Canoe outriggers/sails

I’m interested in making an outrigger for my canoe and maybe a sail. I’ve googled it but can’t find much on DIY anyway. Has anyone here made their own outrigger or sails? I’m thinking sailing my Penobscot 16 would be a blast!

Sailing Canoes
I sail my Penobscot 16 all the time. It is a blast. For outriggers and sails and all things DIY for canoe sailing I suggest you join the yahoo group for canoe sailors. Great bunch and lots of info and pics. You can see my Penobscot there too under DavidH’s pics. Here is a link:

Good luck!

Find a copy of “Canoeing”…
by the American Red Cross. Short of the mast itself, it has a really good set of diagrams on building the whole setup yourself. I suppose that they assume a person would just buy a mast.

It was printed in 1977 and sometime in the 80’s. It’s now out of print. Its still easy to find though.

Give this number to a used book store and they will find it.

ISBN 0-385-08313


– Last Updated: Feb-07-05 6:52 PM EST –

Sailing can become addicting. I picked up a 1973 Old Town Wahoo sailing canoe last summer and have become addicted. The Wahoo has a quite large sail at 75sq.ft and goes with the slightest of breeze. When the breeze becomes wind, hold on, cause she really moves along. I will say that is by far the fastest I have ever gone in a canoe, scaryfast! I don't have any outriggers and put the rail right on the water, but haven't got the nerve to hike out yet. I plan to sell the Wahoo and buy a real sailboat so I can take more than one person along. Great fun.


I was just thinking of designing a Lake Superior tripping canoe.

Here’s my thoughts: I want a fast narrow hull with depth to handle my self (205lbs) and camping equip. (60+lbs).

I was thinking of using a Wenonah Voyager hull, installing a rudder and making a outrigger from Ches. Light Craft. This in therory should give a canoe that can be paddled very efficietly with stability to handle heavy seas; and have the option of installing a sail.

I just recently took a permenant job with Isle Royale NP and I am looking for the best human powered boat for the island.

What are your opinions,


At one time a guy in Florida marketed
a kit for a canoe sailing rig with hydrofoil outriggers. Apparently very fast and efficient. He is probably out of business, but the idea is still there for you to pursue.

I’d Like to See…
what you come up with. I’d be happy to serve as a spotter when you’re testing also. Swear to keep a serious face and not photograph any early mishaps. :slight_smile:

BTW, you owe me a fishing report, dontcha?

Sailing a Voyager
I am newly paddling a Wnnh Voyager and have some years of sailing experience in open boats. You might find that the Voyager has too much “tracking” for coming about promptly when tacking to windward. There is very little rocker to its profile. And, of course, if you have a rudder anyway, you don’t need any help with tracking. Having said that, it would certainly make a fast hull sailing as it does paddling. Are you going for fast,long crossings or a lot of tacking in confined waters?