Monday, 23 January 2012

Sailing a punt

One of G.D. Leslie's eccentricities was sailing his punt. "I never saw any other punt but mine with a sail," he writes in Our River. I'm not surprised as it strikes me as a good way to get a soaking, but Leslie claims "by using the lee-board when the wind is across the river, a punt sails even better than a rowing boat."
A likely story. I am reminded of Philip Bolger's mystification when people said "that's a nice rowing boat, let's sail her", and that applies to punts with knobs on.
The rig is appealingly simple, however. A loose-footed lug sail with plenty of area high up, needed for water that is mostly sheltered by trees. Steering is done with the pole, and when the wind is abeam the passenger uses a floorboard as a makeshift leeboard.

1 comment:

Adrian said...

Hi Chris, There is an article by Robin Ford about sailing punts in the Winter 2011 edition of the Thames Traditional Boat Society magazine Scull, Pole and Paddle.