant for trim), so the design has to allow for that too. • Pricey if bought new, but find a replacement window contractor with scrap. This simple design is adaptable to almost any skinny hull, and almost any material, you will have to decide where you want the mast, and how you attach the mast step assembly to the craft. With our Grummans it is four holes drilled in the gunwhales to accept stainless bolts for the mast step thwart. As for position, that can be different than average if it is a mizzen step or a jib step. Also with the Grummans, we try and take advantage of existing ribbing and existing thwarts to help wedge the step in place. The step thwart (“mast partner” Ed.) is rigid and stable because of the bolts through the gunwhales. It is the mast foot (“mast step” Ed.) that wants to move when the sail puts pressure on the the mast foot is what you have to anchor. Simply, you not only need to prevent movement fore and aft, you need to prevent movement side to side. I’ve used epoxy glues before - just glue a cup to the bottom of the boat. The problem, for us, is that in winter glue and aluminum AGREE to part ways due to differences in the contraction coefficient. Then next spring, out in brisk conditions, they separate. I have had the best results with wedging.  The aluminum canoe gives enough to provide wedge tension.  This works best with a “cut long and trim” construction technique My Parts Glossary MAST STEP THWART - A flat piece of lumber going from gunwhale to gunwhale MAST STEP THWART PLATE - a square piece of the same material to reinforce the mast step thwart and provide a place to put a cleat MAST TUBE - Apiece of pcv pipe with a diameter large enough to accommodate the mast {mast tube.jpg} MAST TUBE LOCK RING - A thin ring of pvc pipe glued to the mast tube to retain the mast tube lock clip - MAST TUBE LOCK CLIP {retain clip.jpg, clip1.jpg} A larger piece of the mast tube material formed into a clip to hold the mast tube in place MAST FOOT PLANK - another flat piece of lumber resting on the bottom of the canoe along the keel. MAST FOOT PLATE - a square piece of the same material with a hole to

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receive the mast tube it gets attached to mast foot plank An alternate is a pvc drain fitting inverted. {drain1.jpg, drain2.jpg,drain3.jpg, drain instead of plate. jpg} 45 DEGREE SUPPORTS - supports going 45 degrees from the mast foot plank to each of the gunwhales {added 45s. jpg} RIB SUPPORTS supports going from the mast foot plank to the gunwales but hugging the hull {lattice and pipe wedges.jpg} THWART WEDGES - short pieces of material to wedge the ends of the mast foot plank ends down from existing thwarts The process: I start with the foot plank and what is available to help keep it from moving fore and aft. Ribs in the Grummans are high enough to do the job as long as the plank is wedged securely towards the bottom of the boat. Once the foot plank has been cut to fit, the next step is to decide where the mast step thwart will go. I use the location to mark the material for cutting and then trimming to fit. Once that is done, I draw diagonals to find

29 the center of the piece. This is where the hole is cut with a 1/4” drill and hole saw. Ideally you want this hole to be slightly smaller than the mast tube. The mast step thwart plate is a piece of the same thwart material. It reinforces the thwart and needs to have a hole cut in it that the mast tube fits in. Then it is glued and stainless screwed to the underneath of the thwart. Now the placement of the mast foot plate. The foot plate is similar to the thwart plate. It has a hole to fit the mast tube and is stainless screwed and pvc glued to the foot plank. (alternate: inverted shower drain fitting) The location is determined by attaching the mast step thwart to the boat, cutting a mast tube and fitting it in the thwart plate and unattached foot plate. With a broom handle simulating the mast I move it fore and aft till it looks perpendicular to the waterline, keel, gunwhales. Mark it glue it and stainless screw it. We like to be able take things apart without removing the stainless bolts at the gunwhale. So I make the mast tube short enough to be removable. The retaining ring is glued to the mast tube such that it pushes the tube retaining clip upwards against the thwart plate assembly – thus pushing down on the foot plate as well. You could dispense with the clip as long as you cut the tube long enough to wedge itself tightly when the stainless gunwhale bolts are tightened. This as well as the sail downhaul keep the mast foot plank tight against the bottom of the boat and resistant to movement. At this point we want to consider preventing side to side movement of the foot plank. The easiest is wedging 45 degree pieces from the foot plate up to the gunwhales – as close to the mast tube as is feasible. Deciding whether to use notches, bungee, tape, line, straps, screws – to keep these in place is up to your situation. Trim to wedge! Questions, comments:

