This canoe was designed in 1883 by Mr. W. P. Stephens, of the New York C.C., for general cruising and racing.

Offsets for "American Cruising Canoe"
Deck.Rabbet.Deck.6 in.4 in.2 in.
Ft. In.Ft. In.Ft. In.Ft. In.Ft. In.Ft. In.
01-6....0-010-61 ........
11-440-130-270-23 0-150-06
21-270-040-740-51 0-40-23
31-140-010-1020-81 0-660-04
41-020-01-020-107 0-940-66
50-115....1-151-10-116 0-92
60-111....1-231-22 1-130-112
X0-11....1-261-27 1-221-02
80-111....1-241-26 1-20-117
90-113....1-211-16 1-050-102
101-0....1-10-1160-104 0-76
111-060-010-106 0-90-740-51
121-150-040-760-56 0-440-26
131-250-110-040-26 0-20-1
141-4....0-010-01.... ....

To make the same lines answer for a 15x30 canoe, the moulds, six in number, may be spaced 25-7/8in apart instead of 24 in., as shown. An extra mould at each end, Nos. 1 and 13, will be useful in building.

The movable bulkhead is placed 8ft, 3 in. from the bow, and shapes aft, giving an easier position to the body than when vertical. The after bulkhead is placed 9 ft. 9 in. from the bow, and is fitted so as to be water-tight up to the top of the coaming, which runs aft 15 in. further, the bulkhead projecting 5/16 in., or the thickness of the hatches, above the coaming. On the top of this bulkhead is screwed a strip of flat brass d, 3/32 in. thick (see Plate XVIII.) and wide enough to project 3/8 in. on each side of the latter; thus, if the bulkhead is 1/2 in. thick, the brass should be 1-1/4 in. The cuddy hatch b is 5/16 in. thick, flat, with no crown, and extends from the fore side of the bulkhead to the shifting bulkhead, and may project a little over the latter. In width it extends 3/8 in. over the coaming on each side, allowing side pieces 1/4 in. thick to be nailed to it, the latter extending down to the deck. The grain should run athwartship, and the hatch may be strengthened by a batten screwed to the under side, running fore and aft. The after hatch a is made in a similar manner, but extends aft of the well 3/8 in., with a piece across the end as well as on the sides. The side pieces of both hatches meet at the joint shown.

*(* In fitting this arrangement the hinges and rubber have been discarded as unnecessary.) Both hatches turn on flat brass hinges with brass pins, which are riveted to the brass strip, and the hatches may be fastened with hooks and screweyes on deck, or with hasps and padlocks. The cuddy hatch is opened by turning it aft, while the after one turns forward, each when open lying flat on top of the other. The side pieces, reaching to the deck, keep out any spray or waves, and the brass strip, if not perfectly watertight, may be made so by a strip of rubber cloth 3 in. wide tacked to both hatches, covering the strip and its joints. Of course neither of these hatches will keep out all water when capsized, but they will be much dryer than the ordinary deck hatches, they cannot be lost or left behind, the cuddy hatch is quickly turned over out of the way, they are easily opened and shut and cannot drop off and allow the contents to fall out if capsized, while being flat, they can be made very strong and will not warp as all curved hatches do.

Now to make the after one water-tight. The coaming inside will be probably 2-1/2 in. deep or a little more, and around its lower edge, as well as across the bulkhead, a beading made of four strips g, g, each 1/2 in. square, is screwed strongly, and on this beading is laid a small tube or band of soft rubber. The inner hatch c is a board 3/8 in. thick, with two battens on the under side to prevent warping, and is large enough to fit neatly inside the coaming, resting on the rubber tube or washer. To hold this hatch down, a cross beam e is used, of oak 1 in. square at the middle, where a brass thumbscrew f passes through, and 1 in. wide by 2/3 in. thick at the ends. It is 1 in. longer than the distance between the coaming to the bulkhead. This beam slips into two notches, one in bulkhead, and one in the coaming at after end of well, at such a height that it can be slipped in freely, when the hatch c is in place, when a couple of turns of the thumbscrew f brings the hatch down firmly on the rubber. As this inner hatch is a flat board, and is completely protected from sun and water, it cannot warp as exposed hatches do, and it is so covered by the outer hatch, that no water can reach it unless the boat has her masts level with the water. As for simplicity, in spite of the long explanation it is quickly worked, the outer hatch is unhooked and turned over, making a flat table on which to lay articles in packing, the thumbscrew is turned twice, the crossbeam and hatch lifted out, and all is open. The thumbscrew may run into a socket in the hatch, thus attaching the latter and the beam, and a lanyard made fast inside, but long enough to allow the batch to be lifted off, will prevent either being lost, so that there will be no detached parts.

The objection may be made that the flat hatch is less graceful than the curved one, but on the other hand it can be much stronger, it will not warp, and will certainly be dryer, while folding flat on top, it takes little room when opened. If a tiller is used, it will fit in a socket like the whiffletree fastening and not over a pin. The fore end of the cuddy hatch should have a small beading to prevent any water running into the well. Plate XVIII. shows a view from above, with the outer after hatch opened, side views with the same opened and closed, and a vertical section through the center, with details of beam and thumbscrew and brass-covered joint.

With this division of the boat, the after end will be devoted to bedding, extra clothing and articles which must be kept dry, usually the lighter portion of the load, while forward will be stowed the mess chest, cooking traps, and heavier articles until a proper trim is obtained.

