A canoe is a very small yacht. That is the assumption that the rebuilding of TILLIKUM is based on and the premise that will be behind the future adventures of this three masted ship that carries a famous name. Like this one, the original Tilikum was a three masted modified sailing canoe. We hope to follow in her footsteps, if not across great oceans, then across great continents.
Friday, July 24, 2009
Thursday, August 21, 2008
A Proper Yacht these days has electrical power to operate its various expensive gadgets: bilge pumps, lights, depth sounder, radar etc.. I wanted Tillikum to be up to date as well and I was particularly interested in an automatic bilge pump. I imagined being in an emergency situation where the canoe was taking on water and I was too busy rowing or sailing for my life to stop to bail. It would also be nice to plug in a navigation light or even a VHF radio.
Late summer is a busy time around our house for my wife Heather, with a whole big vegetable garden to be processed into winter stores. There is no time to go gadding about with her husband in his latest toy, so when our friends Tom and Charlotte dropped in for a rest from their long Kayaking trip through the Gulf Islands it seemed a good time to take Tom back out to sea so I could try Tillikum out in salt water. We trailered Tillikum down to the head of Fulford Harbour and found the tide was out - way out! Having checked the tide tables, we were expecting this and it was the perfect opportunity to try out the carriage for the long walk over the sand to the water. The new wheels worked well on the hard sand and soon I was rowing out the bay somewhat disappointed not to find the canoe slipping along like greased lightning. She was no faster than my dory, but then, Edith is particularly fast.
Sunday, August 3, 2008
Last time I put wheels under Tillikum, I borrowed the set I had made up for my dory. As they were designed to fit under the bows of the dory, the carriage was quite narrow and also fitted just back from the bow of the canoe: the weight 14 feet back at the stern was quite considerable. I needed a carriage that would be positioned close to the center balance point.
I had a couple of wheels saved from a broken lawnmower so these became the beginning of the new project. I removed the short axles and, after measuring the width needed amidships, I found a hollow metal tube the same diameter as the old axles and cut it to length. In itself it would not be rigid enough as an axle, so I forced a length of threaded rod down the center of it to stiffen it up and give a place to attach washers and nuts on to the outer ends of the axle.
A length of 2 by 4 was cut to fill the space between the wheels, a grove cut lengthwise and the axle glued into the slot with epoxy. (Washers between wheel and wood.)This stiffened the axle even more and gave a wooden frame to attach triangular plywood gussets on either end and either side. Onto these angled pieces were placed two plywood rectangular pieces to act as bunks (rests) where the canoe bottom met the carriage After a coat of paint I glued pieces of closed cell foam (old camper mat.) as the contact point for the canoe. Holes in the corners of the bunks took ropes to lash canoe to carriage. (I may replace these with cinch straps).
Strapped on amidships, partway in the unloading of canoe from the trailer, the canoe can be trundled around with one hand. Now I do not have to find a proper launching ramp or a full tide for launching. The canoe can be walked down any reasonably smooth beach, slid off the carriage into the water and the carriage left on the trailer for the reverse operation on my return.
Total cost: $0.00. Just the way I like it!
Sunday, July 13, 2008
This morning Tillikum slid up onto her new trailer, trundled down the road for a short distance, and, using a set of small wheels to roll her down the hill to the water, was launched into Weston Lake.
Finishing the trailer and completing the wiring for the lights took up a long time because there is a lot of other things happening at this time of year(I`m back to work on the folkboat). The set of wheels that slip under the end of the canoe were borrowed from my dory Edith. They enable me to walk Tillikum around by holding up just one end while the wheels support the other.
Before launching, the masts were stepped, sails rigged, and rudder mounted on the stern. What a lot of pieces of string! With sails hoisted, Tillikum slid into the water, was spun around to face out into the lake, and I stepped aboard after remembering to lower the centerboard and lifting rudder.
The breeze was light and fluky, so my first sailing act was to grab an oar and paddle Tillikum away from the water lilies. The breeze filled in lightly and off we went with me learning to use the push/pull tiller, adjust the mainsheet and release and haul the jib sheets (actually, the sheets to the overlapping foresail). Oh yeah, and steer! I left the missen sheeted in and looking after itself.
Friday, June 27, 2008
Thursday, June 26, 2008
I painted the name and home port freehand between two strips of masking tape over lightly penciled in letters.
By using the Interlux Brightside“Hatteras off white” as the main colour inside and out I kept the canoe looking simple and uncomplicated. It should be cool in the summer sunlight. It will share one common colour and a touch-up paint pot with my folk boat sailboat “Safari Kati” that I am also working on.
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
Of all the design considerations, it was the sail plan that occupied a lot of my reading and thinking hours. It was so fascinating and there was so much choice!
This has been a most satisfying process for me because sails are such a dynamic medium - like kite making, but more so. Will they work as I imagine? Not perfectly, I`m sure, but that is part of the fun and I`m working in such a small scale, with such inexpensive materials (There is a lot more of that genoa) that I am free to try things out. Have I given the canoe too much sail? Too little? Will she go to windward well? Will three sails and tiller lines wrap me up in too much string? How exciting!