22nd of October, 2011 – To Sail or Fail

I was inspired to have a go at sailing my canoe after reading of the experiences of others doing so in both canoe and sea kayak and thought, why not try before I buy? There are sailing setups available to buy for all budgets and I thought rather than buy the cheapest one and then possibly regret this if I later upgraded, I would build a rig myself. A visit to B&Q to find the required bits I had in mind came up trumps with all I needed as well as some unexpected extra items which would address some of the issues I was struggling to resolve on paper. Some ideas were borrowed from elsewhere, like the seat clamp and mast foot, but some I employed were my own thoughts coming from flashes of inspiration whilst scanning the shelves in B&Q, no doubt overlapping those of other would-be-sailors going down this road.

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After a bit of sawing, drilling and playing about with bits of line and tarp, I managed to put together a sail which looked a reasonable size. However, having tested it once now, I think I will take advantage of the underused length of my canoe pole (the mast) to make a sail with a bigger area and refine a few of the other details. To sail or fail? Well, I sailed but there is room for improvement in technique and the rig. Let the fun begin!


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