Sailing in Maine

Sailing in Buzzards Bay

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Travels with Yakaboo

Click on any picture to enlarge it. Blog starts with the September 23rd post.

Every year during the second week of September, John Hupfield of Lost in the Woods Boatworks hosts the Paddle Rendezvous at Killbear Provincial Park near Parry Sound, Ontario, on beautiful Lake Huron. The Paddle Rendezvous is an informal get-together for people that enjoy canoeing, kayaking, and canoe sailing. Its a chance to camp out, meet new people, show what you've been working on, and see what others are doing. Nancy and I decided we would check it out.

From where we live, it's at least a 12 hour drive. If you don't get lost. The park is a few hundred miles north of Toronto, past the Muskoka Lakes region. We managed to take the "scenic route" through the lakes region and added more than an hour, but we saw some beautiful lakes and boats.

Arriving on a Friday evening just as it was getting dark, we checked in and picked out a campsite by the lake. Early the next morning, John Hupfield came by to welcome us, followed by Hugh Horton, who graciously offered to help me unload the canoe and take it down to the shore. We also met Eric Cloutier, who brought his speedy 16-30 racing canoe, Pam Wedd of Bearwood Canoe Co., who built the beautiful canvas covered canoe shown, and Skip Izon, an Olympic gold medal winning racing shell designer who built the Bufflehead for Hugh Horton.

Nancy checks out Pam Wedd's 10 year old canvas covered canoe that still looks like new. The workmanship is amazing. Pam teaches canoe building in the area.

Nancy tries out a sailing canoe for the first time.

Kicking back in light winds, Nancy shows how relaxing sailing can be.

The good thing about canoes is that they have, well, canoe sterns, so there is never any transom drag.

The lug yawl rig is easy to handle since the mizzen is self-tacking and the main sheet has a light touch. I highly recommend it.

Yakaboo II and Bufflehead at the beach. As you can see, there wasn't a lot of wind, maybe 8 mph. tops.

The amazing, multi-adjustable seat from Bufflehead. It has triangular "feet" which allow the seat to be set at 3 different heights, and adjustable back rake.

This view shows a good view of Bufflehead's leeboard, steering rods, and the width of the cockpit.

The underside has several layers of fiberglass so that it can take the ground over rocks or even coral without damage. The inside is lined with Kevlar to protect against impacts.

The park itself is stunningly beautiful, set on a wooded peninsula just north of Parry Sound. The park closes after Labor Day but they reopen it for John since this was the 12th year for the Paddle Rendezvous, so we had it all to ourselves. The weather was in the 60's and the water was still warm, but the insects were all gone. And the wildlife.... While driving down the Trans Canada Highway, I looked up on a large rock outcropping and saw a black bear, sitting there watching the cars go by like it was no big deal. A deer came right into the campsites. And the chipmunks were so tame they would come right up on your lap and eat peanuts out of your hand.

Paddle Rendezvous organizer John Hupfield is second from the left. There was a very diverse and interesting collection of paddling craft, brought together at a very remote but stunningly beautiful part of the Great Lakes. Some day I'd like to come back in a larger boat and sail the lake for a few weeks.

We had a memorable time, the highlight of the year. The people we met were all a lot of fun, and enjoyed the whole canoe sailing atmosphere. Highly recommended if you like canoe sailing.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Launch Day

Click on any picture to enlarge it. Blog starts with the September 23rd post.

Filled with anticipation, my son Andrew and I carried the boat to the shore just before sunset on a beautiful sunny day. The long weeks of work are about to pay off.

I had left one of the leeboard mounts at home so only the right hand one was in place. Should be good enough for a test run.

The sail rig is simple but still allows lots of opportunity for tuning. I'm learning as I go along.

Time to get the boat wet. We donned our PFD's and put it in the water.

As a precaution, I lashed the rudder mount in place so that it wouldn't pop out of the mounting eyes. I also added a restraining line to the tiller extension so that it wouldn't get out of reach if I let go of it.

Off we go. The canoe is very light and easy to handle.

Winds were light and steady out of the west as we set sail.

The first sail ended early with a broken leeboard mount, but it left us looking forward to another sail the following day.

I drove home to pick up the missing leeboard mount, then reinforced both mounts with screws to back up the glue joints.

The next day, we were down at the beach bright and early, eager to start out.

The sails have a few wrinkles in them but they should work just fine.

Returning from the first run, we pronounced the venture a success.

I later improved the set of the sails by tightening the luff (front edge) to eliminate the twist in the upper spar. I also moved the leeboard bracket back so that the passenger could sit in front of it and use it as a backrest.

Back at the dock, daughter Jane climbed aboard.

The canoe heels a little when the wind hits the sails, then it stiffens up. The stability is impressive. I later stood up in the cockpit and it didn't feel tipsy under foot at all.

The canoe was an eye-catcher in the harbor, garnering many thumbs up and favorable comments.

I set a goal of completing the boat in three months, and I made it, just barely. Remaining items to complete are; install the access hatches in the bulkheads, and replace the pine masts and spars with lighter weight Sitka spruce.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Final Fit-out

Click on any picture to enlarge it. Blog starts with the September 23rd post.

At each mast step position, I installed two 4" cleats from West Marine, one for the downhaul and one for the halyard. The lug sail is very simple, only three lines needed (main or mizzen sheet is the third one).

The wave deflector was epoxied to the deck before the final finish was applied.

One the front and back ends I installed a bronze eye and a carry handle obtained from CLC.

Detail of the cleats installed on either side of the front mast mount.

I used machine screws with large diameter fender washers under the deck, and caulk between the cleats and the deck.

I ordered two 8" Beckson hatches from Defender Industries and installed them into the two bulkheads.

The jamb cleat to the left of the mast mount will take the mizzen sheet, which will be cleated off most of the time.

On the lawn at the house we rented in Padanarum. I decided to get all the rigging done in one final push.

The head of the sails were lashed to the spars over their whole length. The foot of the sails were attached to the boom only at the tack and the clew (the lower corners).

A halyard was tied to each spar and run through a hole at the top of each mast, then down to the halyard cleat.

The downhaul went from the downhaul cleat, up around the boom, around the mast, around the boom again and back down to the cleat. It is important to use non-stretch line for the halyards and downhauls, since the tension on these lines determines the shape of the sails. The masts are free to rotate in their mounts.

No expensive hardware was needed, the only block used was on the boom, and that was about $10.00.

While all this was going on, a deer came by to have a look.

We're ready to take it down to the beach (in the background).