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A different style of saw and sawing that is finding a home in many shops Ed Maurer with Allan Little

Anyone who has used a handsaw extensively has often thought there has to be a better way to make a good cut without having to backslide to using power tools. It’s often the case where an electric saw won’t do the job but none of the hand saws we have in the job won’t either. For years now I’ve been using pull saws, often called a “Japanese pull saw” due to their origin, and have enjoyed the attributes of their design. For those of you not familiar with the pull saw, very simply, it’s a saw whose teeth are in the reverse of a saw that cuts on the push stroke. There are some real benefits to this design, not the least of which is a thinner kerf since the blade doesn’t have to be thick enough to keep from bending on the push stroke. Many saws of this type are also double-edged, having two different sets of teeth, often one for ripping and the other for cross-cutting. I have found a hundred uses for the pull saw and two that come to me first are for flush-cutting plugs and cutting bamboo. It’s also great for evening out joints and cutting upwards, which while it may not happen often, you just can’t do with a Western-type “push” saw. I spoke to wood worker Allan Little, “WoodMan” of http://www. about pull saws and he provided some insight, and brand and tool preferences, and four helpful videos, about these great tools. Ed. WoodMan’s First Japanese Saw I bought my first Japanese saw when I was 25 and destroyed the blade in just a few days. I was trying to “country mule” it through the wood while holding it and using it like a western saw. Japanese saws have become very popular here in the U.S. but invariably when I see one being used, it is always with the handle up and the blade pointed down, in the manner most of us were taught since childhood. It took years for it to finally dawn on me to drop the handle towards the floor and pull the stock being cut into the supporting surface. The saw cuts on the pull, so why not pull down to with the aid of gravity and into the support of the work piece? I have never said a word about this to anyone. Dudes do not appreciate being told they are

31 cutting like a kid. Of course there are times when you have to have the handle up. Namely when cutting wide pieces or panels where the blade is unable to span the distance. When I’m working with a piece of this size I just use my panel saw or my table saw. Japanese saws for me are used for joinery and cutting billets of wood for a specific project. Japanese saws look strange if you’re not familiar with them, but for the price, you can’t afford not to give them a try.

Japanese Hand Saws - Gyokucho RazorSaws I highly recommend the Gyokucho RazorSaw brand of Japanese pull saw. I bought my first one 26 years ago. It still has the original handle and I use it every day. I just made my first video series demonstrating Japanese hand saws. If you watch the videos in this post you’ll get an introduction to using these invaluable tools. You’ll see me hand cut a tenon, rough cut a board and quickly change the blades. I have given up on western style push saws unless they are tensioned blade saws like a hacksaw or bow saw. Standard western saws without a blade stiffener have to be very thick and stiff to overcome the blade wanting to bend and fold on itself during the push motion through the stock. They even wear me out, and I am fairly strong and coordinated. There are of course some very fine western style back saws and dovetail saws with blade

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stiffeners, but these tend to be very expensive. I have actually owned some of these but have been very disappointed in the cost to performance ratio. I’ve tried to resharpen the teeth myself as well as paying a sharpening service, with very poor results.

The pull saw works best when pulled down through the work. It’s often held with both hands. Japanese woodworking saws are my choice, and have been for many many years. Note the two different tooth counts on I come from the “let’s get on with it” school one blade. Very handy. of woodworking. I want to do good precise work, but I don’t want to fuss over a consumable tool like a saw. For me hand saws are consumables like sandpaper. I won’t make big monetary and emotional investments in handsaws, unlike say a special square and ruler set, or a good hand plane, both of which will last a lifetime. I do not refer to these saws by their Japanese names because I feel ridiculous trying to pronounce them. Fortunately it doesn’t matter what I call them, what matters is how they cut. These saws cut like nothing you have ever used before, and I think they are one of the best values in woodworking tools. In my four part Japanese Saw video series (below) I show the three different saws I use on a daily basis. Two of the handles are well over twenty years old. When the blade dulls I can easily order a replacement blade from Japan Woodworker. The replacement blades generally last me about two to three years.

