Canoe Sail Help

I’m pretty ignorant when it comes to terminology of sail parts. What I am looking for is something to mount on my thwart to “lock” my boom line into but has a quick release in case of a heavy wind. It is the last piece I need for my sailing rig. I can picture it in my mind but can’t put a name to it. Any help out there for this feeble old mind? Many thanks.


cam cleat


and that there boom line

– Last Updated: Feb-15-09 2:58 PM EST –

is what is known as a "main sheet." Now that you got that info. you're ready for the scrambled egg skippers hat.
Be careful locking in a sheet on something as tender (tippy) as a canoe. Windshifts and gusts can get you quick.

which brings us to “Lee Board”…

Outriggers and sponsons…

(I’m ducking here…)

Thanks for the Info
In the past I have always used my foot to hold down the boom line but that is a PITA. For the next trip we’re gonna be doing some long reaches and I thought maybe this might be the ticket for the line.

Hmm, I know how fast ya can knocked over in a canoe, not meant to truly sail so to speak but is quite doable. No out riggers but will be sporting duel leeboards, already made and ready to go. I do think I’ll pass on the hats though, got enough to go around for all! Thanks for the info.


Where are you going Doug? NM

dualing daggers
boards that is. Hmmm, a windward leeboard and a leeward leeboard. Epaulets, Doug, epaulets!!

heres my leeboard thwart with cleats the mainsheet runs from the stern along the boom to the mast thwart and back to the leeboard thwart with cam cleat. the other two lines are the downhaul and snotter. aargh matey, who says canoes aint real sailboats ;^{)

Then there’s camcleats

The strapless ones are what I use for my halyard and rudder lift(holds the sail and rudder up). Camcleats have moving parts so they aren’t as bombproof as clamcleats. But they work with a wider range of line diameters so you don’t have to match your cleat and line size so much.


I won’t cleat a sheet as I rarely see steady wind. The puffs will knock you down and I feel like I sail better fiddling with the shifts.

That’s why I need a rudder. Too hard to steer one handed with a paddle. One hand on the sheet. The other on the steerstick.


yah! clamcleats
I used a clamcleat. 3 or 4 bucks, just glued it to the floor. I run the mainsheet from the end of the boom, back through the d-ring behind the seat, then along the floor under my seat to the cleat. After doing the gymnastics to thread the line while drifting out in rough water, I think I wish I mounted the cleat to the seat.

At any rate, I have weathered some pretty frightening gusts, which just blow the canoe sideways rather than tip it over, due to the inefficiency of the leeboard. If you can navigate a class III rapid without tipping over, I think you can stay upright with a cleated line.

he’s going out to sea
Never to be seen again, if I can help it. Tell’em Doug! We’re going Bangor to Portland.