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1938 Peterborough Model 20 Repair Questions

Discussion in 'Canoe Sailing' started by Brad Maynes, Jan 3, 2018.

  1. Brad Maynes

    Brad Maynes Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Cross-posted from the "Song of the Paddle" Forums, at the suggestion of a poster there, apologies if you had to read this twice! ;)

    Hi there! I'm new to the forum, but have recently become the owner (temporary steward?) of my grandfather/father's 16' 1938 Peterborough Model 20 at my Dexter, Michigan home. Happy to say that the canoe itself is in pretty great repair, as are the spars, etc. The rigging and lateen sail, however, are another matter. I may have a line on a place here in Michigan to get a sail made, but I had some questions on rigging suggestions. To my understanding, this canoe needs replacement of the following: main sheet, halyard, sail lashing (for lack of knowing a more correct term), and the whipping attaching the awesome old wooden fairleads to the boom. I have found some advice on what sort/size of line to use for the main sheet and halyard (but would always welcome more), but have been able to find very little info on what to use for attaching the sail to the boom and yard, or estimating approximate length of line needed. Any help that anyone could lend would certainly be appreciated.

    Also, I'd be very interested in any information anyone can provide about the sail assembly itself. Unlike a "traditional" lateen, the point of attachment for the boom to the mast is not about 20% of the way down the boom, with a hook or gooseneck. The actual point of attachment is where the boom and yard meet, where there is a brass yoke projecting out in front of both. As far as I know, this is original hardware, but I've never (in my admittedly limited experience) found a lateen sail mounted this way, though there do seem to be other styles that do this, generally for four-sided sails, though. This assembly would appear to either leave the yard/halyard attachment point well away from the mast when assembled and ready to sail, or would bring the boom up at a much greater angle than seems to be common for lateen rigs. Which is correct?

    I'm more than happy to provide any further information that is needed. Given the current state of the weather in Michigan, photos are a bit hard to come by without sticking the old girl out in the snow!

    Thanks,

    Brad
     
  2. JClearwater

    JClearwater Wooden Canoe Maniac

    Brad,

    Welcome to the WCHA. You need to buy a copy of the book "Canoe Rig: The Essence and the Art," by Todd Bradshaw.
    All your sailing canoe questions will be answered. It is available in the WCHA store and other places. Todd is a frequent contributor to these forums so he may chime in himself.

    Jim
     
  3. OP
    OP
    Brad Maynes

    Brad Maynes Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Jim -

    I have it :) These are the questions that I had left, after reading it. Though the book is wonderful, and while there is quite a bit about various methods for lashing the sail to the spars, there certainly aren't any recommended manufacturers/types of line for doing it, at least that I saw. I'm willing to be corrected ;) I was looking to see specifically what brands and types of line people had used to good results. Also, everything that I saw in there about lateens was the standard, 20% back (a number I actually got from the book) mounting.

    Thanks,

    Brad
     
  4. Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

    I am not an expert on Peterborough canoes but have some experience with Old Town sailing canoes. The information at http://www.wcha.org/forums/index.php?threads/969/ lists the line lengths and other details for Old Town's sailing canoes. The image at http://www.wcha.org/forums/index.php?attachments/rig-sizes-gif.1064/ includes the "Lace Robe" lengths for various sail sizes which should give you some ideas for your 'lashing' length. There are a variety of ways to attach a sail to the spars which will also influence the length of line required. The scanned Peterborough catalogs don't provide any obvious answer to the technique Peterborough used for lashing or if it changed over time. Most of the pictures indicate a simple spiral approach.

    The Old Town style changed as shown at http://www.wcha.org/forums/index.php?threads/4107/ in the photographs from their catalogs. Cotton laid rope was probably used originally and similar synthetic ropes are readily available today in similar sizes. If you want to optimize the efficiency of your sail than the best lashing technique is to tie a small loop through the grommet on the sail and around the spar. This will allow you to most easily adjust the position of the sail along the spar. However, it takes a very long time so no production manufacturer that I know about ever did it this way.

    I usually just go down to my local marine store and pick a twine for sail lacing that looks good. The ones at https://shop.hamiltonmarine.com/products/seine-twine-white-1lb-nylon-42712.html will probably work for you. Small synthetic lines usually don't hold knots well so I use a double fisherman or barrel knot. The modern solution is shown at https://www.westmarine.com/buy/bainbridge--mast-hoop-sail-slides--4474193 for sails made after the 1960s.

    Something like https://shop.hamiltonmarine.com/products/commercial-3-strand-nylon-rope--foot-or-reel--42842.html or https://shop.hamiltonmarine.com/pro...yester-natural-rope--foot-or-reel--42849.html can be good options for other lines.

    Your sail rig sounds like what Old Town called a leg-o'-mutton rig as shown at http://www.wcha.org/forums/index.php?attachments/old-town-sailing-canoe-w-cntbd-009-jpg.6490/ and http://www.wcha.org/forums/index.php?attachments/pirate-jpg.22923/ which is more vertical than a lateen rig. Can you provide any pictures of the rig details without taking the whole thing out in the snow? Let me know if this doesn't answer your questions. Thanks,

    Benson
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2018
  5. OP
    OP
    Brad Maynes

    Brad Maynes Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Benson -

    Wow! This is way more than I could hope for, thanks! I’m going to have to look at this more when not on my phone.

    I had really wondered about the sail as a “leg of mutton”, but in Bradshaw’s book, it looked like those were rigged to a mast and boom. It looks like at least one of the Old Town pic links you sent had a setup pretty similar to mine! I will try to get some pics soon. Stuff is still kinda in pieces, but I’ll do what I can.

    Thanks again!

    Brad
     
  6. Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

    The term leg-o'-mutton is actually a reference to the shape of the sail and the spars can be configured in a number of different ways. The pictures at http://www.stroudwater.biz/sailing/picture 556.jpg and http://www.stroudwater.biz/sailing/picture 547.jpg show the Old Town style with a almost horizontal boom and nearly vertical yard that are both attached to a single fitting that goes around the mast. This picture also shows the individual loops of synthetic twine holding the sail to the spars which I described previously. I am curious to know if Peterborough used the same castings on your sail rig.

    Benson
     
  7. OP
    OP
    Brad Maynes

    Brad Maynes Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Not quite sure the best way to insert photos, but here you go:

    F953AFCF-21A6-4747-8FB4-118A7CBE67C0.jpeg

    As you can see, the yoke met with an unfortunate gibing incident when my Dad was young, 60 years ago or so.

    6A2DDBCF-B89D-423D-B6E1-44EDCA837342.jpeg

    The view from the side shows how the yoke turns up (well, down in this photo), which I’d think would imply a not perfectly horizontal orientation of the boom.
     
  8. OP
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    Brad Maynes

    Brad Maynes Curious about Wooden Canoes

    I should, perhaps, additionally note that the boom is attached to the yard just behind this yoke piece by a (now deteriorated) strap of leather. The sail is similarly in rough shape, but from measurements I've taken, the angle between the luff and foot of the sail is roughly 61.66 degrees.
     
  9. Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

    That angle is 73 degrees on my sails as described at http://www.wcha.org/forums/index.php?threads/4183/ which also mentions that some were designed with an 83 degree angle. Is it possible that your rig was home made?

    Benson
     
  10. OP
    OP
    Brad Maynes

    Brad Maynes Curious about Wooden Canoes

    Possible, but not likely. What I'd think might be more likely is that an incorrect replacement sail was purchased at some point. I'll check into it, though.

    Bests,

    BLM
     

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