33 If you could only purchase one Japanese saw, buy this one: Carpenter’s Saw – Ryoba Noko Giri – Gyokucho brand RazorSaw – A double edged saw • Handle and 12″” blade:#19.616.0 $41.00 • Replacement blade only:#19.616.1 – $28.00 • If you could buy two Japanese saws, add Allan’s favorite: • Crosscut Saw w/thicker blade – Kataha Noko Giri – Gyokucho brand • RazorSaw -A single edged saw • Handle and 9.5″ blade: #19.410.0 $33.00 • Replacement blade only: #19.410.1 – $17.00 • For delicate furniture work, like dovetails, this works best: Dovetail Saw/Crosscut Saw – Kataha Noko Giri – Gyokucho brand RazorSaw -A single edged saw • Handle and 9.5″ .3mm blade: #19.300.0 – $42.00 • Replacement .3mm blade only: #19.300.1 – $21.00 See more from Allan at Allan Little’s And here’s those videos he mentioned: id=374&preview_nonce=5bad051d37

American Canoe Association Sails for Sale 44sq foot sleeve lateen sail. Free rig plans. Stows flat for paddling and storage. USD $322 plus shipping Contact: Marilyn Vogel Green Lane, PA 18054

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Searching for the Lost Vessel....

Have you seen this boat?

Several years ago I learned about Windvinder, a pilotless wind-propelled vessel that was launched to follow the wind. For the past few months I’ve tried contacting the Windvinder people, with no success. Windvinder is truly an exciting project...but one that seems to have joined Davy Jones.... The last information I’ve seen posted was from late 2010. The following is from the Windvinder site at Let’s make an effort as a global readership to learn more, find more, about Windvinder. In here you will find address for their offices in the Phillipines and the Netherlands, and in the site itself several ‘contact’ pages. If you’re close to one of these addresses, maybe you could stop by and let us know what you find. EXPEDITION TO THE ORIGINS OF THE WIND Department “Lost and Found” c/o: Kronberg KM7, Lanang, Lizada Village Purok III, Souson Street Davao-City 8000 Philippines Also, an address for the designer: Wipke Iwersen Eerste Jan Steen Straat 97 I NL- 1072 NG Amsterdamm Fon 0031 6 293 932 56 If you have seen or heard or have any knowledge about Windvinder or its creator, Wipke Iwersen from Holland, please contact us through our Facebook site at



Somewhere in the Pacific Ocean an unmanned “windship” makes its way through the waves - almost transparent, people say, wings everywhere… and it is headed, without a doubt, INTO THE WIND ! With three prows pointing straight into the wind it is underway across the world’s vastest ocean, following every windshift. No one knows how long it’s been travelling. People laugh at fishermen who talk about having seen it. But there it appears again; all but silently it moves through the swell, as if drawn by an invisible string: on an impossible course.

Skinny Hull And it is true: the ship exists. This is the Windvinder, unmanned vessel of the Expedition to the Origins of the Wind: a satellite on the ocean. It is steered by wind alone and driven by headwind. A windmill drives the ship’s propeller; a tail fin in the wind keeps the vessel on its never changing course. From time to time an island pops up in its path. For anyone who finds it there, instructions are engraved on all parts of the ship (translated into more than 45 languages): People are asked to mend what is broken, improve what wasn’t working, and to relaunch the vessel on its voyage – to where the wind comes from.

Pacific Island fishermen meet Windvinder


The young Windvinder at the ‘North’ exhibition during SAIL 2005 in Amsterdam



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The Designer: Wipke Iwersen

Wipke Iwersen is initiator and founder of the Expedition to the Origin of the Wind and builder of the ur-Windvinder, the first headwind-driven research vessel of the expedition, which is travelling the world’s seas since its temporary completion in 2008 – on an unmanned voyage to where the wind comes from. Born in 1971, Wipke Iwersen spent a great deal of her childhood and youth on the North Sea, on the sailing ship that belonged to her grandfather and then to her parents, and of which she, herself, is now the skipper. For Wipke the most important thing about the sea has always been the vastness, even in her childhood, and the best thing about the vastness was the sailor’s independence from readymade roads – roads that others had planned, built and travelled before her. Still, the freedom was not limitless: “We could sail practically anywhere we wanted – except that one third of the horizon to windward: that stayed out of reach. To me it seemed as if all the secrets of the world were hidden there. Before I was 10 I knew that one day I would sail there – straight there, mind, not tacking, not waiting for favorable winds to reach the island that had lain to windward the day before – no, I didn’t want the island. I wanted that magical third of the horizon… (which, in the meantime, had shifted to another part of the circle).”

