canoeThat also makes a good sailboat?

Hi all,

My girlfriend and I are beginning canoers. At the moment we have an old beat-up, cheap canoe, that I got for free a few years ago. We use this for city, canals and small lake canoeing in and around our town.

At the moment we are looking for a canoe that is suitable for longer trips (7 to 10 days.)We will be paddling on canals, lakes and slow rivers. (there is no white water in the Netherlands, but a load of canals an lakes etc.)

The most important things is that I want to add a sailing rig (not just for back wind, but real sailing) to the canoe, since Holland is a great sailing country.

My question is: what do you people think is a good canoe, for not just canoeing, but also to add a sailing rig and doing some serious sailing with.

serious sailing
It’s easier to paddle a sailboat than to sail a canoe.:slight_smile:

What do you call a canoe?
While this is an international forum, it is largely populated by folk from the USA.

Here we call a canoe a canoe, and a kayak a kayak.

But in other places they call a kayak a canoe, and a canoe a Canadian canoe, or something else.

So before we go to far, what type of boat do you have?

sail canoe

– Last Updated: May-07-10 8:50 PM EST –

The Kruger Sea Wind is a good sailing canoe . It is about 17 ft and
is made for one person . I don;t know if you could fix it for another
person . It can be rigged with sail and pontoons from a co in Va. There
are some other kayak /canoes that take sailing rigs ,one on the west cost
that like kruger , is shipped .Klepper also makes a folding
kayak that takes sails . It comes in a double .Sailing canoes were
big in the US for a while but you dont see them much anymore.

I call a canoe a canoe
A good question.

All though the words canoe an kayak are mixed up in The Netherlands. I call a (Canadian)canoe a canoe, and a kayak a kayak. (might have something to do with having a girlfriend from Washington :))

I am looking for a canadian canoe.

I am an experienced sailor, and pretty handy, especially with boats, I already have a basic design worked out for the sailing rig(similar to the spring creek sail rig, and others I have seen on the internet) which I will finish as soon as I have a canoe, to make the final measurements on.

The problem I have now is finding a canoe that would fit my idea of also sailing with it a lot, that would be suitable for sailing/canoeing trips of a week, on calm water (though some of the bigger lakes here can get some good waves as well.)

i hope this information helps.

it’s not that easy
My sailing club has this yearly race over a longer distance where all forms of moving the boat are accepted.

If there is no wind, and the water is too deep for poling, we also paddle sometimes, believe me, paddling a sailing boat, especially in a race, is not that easy :slight_smile:

Though I must admit, that when you are not in a race and paddle calmly, then paddling on a sailing boat beats floating around without wind.

Greyhawk I disagree
In fact it’s much more difficult to paddle a sailboat and get anywhere than it is to sail a canoe and get anywhere.

I won’t argue that canoes make good sailboats, but the right sailing rig can make sailing most any canoe fun and sometimes even effective.

Might check out these
two sites on canoe sailing. Lots of information and a helpful forum. I receive very good info on converting my Dagger Legend “Canadian” style canoe to sailing.

Also Tod Bradshaw’s book, Canoe Rig, Sail power for antique and traditional canoes.


This is it . . .
But it takes more than two paddlers to reach peak efficiency.

My adaptation . . .
I used an old whitewater canoe, Bluehole Starburst, and added outriggers to both sides and a sunfish sailing rig.

Worked really well, but took 30 minutes or so to get all the rigging fixed and wouldn’t portage unless it was un-rigged. For outriggers I used some curved 4" plastic pipe and aluminum conduit for the amas. Bike inner tubes lashed it all together well. Cost about 50 bucks all told.

check out

Canoes make great sailing craft!

– Last Updated: May-08-10 4:34 AM EST –

Sailing canoes can be as fast as many small sailing dinghies such as Toppers or Mirrors, with low drag, easily driven (paddle-able) hulls which are very responsive and don't need huge sails to make them go. This allows simple (inexpensive) rigs on on unstayed masts, meaning sailing canoes are easily transportable, very quick to set up and easy to reef when on the water - ideal small craft, really :)

Canoe sailing in the UK dates back 150 years, and members of the Open Canoe Sailing Group ( have conducted some huge expeditions off the west coast of Scotland (and elsewhere) with a variety of rigs. Whilst some specialist sailing craft are a bit extreme (less suited to paddling) the OCSG website has a bit on what makes a great sailing canoe: basically covers most open canoes! For more see

The outstanding Solway Dory website ( ) provides stacks of information on canoe sailing (plus blogs / expedition reports), and Dave Stubbs (who can, I believe, supply internationally) is superbly helpful: well worth a 'phone call. He's also happy to discuss canoe sailing, rigs and more on Solway Dory's new Facebook page:

ps. Dave's sailed upwind in a force 7 in his dedicated sailing canoe... but as I understand it, even the ultra-lightweight, low bulk Solway Dory expedition rig plus clip on leeboard (adjustable fore to aft to trim the centre of effort) allows modest upwind sailing (and that's without a rudder).

I have a great time sailing.
Canoes sail great. There are some photos of my rig here:

I don’t know…
…what canoe is best for sailing. But I picked up an old Sea Snark, for a song, to use the sail rig in one of my canoes (probably the Penobscot). Snark ain’t much of a sailboat, but I notice that it’s really just a short, wide canoe with a shallow arch hull (and lots of flotation). I’m guessing that something with a similar shape but a little better length to width ratio might be an improvement. I’ll get around to trying it out eventually, but in the meantime, I have a Sunfish to restore.

I am looking for a sunfish rig to use
I did not mention earlier that I am also looking for a secondhand sunfish rig, to use, since I would prefer a spritsail.

Good to see that that rig is used by others as well

any canoe should work
if you want to modify it. Check out BSD sails. They make some pretty serious sailing kits.

You might have to add a rudder, but that shouldn’t be too hard to build.

Sunfish sail…
…may be on the overly large size for the average canoe. the Snark sail is more manageable. That is what Sailboatstogo uses in their kit.

thanks for the replies
Well, I have been looking for secondhand canoes for the past 3 days, and decided to go for an Old Town discovery 169. I can buy one for a good price, and I had a great time in a rented disco 169 last summer on Ross lake, so I know the boat, and I know I like it.

As for the sailing rig. On the Dutch equivalent of craigslist I found a sailing rig, that belonged to this guys 8’ additional ship. It has 2 sails, a jib and a gaff rigged mainsail, he didn’t know the surface area, but probably around 55 square feet. (I’ll go there tomorrow night to look at it.)

I’ll keep you updated on how it goes.

OT Disco 158
is what I use with a sailing rig. I use an old Snark sail. My setup is mostly a downwind rig. Some excellent links have been posted already, lots of good info for setting up a sail rig. Good luck

Dougs Disco and more

– Last Updated: May-09-10 7:56 PM EST –

Dougs Discovery with snark sail Leg'o'mutton rig

Seans Mad River Explorer with a similar rig.

My Swift Osprey With my tacky Tyvek sail.

My Osprey with the CLC Mill Creek sail

My Osprey with the Little Wing Tyvek sail (photo by Talon)

My Osprey with the tyvek downwind rig (photo by Jim Cole)

My Explorer (green) with the Mill Creek sail followed by Fluke's Explorer with snark sail. (photo by Dougd)

My Explorer with the Tacky Tyvek sail, 1 reef taken.