Page 1 of 6 12 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 35 of 201

Thread: Sylph - Prof Howard Rice's sailing canoe

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    4,978

    Default Sylph - Prof Howard Rice's sailing canoe

    Here are some photo's of Sylph, Howard's sailing canoe. There are has been some tremendous 50/50 sailing canoe development in the US by the Horton/Rice/Gougeon team.

    We are struggling a bit with Picasa web access for some reason so Howard sent me these wonderful pics to get the thread started.







    and Bufflehead having fun


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    4,978

    Default Re: Sylph - Prof Howard Rice's sailing canoe

    Here in the UK the developers of modern sailing canoes are Solway Dory. They have gone wider, at 40" and very firm bilged, more a 70/30 sailing canoe. I have one and they are fantastic sailing boats. Fast in light winds, super responsive, fast in strong winds too. Here's the more adventurous guys sailing round Jura


  3. #3

    Default Re: Sylph - Prof Howard Rice's sailing canoe

    Must be a prof of canoe design. Any shots with the rig up? Looks to have alternative mast positions.

    Lovely.
    (W * W)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    4,978

    Default Re: Sylph - Prof Howard Rice's sailing canoe

    Here's one


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Brunswick, Maine
    Posts
    1,498

    Default Re: Sylph - Prof Howard Rice's sailing canoe

    Ooh, I wanna know more! What do you use for dry storage? Can the shelter be rigged while sitting in the boat? How hard is it to strike the rig for paddling? What's the all-up weight? Do you have just the one leeboard? Why do you use 2 push-pull tillers instead of just one?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Pohnpei, Micronesia and Michigan, USA
    Posts
    756

    Default Re: Sylph - Prof Howard Rice's sailing canoe

    Rob
    I use dry bags. Yes the shelter can be rigged while sitting in the boat. I usually don't though as it is easier to step out in a foot of water, move things around, set up the tent, bedding etc. On a few occasions I have pulled into a mangrove or marsh area and have either anchored, tied off to a nearby bush or tree and without getting out of the boat set up for sleeping. I sailed down the Hudson River one May a few years ago and slept aboard at anchor almost every night in spite of the cold temperatures. Inside a canoe tent is a small space and easy to heat up using a tiny stove like a whisperlight.

    Striking the rig is quite easy. I roller furl the jib, release the tack and bring it back to the cockpit. I then lift up the boom lifting the mast with sail up out of the step and partners. I lay it down across my lap, release the halyards, pull the sail down, flake it and partially roll it around the boom after taking the boom apart. The mast then pulls apart into three tube sections with internal halyards keeping the parts in the right order. I stow the mast below and after a little more sorting away I paddle away. I carry three sails. Main (w deep reef), jib on roller furler (my first reef is the jib) and I carry a 2sq ft storm sail, yes 2 sq ft. I can hoist this on one mast section and if in hard times in very heavy air can sail down wind.

    Sylph has two identical hand built carbon fiber 3 pc ovoid shaped unstayed masts with internal halyards and integral luff groove. Sylph can be rigged in several different configurations from cat rig to yawl. The 3 mast step locations are at the bow, at the forward end of the cockpit and just aft of the cockpit. Here booms are light wall aluminum with carbon over. I sail with a vang and traveler set up.

    The all up weight with sliding decks, sail rig but no buoyancy bags, paddle, safety gear or anchor is about 70 pounds (guessing here but close).

    I use nly one leeboard because one is all that is needed. Like most small boats canoes should be sailed flat. Given her narrow (I wish she was 31") beam of 34" keeping the blade in water is quite easy. One blade is simpler.

    I like two tillers for a number of reasons. The #1 reason is I sail Sylph long distances and like to have as many sitting steering positions as possible. When I am sailing upwind in heavy air I sometimes use the leeward tiller and then switch to the weather tiller to spell my hands. I rarely cleat the main or jib sheets, my hands can get tired and so I like the option of switching tillers and sheets from hand to hand.

