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Skinny Hull Canoe and Kayak Sailing Magazine is a new format and new name for Canoe Sailing Magazine. The articles you see in some of these first issues are ones we published in Canoe Sailing Magazine. Since many of you have asked for archived articles this is an opportunity to share those with you in an updated format. We hope you like it. As we get more new articles in you will see new material mixed in with the old. The primary reason we are pulling out all the stops and putting in the effort to create a better, more inclusive publication for you is because I believe the global community of canoe and kayak sailors is just that: a community, a universal waterside village of folks who love and take pleasure from sailing their skinnyhulled boats. Skinny Hull will bring you articles and features not just about sailing canoes and kayaks, but also Pacific Island boats, Chesapeake log canoes and most every other type of small sail boat that has a skinny hull. Canoe Sailing Magazine, and now Skinny Hull, is your—our—community magazine reflecting our communal interests. Because of that, each and every one of you is welcome to contribute articles, photographs, stories and yes, even maybe a little money, to help this community magazine serve us all. For those of you who enjoy our forum, The Rudder, it will still be available where it always has been, in the old Canoe Sailing site (http:// which will become a blog that we will update on a (somewhat) regular basis with news and events and late-breaking information. We look forward to your feedback and welcome you to write us at For those of you who want to participate in this magazine, we will have writers’ and photographers’ guidelines available for you in every issue. Thanks again for reading Canoe Sailing Magazine. We look forward to serving you in the new Skinny Hull Canoe and Kayak Sailing Magazine!

Ed Maurer, Publisher



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. Editor & Publisher Edward C. Maurer

Contributing Writers: John Summers Steve Clark Dan Reiber Terry Galpin

Contact: (727) 798-2366 A publication of Edward Maurer Consulting, LLC. Copyright 2011 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.



BAMBOO AS MAST AND SPARS The publisher’s low-down on bamboo and how to make it into spars Ed Maurer, Dunedin, Florida After going through all the work of building my sharpie, the last thing I was in the mood for was building the mast and spars. From the beginning of the project, I had it in mind to use only materials historically available in Florida, since I wanted to emulate a vessel that may have been built here. It may seem like a silly notion, but there you have it. I had the same issue when I built my canoe sailing rig—I just didn’t want to go through making my own spars. What I found then was cured timber that had been cut by the power company when clearing lines. I found a piece that would make a good mast and two more as spars for my lateen, though they had some intriguing “personality” of their own by way of knots and gentle bends in several directions. However, all three worked like champs and required only a little woodworking and varnish. Hard to beat the look of grown spars! Then I “discovered” The pine tree spars worked great, even with their freebamboo. I knew from form shape. the beginning it would be good to use, but at the time I didn’t have the patience to learn more about it and find a source. I’ve overcome all that now. Bamboo has a number of benefits and, for canoe sailing purposes, only a few drawbacks. First—the drawbacks: It isn’t universally available, but you’ll see many types generally are, and it can’t be worked into a double taper like solid wood and it

probably shouldn’t be drilled through, unless reinforced. Now, benefits…I’ll keep this short as well…Bamboo is cheap, it’s already round, it’s already tapered, it is very light and very strong, it has natural flotation chambers, it’s easy to work, it flexes and almost never snaps, and (maybe the most important attribute) it makes great looking spars. Now, not all bamboo is created equal. While many are useful for our purposes, some are too weak and should be avoided. One source, The Bamboo Fencer, http://, has a sailor on staff who can help you select the culms—the bamboo stems—proper for your application. During my research, I learned a lot from their site, which is why I’ve included them here, as well as the following excerpt: “We invite you Chinese rig sailors to return to the better way and save your back on the halyard, have less weight aloft, improve the sailing quality of the boat, and return to nature…. We use the best bamboo we can get for the job. It is the super hard and strong temperate bamboo Phyllostachys nigra ‘Henon’.” I believe the most important consideration you must have when choosing what species to use is to either know specifically what you want, or deal with bamboo dealers who understand your needs. From what I’ve found, most dealers have an intimate knowledge of their product and should be able to help you, though dealing with fellow sailors helps!


