Tiphys treatise – the canoeists’ bible of 1883

Tiphys’ - the bible of canoeing

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While I’m thinking about canoes, here are some more killer links made available via the Web by Craig O’Donnell, a man whose Cheap Pages have become a point of pilgrimage for those fascinated by the canoeing Victorians and Edwardians.

I’d like to start with Practical Canoeing by Tiphys. This really is a gem – a reasonably light and short piece of material to read, but packed with details about hulls, rigging, fittings and the rest.

Now check out the range of on-line eBooks Craig has put up at Cheap Pages for us:

•The Canoe Aurora by Charles Neid. Travelling from Lake George to Pensacola via the Mississippi in 1882.

•Canoe Cruising and Camping by Perry Frazer. A how-to guide, published in 1885 and 1897.

•Alone in the Caribbean by Frederic Fenger. A sailing canoe sailing among the islands, first published 1911. This is a legend among sailing canoe cruises, and this eBook includes photos from the 1919 edition.

•Reefing Schemes for Battened Sails, text and drawings from Canoe Handling by C B Vaux, published in 1885.

There… that should keep you busy for a while!

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3 thoughts on “Tiphys treatise – the canoeists’ bible of 1883”

  1. Packed with details it certainly is, and full of wisdom too. But even in Victorian times I suspect his statement that 'I have heard canoeing called "a waste of time," but it is difficult to see in what sense this is more applicable to canoeing than to other amusements. It does not lead to any kind of frivolity, vice, or intemperance, but is rather opposed to all these." may have come in for a bit of good-tempered rib-tickling. After all, boating from port to port was a good way of visiting every notable hotspot of vice in the Empire.

  2. Gav,

    Tiphys is the man when it comes to canoe sails. Mizzen & lug & no messing…and a topping lift.

    How much more effort can the wind put into the boat when the main sail has battens I wonder?



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