Canoeing & Small Boat Voyaging

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Early canoeing, canoes and canoe camping gear.
This interesting treatise compares the different types of early canoes such as the Nautilus, the Rob Roy, etc.
Buzy Bee--A Motorized Glass-Bottom Boat (Pub. No. 5293)

by Hal Kelly

Built in a weekend, "Bee" has a built-on viewing window, dead man's throttle and shielded prop for added safety.

"Buzy Bee" is not a toy, but a real fun boat designed to cover a lot of territory. A Plexiglas window allows skin divers or the merely curious to clearly see what’s on the bottom. You can use "Buzy Bee" for fishing, shell collecting, or simply puttering around in the summer sun. There’s space aboard for small equipment, such as a spear gun or gaff, or even a small anchor if you want to moor away from shore. And, perhaps best of all, you can build it yourself in one weekend, for about $100 including the engine. The "Bee" will idle along at barely more than a standstill, or step along at its top speed of 8 mph—-which is pretty exhilarating when you’re lying there just a few inches above the water. You steer with your feet, or by shifting your weight from side to side, as you would on a sled. The propeller is mounted well forward, where it is nearly impossible to reach, but it is surrounded by an aluminum shield as an added safety measure, A “dead man’s” throttle is used—-if you release your grip on it, the engine stops. If you should happen to fall off the boat, it won’t run away from you, and the propeller won’t be turning when you climb back aboard. Foamed-in-place flotation makes it possible for "Buzy Bee" to support 350 lbs., so even if it is swamped or damaged, it will still carry the weight of engine and operator. All in all, it is a safe and sturdy package that will withstand a lot of hard use. The engine is a small, 3½-hp Clinton Super 415 fitted with a heavier flywheel to make it easier to start. This motor has a vertical shaft, which is connected to the gear and propeller assembly from an old outboard motor. You can get a lower unit from an obsolete 3- to 5-hp outboard for next to nothing. A commercial unit called a Jaw Coupling makes this hook-up a cinch. The finished boat weighs just under 80 lbs., so it isn’t too difficult for one adult, or a couple of kids, to hoist it in and out of the family station wagon. Grab handles on the bow and stern add to the ease of handling.

16 pages, 3 plate(s)

Cruising Canoe and Its Outfit, The (Pub. No. 5511)
/Early canoeing, canoes and canoe camping gear.

reprinted from Harper's New Monthly Magazine, April 1878.

When John MacGregor, of the Inner-Temple, published his entertaining account of the Rob Roy's thousand-mile voyage on the lakes and rivers of Europe, he established canoeing as a summer pastime. The idea was not new; it was older than authentic history; but he gave it an overhauling and brushing up that brought it out in a form that was wonderfully attractive. The Rob Roy was so diminutive that her captain was able to transport her on horseback, but what she accomplished made her quite as famous as any ship of her Majesty's navy. The English canoe fleet was soon numbered by hundreds. The crank Rob Roy was superseded, as a sailing canoe, by the Nautilus, and many voyages, under an endless variety of conditions, have since been accomplished. Canoe clubs were organized, and in an incredibly brief time canoeing became in Great Britain a national pastime. The introduction of canoeing in the United States may be said to have taken place in 1870, when the New York Canoe Club was founded by William L. Alden. The Indian birch and dug-out, it is true, belong to the canoe group, but they are, at best, rude craft, unfit for general cruising, and had long before gone into disuse, and come to be valued only as relics of an uncivilized condition. Americans have enthusiastically adopted the pastime, and it is only a question of time when canoes will be as frequently seen on our bays, lakes, and rivers as sail and row boats. Besides our long coast-line, we have an immense system of inland waters, a great part of which is as yet unexplored, and can not for years be explored by any other craft than the light and easily portaged canoe. There is no one of the States in which long cruises may not be made.

16 pages

Perfect Canoe, The (Pub. No. 5636)
/This interesting treatise compares the different types of early canoes such as the Nautilus, the Rob Roy, etc.

Reprnted from Harper's New Monthly Magazine

Heinrich Heine, when contemplating a monograph on the "Feet of the Women of Gottingen," announced that he should discuss first, "feet in general;" second, "feet amont the ancients;" third, the "feet of elephants;" and fourth, the "feet of the women of Gottingen." In discussing the modern cruising canoe it will be necessary to speak of canoes in gneral, and of canoes among the early imitators of MacGregor whose first canoe, though now only ten years old, represents the extreme antiquity of the modern canoe.

21 pages

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