Morris Ellison photo


From 1990 she undertook years of travel on dry land, interrupted by her training as an architect (TU Berlin) and carpenter (in Hamburg). Another period of travel culminated in five years of sculpture studies at the Art Academies of Amsterdam (Rietveld) and Barcelona (La Massana). Ever since childhood Wipke Iwersen has drawn and painted the sea, and her work has frequently been exhibited. In recent years, however, her Amsterdam harbor workshop is looking more and more like a shipyard… or rather, a windship construction laboratory. “Ships are the eyes of the sea”, writes Alessandro Barrico in OCEANO MARE…

Visit the Windevinder website at Help find her if you can. If you find Wipke, tell her we’re looking for her....

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Part 3 in a series by John Summers Back in the second post in this series, I was thinking about how to translate the arc bottom of the original sailing canoe into something I could build in stitch and glue. Using the original linesplan, I’ve modeled several different version of the hull in Delftship that allow me to make some numerical comparisons between them. All I’ve changed in each case is the number of chines and the underwater shape–everything else is the same (with the exception of some small changes to the bow profile to accommodate an additional chine). The design waterline and draft of 4″ are as on the original plans, and all these hulls are shown in a full bowon view. The subject vessel, Isalo, circa 1892, in racing trim

Here’s the original arc-bottomed hull, which displaces .117 short tons, or 234 lbs.

43 Isalo, her dimensions being 16 x 29½ x 10. The weight of the hull is 80lbs., centerplate 25lbs., rudder 7lbs. (From Forest & Stream, March 16, 1892)

Here’s the same hull with all of the arc taken out of the bottom sections so that there’s just a straight section from chine to keel. This results in a significantly lower displacement of only .075 tons, or 150 lbs. How much displacement do we want or need? Well, I’d say something at least equal to the original hull. I’m also keeping in mind the displacement of my hardchine 16-30 hull, which is .133 tons, or 266 lbs. From my experience in building and sailing those boats, they float pretty much on their marks with a sailor of average weight, so there’s a good comparison for what displacement we should shoot for in a two-masted, decked 16′ sailing canoe built in stitch and glue. I don’t think 150 lbs is going to do it.

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Here I’ve added another chine and pulled it down amidships to make a nearly flat bottom. I may have overdone it on the extra volume, though, because now our displacement is up to .139 tons, or 278 lbs. I’m not sure we need quite all of that.


If I introduce just a little deadrise into the midships sections, leaving the ends unchanged, the displacement decreases to .128 tons, or 256 lbs, which is pretty close to our 16-30 hull. So far, so good. The next step is to add the deck and deck camber, put the bulkheads in the right places instead of just at a uniform 1′ interval and expand the individual hull panels. Then, I’ll buy some balsa wood and make a 1 1/2″ – 1′ model. Until next time. . .

Isalo in cruising trim, 78ft2 vs 130ft2 for racing.

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Like red wine and chocolate, a symbiosis of two pleasures By Ed Maurer Easily, for as long as people have used canoes and kayaks, they have used them for fishing. I might go out on a pretty thick limb here and suggest fishing, let’s call it “food-gathering”, was the likely reason kayaks and canoes of various sorts were developed in the first place. During early boat evolution mere transportation to carry goods or get across a stream was probably not a high enough priority to develop the range of canoe and kayak-like vessels seen around the world. For me, using a canoe or kayak (I use both) was for the express purpose of fishing. My interest in sailing a canoe came as a solution to the vexing problem of having little control of where I went or how hard I worked to get there on windy days. As many canoers and kayakers have found out the hard way, all too often Mother Nature wants to blow the opposite direction you want to paddle. Yeah, we can really apply ourselves and overcome headwinds (crosswinds are often much more difficult to deal with) but if your destination, whether it be a prime fishing spot, or more importantly—home— is too far to paddle to comfortably, sailing is the way to go. A sailing canoe or kayak can go into waters made off limits Many areas of the by shoals or motor restrictions. coastal United States, and I’m sure a number of other countries, are designated as “No Motor” or “No Internal Combustion” zones where access with engines is controlled to preserve sensitive plants and wildlife or to decrease the number of people

