My 'Caleb', a Paul Fisher 50/50 canoe
I was looking through the Yahoo! Small sailboat groups to which I am subscribed and I came across a reference to a new 50/50 canoe, i.e., a decked canoe that sails as well as she can be paddled. Followers of this Blog may know of ‘Caleb’, the 50/50 that Paul Fisher specifically designed for me, and subsequently made the plans available for anyone who wishes to build her.
Hugh Horton in the US developed 50/50 canoes and he came up with Bufflehead. She’s more demanding to build than Paul’s canoe, but from accounts she is easier to paddle and her sail has proven to be very efficient.
Talk of a new 50/50 from the board of John Welsford excited my curiosity. A little probing and I discovered two Internet discussion groups chatting about the canoe. (See the Wooden Boat Forum link below and the Yahoo! Group link, ‘New Welsford Design – Nautilus sailing Canoe’.) Both discussions were initiated by Brian Pearson who is really keen on sailing canoes. You can see a sketch of the new canoe on Brian’s Flickr page: http://www.flickr.com/photos/27848841@N05/ - here’s a direct link to it: http://www.flickr.com/photos/27848841@N05/5986622351/in/photostream (Just copy and paste the link to your browser’s address box.)
Contributors to the Wooden Boat Forum thread include John Welsford, the designer, Dan Miller of Dragonfly Canoe Works and Howard Rice who is an intrepid sailing canoe veteran who sailed and paddled a canoe around Cape Horn in 1991.
The new canoe based on Baden Powell’s Nautilus sailing canoe is quite different to Paul’s and Hugh’s canoes, in that she has water ballast and twin asymmetric boards. In fact, she is a sailing canoe that can be rowed. So technically, she is not a 50/50 in the defined sense as a canoe that can be paddled as well as she sails, or vice versa. Nevertheless, there is a great deal of interest in John’s boat , even before he has completed her plans.
50/50 Canoe designed by Paul Fisher
Paul Fisher – My 50/50 ‘Caleb’
John Welsford’s Website
Duckworks Magazine – good photos of ‘Bufflehead’
Wooden Boat Forum – Nautilus Sailing Canoe by John Welsford
Yahoo! Groups - New Welsford Design - Nautilus sailing Canoe
Baden Powell’s Nautilus Canoe 1875
Photos of Baden Powell’s Sculpture Portrait at Poole
Dan Miller’s Dragonfly Canoe Works
Howard Rice – ‘Sylph’ Sailing Canoe (Another thread of Brian Pearson’s)