    My tillers are a bit different than other canoe set ups I have seen. I have two BMW motorcycle cables (sheathed) that run through holes in the back of the coaming back to the rudder yoke. Inside the cockpit these cables run forward to a pedal steering set up. I often steer by feet alone and often using leverage against one pedal while steering with a tiller. Steering by foot is where it is at in a canoe. This frees my hands up for many tasks ranging from meal preparation while sailing, to navigating, repair, rigging, catnapping, etc.

    Sylph is fully buoyant with airbags forward, aft and under the side decks. I have also lined her hull in removable cellular foam sheets. Makes for a cushy ride and makes her very safe. I often sail in open ocean here in Pohnpei and on occasion sail across the blue to Pakin or Ant atolls so buoyancy is important to me. I have actually just shipped Sylph back to the US.

    I will still try to get other photos posted here but believe readers who are interested in sailing canoes can just go to Picasa and type in "Sailing Canoe Sylph". I have posted forty some photos there and I believe the public album setting is working.

    If not let me know.
    howard

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Pohnpei, Micronesia and Michigan, USA
    Posts
    756

    Default Re: Sylph - Prof Howard Rice's sailing canoe


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    235

    Default Re: Sylph - Prof Howard Rice's sailing canoe

    Can't acces your photos Howard.

    "Oops... there's nothing to see here. Either you do not have access to these photos, or they don't exist at this web address. Please contact the owner directly to gain access."

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Waterbury, Connecticut
    Posts
    2,022

    Default Re: Sylph - Prof Howard Rice's sailing canoe

    That seat is clever -- what looks like "arm rest/pads" are the hiking pads I guess, but I imagine that in a longer cruise of a few days, having a paddled gunwale to rest and protect the elbows a little is not a bad idea. Sailing that athletically on a longer cruise would be a quite a challenge though, it would seem.

    The 40" width of the Solway canoes is close to the Fenger "Yakaboo" which I believe was 39 inches. I wonder if this sort of beam is a good all-around limit for the "70-30" canoe?

    I keep thinking that we should be hearing more about "Yakaboo" -- especuially after the WB article on it a few years ago -- but somewhy we (or I) almost never do. Is this design more or less superceded by ruddered sailing canoes, or did it have design flaws (aside from the difficult to realize sliding centerboard) of some kind? -- Wade

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    4,978

    Default Re: Sylph - Prof Howard Rice's sailing canoe

    It would be great to sail Sylph or Bufflehead side by side with my SD Shearwater. All three are great boats. The 40" beam works great for me, I find these SD designs as easy to sail as any dinghy. They also paddle, double paddle and row well. The Adirondack Guideboat is a very similar width.

    Here's a video of paddle/sailing a Shearwater.


  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    4,978

    Default Re: Sylph - Prof Howard Rice's sailing canoe

    Quote Originally Posted by wtarzia View Post
    I keep thinking that we should be hearing more about "Yakaboo" -- especuially after the WB article on it a few years ago -- but somewhy we (or I) almost never do.- Wade
    Wade have you seen this modern yakaboo inspired build? http://yakaboo2.blogspot.com/2008/09...t-designs.html


  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Brunswick, Maine
    Posts
    1,498

    Default Re: Sylph - Prof Howard Rice's sailing canoe

    Howard, I hope you took pictures of the layup of those carbon fiber masts! They sound pretty sophisticated.

    I'm sure that with a 34" beam and you lying down inside, Sylph is pretty stable, but would it be easy to exit from your tent if you should capsize at night? I only ask because the "dreaded wet exit" is the first thing we teach budding sea kayakers in our local paddling club.

    My current boat is a 17' cat-ketch, a Herreshoff Coquina, that behaves more like a very beamy sailing canoe than like a modern racing dinghy. I'm fooling around with details to make it suitable for camp cruising, so I'm poring over all the pictures you post with keen interest!

