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Original picture of a centerboard sailing canoe at the factory

Discussion in 'Canoe Sailing' started by Benson Gray, Aug 28, 2013.

  1. Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

    I've been going through some of the original marketing negatives from the Old Town Canoe Company and was surprised to find a picture of a centerboard sailing canoe with a 'leg of mutton' rig that probably dates to the 1920s. The negative is in very poor condition as shown below but it has answered a big question for me. My canoe has always had a weather helm tendency which I have tried to correct with a larger rudder. Now I realize that this was originally designed with a jib that would balance the rig much more effectively. Does anyone know if any of the other Wolf Pond canoes have a jib like this and can I get the dimensions? I can work it out from the image but it would be nice to be able to validate my numbers.

    Benson
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Aug 28, 2013
  2. Fitz

    Fitz Wooden Canoes are in the Blood

    Oh great! Now you will be even faster at the Oquossoc race...:p
     
  3. chris pearson

    chris pearson Michigan Canoe Nut

    So cool!!!!!!!
     
  4. chris pearson

    chris pearson Michigan Canoe Nut

    Looks like a ghost! Good name for my canoe!
     
  5. OP
    OP
    Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

    Further digging in this archive has uncovered three old blueprints of centerboard sailing canoes as shown below.
    Big-Wolf-2.jpg
    This one has no date and may be the original plan for the leg of mutton rig with a 65 square foot sail.
    Big-Wolf-3.jpg
    The next one shows a gaff rig with a 90 square foot sail and is dated December, 1925. This does not appear to be a well balanced rig and would have probably been difficult to sail in anything more than a light breeze.
    Big-Wolf-1.jpg
    The last one is dated March 15th, 1961 and might have been made from some of the existing sailing canoes on Big Wolf Lake in New York. This may be related to some of the pricing and configuration of these canoes as shown at http://forums.wcha.org/showthread.php?4183 from 1947 to 1971. More food for thought,

    Benson
     
  6. chris pearson

    chris pearson Michigan Canoe Nut

    Wow, cool Benson. How did you find these? Now I'm really confused!!!!!!!!
     
  7. chris pearson

    chris pearson Michigan Canoe Nut

    Looks like a 55 - 65 sq ft Lateen might be perfect? I thought a Leg O Mutton looks like the gaff? I'm not a sailor per say, isn't the on a cat rig?
     
  8. OP
    OP
    Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

    My father kept several boxes of personal and historical files when he retired from the Old Town Canoe Company. I've recently been going through these page by page and finding many things that I had missed in my earlier reviews of this information.

    A 55-65 square foot lateen rig should be fine, just be aware that increasing the sail size also moves the center of effort back. This may make it less balanced since the centerboard and mast step are both fixed and relatively far forward. (One of the major advantages of leeboards is that they can be easily moved when necessary to balance the rig.)

    The Leg-o'-Mutton name is actually a reference to the asymmetrically triangular and more vertical shape of the sail when compared to the more proportionally shaped lateen sails. The Old Town Leg-o'-Mutton is technically a gunter rig although these are often called gaff rigs. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gunter for more on this topic. A traditional cat boat has a gaff rig. Many of these naming distinctions become a bit vague when applied to the reduced scale of the sail rigs on canoes, dinghies, and other small boats. It is confusing and I may not have it right either.

    Benson
     
  9. chris pearson

    chris pearson Michigan Canoe Nut

    So, a larger sq foot sail should be in the form of the Leg O Mutten since the sail volume is farther forward?
     
  10. OP
    OP
    Benson Gray

    Benson Gray Canoe History Enthusiast Staff Member

    Yes, that would help but probably wouldn't eliminate the issue. The information at http://forums.wcha.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=1063&d=1136757320 shows that the Wahoo model was only ten feet long on the foot of the sail with 15 feet on the leach and luff. The boom and yard are significantly asymmetric on this canoe. The Wahoo has 75 square feet of sail in a lateen rig on a 16 foot long canoe with fixed dagger boards. More information is available at http://forums.wcha.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=24841&d=1365964328 if you are not familiar with the Wahoo.

    The table at http://forums.wcha.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=1067&d=1136766986 shows an older collection of lateen sail sizes from 40 to 125 square feet. The foot and luff lengths are all the same while the leech length grows steadily as the sails get larger. Note that the dimension labeled "A - Boom" in this diagram is actually the yard or luff dimension. Lateen sails at Old Town were commonly described as having "two booms" since the yard and the boom were usually identical in size and shape (except on the Wahoo). Let me know if this doesn't answer your question. Thanks,

    Benson
     

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