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Canoe Sail instead of a Tarp

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Joined: 14 May 2007
Posts: 579
Location: Gallatin, TN
Real Name: Jason W. Gatliff

PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2007 10:23 pm    Post subject: Canoe Sail instead of a Tarp Reply with quote

Canoe Sail instead of a Tarp
Originally posted by Swanny

I recently replaced my old trail-tarp with a canoe sail, as I feel it's easier to document historically than a tarp with ties attached, and it's also more versatile. My sail is 7 feet square with hand-sewn gormmets (look for the books MARLINSPIKE SEAMANSHIP or THE SAIL MAKER'S APPRENTICE)spaced at 1 foot intervals around each side. Though mine is of an ntreated linen/cotton canvas, an oil cloth sail would also serve well.

- 7 feet square equals 49 square feet of sail, which when rigged either as a traditional squaresail (extending both sides of the mast) or a gaff-rigged squaresail (one edge attached to the mast with the upper free corner supported by a separate spar) provides plenty of sail to drive our modern, smaller canoes at any point of sail up to a broad reach. With a ee-board you could probably sail at a beam reach or perhaps even a bit loser.

- It's long enough to cover the full length of a 4 point blanket, so as a bed-roll cover the sides and ends can be folded inward to protect all the edges of your blanket even in a driving rain.

- When used as a bed-roll cover, it's just thick enough to provide a seat to straddle when padding the canoe, tall enough to support my weight while allowing my knees to remain in firm contact with the hull for balance and control.

- Folded in half over my blanket (also folded in half) and weaving a willow withe through the grommets creates a sort of sleeping-bag cover for protection against sudden showers or hordes of mosquitoes.

- It's just the right size to improvise a wedge, lean-to or diamond shelter for one person (or two VERY close friends).

- The hand-sewn grommets are more durable than the musket-ball/string technique used by many, and easier to document than ties sewn to the tarp.

I've been real happy with my new canoe sail, and hope you will like it too.


Submitted by: Swanny - on June 29, 2000

Jason W. Gatliff
Historical Enterprises

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