I’ve always thought of myself as a dinghy sailor, but here I am with sailing canoes dominating my designs…from drop-in sailing rigs to outriggers.
So why the Kombi Sail and Paddle Canoe? It’s a classic 50/50 canoe, that sails well and paddles well. My interest is always how much we can squeeze out of the boat format and the amount of materials. Here’s a canoe that uses only three sheets of ply, pretty economically.
After sailing almost every type of dinghy available during my racing career, I’d discovered dinghies can be incredibly light, so I spent a tax return on a 45-pound plywood scow Moth, confirming that they are not formatted quite right for one person to handle on land.
My super-light sailing dinghy still left me at the mercy of strangers. They were all surprised how light my scow Moth was, but I still had to find someone… anyone…to help with launching and retrieval.
Canoes are the best for solo boaters. A 16-footer usually weighs between the mid-30 and mid-50 pound range. Long canoes are often best—for taking someone else, or crossing more difficult stretches of water. Longer canoes can also be easier to get off and on the car roof, and they’re easier to store than a typical dinghy.
And they really sail!
So sailing canoes match the real requirements of sailors very well. But what can we do about stability, which for some models can be lacking?
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Attaching gear to lifelines and stanchions is generally not wise and sometimes dangerous.
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I grew up in northern Vermont. Spent lots of time on lovely lakes, but never sailed.
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