Thursday, 5 April 2012

Canoe sailing on Loch Sween.


  1. Hi Chris, I'm stuck indoors with a dodgy bug and reading through your posts has gone along way towards distracting me from the annoyance of an enforced layoff when I'm already off work! I like the split-boarding, the snow-hole that wasn't, the igloo etc, but it's the open canoe sailing that brought me here. I really like the videos, can't imagine anyone wouldn't be sold on the idea after watching a few of those. I'm quite keen to give open canoe sailing a go and have many queries, but I guess the forum at Song of the Paddle would be the appropriate place for those.

  2. Hi Mark, I'm glad that my blog took your mind off your woes a little bit.
    Canoe sailing is my latest passion and it's really exciting for me to be able to combine aspects of other outdoors passtimes that I've enjoyed in the past. Canoes are fantastically versatile. They're so portable and yet with minimal modifications sail really well. I had considered buying a cruising dinghy (such as a Wayfarer) previously but for single handed use the canoe ticks many of the same boxes for exploring inland and coastal water. It easily carries enough kit to make extended camping trips comfortable, can be launched virtually anywhere and is easily car-topped, much easier to manage (and store) than a large dinghy.
    If you want to know more about canoe sailing there's the sailing section on Song of the paddle (I'm Jurassic on there), the Open Canoe Sailing Group website (, Solway Dory ( and the OCSG has a page on Facebook which is quite lively and interesting (
    If you want to know anymore don't hesitate to get in touch, we (the OCSG) are always keen to encourage new converts to the cause.
    Cheers, Chris.

  3. Thanks Chris _ I've found some of this stuff before, but never thought of trying Facebook! My previous experience is of sailing small dinghies things like Wayfarers, Enterprise, Toppers etc, but the versatility and convenience of sailing a canoe, plus the opportunities for camping really appeal. I've done a bit of kayaking too, but whilst I have tried canoeing, my knowledge of open canoes is...well almost nill!

  4. I'd done some dinghy sailing as a kid (30 odd years ago!) We had a Wensum dnghy and later a Topper and I didn't expect my canoe with the Expedition Rig to sail particularly well in comparison but I've been really impressed. It goes upwind nicely and is generally a joy to sail. The hull is so narrow and light that it doesn't require huge amounts of power to propel it and whilst I now sail with outriggers a lot the canoe is surprisingly stable even without. The larger Bermudan rigs from Solway Dory give excellent performance and members of the OCSG have raced at local sailing clubs on a PY of 1300 (although this was adjusted significantly for one member as he was doing too well on that handicap!)
    If you have any questions at all don't hesitate to get in touch and if you'd like to see some sailing canoes in action I'd recommend coming along to an OCSG meet, they're very friendly and informal and there are usually a wide range of craft to have a look at.