Cheap Guitars, Proas, Chinese Lugsails, Plywood Boats,
•Sailing Canoes•
Tube Amps, Wanda the Cat, Odd Sails from Polytarp, This & That & Bamboo

HECK OUT the sailing canoe resources page, by Dan Miller and yours truly. It's been much updated since 1997-98. On Dan's new Dragonfly Canoe Works pages you will find full text of the classic book Canoe and Boat Building for Amateurs courtesy of Dan's hard work and dedication.

Resources, links, lotsa pictures, and information on canoe sails are over there.

Tiphys' Practical Canoeing can be found on the Cheap Pages here. All about sailing canoes from the days when they were hot stuff.

Since I have a thang about batwing sails, some info's here, too, as part of the Odd Sails page: the Batwing Gunter Rigs. Rushton's Batwing Sails. Rushton's Batwing Spars. the Reefing Gear. My Polytarp Batwing.

HERE ARE a couple images of the sailing canoe I made in 1996. Last year it mutated into a proa.

Since I had a 15-foot Coleman canoe which was a horror to paddle, I decided to make it sail. It wasn't hard.

But then again my first attempt at a battened balanced lug sail wasn't the greatest (photo at right). The entire rig, including a fake-batwing mizzen sail, was constructed of bamboo. It proved to be surprisingly tough and durable. More about that on my Cheap Materials page, when I have time.

I improved it some for the 1997 sailing season by recutting the foot so the boom didn't sag, and re-rigging a few of the lines.

Then I added an ama to the canoe to make the boat into a tacking proa. That is, on one tack the ama is to windward, and on the other it's to leeward. In theory, you'd hike out to keep the leeward ama from digging in but I was always too lazy, and didn't add a hiking platform anyway.

EVERYTHING was lashed together with scrapped poly rope and several handy nylon buckle straps from trashed lifejackets.

It made a tremendous difference, and I didn't mind standing in the canoe and walking from bow to stern.

My plan to convert it to a true shunting proa using a windsurfing rig didn't pan out because my attempts to scrounge up a sail and mast fell through. (Email me: I accept donations. No, I'm not kidding. Any old sails for windsurfers or not, and windsurfer masts in whole or in part... let me know.)

If I get time I'll post some more details about the conversions. It's not hard, but because a Coleman is mainly a plastic bubble, it's more of a head-scratcher than it should be. the Cheap Page

my sailing canoe

My junk-rigged sailing canoe with a
bamboo mast and polytarp junk sail.

The junk-rigged sailing canoe became a
"tacking proa" with the addition of a different
leeboard and a single ama.

proa from a canoe

Fritz Fenger's Alone in the Caribbean

1.6 11/07/97
2.0 05/30/00