Quick sailing canoes

19 Jan 2016

We’ve been in Sydney for a few months now and have been spending a lot of time on the water - sailing with Yarra Bay Sailing Club, snorkelling everywhere, and learning to surf down at Maroubra. As fun as the sailing has been, it’s only on once per week, and not at all during the holidays or the Australian winter. I miss Goats Have No Manners, the Goat Island skiff (GIS) I built in the basement back in grad school at the University of Wisconsin, and have decided to begin a new boat building project.

Kate and I face some constraints: we can’t tow a trailer behind our tiny hatchback, so we will be car-topping - thus, light weight and small size are important. We like to sail fast, so eschewed buying a canoe and bolting on a tiny sail and leeboard. We don’t have much time, space, or money, either.

Mik Storer designed the GIS, which was a good, simple choice for a novice builder. I’ve always thought that his Beth is a beautiful boat. I mean, check out this photo:


But Beth is a pretty old design, rugged and fairly complicated to build. I decided to meld some ideas from Mik’s OzRacer and quick canoe plans to come up with a quick-and-dirty, almost disposable sailing canoe that Kate and I can build a pair of, together.

Quick canoe:

quick canoe


quick canoe

We are building two quick canoe hulls (at 95% scale to make better use of the expensive marine plywood), then adding some internal structure (five bulkheads and a daggerboard case) for stiffness and sailing ability. A flat deck goes on top, with two sails in a yawl configuration, copied from pictures of Beth. The design of the sails, mast, daggerboard, and case are found in the OzRacer plans.

So far, the canoe shells are built and the sails are pieced but need to be sewn. There’s a lot left to do, but we are well on our way to a couple of cheap, tiny, transportable sister ships for fun at the beach.

canoe shells

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