New Canoe

Hey all,

i am a new poster to this forum as i just bought a used canoe. I got it off of craigslist. the guy said it was an older mad river, but i don’t think that is so. i bought it based on the construction, shape and price, so i don’t really care if it is mad river or not, but i am curious about the make. it is fiberglass construction with aluminum gunnels, one thwart (where a yoke would go, but just a pole, no yoke). it is 16ft, has two seats that are 1" wide wooden strips, 4 strips per seat, that rest on an aluminum support made of 90 degree angled aluminum that is riveted to the side of the canoe. airboxes are integrated into the fiberglass at either end. seems like it is at least 10-15 yrs old, maybe older. it has a keel. the serial number seems hand written and is: HBU60525I192

any ideas as to who made it?

i have big (read “foolish”) plans for a sailing rig. i am thinking about homemade balsa/fiberglass outriggers, a boomless spritsl’, and a modified Hobie cat rudder. i have never had my own western style canoe, but i was in the peace corps in Kiribati (formerly Gilberts) and had a local outrigger sailing canoe there and have done lots of small boat sailing (single and multihull).

i am excited to teach my 4 yr old to fish and sail on my new boat.

thanks in advance for your resources and any advice,


PS: i posted an identical message on a different forum, but go zero response, so sorry if you saw the same thing there.

For info on setting up your canoe for sailing,

check out:


I am excited about starting that project. I am sitting low, waiting for the wife to get over the initial purchase and get my tax rebate before beginning. i haven’t seen too many step by steps on the process and i hope to document mine for other would-be canoe sailors.



Sailing canoe
A few here have rigged their canoes for sailing. Tommyc1 did a nice job with his canoe.

Here’s some photo’s of one I came across…


nice lateen
He did a nice job on that one. its a lateen rig, like a sunfish and i have sailed lateens before but i am going to try for a spritsail this time. never used one but i like a boomless design (4yr old in the boat), low center of effort and brail for reefing. also, the best idea i have heard for a rudder is a hobie cat rig. i wold love to see how the guy in the pictures attached his rudder as that is the only sticking point for me. would like not to put any new holes in the thing if possible. i am looking for a clean, clamp on design. using the hobie rudder, i only need to figure out how to attach gudgeons and i am good to go. any tips on where to find good math for the sail, rudder, and leeboard size/relationship are appreciated.



sailing canoe

You might find what you are looking for here.

And if you want to see what an amature has come up with in an attempt to sail a canoe. Go here to pg. 5

I’m still waiting for the water to warm up. Checked it in the bayou there yesterday and it is still 60 deg one foot down.

Never having sailed before, I know I’m gonna get wet so I will wait a bit longer.

Look at this photo closely

This canoe was restored by the owner. I don’t remember the details anymore, but the canoe is old and was designed with sailing in mind.

There are a few of us here that sail in our canoes and kayaks.


If your looking for an inexpensive spritsail, you might want to consider one of these:

I’ve been using an Optimist sail (not the particular one at the link) for about 5 years now and have been pretty pleased with it. It’s stepped right behind the front seat on my 16’ canoe which allows the front seat to be used. I was hesitant go start drilling holes in my canoe too so I use a home-made clamp on rigging deck. It’s pretty easy to put one together using wood.

Since your canoe is FG, you could probably use a combination of glued in mast foot and clamp on mast partner if you wanted to.

  • Rob

nice work
this guy put some time into his rig. i plan on using bamboo as i have an inexhaustable supply. I have sailed alot on small boats and still plan on making a pair of outriggers as i have kids onboard. the pics of the guy who restored the older sailing canoe with his wife and two kids without outriggers makes me nervous, but will be good to show the wife;“see hun, they dont even have outriggers! of course its safe…”

unless you don’t mind getting wet alot, i would consider at least a jury rigged outrigger until you get the hang of it. practice righting it in shallow water first.

thanks rdk.

at $80, that just might be worth the money. given time, material and practice i would be at least that far in by the time i got something usable. of course, then i wouldn’t have learned anything about sailmaking…we’ll see.