The last few days I have been working on a few changes to my sailing canoe design. Since I am starting this blog several months after I started working on the sailing canoe, I’ll be doing some flashback sequences to get the two in sync.
I’ve sailed since I was eight years old, and it is something I really enjoy. The last couple of years I have also started kayaking. It is good exercise and paddling around in a small boat is great fun. I kayak on San Francisco Bay, and last summer I started paddling from AT&T Park out to the Golden Gate Bridge and back once or twice a week. If you live in the Bay Area or are here for a visit I highly recommend this route. You can rent kayaks at South Beach Harbor (in front of AT&T Park). Anyway, on the return to AT&T Park in the afternoon the wind is always howling in from the Golden Gate, and I am always a little tired of paddling. So I started thinking it would be great to have a kite or sail on my kayak so I could paddle out and sail back.
I can’t remember exactly how I got from that point to designing a 12′ cruising sailing canoe with a pilothouse, room for my folding bike, and detachable wheels that allow it to be towed by the bike, but that’s the danger of not keeping an engineer fully occupied. I do know that along the way I was influenced by the boats of Sven Yrvind, the WaterTribe small boat events, and the sailing canoes designed by Michael Storer and Hugh Horton.
And really, doesn’t this type of boat make perfect sense? When I’m tired of paddling, I can sail. When there is no wind, I can paddle. When I get cold ( as often happens on SF Bay), I can lock myself in the pilothouse. When I arrive somewhere and need to get around on land, I have my bike. The boat is small enough to haul in the back of my compact truck and store in my basement. And I can even tow it behind my bike. With it’s shallow draft it can go close to shore and be pulled up on the beach.
So now I just have to see if it will actually work. Usually my projects work to a certain extent, but are far from flawless on the first iteration. Unfortunately I usually move on to another project before I get to a second iteration.
In my next post I will review my design and see if I can figure out how to upload drawings.