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Pohnpei, Micronesia and Michigan, USA
    Posts
    756

    Default Re: Sylph - Prof Howard Rice's sailing canoe

    Hey Rob
    Still trying to work out the Picasa web album issue. I may give up and go with a different site so I can get the photos I have put up posted here.
    The masts were actually quite simple, they just sound complicated.
    Sleeping aboard is much more stable than one would think. I have carefully thought through the capsize question. Here is my simple rule: I only anchor out and sleep aboard in water under one foot deep or in water at least five feet deep. In a foot or less I would simply tip over on my side and bail out. In five or so feet of water I can easily elect out of the cockpit (the tent edges pull away easily if I have to get out). In water between one and five feet is where I perceive the danger to be. If I capsize in 2-3 ft of water I may be pinned between the canoe and the bottom. To date after many nights aboard including one windy cold spring sail down the Hudson River I have never capsized. I have a very specific sleep aboard protocol I follow to make sure I end up inside my canoe without wet feet and wet cockpit.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Pohnpei, Micronesia and Michigan, USA
    Posts
    756

    Default Re: Sylph - Prof Howard Rice's sailing canoe

    Hey Rob
    Still trying to work out the Picasa web album issue. I may give up and go with a different site so I can get the photos I have put up posted here.
    The masts were actually quite simple, they just sound complicated.
    Sleeping aboard is much more stable than one would think. I have carefully thought through the capsize question. Here is my simple rule: I only anchor out and sleep aboard in water under one foot deep or in water at least five feet deep. In a foot or less I would simply tip over on my side and bail out. In five or so feet of water I can easily eject out of the cockpit (the tent edges pull away easily if I have to get out). In water between one and five feet is where I perceive the danger to be. If I capsize in 2-3 ft of water I may be pinned between the canoe and the bottom. To date after many nights aboard including one windy cold spring sail down the Hudson River I have never capsized. I have a very specific sleep aboard protocol I follow to make sure I end up inside my canoe without wet feet and wet cockpit.
    Let me know if you want more specific detail.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    Michigan, Water Wonderland
    Posts
    845

    Default Re: Sylph - Prof Howard Rice's sailing canoe

    Would some sleep 'flopper stoppers' take the nervousness out the mid range roll concern?

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    New Hampshire
    Posts
    1,359

    Default Re: Sylph - Prof Howard Rice's sailing canoe


    Are you right clicking the picture and using the image address under properties? No Picasa issues here. I have not been necessarily following the board lately, so if you have tried this or it has been suggested, please disregard.

    Loved your interview series in SCA!



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Brunswick, Maine
    Posts
    1,498

    Default Re: Sylph - Prof Howard Rice's sailing canoe

    Thanks, Howard,
    I know what you mean about the critical element of water depth. I've found myself stuck upside down against a sandy bottom in a kayak more than once. It's an amusing episode during a surfing session, but I'd hate to awaken to it in the dead of night! I like the easy-release tent edges.

    I was going to ask about how you keep your sleeping bag dry in a boat that small...

    That twilight picture with the backlit tent looks pretty idyllic!

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Waterbury, Connecticut
    Posts
    2,022

    Default Re: Sylph - Prof Howard Rice's sailing canoe

    I only slept one night in my cockpit during the Everglades Challenge, and after that I saw the need for a very well worked out protocol if this was to be done regularly. I was in an outrigger, so tipping-over problems were not my problem. My cockpit was tight and shallow (22 inches wide and tapering fore and aft, and with uprights in the way the useful sleepining beam is about 16 inches, with ~6.5 inches depth to the sleep-deck, which was about 10 inches over waterline -- just enough to lay on my back with arms crossed coffin-style).

    I was more afraid of waking up, not knowing where I was, and somehow tumbling out of the cockpit into water. Maybe that sounds stupid, but it is what I was thinking about. An old-timer in the EC had told me during a campfire gathering that I was not to worry -- you are aware of where you are when you sleep, he said, and the chances are highly unlikely you will awake in a terror and fall out. Nevertheless when I found myself at 3 AM needing to rest after ahard day, I found what seemed a safe spot off the coast in the pitch dark. The anchor suggested I was in 15 feet of water, and light surf could be heard somewhere to the east a 100 or 200 feet out.

