Museums with collections of Sailing Canoes

Mystic Seaport Museum Mystic, CT 06355-0990 Their illustrated catalogue, Maynard Bray, Mystic Seaport Museum Watercraft, shows many of their canoes, but the collection has grown since it was published. A phenomenal resource. Write or call for an appointment, access to the small craft collection is currently limited due to renovations to storage area.

The Adirondack Museum, Blue Mountain Lake, NY. The best collection of J.H. Rushton material, and a staggering number of sailing canoes, as well as a first- rate exhibit, "Boats and Boating in the Adirondacks", generously sprinkled with sailing canoes. They hold the "No-Octane Regatta" each June and it usually features a fair number of sailing canoes.

The Mariners' Museum, Newport News, Virginia has in its small craft collection one of the only verson Shadow-model decked canoes in captivity.

Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, MA. Photo collections from 1880s and 1890s ACA meets, and a charming little decked canoe called "Urchin".

New York State Historical Association, Lake Road, P.O. Box 800, Cooperstown, NY 13326. Holds the American Canoe Association Historic Picture Collection, including material from such noted canoeists as C. Bowyer Vaux and W.P. Stephens. Call or write to make an appointment.

other America's Maritime Museums


Books: Methods and styles, Sailing Canoes

Canoe building Books

Sailing Canoe

Woodenboat Magazine offers Robert Baker's 12'8" "Piccolo," and Iain Oughtred's "MacGregor."

"I built the Iain Oughtread MacGregor design. You can build it either 13.6, 15.7,or 17ft long. I have the smaller one which is good for one person- the mid sized or larger would probably be good for 2. It's lapstrake plywood, epoxy glued. Ketch rig, decked, single leeboard which is changed each tack."

"I've built two McGregors. They are beautiful boats, fast, easy to paddle. All I know about sailing is what I read in books so I've been pretty wet a time or two but the boat will sail. First one was built using marine fir ply (1/4"). It's to heavy for me to lift on top the pickup alone. The second one is with 4mm okome marine ply. Seems strong enough and is much lighter. The 15' model might be a bit cramped for sailing with two but okay for paddling."

UK Open Canoe Sailing Group For those in the UK who want to sail as well as paddle their own canoe be that racing or touring. A newsletter eight times a year, and arranges meetings in UK Motto: "Sail when you can, paddle when you must!" Subscription L9.00 p.a. (1995)" c/o 1 St Mary's Walk St Albans AL4 9PD UK

All the following on sailing canoes from John Summers (jsummers@inforamp.net):

American Red Cross, "Rigging A Canoe for Sailing". NP: American Red Cross, early 20th century.

More Building Classic Small Craft, Gardner, John. The Chapter entitled "4 Canoes" shows an ACA-style rig for an open canoe, and has a good capsule history of canoe sailing. Also contains basic lines and in some cases offsets for late 19th century canoes which could be built from after they were lofted.

How to Build Canoes. Ward Smith ed. Diamond Point, NY: Smith Book Press, 1989. [once available from Smith Book Press, RR1, Box 217D, Diamond Point, NY, 12824] Reprint of older Popular-Mechanics-style articles about rigging open canoes sail.

John Bull, "Sail Your Canoe. How to Add Sails to Your Canoe". Good instructions for leeboards and sailing rigs, advice on sailing the result too. Once available from Cordee, 3a deMontfort Street, Leicester, Great Britain. L1 7HD "He has lots of ideas for rigs; plenty of detail. In the end it seems that a triangular lateen rig is a good combination of efficiency and simplicity. John has lots of experience designing and sailing canoes." And Bull has a single, strap-on outrigger for adding to sea kayaks

Sailing Canoe Rigging. Hazzard, Jack. A How-To Book of Building Basic and Advanced Sailing Canoe Rigging quipment. Fairfield, PA: Brown's Canoe Works, 1991. [once available from Brown's Canoe Works at 2235 Mount Hope Road, Fairfield, PA 17320 U.S.A.] Detailed work by a long-time sailor of open canoes, mainly related to adapting wood/canvas canoes.

Canoe and Boat Building

A Complete Manual for Amateurs. W. P. Stephens. Containing Plain and Comprehensive Directions for the Construction of Canoes, Rowing and Sailing Boats and Hunting Craft. Fifth dition. New York: Forest and Stream Publishing Company, 1891. Plates have been reprinted separately and are available from "Mystic Seaport Museum". This is the source, particularly for those interested in decked 19th century boats. Stephens' book contains complete building instructions for all of the boats illustrated, and the advice is as good today as it was at the end of the 19th century. xcellent place to start. but be warned: this book will make you want to build a boat! Most secondhand copies that come on the antiquarian market are missing the plates, the best part, but Mystic Seaport has reprinted these and they are available separately. The book is a complete how-to manual for 19th century canoeing under sail. "... full of plans of 13-16' sailing canoes. You will have to loft them. Originally designed for cedar lapstrake, you could modify them for plywood lapstrake or strip."

Traditions and Memories of American Yachting. W. P. Stephens, The 50th Anniversary dition. Brooklin, M: WoodenBoat Publications Inc., 1989. Detailed historical information about canoe sailing and its place in yachting history, from one who was there.

"The three ACA classes are the best bet, particularly since most of the rigs can be stripped off the boat to turn it back into a paddling craft. ACA sailing information, and a great little newsletter called "The Canoe Sailor" and a canoe-sailing calender, is available from: Marilyn Vogel "The Canoe Sailor" A.C.A. Sailing Committee 2210 Finland Road Green Lane, PA 18054 U.S.A. "

Canoe Handling. Vaux, C. Bowyer. The Canoe. History, Uses, Limitations and Varieties, Practical Management and Care and Relative Facts. Third dition. New York: Forest and Stream Publishing Co., 1901. How-to treatise by a very experienced canoe sailor and cruiser.

Sailing Canoes PERIODICALS

Canoe Sailor. Published by the Canoe Sailing Committe of the ACA, the best place to turn for information on the current [especially open] canoe sailing scene. Available for a small donation to the cause from Marilyn Vogel, ACA Sailing Committee, 2210 Finland Road, Green Lane, PA 18054 U.S.A. For a further small donation, Marilyn will also send you her current canoe sailing calender, with 12 different photos each year.

The International Canoesletter. Devoted to the International 10 Square Metre Canoe, the conoisseur's boat. 17' long, 40" beam, 110 square feet of sail and 7' sliding seat. If you're interested in IC's, looking to buy a used or new boat, or just want to see what they look like and have always fancied watching your own boat sail 5' out from the side, contact the editor. A well-written and charmingly weird class newsletter. Bill Beaver, ditor. International Canoesletter. 1209 VanBuren Circle, Annapolis, MD 21403 U.S.A., email: beaver@oasys.dt.navy.mil.

WoodenBoat Magazine sells plans for three sailing canoes: two models of Ian Oughtred's "MacGregor" for glued-lap plywood and the late R.H. Baker's exquisite "Piccolo", a long-keeled lapstrake canoe with two standing lugs.

Pete Culler's Boats, the design catalogue of Culler's work, edited by Burke and published by International Marine, has designs for several canoes rigged for sail, including his miniscule 13' "Butternut" design, and a 17-footer with two masts.

Walt Simmons, Building Lapstrake Canoes. and other books, available from Walt at Duck Trap Woodworking [see the back pages of WB and MAIB]. Good hands-on instruction books that started as shop manuals, particulary for boats like Culler's and "Piccolo".