47 who enter these areas. While many of these areas are relatively small and easily paddled, others can be quite extensive and best sailed into. An added bonus is the farther you go away from a launch site, the fewer people the fish have seen. Outfitting a Sailing Canoe or Kayak for Fishing While any boat can be used to get you to a great fishing spot, there are some outfitting considerations that can turn your skinny-hulled day sailer into an all out fishing machine. I’ll cover some essential ideas here for you to consider. Anchoring Aside from general safety concerns—life jackets, radios, clothing, etc.— being able to keep your boat in one place is essential for a good fishing experience. Whether you need to stay over a prime spot or keep your boat in place while on foot, you need to be able to readily put on the parking brakes. Most kayaks and canoes can be kept in place with a light anchor. For my kayaks I use a folding anchor and for my canoe, a disc anchor made of lead. Since anchoring safely is so important I’ll refer you to “Anchoring Surely and Keenly” following this article. Another method of keeping your boat in place in shallow water is by use of a long rod commonly known as a “Cajun anchor”, an anchoring pin or a number of other names. Basically, you stick it in the bottom and tie your boat to. They’re not new but a number of manufacturers like Stick It Anchor Pins offer a variety of quality products. Another option is to use a metal bar (not aluminum, it’ll bend) or one of those old solid fiberglass fishing rods. Again, it’s simply a pole shoved into the bottom that your boat’s tied to; it ain’t rocket science. But it is effective and often times easier to use than an anchor. Propulsion, Other Than by Sail A sail is great as long as you have any distance to travel, and it’s in the desired direction, but paddling or poling is often better, quicker and more readily controlled. You already carry a paddle, or at least you should, but there are times when a push pole is better. If you fish in shallow water, like the flats along much of the Eastern US Seaboard and Gulf of Mexico, pushing the boat with a pole, or specially designed paddle, can be much more effective than trying to paddle. Poling is often preferred to paddling in shallow, rushing rivers like those found in Maine, too.

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You can improve upon the simple paddle by converting it into a multiuse tool that will allow you to paddle while standing or push you through shallow water. I make my paddles out of hard wood so they can take what can amount to an extraordinary amount of abuse. My current paddle is maple, 67” long with a 5.5” x 30” inch blade tipped with epoxy, and weighs more than 3lbs. The ‘T’ handle prevents it from slipping through my hands and provides a good platform for pushing down on when really getting on it. The ‘T’ also acts like a boat hook. The paddle is long enough, by design, to allow me to use it as a push pole in very shallow water while standing and to let me paddle effectively while standing up.

Another option is to have a dedicated push pole. I have used cured pine tree saplings, though any stout enough sapling would do, but my favorite is an eight-foot bamboo pole tipped with a hardwood dowel. It’s light, inexpensive and has enough flex to really get the boat moving. Sail Rigs Any sail rig will do if you’re just using the boat as transport to a fishing spot, especially if you’re going to do what I call “Dragoon Fishing” named after those horseback soldiers who rode quickly to a spot and dismounted to fight. However, if you plan on fishing from the boat there are several considerations. A question I’m often asked by observant anglers is “What will you do if the fish runs around the bow with the mast in the way?” Bet you didn’t think of that, did you, reader? Yeah, it can add a whole new scheme to fishing because you know it’s going to happen sooner or later. As you can see in the photos, my boat is a lateen rig with a short mast. Since I only fly fish anymore, the rod is long enough to reach over the masthead, though I can easily stand up and readily clear the mast that way. (Another method is to pass the rod tip around the back of the boat and let the line go under, though this is difficult when anchored.) A better solution is to drop your rig and fish with it down, which gets the mast out of the way and opens up the area off your bow. Speaking of dropping your rig—can you while in the boat? Many boats

49 just can’t accommodate that, so keep that in mind if you’re thinking of a design to use for fishing. The primary reason I use only one mast is because a mizzen would make fishing just that much more difficult. It is a fishing boat first, after all.

The mast is short enough for the rod tip to clear in the event a fish runs in that direction. The tiller is half as long as the boat and allows me to to steer while standing. I typically sit forward of the thwart, leaning aginst the yellow life jacket you see, which keeps my weight centered over the widest part of the boat and helps keep it stable, even while standing and casting. Tiller & Rudder Like my leeboards, my rudder swivels to allow it to kick up when striking ground, a sunken object, or (and this has happened) a manatee of all things. It can also be raised when stationary, which I recommend you do with your leeboards as well, to cut down on the number of things your line will get tangled on. Not “might”—“will.” I use a push-pull tiller that runs through a loop of line so it doesn’t fall too far when I drop it (Just pay attention, I don’t make this stuff up, given

