Warning: in_array() expects parameter 2 to be array, string given in /home1/jkumiski/public_html/blog/wp-content/plugins/wordpress-mobile-pack/frontend/sections/show-rel.php on line 37

Rigging A Temporary Sail for a Canoe

Rigging A Temporary Sail For a Canoe

Old Town Canoe is one of the sponsors of the Indian River Lagoon Paddle Adventure. They have graciously and generously supplied us with a Penobscot 174. Now came the task of rigging a temporary sail for a canoe.

Since the boat is brand new, nothing needed to be done to get it ready to paddle. But we’re traversing 160 miles of flat water. Wouldn’t it be nice if the wind helped us sometimes?

I used two pieces of scrap 2×6 lumber with four bolts to make a stay for a “mast,” the foot portion of my 14′ Moonlighter pushpole (a closet rod would work as well). This contraption clamps to the gunwales just aft of the front deck. I thought more reinforcement would be needed to hold the base of the “mast” but it seems to do fine without.

rigging a temporary sail

This scrap lumber “stay” just clamps on to the gunwales.

I needed a four foot square tarp for a “sail.” I found one on Amazon. A snap hook, a couple of snap carabiners, and a hose clamp hold the “sail” to the “mast.” A line at the top of the “sail” and another at its corner run to the stern paddler, who can hoist or lower it and somewhat control its angle to the wind.

rigging a temporary sail

This shows how the “sail” attaches to the top of the “mast.”


rigging a temporary sail for a canoe

This shows how the “sail” is attached to the “mast” at the bottom.


rigging a temporary sail for a canoe

This shows what the whole rig looks like from the stern of the boat.

We were bringing the pushpole anyway. So for the cost and weight of a little hardware, some scrap lumber, and a four foot tarp we can make a sail when we need it, and are able to completely get it out of the way when we don’t.

And that’s how I’ve been rigging a temporary sail for a canoe.

Let’s hope it works!

John Kumiski

All content in this blog, including writing and photos, copyright John Kumiski 2013. All rights are reserved.


  1. How did she sail?

Speak Your Mind