Centerboard for a sailing canoe.

-- Last Updated: Oct-04-09 7:29 PM EST --

I am seriously considering making the Big Honkin' Canoe into a sailing boat.A centerboard has been recommended over duck boards, but I can find no reference to size - width and length below the hull.
The BHC is about 17' long and no small boat.
Then there is the rudder and sail.

Any advice or links will be appreciated.

Seems as though I’ve heard the figure of 10% of your sail area. I think that includes your rudder area plus your leeboard area.

Use a lee board like the other 99 percent of canoe sailors do. Check out canoe sailing magazine online for more details. Don’t ruin your canoe by installing a center board box the weakens it and takes up a lot of space that should be holding that extra cooler or maybe a pretty girl!

Wouldn’t the centerboard box drastically cut the space available for sitting in the bilge while sailing? Or do you plan to stay seated on the stock seats?


Canoe Rig- The Essence and the Art
by Todd Bradshaw.

Best book ever on the subject of converting a canoe into a sailing canoe.

I can also highly recommned NOT cutting slots in the bottom of your boat until you’re absolutely sure of where to, and even if you need to.

Leeboards are the way to go. If you find they don’t perform up to your expectations, then you can always cut a slot for a centerboard and box later. You’ll also have a better idea of where the CLR is and therefore, where you’d want the board.

Also, check out Yahoo Groups for the Sailing_Canoe group. Lots of good ideas in their photos and files.

Canoe Rig - YES!
That is a great book.

You may also want to look for Todd Bradshaw’s posts in the sailing forum at WCHA

I made a clamp on leeboard thwart so that I could move my board fore and aft to try to find the best location.

If I didn’t keep changing rigs and boats I’d have it by now :wink:

Even if you do go with a centerboard you might want to try that first to locate your board.

OK,. thanks. I really didn’t want to
cut a hole in the boat.I would like to figure out how to put a rudder on it.

Some pictures to ponder

Nice pictures Paul!

– Last Updated: Oct-07-09 11:24 AM EST –

The rigging deck in pictures 1 and 2 is pretty sweet.
The slots for the gunwale clamps let it be mounted pretty much anywhere on the boat. That is what I did with my leeboard thwart. I used aluminum angle on the thwart end similar to what is seen in pictures 6,7 and 8.
Many people mount gudgeons on the stern for thier rudder but the clamp on, shown in picture 3, is another, less permanent, option. Just leave enough room to get full swing on the rudder.

A long time ago, a kit provider in FLA
offered a slanted hydrofoil setup for canoes. Tended to keep the canoe level, and obviously less to hang up underneath.

That’s one problem I see with centerboards, no system to allow them to glance upward off obstacles. A friend bought an 18’ Hobie cat with centerboards. But he can’t conveniently use it off beaches like the 16 foot Hobies where the hulls make up (partly) for the absence of centerboards.

A few rudder ideas

The first few pictures show how I put a giant kayak style rudder pin through the rear deck of my MR Explorer.

The paddle clamp thing isn’t so great. The paddle loosens up too often, causing a sudden loss of steerage.

But the rudder pin is plenty stiff which was my greatest worry. One of these days I’ll mount a kick up rudder to it.

The Osprey uses standard gudgeons wrapped around the rear stem and bolted through the hull.