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Thread: Cotton Canoe Lateen

  1. #1
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    Default Cotton Canoe Lateen

    A few weeks ago I bought a rig through local classified. When I saw the pics I thought it might be an early Sunfish or other board boat rig, clearly a lateen. The sail was shot, I bought it for the spars. When I got there and examined it, I realized it was too small for any board boat I know, only about 45 sq'. Also that that sail was light cotton. I'm now fairly sure that it is an Old Town Canoe Rig. It appeared unused, or very lightly used. No tarnish on the brass, no wear on the mast or boom. The sail is very dirty and has many small holes, one as large as two quarters. I think the cloth is too weak to stitch. Knowing that even a very bad sail can still work, and that this one is likely beyond saving, I tried it out yesterday. The test vehicle is my 15'x28" lapstrake ultralight canoe. I rigged it and paddled across the harbor to the old channel and the marsh. Best to test in shallow water away from moorings. I scooched forward to hoist sail, hauled right up and set the gooseneck hook on the mast. She sailed smoothly right away on a close reach. I bore off down the old channel, scraping the leeboard and rudder occasionally. The breeze was light to gentle, she got along nicely in puffs. I tacked around rather than jibe out of caution. The boat needed a paddle to tack, it often does with the BSD rig too. More weight forward helps. Comfortable now, I cut through the marsh into the harbor among the moorings and started working back up to the club. I spoke a couple of friends, heard a couple of "Look at that!" and one "Is that John S?" (Of course it is). I was quite pleased with the sail, and laughed in joy when it first drew. It heels less than the taller BSD rig, even though the lateen has more area. It did stretch in use, lowering the boom a bit. I think I'll try carefully cleaning it, and keep using it.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Cotton Canoe Lateen

    Woo Hoo!!!!

    Sailin.jpg
    "Wherever there is a channel for water, there is a road for the canoe. " - Thoreau

  3. #3
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    Akron, OH
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    Default Re: Cotton Canoe Lateen

    I bet your cotton lateen sail - if it is an Old Town sail rig - looks like this one I was gifted a few years ago, along with a ply canoe (with the standard mahogany OT leeboards, bronze fittings etc)
    The sail was in pretty rough shape and literally falling apart - so a friend with sewing (not sailmaking) skills - replicated the sail for me as best she could....

    20170204_140200_Richtone(HDR).jpg

    the canoe after some work and the "replicated sail"



    20190622_152936.jpg

    20190622_153014.jpg

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Cotton Canoe Lateen

    Mine does look like that.
    What fabric did she use? Did it sail well?

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Cotton Canoe Lateen

    Quote Originally Posted by johngsandusky View Post
    Mine does look like that.
    What fabric did she use? Did it sail well?
    I believe it was some sort of muslin / cotton material she bought locally at a fabric store - I treated it to make it more water / wind proof - it sails ok for what it is.....not the best sail shape for sure. I got a sprit sail for it last year, but have yet to try that on this canoe (need taller mast and to make a sprit for it)
    Do you have pics of yours?

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Cotton Canoe Lateen


  7. #7
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  8. #8
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    Default Re: Cotton Canoe Lateen

    Quote Originally Posted by johngsandusky View Post
    Yep, looks like the same rig! Although yours seems to have 3 battens vs my 2.....and yours is not tattered / torn as mine was when it was given to me! Enjoy!

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Cotton Canoe Lateen

    Quote Originally Posted by Canoeyawl View Post
    There were Class A and B canoes. A's needed three up; these are probably B's. Old Town built special 20 footers to take the loads. Mystic Seaport has one, Blackhawk is its name.These were developed around Sheepshead Bay in the 20's by the Associated Canoe Clubs of Sheepshead Bay, and taken into the American Canoe Association. Great photos.
    Ben Fuller
    Ran Tan, Liten Kuhling, Tipsy, Tippy, Josef W., Merry Mouth, Imp, Macavity, Look Far, Flash and a quiver of other 'yaks.
    "Bound fast is boatless man."

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Cotton Canoe Lateen

    Not 100% sure, but I think we may be confusing a basic cotton lateen sail that Old Town sold as an accessory for many decades (and the associated leeboards and other hardware) with some more "formal ACA" Class A-C sail rigs.

