More dreams of sailing canoes



Life is full of surprises. One of the biggest surprises I’ve had during the short life of has been the level of interest in sailing canoes and canoe yawls: posts on these attract more attention than almost any others.

It’s an interest that I can certainly sympathise with, so the news in Classic Boat that George Holmes’s iconic Eel is currently for sale at Alan Staley’s yard at Faversham in Kent (tel 01795 530668), I thought I would Google for more information on the boat and similar boats.

Here’s what I found:

From WP Stephens, this letter from George Holmes about the Cassy.

From the International Canoe Association, an interesting history of canoe sailing going back to the 1850s.

The ICA is also hosting what appears to be a forgotten but fascinating set of scans of historical lines drawings for sailing canoes. Long may they remain forgotten! (I’ll happily host them if need be, by the way!)

One set of lines that may be of particular interest may be those of the Shadow, which was an early planing sailing canoe with a hard chine. Of course, it’ll almost certainly paddle like a dog, but I’d love to try sailing a boat like this. If I’m honest, I’d also love to have the skill I’m sure they demand – but maybe a chance will come one sunny and warm but not too windy day!

Finally, some time ago I read a very interesting collection of entries from the journals from the Clyde Canoe Club reprinted by Solway Dory, and one of the lines plans here is of one of the CCC’s boats, the Wren. I wonder whether the world is yet ready for a more modern version of this sweet, Viking influenced design?

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5 thoughts on “More dreams of sailing canoes”

  1. Love the bit about taking their boats by trolley and train to Hull, then by steamer to Great Yarmouth. It must have taken days. I don't often say hooray for the motor car, but when equipped with a towbar it doesn't half make boating easier….

  2. This site is a real treasure, I've been sailing a 15'7" Macgreggor for about 10 years and found her fast, versatile and a little dangerous because of the difficulty in re-boarding with a flooded cockpit. After conversation with the Open Canoe Sailing Group I've decided to build an outrigger for rougher weather sailing. Felicite is rowed, fished from, toured and sometimes surfed in. A tough little boat indeed.

    She lives on an open shallow bay exposed to our weather (South and west) Very tidal too so you have to be careful of the tides.

    Thank You

    Jeff Cole

  3. Sailing canoes are the best thing. They are so portable they get used a lot but are beautiful in a classic sense (even the racing ones) and can be set up to match the user – whether it is performance sailing or quiet "trailing and hand in the water" type sailing. I've roofracked my BETH sailing canoe thousands of miles – and she's always ready to explore any piece of water that turns up. Wonderful boats!

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