    The first thing I found was that my big center compartment with 14 inch Bomar hatch was not packed perfectly. Things now needed for sleep were too far back, and the cockpict offered no good place to stack the stuff while I probed and rummaged. So I got out of dry-suit and put on fleece jacket and GorTex, hat, and waterproof pants over my day pants, and wet-suit socks. I pulled a poncho over that and tucked it under feet and wrapped in my hands. Very pleasant passing-out, watching the masts wave against the stars....

    I woke up shivering, not sure how long later, maybe an hour -- very cold despite that it was only 55-60 degrees with light mist. I had awakened with the poncho still wrapped around my hands, and I knew exactly where I was --good. I pawed through the gear under deck, piling food bags and gear bags under and behind me until I got the sleeping bag out, then stuffed the stuff back in. I then tucked the unzipped mummy bag under my feet and held its top edge in my hands, now warm enough to sleep. I awoke to dawn, bird calls, and a big swell coming in from some Gulf storm that in another two hours would create a wild sea. I was glad I had slept in my clothes -- woke up instantly, raised sails, hauled anchor, and got out as the rollers started steepening.

    However, again the EC old-timer had been correct. Despite my very amateur 'real regular guy' status in the sailing world, my body knew where it was despite extreme exhaustian. Even so, I do not think I would have gotten into either my mummy bag or my bivvy-sack unless I was camping ashore, or in a deeper cockpit. The loosely-draped mummy bag worked well for the mild night, but for colder nights, I would want to be deeper in in the hull before being ensconced in gear I cannot get out of easily. I had meant to (and ran out of time) to sew connections inside my sleeping bag foot and bivvy sack foot so that (1) they would clip together and (2) the grouped unit could be clipped to the hull at the feet so that Imight be able to better wriggle out of the set during some unlikely necessity. I still see nothing bad in that idea.

    Contra to that idea, Ray sleeps on his "Slider" catamaran platform with no real side-supports keeping him on, though I am not sure if he does this while zipped up into a sleeping bag -- Ray?

    Reflecting on Howard Rice's comments on sleeping aboard, I like the way his tent is made to rip off if he capsizes. In an outrigger not imemdiately threatened by capsize at anchor (at least one with very buouyant amas) perhaps a more permanently attached bimini-arrangement is OK --like the one on the Tridarka Raider trimaran, designed by Matt Layden, easy up, easy down.

    An interesting discussion, and inspiring to learn more about boats that are the true "poor man's yacht" as someone famous said in the early days of the developing cruising canoe. The way the world is going, a good idea is becoming a fantastic idea! -- Wade
    Last edited by wtarzia; 05-11-2011 at 10:37 AM.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Pohnpei, Micronesia and Michigan, USA
    Posts
    756

    Default Re: Sylph - Prof Howard Rice's sailing canoe

    Hi Wade
    Sylph photos in Photobucket.
    First off I have (with no time on my hands, too busy) have set up a photobucket account under the name "pocketyot" with a sign in password of "12sail" for anyone wishing to view two photo albums of my canoe Sylph. Hope this helps anyone interested in the fascinating and versatile modern sailing canoe.

