Tuesday, 24 December 2013
Cruising Rowing Boat
Paul has added side buoyancy tanks that support the rowing thwarts while enabling them to be adjusted as necessary and to be easily removed to release lots of space for camping.
Now, the only thing missing to make it a nice vessel for joining DCA events is a sailing rig to allow the rower to take a break when the wind is on the beam or abaft.
The famous St Lawrence River Skiff has a spritsail but no rudder, being steered by adjusting the sail and your position, like a windsurfer. This appeals very much to my minimalist instincts. Clint Chase in the US builds a lovely kit for his skiff Bobby - how does she perform, Clint? Does sailing such a long, thin boat involve much involuntary swimming?
Would mounting a windsurfer rig in the bow work? I have a sneaking suspicion this is much more complex than it seems. Getting a windsurfer sail mounted and dismounted appears to involve massive amounts of faffing about on large areas of lawn. And the foot of the sail wouldn't clear the gunwale unless the mast was stepped on a thwart.
What do you all think - would a simple rig mounted forward like a catboat provide enough propulsion to be worthwhile? Would it improve matters to use an oar to steer with?