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Thread: Soliciting advice for a lateen rig on a canoe

  1. #1
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    Default Soliciting advice for a lateen rig on a canoe

    I have an Old Town sailing canoe rig from the 1950's that I' adapting to a fiberglass canoe. I got the rig years ago along with a derelict wood and canvas sponson canoe. the leeboards and clamp-on thwart are in good condition, and so is the sail, however, the rudder needs replacement due to too much accumulated damage with crude repairs, and the spars are merely a couple of plain dowels that to do not really fit the sail. My question concerns the lateen rig for a relatively high-aspect sail (compared to a Grumman or Sunfish) with a 15' luff, a 10' foot, and a 15' leech with 3 battens. My layout shows the clew to lie 2'-6" ahead of the stern of the canoe, so I am considering a loose-footed rig instead of a boom. The boom on a lateen rig, such as a Grumman, always seemed sort of "clunky" to me, and a "head knocker if low enough to keep the heeling moment reasonable. Would sheeting the sail loose footed to the stern be satisfactory?

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    Post Re: Soliciting advice for a lateen rig on a canoe

    The dimensions you provided indicate that the sail area is over 70 square feet and probably came from an Old Town Wahoo model as shown below. This amount of sail area is relatively large for a canoe. The standard American Canoe Association rig shown at http://freepages.rootsweb.com/~fassi...r/aca_rig.html is 44 square feet for comparison. You may find it challenging to keep upright in anything more than a light breeze. The Wahoo was originally rigged with aluminum tubes for the spars and mast. The clew was not designed to take the stress of being loose footed. It might work depending on how you plan to configure and use it. The performance will suffer. The forum at https://www.wcha.org/forums/index.php?forums/10/ and book at https://www.woodencanoe.org/product-...ce-and-the-art may be helpful. Good luck if you decide to proceed and let us know how well it sails.

    Benson



    WAHOO.JPG
    Last edited by Benson Gray; 06-14-2022 at 09:21 AM.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Soliciting advice for a lateen rig on a canoe

    I have sailed a couple lateen sails in a canoe and a kayak. I think the boom is necessary to give the yard a proper angle. It also keeps shape off the wind, which might be challenging in a narrow hull without a boom. I would work on a slightly taller mast, or changing the boom angle. In any case, good luck with it and keep us posted.

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    Default Re: Soliciting advice for a lateen rig on a canoe

    I expect you won't be able to sheet a boomless sail properly on such a narrow boat. Boomless sails, like most modern jibs, require a wide sheeting angle.

    Fiddling with the downhaul may raise the aft end of the boom enough for your liking without raising the center of effort much. Also, you should find that the sail doesn't slam around as much as you're used to because it is partially balanced by the bit that extends forward of the mast.

    Paging Todd Bradshaw...

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    Default Re: Soliciting advice for a lateen rig on a canoe

    Thanks for the sail area comparison, Benson. I like traditional stuff, like canoe leeboards mounted on a clamp-on thwart, however, at my age of 82 I believe I'd be more comfortable with a pair of knife-edge amas (like miniature Hobie-16 hulls) rather than exercizing the gymnastics needed for the large sail. The sail is in good condition, but made of very light weight Dacron, so thanks for pointing out the lack of strength in the clew for a loose footed sheet.

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    Default Re: Soliciting advice for a lateen rig on a canoe

    I suspect that trying to sail it boomless will not allow the sheeting angle to work properly if you only have two and a half feet from boom end to boat end. As for head-knocking with a lateen, the simple answer is to learn how to sail one properly. Tacking or jibing a lateen by hunkering down and waiting for the boom to cross over all by itself is horribly inefficient, as well as the reason people get beaned by the boom. At a certain point in any tack or jibe the boat's heading will create a brief moment where the sail is slack. At that moment, you simply reach up, grab the boom and pass it over your head as you ease the sail out to the new side. Learn this simple maneuver and its timing and your lateen sailing will be much improved, and your tacks and jibes will be much more predictable. On windy days it will also allow you to sail with the sail rigged lower on the mast for less heeling force.

    If you aren't crazy about your spars, lateen spars can be pretty cheap and simple to build, and tapered spars work better than straight-sided spars. This pair was cut from a carefully selected Home Depot 2x6, left rectangular with the corners knocked off.

    morris-lateen.jpg

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    Default Re: Soliciting advice for a lateen rig on a canoe

    I appreciate your advice, Todd. My spars which don't seem to fit the sail are just straight dowels. I plan to taper everything. The illustration of the Morris is noteworthy here because my old fiberglass canoe has similar up-curved ends, a nice profile for a sailing canoe. I remember trying to grab the boom when tacking the Grumman I sailed as a Scout at summer camp.