    Wade a short story about sleeping aboard. A few springs ago I sailed a prototype wood sailing canoe down the length of the Hudson River (it was May, cold and windy). As I traveled south and finally hit tidal water I began timing my sailing time with the ebb tides. I would pull in close to shore, set up the tent, set my alarm and go to sleep often waking at 1am or 2am or later to catch the ebb cycle south. A fast way to do the Hudson, which is a fantastic and challenging trip. One night I pulled in behind a small spit of land on the eastern shore. It had been a long day of almost fifty miles. I went ashore, cooked up dinner and poked around the woods and train tracks as the sun set. I tucked in for the night anticipating a 3am wake up alarm, striking of camp and sailing south. I was tucked in and sound asleep when i train whistle in the distance woke me up. I listened for a moment slightly disoriented from waking up and heard it again. I pulled the tent back and looked south in the dark and to my shock and sleep fog I saw the train coming straight at me. I had anchored about 100 feet off shore and during the tide change Sylph had moved right against the shoreline. I immediately panicked as my brain could not figure how in the world a speeding train could be on a collision bearing with my anchored canoe. I tore the tent off and piled out in waist deep very cold water only to watch as the train sped by feet away. As I woke from the sleep fog I began to laugh like a crazy man as I waded to shore with dry clothes in hand. The spot where I anchored was on a slight bend in the train track. As the train appeared (one bright light apparently from hell) it was aimed right at me tucked up against the shoreline no more than fifty feet from the track. OK an embarrassing moment and a side splitter now that I look back on it. Broke camp and sailed away for a five hour jaunt that landed me in a small town for breakfast at 6am, nice.
    Some nights I pulled Sylph on shore and slept aboard, three nights I used my tent when I could not find a calm near shore spot. When I arrived n Manhattan having Sylph set up for sleep aboard was perfect. I have friends in the city but elected to sleep aboard instead of in an apartment. I was afraid to leave Sylph for the night. I found several great anchoring and/or tie up spots where I slept safely awaking to the din of the city after miles of challenging sailing down the river. A fantastic experience and one I hope to repeat.
    Best,
    howard

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Pohnpei, Micronesia and Michigan, USA
    Posts
    756

    Default Re: Sylph - Prof Howard Rice's sailing canoe

    Hello All
    On Photobucket there is a second album titled
    "Sailing Canoe Sylph and a Few Other Boats"

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Pohnpei, Micronesia and Michigan, USA
    Posts
    756

    Default Re: Sylph - Prof Howard Rice's sailing canoe

    OK one last thing before I head off for a day of work. If anyone would like to post photos of my canoe from Photobucket here please feel free.
    Respectfully,
    howard

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    4,978

    Default Re: Sylph - Prof Howard Rice's sailing canoe











    Thanks, these are super pictures, Brian
    Last edited by keyhavenpotterer; 05-11-2011 at 04:44 PM.

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Pohnpei, Micronesia and Michigan, USA
    Posts
    756

    Default Re: Sylph - Prof Howard Rice's sailing canoe

    [/IMG]

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Pohnpei, Micronesia and Michigan, USA
    Posts
    756

    Default Re: Sylph - Prof Howard Rice's sailing canoe

    [/IMG]

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Pohnpei, Micronesia and Michigan, USA
    Posts
    756

    Default Re: Sylph - Prof Howard Rice's sailing canoe

    Yea! I posted a photo!
    This is Sylph coming in from the ocean in Pohnpei. Ahead is the fringing reef and Lenger island. This is the day I tested the new theory of capsizing before being hit by a squall. The wind has just come up from about 8 knots (see the relatively flat water) and is increasing very quickly. I have just taken in the first reef by rolling up the jib. When I snapped this photo the wind was building and likely 15-18 and I was starting to fly trying to get to the squall line to test my theory. The squall is to the right and going left in the photo. Just before reaching the front I purposely capsized leaving Sylph on her side. I hopped in the water and stayed in the lee of the cockpit. When the squall hit I had (I am guessing) 40 or so knots of blasting air and horizontal rain. I was safe and stable yet stung by the rain, very painful. After the squall passed (about 15 minutes) I righted Sylph, jumped in, bailed a few scoops and was off and on my way. Experiment successful and now in my quiver of small boat/canoe sailing survival moves.

