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Sail rig for pirogue


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I see a number of examples online, but they typically are not dimensioned.  To my eye some of them look like they would not be balanced given the placement of mast, lee board, and sail plan.


The pirogue I am building is pretty much the same as the uncle johns plans.  I am building it to an oal of 15'.  I think it would be a big plus to have short mast and other parts short enough to easily stow on board.  A not so tall rig also seems like a good idea for a tippy boat like a pirogue.  Boomless might be nice with the low rig to facilitate tacking without getting clobbered, but I am not set on that idea.


Given all that I am thinking a spritsail.  Maybe one from an Optimist.  Can anyone point to a rig or info that would help with the fore and aft placement of the mast  step and leeboard.  I am thinking of a leeboard that clips over the gunwale at least to start with and probably using the paddle and weight shifting to steer in lieu of a rudder.    I guess I could start out using the paddle as a leeboard to get a feel for leeboard placement

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Do understand that when you take a boat designed for a specific purpose, and adapt it to an entirely different one, your chances of success are limited.


That said, I have a spritsail rig. I would not recommend trying to set it up in a tippy boat.  Instead, I recommend buying a used kid’s rig for a wind surfer.  The masts are light and stow-able, and the sails are small and simple.  Here’s an example.


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  • 5 weeks later...
On 1/7/2021 at 11:09 AM, andy00 said:

Google "duck punt." These traditional British boats are sailed and are pretty similar to pirogues. Also check out Phil Bolger's "Teal" design.



andy00 is correct for a good beginning to your quest


the DP uses a 36sqft sail directy from the Opti Pram design for the 16'± flat bottomed almost verticle sidded hull




no center dagger or leeboard just the verticle plane of the side of the hull keeping them from sliding sideways too much


stearing is accomplished w/ an oar for many of them


there are several sets of holes designed in the gunn'ls for thole pins allowing one to row when the wind dies




the skipper sits on either floorboards or on a cushion on the bottom


the design is not set in stone and i have seen pics of boats from 12' >16' w/ variations of the sail design even w/ lug sails






originally they were for commercial duck hunters providing meat for the markets


they were also used as lighters for larger boats that couldn't get close to shore for loading/unloading


there is a fair group of enthusiasts in the UK




¿ have i stirred the pot enuff this morning ?





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