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    Default Re: Soliciting advice for a lateen rig on a canoe

    I sail my Macgreggor with a dipping lateen these days. Spar is 2 lengths of bamboo lashed together, boom is one. 'Broken" to allow operation as per video.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Ke7DfgnB1U

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    Default Re: Soliciting advice for a lateen rig on a canoe

    Isn't that more of a dipping lug than a lateen?

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    Default Re: Soliciting advice for a lateen rig on a canoe

    The different sail types tend to get kind of blurry at times. Also, the typical Sunfish-style recreational lateen that most of us are used to is not all that similar to some of the more traditional and big boat lateens. The boomless version in the video looks more like a settee sail. I drew up a proposed plan for one once for a customer who wanted to put something on a skin on frame outrigger canoe. That version looked like this, and would need to be dipped.
    s2.jpg

    In the end, we modified the shape a bit, dumped the dip, added a boom and it essentially became a balanced lug of sorts.

    shaw.jpg

    2011.jpg

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    Default Re: Soliciting advice for a lateen rig on a canoe

    Todd,
    Please add some dimension(s) to the final spar, you commented on.
    Did they end up octagonal?

    This pair was cut from a carefully selected Home Depot 2x6, left rectangular with the corners knocked off.

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    Default Re: Soliciting advice for a lateen rig on a canoe

    Mine are rectangular and about 1.5" x 1.5" in the center. They taper to 1.25" tall by 1" wide at their forward (tack corner) end, and about 1.25 tall by about 3/4" wide at the peak/aft ends. The corners were rounded off with a router bit. The Morris lateen is only about 42 square feet in sail area. For a bigger sail you might need to boost the dimensions a bit.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Soliciting advice for a lateen rig on a canoe





    375 sail and spars. For an auxiliary sail, the 'expedition rig' might be enough, as it all fits in the boat easy. High boom keeps it out the way.

    https://www.solwaydory.co.uk/product...pedition-rig-/
    Last edited by Edward Pearson; 06-21-2022 at 03:10 PM.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Soliciting advice for a lateen rig on a canoe

    Todd, thanks for the detailed information.
    It explains how you "cherry picked" portions of the 2x6's, for spars.
    I am assuming you chose the flattest rings possible, for )( lamination.
    They would tend to approximate rift/quartersawn grains.
    Final question - is the glue line parallel or perpendicular (so to speak) to the mast?

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Soliciting advice for a lateen rig on a canoe

    Tapered spars on that particular sail will take shape out of it, likely leading to disappointing performance.
    I have a couple of those old canoe rigs and they are all cut for straight spars. The method of lashing also affects the shape and I fabricated individual grommets or hoops from 1/8" bronze welding rod. Best thing I ever did for that sail!
    I did do a very quick taper on the outboard ends just for asthetics.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Soliciting advice for a lateen rig on a canoe

    Tapered spars on that particular sail will take shape out of it, likely leading to disappointing performance.
    My experience has clearly shown the opposite. Tapered spars tend to yield much better lateen and small lugsail shape. However, the shape of any small sail is going to depend most on how well the sailmaker adjusted for the inevitable (and often considerable) spar bend. Even on something like a 45 sq. ft. lateen sail the luff and foot edges will need about three inches of extra convex round built into them, just to allow for the bend. This is in addition to the amount of round built in to create sail draft - which is likely to be maybe 1"-1.5" or so. Adding an extra 3" as a bend allowance will at times not really be as much as the sail could use in high winds, but excessive round tends to create excessive draft in lighter air, so the 3" allowance plus a little bit for draft seems to be a pretty decent all-round compromise. There is no specific right answer for spar taper and bend allowance. It is up to the experience and skill of the sailmaker.

    There are no glue lines. I chose the 2x6 by carefully sorting through a stack of them at the Home Depot and picking the one with the least amount of grain run-out. Here is a similar boom, this one for a bat-winged lateen, being marked out on a 2 x 4, also from the Home Depot. Their storage racks have a tendency to warp the wood, which often seems to come in rather damp, so for best results picking from a pretty healthy and fresh pile will usually yield the best candidates. The batten, by the way, is a hunk of plastic trim molding about 3/4" by 1/4" which is what I have used for years to loft out curves on the floor and on sails. It is more consistent in bending uniformly than wooden battens are.

    lat-bat boom.jpg

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