Scherzo--A 13-Ft. Sailing Canoe


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  • Pub No.: 5408
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by Edward R. Weber

Sailing this type of canoe is a new and different treat—bounding crazily along close over the water, the seemingly weightless hull will thrash, then skim, like a thing alive, completely mastered by the helmsman yet master herself of the waves and wind. She will prove a fine craft to any who build her. Our lines show a different hull, with more displacement aft than forward, and a good deal of bearing for the greatly increased sail area. The buttocks intimate speed, and it is hoped some planing ability—in a hefty wind and smooth sea. Sheer has been added, to some extent, and the waterlines are much fuller. With the greatly increased beam her dimensions are 13-feet overall length, 40-inches beam, and 101/2-inches depth amidships. We have also a centerboard instead of the old fin-keel, the advantages of which will be obvious. It seems too long ago—before the season had really started—that two small canoes swished heavily through a Barnegat sea, and side by side, with spray flying aft, bounded south under the press of the fresh southeast breeze. Kingfishers they were, and this was one of many similar sails in the past four years. It was cold, and the sky was intermittently blue, then gray, as the two lone occupants—drenched with spray—soared crazily over the surface, their small craft seemingly lost in the waves about them. One canoe seemed deeper in the water and as time wore on she became more and more sluggish, while the other bounded on as lively as ever, her one occupant bellowing madly, “Blow, blow wind, blow!” at the freshening breeze. Soon the slower boat headed for shore, sluggishly, to empty the spray-filled cockpit, as the mad occupant of the faster canoe, with a relatively dry cockpit, shrieked crazily for more of the wind that seemed so perfect. The reasons for this, once fathomed, resulted after some months of work in the completion of this design. We realized then that 20-pounds difference in weight, in a small 10-foot canoe, could mean the difference between a spray-filling slow boat and a light bounding hull that went to windward like a gull—especially in one of those cold strong winds on Barnegat Bay early in the Spring. Here in this design are the results of this and many more lessons learned in our earlier 10-foot Kingfisher canoes—and a far better sailor than the author finally brought them to light. Scherzo is thus named for that sailor—and musician—who stands for all that is fine in life as in sailing—clean living and fair winds. You will undoubtedly see him should you visit Barnegat Bay—bounding about in a small canoe and shrieking wildly for more wind.

8 pages, 5 plate(s)


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