Number 199 / June 2008

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Published by the Open Canoe Sailing Group

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Personally, I feel that cruising a fully laden canoe either on the sea or inland in heavy weather, is an accident waiting to happen and is very different to Roy's half hour of enjoying the quiet of the morning or the lone excursions forced on me by arriving late on Saturdays.


Sitting In Puddles (but not getting wet) (MalcolmC)

I like to be comfortable when sailing but it is also necessary to be able to move from side to side easily when beating or on a reach. My previous boats have been Little Pete types and have had to have outriggers. I have been able to lounge in the bottom on all points of sailing relying on the outriggers and a bit of leaning to one side or the other. My new boat is of the more standard Canadian style with raised outriggers. It needs much more active movement on the part of the helmsman but it would still be nice to be able to lounge when conditions permit e.g. when running or in very calm conditions. To try to reach this situation I devised the seating as follows:

The hull has bouyancy tanks either side and these have vertical and parallel inner faces. Each side has two rails fitted; one near the top and one near the bottom. The lower seat can be seen on the lower rail in photo 1. As the seat is raised above the bottom boards and so is out of any bilge water. The seat stays in this position most of the time and is secured by brass bolts. Note the small gap in the upper rail.

The upper seat can be seen in photo 2. It is directly above the lower seat and this position is used for "active" sailing. The seat is held in position by spring loaded bolts underneath at either side.

When I want to sit lower in the boat the upper seat can be slid back by pulling on a cord to withdraw the bolts. The front rails of the seat then pass down through the upper side rail as shown in photo 3.

Finally, the bolts on the upper seat can be located into holes in the upper rail which hold it as a backrest. The front rails of the seat now just rest on the lower side rails. Photo 4.

The actual positions of the upper and lower seat can be altered to suit all situations. All that is needed is extra holes in the side rails at the required positions.

I now have a comfortable seat with backrest. Notice that the lower seat slopes from front to back - much more comfortable than a horizontal seat. The backrest has a comfortable slope as well.

If you are wondering about the title; Puddles is the name of the boat!

Venturesome Voyages Of Captain Voss (RodL)

Little appears to be known about Captain John Claus Voss, who sailed the "Tilikum", a Coastal Indian dug out canoe around the World between May 1901 and September 1904. It is believed that he was born in 1854 in Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, Germany, Sweden or perhaps Denmark. After completing this circumnavigation, it was thought Captain Voss disappeared at sea, however, it seems likely that he lived in Tracey, a small town near San Francisco, where he died on 2nd February 1922. A further mystery is that the Coroner put down his age as "early 50s", although this does not equate with his believed year of birth of 1854.

After this epic voyage, the Tilikum was put on display at the Great Exhibition at Earls Court in 1905 and later either sold or given away. The vessel, on having had a motor installed, was used to cruise the East Coast of England and was then abandoned on Canvey Island, where it lay until at least 1926 when attempts were made to recover the hull and return it to Victoria, British Columbia. Despite recovery, the Tilikum remained neglected until 1965 when she was moved to her present home, the Maritime Museum of British Columbia, in Victoria, where restoration work has since taken place to halt dry rot, and to re-rig the mast and sails.

Captain Voss had spent a lifetime at sea and in sailing circles is perhaps best known for his knowledge of the effects of wind and waves on small vessels. From his conclusions, he developed a sea anchor, which carries his name. Captain Voss argued that a buoyant hull, at rest on the surface

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