Let’s discuss the drawbacks of bamboo, and how to work with them, before we move on to the benefits. Bamboo doesn’t grow everywhere, but, remarkably, it is found growing wild in many cold climates, and many cold-weather bamboo growers and dealers have successfully cultivated crops. Of course, one can always buy bamboo and have it shipped. I would suggest finding a source and speaking with them about your needs directly so both sides have an understanding of the application and limitations of the product. Unlike spars made out of lumber, bamboo can’t be tapered to fit through a mast partner without an oversized hole. As you see in my photo, the partner is leathered and wedges are employed to brace the mast, which is not uncommon. The mast step is bored to snugly accept the foot. Avoid the temptation to mount the hollow foot over a pin—it will lead to splitting. I wouldn’t recommend drilling through unreinforced bamboo. Since bamboo’s strength is longitudinal, with almost no crossgrain stability, a hole can lead to a lengthwise crack that could cause failure. If it maintains its

integrity, bamboo will flex a lot without failure. I employ two methods to overcome this problem—lashing and reinforcement. As you see in this masthead photo, my halyard tackle (okay, it’s just a bronze ring, but what the heck), is lashed in place. This is best done on the opposite side of a node—the rigid portion seen as a ring separating the hollow sections—because it will provide a friction point and stop for your lashing. Of course, any good lashing that is pulled toward the bottom—the larger diameter part of the culm—will automatically tighten as it does so. The second method—reinforcement—I have done two ways. In the mast base photos you will note I have added a bamboo collar to both reinforce that section and have a place for screw-mounting hardware. The collar is made from a little larger diameter section of this culm that has been split to fit over the section, then glued and itself reinforced with two thin bronze rods wrapped around it and secured in place. The hardware screws act in shear—which means they are pulled sideways instead of straight

out—and just barely penetrate the mast itself. It’s not the strongest arrangement, but more than adequate for this application. If a stronger mount where needed, the collar could be made of wood or metal. The point is to avoid drilling holes in the unreinforced spar or mast itself. Which leads to: The second method I use, seen in the boom and spar photos—the insertion of solid wood pieces into the culm. The sprit spar end uses a hardwood dowel deeply inserted and glued in place. The plug is drilled to accept the snotter rope. The boom end also has a wood plug, but I chose to cut it flush. This, too, has a hole drilled through the plug through which my outhaul passes. Note in both cases, holes are through the wood, not the bamboo alone, and stress is in shear, or pulling in-line with the spar. Now, the advantages: this stuff is cheap, even if you have it shipped to you. Considering that it’s already shaped and requires only minimal work to put it to use, it’s much cheaper than building your own spars. Bamboo’s very light and very strong for its weight. Again, from The Bamboo Fencer: “The poles are 2” in diameter, they are first cut and fully dried, cured, and polished. They are stiffer than Sked 80 1.25" aluminum or 1.5" dia. Sked 40 aluminum often used on Junk Schooners. The maximum bow on a 21 foot pole is 3" or less.” Not bad for grass, huh. Being hollow, bamboo floats as long as you haven’t punched holes through it for wiring, which leads to another benefit—you could punch small holes with a rebar or other long rod and pull wiring for a masthead light. The light mount could take advantage of the hollow you leave for it at top, and the battery could be mounted within a


similar hollow at the foot. Add a small switch in the lower side and plug the top and bottom wire holes with sealant, and you have lights to awe your friends with! As for looks, I have sanded my nodes smooth and varnished all my spars, painted the boom end as you see, and it makes for very nice looking rigging. Many spars turned out of lumber look better painted, but bamboo has a beauty that needs to be seen. When selecting bamboo, consider the flex of the spar and know that the material will flex quite a bit without breaking. If in doubt, once you have discussed your choice with a dealer, order material that may be a little larger in diameter than you think you need. Think of it like reefing—if you think about reefing under sailing—then reef. Also buy longer sections than you need so you can trim the culm to length yourself. Once cut, treat the ends with a sealant like epoxy, varnish or some other product to keep bugs out of it. If you get green bamboo, know that it could lose up to 20 percent of its diameter as it cures, which takes about three to four months. Dry bamboo standing on end in the shade—you could hang it in a tree if you wanted. But store bamboo horizontally and out of the weather and sun, even if treated. I keep my rig hanging I built this 16-foot sharpie out of cypress using mostly traditional methods. Instead of a in my garage where centerboard I employed leeboards, which, if i had it to do over again, I would not. The mast, it gets plenty of boom, sprit and jib boom are all out of bamboo and worked flawlessly. ventilation. The photos I have here are from my sharpie. I’ve restored my E.M. White-style canoe and am refitting it to carry a 50-foot sprits’l I’ll likely convert to a lug or balanced lug. I’ll definitely use bamboo for the new rigging. I’ll also use a bamboo pole for my push-pull tiller and a pushpole. There’s a lot of value and uses in bamboo, which, as you know, is just a grass. A grass on steroids, that is!


