tippy canoe

tippy canoe

Bail! Bail! Bail!  Get on the Boards! Bail! Bail! Bail!  So, I start thinking to myself, “we had enough trouble getting this thing away from the dock, and now we are going to sink this thing right in front of the crowd at Tred Avon YC.”  Great…  Little did I know that activity such as this is standard fare for racing a Chesapeake Bay Log Canoe, and makes up some of the many challenges of keeping the boat upright (and free of water) as we careen around a mile long course.  This was my first experience on Neil Murphy’s circa 1942 canoe Particia, and it one that I would recommend to any sailor interested in sailing a true piece of Chesapeake history.

The Chesapeake Bay log canoe is one of the oldest racing classes on the Bay.  The one-design aspects of the boats maintain that each are made from wood, step two masts that alone could capsize the canoe at the dock and hoist similar sail plans.  From here the differences abound.  Total length overall of canoes racing today ranges from 27 to 35 feet, further, the number of crew, types of sail and many other features of these craft vary from boat to boat.  In the end, the main similarities among the log canoes are their emphasis on the “spirit” of their design rules and the limited waterways where the boats are able to reasonably sail. 

The above shot is from the Miles River Yacht Club’s Governor’s Cup regatta, taken in fairly light 3-7 knot breezes.  Although, the lack of breeze did not stop one of the boats from falling over downwind.

From our friend Dan Phelps at Spin SheetMore shots are available at Dan’s blog.