Old Town Wahoo Sailing Canoe Project: Update

[20 February, Republishing Post]

Not sure how this was unposted. Anyhow here are pics of the 2nd rough cut of my Porta-Bote nylon sail. I’ve taped a bamboo curtain rod on to simulate the boom I’ll build later.

I’m uncertain how to attach the boom to the two-part Porta-Bote aluminum mast either except to cut through the sock part of the sail.

I’ll trim a bit more on the sail edge and probably cut a few inches off the mast. The mast I might screw together to be one piece, it fits easily into the boat already assembled.

Sail bottom just touching my hat, after I trim off ragged edge.

Im thinking now I’ll need to build a detachable thwart for the leeboards, though I wanted to keep the bottom unobstructed for camping. It will be removable with wingnuts for stowage. I’m websearching and cogitating on DIY canoe leeboard thwarts as ideas or patterns.

I wrote earlier about buying and lugging home a giant 16ft 85 lb Old Town Wahoo sailing canoe from a flea market for $300usd. From late ’60s into at least mid ’80s.

I’m mostly recovered from hauling it into my back yard and it survived our record storms with only some bugs and mud.

Spent an hour today cleaning it and shooting pics. All aluminum functioning factory rudder, rudder stock with pintles, extendable tiller, deck connector with locking pin.

The short keel shows rock abrasion down to the fiberglass woven cloth in places so I’ll need epoxy resin and hardener to fix that.

If it abrades too much it will start to let the lake in. I already have glass cloth from a previous project.

But overall it’s in ‘indoor storage’ fine shape for an early generation glass resin sandwich sailing canoe from the 1970s.

I’m lucky it came with the working steering system. I’d mocked up a fiberglass replacement rudder but instead I disassembld the old unit.

I cleaned up the aluminum corrosion from the included Old Town stock rudder, dremmelling off the old rusted rudder bolt and wing nut.

Found replacement matching bolts and wingnuts in my voluminous fastenings bins and jars and cans. Need to hacksaw or dremmell off the rudder connecting bolt to proper size.

In my collected leeboard and rudder bin no board fit as-is into the canoe’s daggerboard slots without cutting and/or thinning.

And I truly prefer flip-up leeboards and rudders in our local granitebound shallow lakes in any case.

The Old Town rudder sure looks tough enough and I can rig lines/bungees to drop and raise it.

Like the tiller connector linkage, pull one pin on top of the rudder stock and the rudder and its stock come off instantly.

That name, BTW, Wahoo, is what the rider screams when the wind picks up and the Old Town goes screaming down the sound: nothing to do with a fish. Make all turns using tacks and never jibes!

The white boards are perhaps flotsam or jetsum from a Black Cat catamaran, they are what I’ll be making my leeboard(s) out of.

The catamaran lee or daggerboards are the right length to be effective, are nicely foil shaped and efficient, and are thin enough to drop in the daggerboard slots.

But, sadly, they are too wide unless chopped. But it’s all good because I prefer they rotate up on contact or beaching and can make that happen.

So my plan is to fix and paint the best board. Then connect it to a U-shaped fixture I’ll build that will drop down into the daggerboard slot.

I will drill the board to allow it to pivot as a leeboard. I’ll use it with a single board on the lake first and try it out.

If I can’t go upwind on lake trials then I’ll repair the 2nd board and build the 2nd drop down bracket, the way Old Town intended.

The very long and hella strong Windsurfer carbon fiber mast below is too much mast, and too valuable ($75usd in 2012 dollars!), so I’ll save it for a bigger dinghy.

Below is the Porta-Bote folding dinghy’s nylon sail and 2-part aluminum mast that I’ll be cutting and modifying, along with the aluminum gooseneck boom with block (pully) for the main sheet.

I will need to cut off half the blue panel to build my sprit boom rig with the gooseneck boom shown above to have any headroom. And, rig up the wonderfully named ‘snotter’ to adjust rig tension.

I’ll need to build an adapter to fit the smaller Porta-Bote mast into the canoe’s mast partner, made to fit the absurdly huge 75 sq ft stock Old Town lateen rig.

Glass work inside is beautiful and hardly worn.

I’ll need to sit in the boat to determine how much more I’ll need to cut on the sail for headroom. And how long a mast it will need.

A well traveled boat before I ever got it, Grand Tetons Natl Park boat permit. Sturdy cast aluminum gudgions. No floatation chambers are apparent inside. Stock rig and daggerboards shown below, pics via the internet.

No headroom to speak of for crew, better be good friends, too. Swimsuit is best attire for getting a sudden wind change surprise swim. Leeboards kept down as here while boarding or at rest lessens tippiness a bit.
This red color was popular online I found. Note identical rudder, tiller, slots for daggerboards. Big lateen rig is at least low set with swept up boom.

My next tasks are sail cutting, mast and boom modifications and fiberglass bottom patching and painting.

Versatile too. Top Pic depicts the optional leeboards, with the standard big fast 75 sq ft lateen rig.

Then I need to devise standing and running rigging, and to make the modified folding dinghy sail, mast and boom work on this sailing canoe.

Board(s) and drop-in pivoting leeboard mounts will be built last, after sailing her with temporary clamp-on board(s) to determine correct placement fore and aft of the leeboard(s) using my homemade sprit rig.

Unless noted, all images and text by todgermanica.com.
Images taken by a Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 Lite.

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