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half a chance it will fall into the water at the worst time.) and articulates enough to allow me to stand while sailing, yet another benefit of the E.M. White design canoe I sail. Standing allows the angler to see fish from a distance and move to intercept a moving school. I often cast while under sail and once fished a moving school of bluefish when the conditions and my boat positioning happened to work out right and the boat sailed itself along with the school. Standing and, or, Sitting The E.M. White canoe design, along with many others, makes standing while under sail, or not, easier than with many other designs. A lot of new kayaks for the fishing market are getting more canoe like for that purpose as well. Again, if you’re now thinking about a sailing canoe or kayak you can fish from, also consider the benefit of being able to stand in it. Tackle Concerns and Fishing Methods Over the years I have done all sorts of fishing from the sailing canoe, everything from hand-lining to cast netting to fly fishing. Regardless of how you fish, secure storage of your tackle is important. I’ve often strapped rods down across the thwarts with bungee cords. Sometimes I’ll hang spare rods below the thwarts or lay them on the deck, just to keep them out of the way. However you do it, just be sure they’ll stay on board or don’t get tangled in I sit forward of or on that yellow life jacket. I keep my tackle bag, your sheet when your boat heels in water, bailing bucket and rods behind me in the boat, and close to hand. Carrying the rods here keeps them on board and out of the a strong wind. rigging.

51 Other gear—tackle boxes, coolers, etc.—should be kept close to hand depending on how often you need it. While you may be able to move around in your boat, it’s still a pain in the butt to reach gear that’s just—or way—out of reach. Getting back to your sail rig, mast, boards, rudder and et cetera: consider how you’ll manage your casting, fish fighting and landing, from your boat. Casting can be a challenge if your rig is up, especially if you fly fish. A fish running around your bow, under your anchor line, leeboard or rudder will add some more challenges to your fun. Fighting a large fish from the boat will make it more tippy if you’re not careful— keep your body positioned like you would while under sail: counter-balance! A landing net can really help, especially if you’re likely to get into bigger fish. Bringing a lively fish on board, pretty much right into your lap, can liven up your day, too. The sailing kayak or canoe Drop the entire rigging when you can. With just the as fishing boat adds a lot of sail down you still have the mast to contend with pleasure, challenges and fun should a fish run across your bow. The red containers to two sports you probably in the bow are filled with water for ballast. I keep already enjoy. It also cuts them empty when not in use and refill them while down on the work of having setting up the boat at the launch site. to paddle long distances or against the wind to get your destination. I have fished from my sailing canoe for well over a decade now and enjoy every minute of it...and when I’m skunked, I was just out sailing! Don’t forget to read “Anchoring Surely and Keenly” following this article to learn about safe and effective anchoring methods.

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Keep your boat and you safe with proper anchor rigging By Ed Maurer Anchoring your canoe or kayak can add flexibility to your sailing. You can anchor out while fishing or having a picnic on the water, or you can just [and should] anchor your boat to the beach during rising tides or when the wind is not directly on-shore; I’ve had boats [yes—more than once, thank you for noticing] sail off the beach without me. It’s kind of embarrassing…. There are several ways to anchor your boat and only a couple that I’ve used consistently without problems. Let’s go over this list and pick out the why’s and wherefores…. -Stern- Anchoring from the back of the boat is convenient but has its hazards. As you know, when the wind is aft, your sail fills and stays filled. When anchored, bringing the sail back amidships can be very tough and can cause a knock-down under the right [wrong?] conditions. You also cannot drop your sail when pressure is on it, and raising it can cause damage. With some rigs you can let the sail swing forward of the mast, much like sharpie sailors did when oystering in the old days. In any event, you will find problems when anchored aft and will have to be very careful technique-wise when making sail again. I do it sometimes—I let the sail swing all the way forward—but not often at all. -Abeam- An anchor line attached to the side of your boat can cause it to broach in a current or when hit by a wave or wake. ‘Nuf said. -Anchor trolley- A trolley system is often used by kayak anglers so they—we—can adjust where the anchor is in relation to the boat. It allows us to move the anchor fore and aft on a traveling line to point the boat into or away from wind and current, or set us up for a convenient casting angle. Blocks are mounted to the boat, one forward and the other aft. I mount blocks on each side of my fishing kayak so I can move the anchor