COLUMBIA DRAINMAKER SHOES Good all-round water shoe for sailing, paddling, or onshore When I first picked up my Columbia Drainmakers the first impression I got was how light they are, 10 ounces for a size 12 is beyond light, it’s almost non-existent. In this day and age where fly rods and reels are marketed for their lightness it’s good find a boat shoe that doesn’t feel like an anchor once it’s wet. The Drainmaker features a scupper system not unlike a boat or, better yet—a sit on top kayak. Water gets in but quickly drains through the mesh bottom and out channels running through the sides of the substantial rubber sole. I kept them on when we anchored just off Dunedin, Florida’s Caladisi Island. While most shoes of any sort would be soggy and sloshy with water, the Drainmakers were all but dry almost as soon as I left the water. Later, during the boat’s washdown, the shoes drained as quickly as they took on water. Nice. On board my boat they were so comfortable and provided such good traction I forgot to take them off. Not being a fan of shoes I’m usually barefoot when I get to the marina, but these stayed on because, simply put, I didn’t feel like I was wearing any shoes at all. Just as importantly—the Drainmaker features a non-marring Omni-Grip® Wet Grip rubber sole. As a long time canoe and kayak paddler and sailor I’ve always wanted a shoe comfortable and effective enough to keep on when I know I’ll have to get out soon. These are them. I often stand when sailing my canoe and the Drainmaker’s lugged outsole provides great traction for others who stand in their canoes or kayaks. The shoes’ quick draining means you won’t bring nearly so much water on board when you get in at launch like you normally do. I really like these shoes. They do what Columbia says they’ll do, they’re light (even in kangaroo size), and they’re reasonably priced. COLUMBIA DRAINMAKERS FEATURES: • Open cell sandwich mesh upper with translucent TPU toe cap, micro suede eyestay and Techlite™ heel • Techlite midsole with drainage ports in heel and forefoot • Siped, lugged outsole for extra traction made with Omni-Grip Wet Grip rubber • Weight: Size 9, 1/2 pair =8.85oz/251g



THE 16X30 SAILING CANOE, A FAST AND NIMBLE SAILER Turn-of-the-Century Gilbert Boat Company design updated for S&G construction John Summers, 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. Not long after recreational canoeists started to paddle their craft in the 1870s, some added sails as well. At first, these were an addition to the paddle to be used when the wind was right on long cruises—“sail when you can, paddle when you must,” they said. Human nature being what it is, however, the canoeists also began racing each other under sail, and this led to rapid development in hulls, rigs and hardware. The first sailing canoes were cruising boats with sails added, where the sailor sat down in the cockpit. Getting the skipper’s weight up on deck allowed more sail to be carried. An expert but small-of-stature sailor named Paul Butler created a sliding seat mounted above the deck which allowed him to get his weight even farther out to windward. Along with these changes, cockpits became smaller and side decks wider. Canvas liners were added to make cockpits waterproof in the event of a capsize, and eventually the cockpits were completely enclosed and made self-bailing. By the late 1890s, canoe design had diverged into three main types: decked-over canoes for racing under sail, all-round cruising canoes for sail or paddle and racing paddling canoes, each optimized for its particular use. The canvas spread by sailing canoes grew ever-larger, to more than 120 square feet on some 16 foot hulls, and capsizes became a constant feature of competition. By the early 20th century, the Ameri-