  26. #26
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Pohnpei, Micronesia and Michigan, USA
    Posts
    756

    Default Re: Sylph - Prof Howard Rice's sailing canoe

    [/IMG]

  27. #27
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Pohnpei, Micronesia and Michigan, USA
    Posts
    756

    Default Re: Sylph - Prof Howard Rice's sailing canoe


  28. #28
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Pohnpei, Micronesia and Michigan, USA
    Posts
    756

    Default Re: Sylph - Prof Howard Rice's sailing canoe


    Ready for the 25 miler across open ocean to Pakin Atoll. Running lights, aft deck pack with tent.

  29. #29
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Pohnpei, Micronesia and Michigan, USA
    Posts
    756

    Default Re: Sylph - Prof Howard Rice's sailing canoe


    One more time. Ready for my December cruise to Pakin Atoll. Boat cart is collapsible. After I roll her in I take it apart and strap it on top of the aft deck pack. When I reach shore I take it off in knee deep water, strap it on and roll Sylph across rocks, through sand, coral etc. A very nice tool for the pocket cruiser.

  30. #30
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Pohnpei, Micronesia and Michigan, USA
    Posts
    756

    Default Re: Sylph - Prof Howard Rice's sailing canoe


    Sailing out to sea approaching Middle Pass Pohnpei. Yes I have a life jacket. It is behind the seat.

  31. #31
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Pohnpei, Micronesia and Michigan, USA
    Posts
    756

    Default Re: Sylph - Prof Howard Rice's sailing canoe


    Test sailing the new Bufflehead design on a cold Michigan October day. I had flown in from Micronesia and Hugh Horton and I couldn't wait to give Bufflehead a go. It was a cold but exhilarating day and Bufflehead sailed very well, a fine canoe hull/deck design.
    Last edited by Howard Rice; 12-18-2011 at 11:33 AM.

  32. #32
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Pohnpei, Micronesia and Michigan, USA
    Posts
    756

    Default Re: Sylph - Prof Howard Rice's sailing canoe


    Sylph in for maintenance before the Pakin Atoll two way crossing. In this photo I have her sliding decks off and the aft airbag and foam floor can be seen. The decks are simple to remove by releasing two fastex buckles on each. The decks don't leak and make for very comfortable sailing (less sun on legs, good platforms for mounting hardware, good seating as i often sit up on the aft deck, etc). The sliding aspect increases the cockpit size by one foot making for more or less (yeah right) spacious living space. I have become very comfortable and accustomed to sleeping aboard. I have a place for everything I carry and I try to carry as little as possible.

  33. #33
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Pohnpei, Micronesia and Michigan, USA
    Posts
    756

    Default Re: Sylph - Prof Howard Rice's sailing canoe


    A good photo of my leeboard bracket set up and the self steering arrangement. On each tiller I have two shock cords rigged and a tennis ball. I simply get on my desired course and begin adjusting the shock cords on each tiller against the placement of the tennis balls. IN a moment I have her dialed in and tracking straight enough that I can navigate, cook, read a book, etc. The photo also shows the construction of her spanish cedar deck (a fairing labor of love as spanish cedar is itchy stuff). Her deck is strip planked over a mold then covered in s glass with kevlar underneath. Kevlar was used in the construction of the cockpit coaming. Looks a little rudimentary I know but this is a work finish sailing boat in spite of her epoxy/varnished deck. I sail her hard so she has to be strong and a little bit elegant. I often sail her in Pohnpei in winds over 28 knots sometimes reefed down I have experimented in 30+ knots. That is a wild mistake free ride for certain and not for the faint hearted. Sylph goes very fast. In heavy air sailing canoes can be a hand full. Concentration is everything so I often sail with my ipod tuned in to Beethoven or Mozart. Take away the sound and the scene becomes, well quite pleasant without the noise. This helps me concentrate, fun stuff.

  34. #34
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Pohnpei, Micronesia and Michigan, USA
    Posts
    756

    Default Re: Sylph - Prof Howard Rice's sailing canoe


    The poor mans tropical bimini. Very effective.

  35. #35
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Pohnpei, Micronesia and Michigan, USA
    Posts
    756

    Default Re: Sylph - Prof Howard Rice's sailing canoe


    Pre roller furler.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •