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?
Continue reading your story on the app
Continue reading your story in the magazine
Getting in Touch with Reality
As part of my usual in-depth research for this column I decided to ask Google whether sailing was safe. “In fact, it can be deadly,” came the response, “A study from Rhode Island Hospital concluded sailing is more dangerous, and has a higher fatality rate, than skiing and snowboarding combined with NFL football.”
Five Days in the Turnbull Islands
I rowed out of the marina at Blind River, Ontario, and raised the sail just offComb Point. It had been a ten-hour drive from Wisconsin, followed by the usual scramble to launch and load the boat.
The Worst Sailor Still Alive
Upon retirement I decided to learn how to sail, so I bought a little dinghy and taught myself how to efficiently capsize, founder on rocks, and embarrass myself in front of large groups.
SMALL BOAT CRUISE: Tobyhanna Lake by Sunfish
Tobyhanna is a Native American word for “a stream whose banks are fringed with alder.”
PLAN STUDY: Kombi Sail and Paddle Canoe
The first boat I designed was the Beth Sailing Canoe, which, for better or worse, made me a marked man.
An 1881 Bowdish sailboat, abandoned in a northern Michigan junkyard, is rescued and restored to museum condition by John Parlin, wooden boat surgeon extraordinaire
AUSTRALIA THE HARD WAY
The David Pyle Interview
Amateur Boatbuilding: What if I Make a Mistake?
Everyone makes mistakes. If we try new things we will make mistakes, an essential part of the learning experience. It’s nice to learn from mistakes of others, but we learn more lessons and they stick better when they are our own. The more painful the mistake, the stronger the lesson learned.
Reader Boat: Precision 165
During my three years of ownership, here are just a few things I’ve observed about my P165. Most of these features have contributed to my joy of sailing this little boat.
Are Power Tools Corrupting Us?
“Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” —First Baron Acton, 1904
LOA 23.80m 78ft 0in • Beam 6.00m 19ft 8in • Displacement 31,000kg 68,400lb • Draught 2.50-4.00m 8ft 2in-13ft 1in • Sail area 280m2 3,010ft2 • www.vismara-mc.com
MINE'S THE PORSCHE - ON TEST // ELAN GT6
IT’S NOT JUST ABOUT THE BADGE: WHY PORSCHE BECAME INVOLVED IN THE DESIGN OF ELAN’S NEW FLAGSHIP
PIP HARE ON WHEN TO TURN BACK
JIMMY'S ELECTRIC DREAM
JIMMY CORNELL REPORTS ON HIS NEW CATAMARAN, ABOARD WHICH HE PLANS A FOSSIL-FREE CIRCUMNAVIGATION
CRUISE THE WORLD... WITHOUT A BOAT
ELAINE BUNTING GETS TIPS FROM CREW ON HOW TO HITCH-HIKE YOUR WAY AROUND THE OCEANS, AND FROM SKIPPERS ON HOW TO TAKE ON EXTRA HANDS
Securing for sea
Attaching gear to lifelines and stanchions is generally not wise and sometimes dangerous.
Why two retired apple growers sail
I grew up in northern Vermont. Spent lots of time on lovely lakes, but never sailed.
ELIXIR OF YOUTH
MAX CAMPBELL DREAMS OF A WORLD CIRCUMNAVIGATION WITH FRIENDS, BUT FIRST THEY MUST RESTORE A 50-YEAR-OLD SWAN...
Virtual sailing during the pandemic
Sailing and voyaging are an intriguing mix of companionship and solitude.
COUNTDOWN TO YOUR BIG ADVENTURE
FIVE SKIPPERS TELL ELAINE BUNTING ABOUT THEIR PLANS AND PREPARATIONS TO GO VOYAGING