Monday, December 14, 2009


My Perception Acadia decked paddling canoe was designed for solo touring on rivers, lakes and the sea. She had good stability and excellent tracking without loss of manoeuvrability. I fitted her with a very simple sail, leeboard and a kick-up rudder.

The great advantage of such a basic boat is her spontaneity, because she requires little time for setting up. If there’s a break in the weather and the opportunity arises, she can be slipped onto the roof of a car for a short journey to whatever venue may be convenient. Because she is easily driven, she requires only a small sail area to push her along, and providing the sail and leeboard work in harmony, she can make to windward in winds up to force three. Thereafter, she needs to be paddled, not just to remain upright, but for better progress against the wind. The rig is best suited to reaching and running. When not in use, it can be folded like a fan and stowed under the straps on the foredeck and starboard side deck.

I only used my ‘Acadia’ for day sailing, but it would have been possible to stow a tent under her aft deck and secure light provisions up forward in waterproof bags. An apron fitted to the cockpit made her completely watertight, and her moulded seat and backrest were comfortable for paddling and sailing, even for hours at a time. To anyone who wants a cheap solution to spontaneous day sailing I would recommend fitting a small sail, leeboard and rudder to an Acadia. I would also recommend it for those who would enjoy minimalist boat camping. Cheap is a relative adjective; therefore to qualify what I mean by cheapness, you may get hold of a second-hand Acadia for about £400.00. The rudder, mast, sail and leeboard you could make from scraps. My mast was a piece of plastic, kitchen drainpipe filled with canes to provide some stiffness, and yet allow it to bend when subjected to sudden loads, such as when there was a gust. I cut the sail from a bit of old sailcloth I happened to have. I bought a standard kick-up rudder at great expense, but it was hardly big enough for steering the canoe while sailing.


Length 374 cm, Width 72 cm, Weight 24kg - Maximum load 180kg

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