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Continuing to root through pages I'd put up on my previous websites, I found a design for the type of sail used by ocean-going Chinese Junks as described by Derek Van Loan in his book: Design and Build Your Own Junk Rig.

I like this design because it is a very economical use of material, and it looks great. As for efficacy . . . . the boat that used it in the 2008 Pan-Galactic, Inter-Dimensional, Puddle Duck Racer World Champeenships came in dead last BUT! There were a lot of factors that put that boat dead last and the owner sold that boat that day - mainly because the buyers fell in love with the look of the sail.

Quite seriously: A 51sqft sail will drive a PDR sized boat very nicely and this is a darn cheap way to get one.

Sail design and instructions are in the SAILS section of the PLANS page on the Toledo Community Boathouse website.

Andrew Linn


For Boat Designers

Human Dimension & Interior Space: A Source Book of Design Reference Standards

Oliver Hulland says it better than I can: "When designing a space or wearables for humans, you'll need precise measurements of our size. How high to put a door knob, the circumference of our necks, how far we can reach overhead? There's no such thing as an average person, so you'll also need to know what the variances are, too. There's a number of good sources for this data, but the most complete set, with the greatest clarity, and most affordable price is Human Dimensions. This data set was distilled from ergonomic research started by NASA for designing space capsules and broadened over the years to include the ergonomics of wheelchairs and crutches, bathtubs, workplaces and public spaces among many other everyday situations. I prefer its very graphic presentation. Good for architects, costume designers, gadget makers, interface designers, and interior decorators." Seems to me that it would work for boat designers as well!

The book on Amazon.


Aerodynamic Captains

On small, open, one-man sailboats, it seems that there is an effort to streamline every aspect of the boat and sail but the captain himself who, it would seem, presents a significant obstruction to smooth wind flow in most boats. A search for aerodynamic sailing clothing yielded nothing, but it did send me to this interesting article on a reporter's ride in the SailRocket.

It's an interesting read about how Larson applied what he learned from an obscure scientist/sailor to break the world speed record for sailing craft. I guess thinking outside the box does sometimes lead to even more radical thinking outside the box...

Dave Gray

Making a Hollow, Rectangular Mast

Continuing quest to resurrect old "How To" essays I've done for otherĀ  projects, my photo-essay on making a hollow, rectangular mast.

In the Masts section of the PLANS page on the Toledo Community Boathouse.

One note: I really think I should have gone with 1/2" thick walls, orĀ even 3/8" (getting 3 staves out of a piece of 2x lumber) and come up with a much lighter, yet still amazingly strong, mast. I kinda over-built those.

Andrew Linn

Good Reads

For fun, Robin Cody's Voyage of a Summer Sun was my inspiration for exploring on the Columbia.

Andrew Linn


I found these titles interesting - all related to Verlen Kruger.

The Ultimate Canoe Challenge: 28,000 Miles Through North America

Keep It Moving: Baja by Canoe

All Things Are Possible: The Verlen Kruger Story: 100,000 Miles by Paddle


Outriggers for a Kayak or Small Boat

This is my technique for making a quick attachment of my outriggers to my boat. The attached pictures will illustrate the technique.

I use two parallel aluminum tubes to connect the two outriggers. I mounted two wood blocks on each side of the hull with their bases angle cut so that the tops are flat to each other from side to side, i. e., the tubes placed across the hull are flat on the tops of these blocks. The blocks are spaced front to black to the spacing of the aluminum tubes to the outriggers.

I cut four short tubes from 1-1/2" PVC pipe, each about 1-1/ to 2" longer that the mounting blocks are wide. The PVC pipes have the heavy wall thickness. They are then cut not quite in half lengthwise into a "C" shape in cross section. The little extra "C" shape is to let the aluminum tubes to "snap in". If the PVC tubes are to large to effect a good snap then heating them - after mounting them to the wood blocks - with a heat gun until soft and forming them around the aluminum tubes and held until cooled will fix that.

I mounted the PVC sections to the tops of the wood blocks each with 2 countersunk flat head screws so that the front two "C" sections are pointed slightly towards the stern (as opposed to mounting them facing straight up). Then I mounted the 2 stern "C" sections turned slightly towards the bow. Doing this allows the two aluminum tubes to snap in and to be held down to the hull to hold them in place for the clamps. I mounted the overhang of the PVC sections inboard, but mounting them outboard is an option.

The tubes are clamped to the PVC sections with screw hose clamps. The hose clamps are easy to tighten to secure them and a couple of turns with a tool to loosen them make for a quick removal of the outriggers.

I also used hose clamps to tighten the outrigger mounts to the aluminum tubes. Here I put 4 slots in each PVC stub to allow the hose clamps to bend to contact the aluminum tubes when clamped.

Other notes:

The aluminum tubes were plugged at each end for flotation - just in case I should drop one. PVC pipe (thick walled version) can be used in place of the aluminum if the distance between the mounts and the outriggers is not very far. The outriggers were made from 1-1/2 PVC pipe and a large swim tube was slit lengthwise and strapped over the pipe for the flotation. I used a 45 degree elbow at the front for easier entry into the waves.

Frank Campion

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