|Insurance for a narrow hull|
My escape is to just get in a boat and disappear on the water.
-- Carl Hiaasen
Ama AHA! Quick and Dirty Approach to a Small Multihull
Let's say we can get our hands on a canoe, dory, kayak or other small craft. We enjoy paddling around, but are thinking a sail would really be kinda fun. But we're cheap.
What might we do?
To sail, we'll need some basic things:
- Sail and rig
- Lateral Resistance
I'll presume our little boat is narrow and tippy. We may get some stability from ballast, but that's awkward and complicates everything. So we look for ways to increase form stability.
The arrangement shown above looks quick and dirty to me.
Small trees for cross beams and curved drift logs from the base of select trees would work as well, and can be quickly shaped with an axe.
Sail and Rig
A sail is a simple thing. Any flat fabric of the right size will do. Problem is, flat sails work (if you allow them to twist) but they are not powerful. A little shaping goes a long way. The trick is to get the right amount and proportion of extra fabric toward the middle of the sail.
- Cut one or more perimeters with some curvature (curved away from the sail's center). When straightened along a spar or under tension, the extra fabric goes toward the middle.
- Seize around one or more corners. This pinches the tied corner, tightens the perimeter and radiating cloth from the corner toward the middle.
- Selectively dart the edges. This is a little fancier, and takes some knowledge or experience. But good in the tool kit.
Masts can be made from small diameter trees (chances are your guess at about right will be about right). If straight ones aren't available, consider a balanced lug rig, which sets well on a crooked mast.
Full disclosure: COVID-19 has me on alert. If you may need to travel by water, it's a good time to be getting a boat in hand. Go small, go simple, get ready!