Impromptu, spontaneous outings on the water are best done with small boats, as they seldom need elaborate preparations before one can get afloat. In this respect, my ‘Acadia’ decked paddling canoe (kayak) that was equipped with a sail and rudder was the simply the best. If I had a few moments to spare, I could load the canoe onto the car’s roof rack, and within minutes I’d be sailing on my local River Crouch. She was easily carried on the hip, so that putting her in the water could be done without much effort. Her rudder was permanently attached to the stern and I usually left the leeboard housing in place on the side deck. This could be removed in a matter of seconds by undoing the retaining nuts. Rigging the sail was done by placing the mast into the support tube in the foredeck. I only had to snap the leeboard onto the housing and put a few turns on the retaining nut, and the boat was ready for the off.
She was a very handy vessel, because I could sail or paddle her and get to a location by road with comparative ease. I could store her in the garage on slings attached to the rafters were she was out of the way. Getting her on a roof rack was dead simple, because she only weighed 24 kilos. Obviously her performance under sail was not brilliant, but if the wind was from the beam or from astern, she zipped along. She would go to windward, but nowhere near as well as my 50/50 decked canoe designed by Paul Fisher. On the other hand she could be paddled to windward far more efficiently; I could even paddle her when her sail was stowed on the side deck, and I could set up or take down the rig when sat in the cockpit.
There was only one drawback for me, and that was on account of my slower reactions than in my youth, I felt she was really for a younger man, and correspondingly sold her – one of the reasons why I am now building ‘Sharpy’, a ballasted, roof rack sailing sharpie. I shall not be required to balance ‘Sharpy’ to prevent her from being capsized.
Here, I’ve published a few photos of ‘Acadia’ that have not been shown before. For more photographs, copy and paste the links below to your Web browser’s address box.
Length 374 cm, Width 72 cm, Weight 24kg - Maximum load 180kg
Sea Kayak Sailing