Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Another canoe sailor is borne!

A while ago I was chatting to Andy about the new canoes we're both getting and I asked him what he intended doing with Delpha 3 (his old canoe) once the new boats were ready. Andy revealed that he hoped to sell her or failing that he'd chop her up! Coincidentally a few weeks later Rambo got in touch asking for advice about buying an open canoe to convert for sailing so I put him in touch with Andy.
Fast forward a few weeks and Rambo became the proud owner of Delpha 3. I knew Rambo was collecting the boat the week after the Ullswater OCSG meet and as he was keen to try his new toy out we arranged to meet at Duck Bay on Loch Lomond for a sail.

 He decided to try sailing without outriggers (which seemed like a logical decision given the lack of wind). As we got away from the shelter of the western shore the wind picked up nicely and it looked as though we'd be able to sail to Inchmoan for lunch. This is a trip I've done quite often due to the favourable prevailing wind direction.
Rambo has masses of sailing experience but mostly in much larger craft than a sailing canoe, nonetheless the principles are the same and he quickly looked at home in his new boat.
As we sailed further on we had the wind behind us so could make good progress downwind towards Inchmoan. I was a little concerned just how much ground we were losing downwind as I had to be back for mid afternoon but I hoped we'd be able to get back in relatively few tacks with the wind blowing in the direction it was.

We landed on Inchmoan and had lunch and a cup of tea before setting off to beat back upwind towards Duck Bay. We'd not gone far when I looked over to see how Ramsay was getting on only to see his canoe completely turtled (upside down). I bore away back downwind to check if he was okay. By the time I got back to him he had Delpha back upright and was trying to bail out the water from the cockpit, he said he was fine but had lost his paddle overboard during the capsize. I quickly spotted the paddle and sailed over to rescue it while Rambo continued bailing. Soon we were under way again.
Ramsay had learnt the hard way that committing too much to hiking out to balance the canoe can lead to a swim if the wind lulls (which it often does on inland lakes). Nevertheless he persisted in sailing aggressively and seemed to be having a great time sailing the canoe heeled over with the leeward deck under water much of the time!
The wind was a nice top end Force 3 as we worked our way back upwind towards Inchmurrin and the sailing was excellent.
Once we passed the western end of Inchmurrin the wind started to drop and the last few hundred metres back to Duck Bay were a windless affair.
It's great to have another canoe sailor who lives nearby (albeit Rambo is working away for the immediate future). Hopefully we'll be able to embark on some longer, more ambitious trips while he's home for his days off over the next few months.


  1. Looks great Chris.

  2. Hi Graham, yeah it's great fun. If you fancy a shot give me a shout as the new boat will take two quite happily (or you could borrow my Pal and sail that yourself if you fancied jumping in at the deep end!)
    There's an OCSG meet at Tighnabruaich next weekend too if you were interested ;-)

  3. Hi there. I like the look of Rambo's canoe. Delpha 3?. Are there plans available?