53 line from one to the other for full versatility. A line forms a snug loop between the two blocks. In the center point of this line is mounted a ring. The anchor line is passed through this ring. You then adjust where the anchor line’s attachment is expressed to the boat by pulling the ring fore and aft as needed. When weighing anchor, you can pull the ring to you and retrieve the anchor. It works like gangbusters on the kayak and it would do well on any canoe or kayak, though one must consider interference with leeboards and possibly the rudder. -BowAttaching the anchor line to the bow is probably the safest and most common way to anchor, for good reason. When anchored off the bow the wind keeps the sail amidships Anchor line running through a bow pulpit. without pressure, allowing it to be easily raised or lowered. However, anchoring from the bow also has its challenges. Having to crawl to the bow to set or weigh the anchor is just too troublesome to go into—can you see yourself doing it? Okay—no. A method my Uncle, Capt. Carl Stridfeldt, taught me was to have the anchor at hand. You can drop it when you need to easily enough. Now the trick is how to get it back to your hand when weighing it. Ah—the salty Capt. Carl taught me to sail above [upwind of] the anchor, let the boat fall off a bit, causing the anchor line to run across the rail. Grab the line and retrieve the anchor. It’s pretty cool, looks salty and takes skill. But…once the anchor is off the bottom—you’re sailing! So you have to get that thing aboard, free of weeds and mud, all while controlling your boat. I think it can be a fun exercise, maybe even a regatta event, but limited to open areas in light winds…and downwind of where I’m anchored!

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A third way of bow-anchoring is to use an anchor bow pulpit. A bow pulpit is simply an extension, a plank, off the bow. On some boats it’s used for sight-seeing; whalers use it for the harpooner [think “Moby Dick”], but most pulpits are for anchoring. I used a clamp-on anchor pulpit for years and need to build a new one because it works so darn well. The anchor pulpit has a roller mounted forward with a deadeye or two aft to guide the anchor line back to hand. It protrudes far enough from the bow to allow the anchor to hang without banging on the hull. The anchor line goes from the anchor, through the roller and each deadeye, along the rail and back to a conveniently mounted cleat near the helm or crew. You can lower or raise the anchor easily and safely with little hassle. Again, the boat is under sail once the anchor leaves the bottom, but you can keep the boat in irons until the anchor is brought to the pulpit and secured. You can then just fall off and get underway. I love it. A useful component mounted beneath and aft of the pulpit roller would be a block of wood or a bracket to capture the anchor stem to help keep it from swinging and banging while underway. A method that sort of combines both the bow pulpit concept and Uncle Carl’s ideas uses a line that passes back to the skipper’s or crew’s hand with a loop through which the Simple and affordable and doesn’t require special anchor line runs. The anchor line mounts or tackle. The looped line has the anchor is attached forward. The looped line captured. Pull the loop to the skipper or crew line enables the anchor line to be to retrieve the anchor. Once within reach, the brought to hand as the anchor is anchor is brought aboard. retrieved. Anchors There are many types of anchors available for small boaters that run the gamut from dirt cheap to bloody expensive. A simple sack full of sand has been used for centuries. I’ve successfully used a three- or four-pound disc of lead with an eyebolt cast into it. I once used a concrete block I scrounged off a nearby island when my rotted anchor line parted at the thimble, freeing my anchor from its nautical labors while under sail. Folding anchors

55 do well, as do plow, mushroom and other types. Whichever you use, the scope is essential. Anchor Line and Scope Scope is the relative amount of rode—anchor line—you have out versus the depth of the water. A 10:1 scope—10 feet of line for every foot of depth—provides 100 percent holding power regardless of anchor type. If the scope is too short, say you’re anchored straight down [1:1], the up and down movement of the boat can lift the anchor and cause it to lose its grip. If the scope is great enough, then the anchor will do its job under even storm conditions, which most of us should not encounter in sailing canoes The folding anchor can be used in its collapsed configuation in and kayaks! Most most conditions and opened up in strong currents or winds. The disc of the time just anchor on the right is 3 - 4 pounds of lead molded in a coffee can. ensure you use The steel eye bolt, with a nut on the end, is cast into the lead. This is enough line to let an extremly effective anchor since it will sit flat on the bottom or, if the anchor do its dragged, will turn on it side and act like a plow anchor. job. A good quality nylon line about a quarter inch or more in diameter will hold your boat. Too big is overkill and a hassle; too small can be hard on your hands. Chain is generally not needed for our purposes.

Skinny Hull Vol.1 No. 5  

Skinny Hull - the magazine of sailing canoes, kayaks and other skinny hulled boats.

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