can Canoe Association had formulated a set of rules that governed the dimensions of all classes of racing canoes, both paddling and sailing. Decked sailing canoes like this one were most often known as “16-30’s.” Those dimensions (16’ length x 30” beam with 90 square feet of sail) were typical for boats built under Rule IV, “Sailing Canoes,” of the classification system of the American Canoe Association. A number of these canoes survive in museum collections and private hands, and some have been restored and are regularly sailed. Some new 16-30s have been built in recent years too. One such example, a copy of Ralph Britton’s Gilbert-built Tomahawk, was built at the Antique Boat Museum in Clayton, New York, nearly a decade ago. Beautiful to look at, she features the same batten-seam carvel planking, hollow spruce spars and wide mahogany decks of the original. Like the original, she also leaks, an almost inevitable consequence of a long, lightly-built hull subject to strong wracking forces from hard sailing with a big rig and a sliding seat. With a heavy, round-bottomed hull only 30” wide, the boat is challenging to sail at first, but almost everyone who tried it wanted to get one of their own after their first taste of the 16-30 experience. Since most of the original hulls were round-bottomed, a faithful reproduction is a reasonably complicated proposition, requiring either a fair degree of boat building skill or some good check-writing ability to pay a builder, and so many who wanted to get involved were frustrated. This led directly to the new 1630 class. In the early years of the 20th century, The Gilbert Boat Company of Brockville, Ontario, built a number of hardchine 16-30 canoes for sailors of the Gananoque Canoe Club. The boats were constructed from wide planks of white cedar and Spanish cedar, with oak framing and bronze and copper hardware and fastenings. One of these canoes survives in the collection of Heritage Toronto in Toronto, Ontario. In 2004, I took the


lines from this canoe, and made a detailed record of its construction and arrangement. Using the lines of the original hard-chine hull, I re-developed the boat for construction in the stitch-and-glue technique, keeping the original hull form but taking advantage of the properties of epoxy and plywood to make a stronger, lighter boat. The new boat was also designed to take

advantage of off-the-shelf modern hardware and fittings. The aim of the project was to revive this fascinating small craft type in an easy-to-build package that captured the spirit of the original in modern materials. I’m admittedly far from objective, but the new 16-30 has met almost all the expectations I had for the project. The boat is only marginally more complicated to build than a stitch and glue kayak, and could easily be created during the winter in a typical garage by someone with modest woodworking abilities. Depending on fit and finish, the cost will probably be no more than a new Laser. The slightly wider beam of the original hull (34” vs. a more typical 30”) combined with the hard chines, produces greater initial stability. I’ve sent many people out for their first decked canoe sail on both round-bottomed 16-30s and the new boat, and the new one offers a much more user-friendly way to start sailing decked canoes. Easily cartopped or pulled on the lightest of trailers, the boat is simple and robust, and can be rigged and underway in less than 15 minutes from the top of the car to the water. Under way, the 16-30 offers a unique ride. Sensitive to sail trim and body weight, the boat gives you plenty of feedback and teaches you fast. Once you get used to the thwartships tiller and the seat and go through a few tacks, it’s not long before you understand the basic physics of the situation, and not much longer after that will come the first time you put all the parts together and take off on a fast, end-of-the-seat broad reach. Capsizes are no big deal. The only real hazard encountered so far is from rear-end friction. Once you tack, the seat goes all the way out to windward and stays there until you tack again. In the meantime, all trimming and balancing is done by the skipper moving in and out on the seat. The combination of frequent movement and wet

shorts can lead to a certain tenderness at the end of the day, and helps to explain why some sliding seat canoes have names like “Rosy Cheeks” and “Sticky Buns.” The plans package includes 5 sheets of drawings and a comprehensive and wellillustrated building and sailing manual, along with advice, encouragement and tech support. At least 7 boats have been built so far, and more are underway. 16-30s gather each year at the Antique Boat Museum’s annual August boat show; Tupper Lake, NY’s No-Octane Regatta; Chesapeake Bay’s Mid-Atlantic Small Craft Festival and anywhere else that quality small craft are found. Plans can be ordered on-line from the Antique Boat Museum store at More information about the boat is available from me at and/or Dan Miller Article sponsored by the Antique Boat Museum




CANOE SAILING CIRCA 1886 The following clippings are from an August 17, 1886 New York Times article that introduced canoe sailing of the time to its readers. Much of the competative cane sailing of the day took place in New York and Canada on this side of the pond and Great Britain on the other. There was often hotly contested competion between the countries and continents. Recognizable personalities and boats referred to here include Warrington Baden-Powell, the father of competative canoe sailing in the US and UK, boat designer McGregor, and famous hulls Nautilus and Rob Roy. Future clippings we bring you will cover aspects of canoe devlopment, cometition and bold trips and adventures. Ed.

