Wednesday, March 07, 2007
Designing an Ocean-going Sailing Canoe
I was wondering if I could build a cheap, tough sailboat which can go out on the ocean, carry plenty of supplies, be unsinkable, and, finally, be small and light enough to carry around atop my Jeep. I came up with idea of a polyethelyne canoe (around $350) with home-made outriggers, sail, and lots of floatation. And so I made it. It's modular, so the outriggers/sleeping platform/maststep/daggerboard section disconnects from the canoe. I filled the canoe, to a large degree, with lightweight floatation foam (and soda bottles). The vessel has a capacity of about 800 pounds, so it can carry me and all the food and water I need for extended periods, like, several weeks, which island hopping and ocean passages require. I know it's crazy, but not really. I've read many books on sailing and passage-making and boat design, and so I have a good understanding of what's necessary, what's dangerous, what's possible. ... Anyway, it's still just a prototype, and not even painted yet, but I've been testing it over on the Banana River Lagoon, and it works! I still must adjust some elements, and fine-tune and paint it, but my theories have been serviced well.