    Sail-32.jpg

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Cotton Canoe Lateen

    C class is 55 sq ft; looks like Old Town had a smaller one for sail as well.
    Ben Fuller
    Ran Tan, Liten Kuhling, Tipsy, Tippy, Josef W., Merry Mouth, Imp, Macavity, Look Far, Flash and a quiver of other 'yaks.
    "Bound fast is boatless man."

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Cotton Canoe Lateen

    Old Town offered a broad variety of sail rigs over the years. The images at https://www.wcha.org/forums/index.php?threads/4107/ show the evolution of Old Town’s lateen sail rigs as shown in the catalogs. The factory notes shown at https://www.wcha.org/forums/index.php?threads/969/ give the dimensions for lateen rigs ranging from 40 to 125 square feet. More factory information from http://www.wcha.org/forums/index.php?threads/11245/ includes leg of mutton and gaff rigs. Their Class C rig was shown on the catalog cover at http://www.wcha.org/catalogs/old-tow...s/large-65.gif from 1965. The pictures at http://www.wcha.org/forums/index.php?threads/5493/ and https://www.wcha.org/forums/index.ph...chments/46712/ show ones with two lateen sails that total 100 square feet over the years. Have fun,

    Benson

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Cotton Canoe Lateen

    (edit: Looks like Benson beat me to it)

    That is not a Class C sail. Old Town's Class C sail was a loose-footed, boomed, miter-cut Bermuda sail, most likely made from early 4 oz. Dacron or Fleetboat Dacron (that sleazy Dacron used on early Sunfish sails and fast food joint smocks/uniforms).

    This is an Old Town Class C on a Molitor model canoe from a catalog in the 1969-1970 range.

    class-C-sail.jpg

    I suspect that John's lateen is from the 1940s or 50s. as it is cross-cut. Most of the really old ones tend to be vertical cuts and narrow paneled for cloth stability, similar to this Morris sail.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Cotton Canoe Lateen

    Pics I have seen of Sheepshead Bay canoes before WWII had lateens all the way around. I believe that going to the marconi Class C rigs was a post war phenom after the A and B canoes rigs died out. There is also the Cruising Class which about 45 and steered with a paddle. The historical section of https://canusail.org/ is useful.
    Ben Fuller
    Ran Tan, Liten Kuhling, Tipsy, Tippy, Josef W., Merry Mouth, Imp, Macavity, Look Far, Flash and a quiver of other 'yaks.
    "Bound fast is boatless man."

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Cotton Canoe Lateen

    See https://www.wcha.org/forums/index.ph...77/#post-81521 for the lateens at the Labor Day regatta of the Association of Canoe Clubs of Sheepshead Bay from 1927 and https://www.wcha.org/forums/index.ph...77/#post-81243 has another nice old sailing canoe picture from the late 1920s.

    Benson
    Last edited by Benson Gray; 07-27-2021 at 06:26 PM.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Cotton Canoe Lateen

    F8528749-EE19-4D48-B9DF-6D59BE8C75B8.jpg

    Whatever happened?
    Sailing your canoe was the thing to do!

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Cotton Canoe Lateen

    Thank you all for your input. I enjoyed that cotton sail so much that I bought another. I found one on Ebay, 10'6" luff, 8'6" foot, better condition. I'll post pics when I rig it.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Cotton Canoe Lateen

    As I mentioned those two set lateen rigs up as a "double" is a great thing. My boat ended up having three mast steps so that reffed would be back to just the one.
    I also used a leeboard/weatherboard set-up from a Naples Sabot a high quality bronze fitting that does not go athwart the boat, keep your eye peeled.
    A push-pull tiller is mandatory.

    The boat I have this set-up on is actually a single pulling boat, not a canoe, but double ended, 19' oa about 38" beam and no rocker at all. Fast on a course but it has to be tacked like a ship by backing the mizzen! A lot of fun that... With a stiff enough breeze and two men on the rail it will darn near fly and it will certainly make you snicker and squeal with delight!

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Cotton Canoe Lateen

    I love split rigs, but my ultralight canoe has all she can take with one sail.

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