A Knickerbocker Lake sailing canoe. Not related to this



ED KATTEL’S SIMPLE C-CLASS RIG Steve Clark, Warren Rhode Island Ed Kattel was pretty much the God of open canoe racing as long as he felt like sailing, and his dimensions are still pretty much the standard. Attached is a one page description of how Ed Kattel rigged his C Class ,or 5m2, Canoes. Actually, he cut down the sheer forward and aft so it was pretty much flat and put decks on the front and last third of the boat. This made (the boats) self rescuing, although it was entirely possible to drive the boats hard enough so they swamped from all the spray coming aboard. If sailed as aggressively as a Laser in 15+ winds, Elvstrom super maxi bailers really can’t keep up, so you always have to back off a bit or learn to bail while you sailed. At least with bulkheads and decks, you didn’t actually go all aglub and could stop and throw water for a bit and then continue on your merry way. The 100% open boats could C Class Canoe I designed and built for Susan Chamberlain back in 1984

reach a point of no return where they had such a load aboard they were simply defeated and had to be rescued. Also attached (on a following page) are the dimensions of 23 canoes that competed in the 1977 National Championship in Florida. This isn’t the latest stuff, many of the newer guys use reinforced windsurfer masts instead of Ed’s sleeved together aluminum tubes, and the hulls have improved a bit, but any of the more modern fiberglass canoes is a good place to start, that is if you don’t have a disused canoe lurking under the cottage Doing this stuff to a Royalex canoe requires some messing around with either advanced adhesives or using some mechanical fasteners in ways that might frighten people. I think this is the essential information that converts any open canoe into a sailing canoe.


Which I summarize as follows: -You only need one leeboard. -You start by placing the leeboard thwart ½ a butt’s width (8-10”) forward of the fore and aft center of the boat. -Put the mast step 32” forward of the center of the leeboard thwart. -Use aluminum tubes or something else to triangulate the mast step and thwart. -Finally, the more you modify an open canoe to be a fully competent sailboat, the less good it is for paddling. Just for the hell of it, I also attach two photos of a C Class Canoe I designed and built for Susan Chamberlain back in 1984 or so which pretty much illustrates the point. The design was pretty much a paddling canoe shape under water, but the topsides and deck were all about keeping the water out. There were maximum width gunwales and, flare in the topsides and the foredeck was cambered like an IC. The sheer was also higher in the middle than in the ends, which really threw the traditionalist for a loop. I guess the fact that all new C Class canoes don’t look like this is a pretty good indication that the class didn’t accept this vision. It may also have been due to the fact that Susan moved to Berkley, CA the summer the boat was finished, and it never sailed a second regatta. But as far as I could ever figure, it was the only open canoe that could really play in the rough stuff with any sense of security. It really was quite a lot of fun.


A PERFORMANCE SAILING KAYAK PROJECT One sailor’s solution to converting a typical kayak into a sailer Dan Reiber, Mayfield Village, Ohio This sailing kayak is a concept craft, a new breed of outdoor fun. It paddles like a kayak and sails like a sailboat. The secret of success is in the way you operate it. You kneel facing forward like how you learned to paddle a canoe in scout camp. You sail it in the same position so you can quickly shift your weight from side to side to steer and to compensate for changes in wind speed. As with any sailboat, you need to know some sailing basics. With this craft, you will also have to learn how to steer without a rudder because this craft doesn’t have one. It doesn’t need one. Steering is not difficult to learn. I’ll tell you how later, and show you on my YouTube video. Here is what I used and how I assembled it. Modify it to suit yourself. Equipment Specs: -Kayak - extra stable sit-on-top, 12 ft long, 32” wide - Crescent Splash II -A drinking cup recess for holding the base of the mast should be located about 1/4 to 1/3 of the way back from the bow. Otherwise, it will be difficult to fabricate a mast holder. -Sail - 30 sq ft, sleeve-type, loose footed, regular battens - #SQIN4194. Sailrite sends you the kit. You assemble it with a zigzag sewing machine.


-Mast - 15 ft, fiberglass, tapered, 2-1/8” at base - secondhand sailboard mast -Mast Holder (mast partner Ed.)- 1/2” plywood sheet, PVC pipe, radiator hose clamp - home made -Boom - 6 ft long, 1” dia aluminum tubing with PVC fittings - home made -Leeboard - symmetrical foil, mahogany, 8.5” wide x 4 ft long 1.3” thick - home made -Leeboard thwart - oak board, 3-1/2” wide x 35-1/4” long 7/8” thick - home made -Swivel cleat - centered on the leeboard thwart to control the sail Ronstan RF67 -Line to control the sail (main sheet Ed.)- Dacron or poly, 1/4” dia. about 16 ft long -Turning block - located near the stern for the sail-control line - Harken H082 -Kneeling pads, closed foam - the thicker the better! -Paddle - standard double blade Criteria for Choosing a Kayak Hull Suitable for Performance Sailing Look for a sit-on-top, at least 12 ft long, 30” wide with a drink-cup recess 1/ 3 back from the bow. Suitable kayaks include Ocean Kayak’s Peekaboo, Prowler, Prowler Big Game Angler; Hobie’s Odyssey; and Mad River’s Synergy 14. I’m sure that there are others as well. Assembly Overview Conversion of a kayak hull to a performance sailing kayak requires that you fabricate and install three assemblies: a leeboard thwart that holds a pivoting leeboard used for steering (A leeboard is similar to a daggerboard, but located on the side of the craft); a mast holder that lets you fix the mast rake to balance the sail’s center of effort with the leeboard’s center of lateral resistance; and a kneepad that extends across the cockpit for kneeling comfort. Assembling the Leeboard Thwart First, estimate the correct location of the leeboard in respect to the center of effort of the sail. My default leeboard position was swept back about 20 degrees from vertical, and my leeboard thwart was located about 16” behind the mast. (photo 2)

Bolt the leeboard thwart to the kayak using a 1/4” dia stainless steel bolt on each side of the thwart. First drill a 1.5” access hole adjacent to each bolt location so you can secure a nut and lock washer. The alternative of using lag screws into a blind hole will probably fail. Seal the 1.5” dia access holes with duck tape or faucet hole covers. You will need a strong angle bracket to hold the pivoting leeboard to the thwart. I had a machine shop fabricate one from 1/4” stiff aluminum plate. I prefer the bracket to point down rather than up to put more leeboard under water. Assembling the Mast Holder The mast holder must let you set the mast rake over a range of about +/- 10 degrees from vertical. The sail’s center of effort must coincide with the leeboard’s center of lateral resistance with the leeboard in the default position. Without this one-time mast-rake adjustment, you will not be able to get the craft to balance for sailing in a straight line. My mast-holder bracket was made from a sheet of 1/2” plywood, wedged across the kayak and bolted to the foot recess channels on both sides of the kayak, again using adjacent 1.5” dia holes to access the retaining washers and nuts. I wedged a PVC 3-1/2” dia mast-holder sleeve into the bottom of the drinkcup recess. The top of the sleeve was supported by another sheet of 1/2” plywood, attached to the other plywood sheet by 90-degree angle brackets. (photo 3) The top of the sleeve was adjustable forward and backward by a pair of aluminum angle-bracket channels, one on each side, with closely spaced holes running full length. A 4” pin and radiator clamp holds the sleeve in place between the channels. The sleeve top was reduced in diameter to 2-1/4” by a collar to suit the mast. The sleeve bottom has a knob that fits inside the base of the mast to anchor it. Steering Think of this craft as similar to a sailboard having no rudder, but a fixed daggerboard. To sail a sailboard, you move the mast backward to turn into the wind (“coming up” Ed.), or forward to turn away from the wind (“falling off” Ed.). This sailing kayak has a fixed mast. To steer, you rotate the leeboard forward to turn into the wind, backward to turn away from the wind, or leave it in a mostly vertical position for going in a straight line. To turn 90 degrees thru an oncoming wind (“tacking” Ed.), you rotate the leeboard forward. The boat comes into the wind by turning thru 45 degrees. As you pass directly


into the wind, you rotate the leeboard backward as you let the boat turn thru an additional 45 degrees to complete the 90 degree turn. Then you reset the leeboard for a straight course. You shift your weight as needed. To steer away from the wind (“gybing” Ed.), you rotate the leeboard backward and lean the boat the opposite way that you would lean your bike in a turn. Do this until you are heading directly down wind. Then pull the boom across to the opposite side. Important: Mast rake and leeboard angle must be in balance. If you can tack easily but have trouble turning away from the wind, rake the mast forward. If you have trouble tacking but can turn away from the wind, rake the mast aft. This is an onshore adjustment that must be correct. Sailing Performance I’ve been sailing this craft on a lake in wind speeds under 10 knots. It goes where I want it to go, easily controlled without a rudder: up wind, tacking thru 90 degrees as does a regular sailboat, or away from the wind into a gybe. It is a hoot to sail. Great fun. I can even paddle if the wind dies. YouTube and Blog For a sailing video of my Crescent Splash II, search for Performance Sailing Kayak on YouTube. For my blog on sailing kayaks, visit http://


THE WAHINES OF MOA “E” KU Toughing it out earned respect of new peers Terry Galpin, Kaneohe, Hawaii Bam! That’s a sound a sailing canoe captain never wants to hear. I look up and our entire standing rig comes crashing down. Everything – mast, boom, spar, sail, stay lines – all down in the water. Making sure my crew is unhurt I see the rescue boat in the distance racing to assist us. Thoughts of our failure two years ago flood my mind.

Words, that small kids should never hear, come out of my mouth. We are not going home in the rescue boat this time. In 2004, bad weather and extreme seas swamped our canoe and literally split open our safety ama midway across the Alenuihaha Channel. We were racing from the Big Island to Maui. After 17 years of Hawaiian Sailing Canoe Association races, we were the first all-woman crew to compete. Grudgingly, but fearing for our safety – we had seen a shark eating a pilot whale right before we went down – we called in the rescue boat. Feeling like our wahine (female) crew had let down all of womankind, we vowed to train even harder and smarter.


Over the next few years, we had good days, and really bad days – days with 30knot winds and 20-foot seas in a 48-foot canoe with a sail capable of generating speeds up to 22 knots, all being steered with a wooden paddle. It made us wonder how the

Polynesian ancestors traveled so far in similar craft to find Hawaii. It is 2008 – 10 Hawaiian sailing canoes have left a beach in Kahului, Maui heading for Ka’anapali beach in Maui. Again we are the only all-wahine crew. The conditions are challenging: 20-knot winds and 7-10-foot wave faces. We go high of the fleet, the better to turn down and catch the following seas and surf to the finish. Our canoe is flying. And then it happens. We are surfing down a wave when a sudden loud and violent crack comes from the rigging. One of the worst things that can happen to a sailing canoe has happened to us. Was it time to bail out of the race and get assistance to make it to shore?

“Let us hook you up,” the rescue boat captain screams to us. “No, just stand by!” I yell back. “We can do this.” Through determination and clever leverage – while ducking 30-pound pieces of wood flying overhead and pieces of cotton line swing around like whips – we raise and reattach the entire standing rigging and raise the sail in those same winds and high seas that had taken us down before. We cross the finish line 30 minutes after the last sailing canoe finished, and are greeted as if we have won. It dawns on me that what we have actually won that day is far more important than first place. We have won the respect from our fellow watermen. We are no longer “the wahines in the pink sailing canoe,” we are the wahines of Moa “E” Ku.

YOU, TOO CAN BE PART OF SKINNY HULL, HERE’S HOW! WRITERS AND PHOTOGRAPHERS GUIDELINES This is the preferred way of submitting copy [articles, etc.] and images [photos, etc.]. The easier it is for us to use them, the more likely it is we will! ALL submissions MUST be your original work or submitted with written permission of the creator. Old, historical works are very welcome but you need to inform us about their source. Upon submission you have, for all intents and purposes, certified that what you have sent is your intellectual property. Copy: -12 point, Times New Roman, left-hand justified ONLY. No fancy formatting, etc. that I’ll just end up undoing anyway. -News pieces: 300 – 500 words -Articles: 500 or more words. Pieces that are more than 3,000 may be serialized— run in consecutive issues. Please tell me you’d like to consider that for your longer article. I’m very open to the prospect for worthwhile topics. -How-to, building and repair/restoration articles: make these photo-heavy with explanations for each photo or diagram. -Travelogues: Include plenty of photos, etc. Consider including links to Google Maps. -If you have a particular placement for an image within the document, place its file name in brackets [sailingcanoe.jpg] where you’d like to have it placed. -By lines include your name and your town so we know where you’re from. Images: [ALL images—Includes photos, scans, diagrams, etc.] -100dpi, 1200 px wide minimum. Larger is better! I reserve the right (unless you specify otherwise) to edit images as needed. -Color preferred, but B&W, etc. are a welcome change when appropriate. -Large, crisp images are preferred to small ones. I limit image sizes in the publication, but large ones I can to reduce produce better quality. -Name each file, then provide important info and captions in a separate, clearly labeled document. If the images accompany an article, etc., list the info at the end of the document. For example: sailingcanoe.jpg; photo by Joe Doe; woman in blue is Deborah, man in green is Ed Please email ALL inquiries and submissions to:



ROLLIN THURLOW, NORTHWOODS CANOE COMPANY Rollin Thurlow, proprietor of the Northwoods Canoe Company, has spent much of his life either paddling, repairing or building wooden canoes. Introduced to canoeing via the family’s aluminum canoe in the early 1960’s, Rollin discovered the excitement of Maine’s lakes and rivers. While guiding Boy Scout trips in the mid 60’s down the Allagash River and other Northwoods waterways, he learned the advantages and spirit of wood and canvas canoes. These trips also started his education into the repair and maintenance of these traditional working craft. After graduation from Maine “Thanks for all your Maritime Academy and a tour of duty time at the Wooden in the U.S.Navy. Rollin’s formal eduBoat School. The cation in the construction of wooden course was the boats began when he attended the highlight of my Wooden Boat Construction program summer. I learned a in Lubec, Maine. In 1975 he and lot, and your Jerry Stelmok became partners in the Island Falls Canoe approach gave me a Company. They were building canoes off the original lot of confidence.” E.M.White forms in addition to a wide variety of other wooden -Paul Nelson; boat construction and restoration projects. In 1982, Rollin established the Northwoods Canoe Company for the purpose of wooden canoe restoration and construction of his own canoe designs. In response to many requests from do-ityourselfers, he has developed an ever-expanding line of canoe kits, plans, and hardto-find materials and tools. Regarded as one of Maine’s finest craftsmen, Rollin is in demand as a lecturer and instructor. He has taught various canoe classes at the Wooden Boat School, Brooklin, ME; Buffalo State College, Buffalo, NY; Maine Maritime Museum, Bath, ME; Wooden Canoe Heritage Association, Paul Smiths, NY; and at the Wilderness Workshop, Toronto, Canada. In addition to the many articles he has written, Rollin and Jerry Stelmok co-authored the book The Wood & Canvas Canoe, now regarded as the definitive work on the subject. Rollin has also produced two videos; Building the Atkinson Traveler and Steam Bending for Woodworkers, demonstrating wood/canvas canoe building and wood working techniques.

Northwoods Canoe Company 207-564-3667 The following pages reflects Rollin’s work benefitted by the craftsmanship of Todd Bradshaw, Doug Fower and Bob Lavirtue.

Design 22- a classic paint design from the Old Town Canoe company- painted on a new wood and canvas canoe built by the Northwoods Canoe Co. 2009. 29

Facing page: Carrol A.T. - 55 sq ft lateen sail rig for a wood and canvas canoe, the 17 ft Atkinson Traveler built by the NWCC. Sail by Doug Fower, Sailmaker, Ithaca, NY This page and overleaf: Thum - 1900’s William English all wood canoe fitted out with new bat wing sail rig, lee boards and rudder. Sails by Todd Bradshaw, Addition Sailmakers; Madison WI Bronze hardware by Bob Lavirtue, Springfield Fan Centerboard co, Ludlow MA