The masts are stepped according to the latest practice of canoeists, and if it were not for the necessity of sometimes unstepping the mainmast while afloat, It would be better to place it 9 in. further forward, or l5 in. from the bow, and for racing it should be so placed. Both tubes are shown of the same size, 2 in. at deck and 1-1/8 at bottom, so that the mizzen may be used forward in high winds. The rudder may be of the new drop form, or of 3/8 in. mahogany, and will curve quickly aft from the waterline, so that it will not retain weeds or lines which may drift under it.

The forward bulkhead is not shown, as canoeists now differ so much in their ideas as to its proper place. It may be so placed as to leave 7 ft. between it and the after bulkhead, being made as tight as possible, or it may be omitted entirely, air tanks being used instead.

The rig for cruising will be about 50 and 20 ft., and for racing, 70 ft. in the mainsail and about 25 in mizzen.

The following construction is recommended as being the best, and if properly fastened will be strong and light. Stem and stern, hackmatack knees with proper grain 1 in. thick (sided); keel of white oak 3/4 in. thick (1/4 in. outside, 1/4 in. for rabbet, and 1/4 in. inside); width at center 2 in. outside and 3 in. inside. No keel batten will be needed, the entire rabbet being worked in the keel. The planking will be of clear white cedar 1/4 in. thick, laid with 5/8 in. lap, the lands outside being rounded down at the ends. The upper streak, shown in the plans, will be of mahogany, 3/8 in. thick, and should be of strong, tough wood, This streak will be rabbeted on its lower edge, lapping 5/8 in. over the streak below. The ribs will be of white oak stave timber 1/4x3/8 in., spaced 5 in. apart, each running across from gunwale to gunwale, except at the extreme ends and abreast the centerboard trunk. They are fastened with copper nails cut off and riveted over burrs, not copper tacks, except at the extreme ends. The weakest point of a canoe, especially those with flat keels, is the middle of the bottom, which in this boat is stiffened by the floor ledges z z, Plate II. These, which are placed on each alternate rib, are of oak, or better, hackmatack 3/8 in. thick, and deep enough to raise the floor 2 or 2-1/4 in. They will of course be straight on top, where the floor lies, and will fit the rib on the lower side. They are fastened with long, slim copper nails, through the laps and ribs, riveted on the upper side of the ledge. This construction is both stronger and lighter than the use of a thicker keel. The decks will be of mahogany 1/4 in. thick, and will be screwed to the upper edge of the gunwale, which takes the place of the inner wale and beading, making a strong, light top. The general arrangement of deck frame and coaming has been fully described on pages 52-53.

In finishing the canoe the inside below decks is painted inside of well, and entire outside is varnished, and a gold stripe 3/8 in. wide is laid along the mahogany upper streak 1/2 in. from the lower edge. This gold stripe should be slightly below the surface of the streak, to protect it, a "cove" or groove being ploughed to receive it (Plate XVI.).


Perhaps no boat taxes more severely the skill of the designer than a modern canoe, as there are so many conflicting qualities to combine in one harmonious whole, within very narrow limits of size, weight and draft, but difficult as the task is with a single canoe, it is still harder with a double boat, and the best that can be expected is a compromise, sacrificing many desirable points to others still more important. Such a canoe should have, first, sufficient displacement to float easily two men of average weight with their stores; secondly, room for both men to sit in comfort, allowing room to move around and stretch the legs; third, room for their stores and clothing; fourth, a foot-steering gear by which either can steer. Such a boat is usually intended also to be paddled by one man, if required, to accomplish which no greater length is admissible than 16 ft. both on account of handiness and increased weight.

If the boat is intended for a long cruise, where much luggage must be carried, a length of 17 ft. with a beam of 32 in. would be better, but the same plans may be used, laying down the sections 25 in. apart in the working drawing, and placing the moulds at the same distance, to increase the beam the boat may be made l in. deeper amidships, the heights at stem and stern being the same; then when planked and timbered, but before putting in bulkheads or deck beams, the sides may be sprung apart two inches without affecting the fairness of the lines.

a. Mainmast tube.
b. Fore bulkhead.
c. Slides for steering gear.
d. Fore hatch.
e e. Backboards.
f. sliding hatch.
g. Footgear for after man.
h. Floorboards.
i. Middle hatch.
k. After hatch.
l. Door in bulkhead.
m. After bulkhead.
n. Mizzen mast tubes.
o. Rudder lines.

Table of Offsets for Tandem Canoe
DeckNo. 1
L.W.L.No. 3
Diag. 1.Diag. 2.
I14-1/49-3/87-3/46-1/847-7/8 6-1/8
VI13-3/89-5/87-3/47-3/45-1/29-1/4 8-1/4

Sections 27-1/2 in. centers, waterlines 3 in. apart, heights measured from rabbet line at midships, planking 1/4 in. lap of planks 5/8 in., timbers 5/16x3/8 in., spaced 6 in., keel, stem and stern sided 1 in., keelson or keel batten 5/16x2 in., deck 1/4 in.

A yoke is provided on the afterside of the sliding bulkhead, so that the after man may steer, while another style of foot gear, shown in the body plan, is fitted to the slides forward, which can be used either by the forward man or by a man who is sailing alone. In the latter case the hatch I is removed and stowed below, the bulkhead shifted aft to the fore edge of hatch k, and the opening at after end of the well closed with a canvas cover. This cover is made of duck, painted, and fits down over the coaming and the edge of the hatch. Around its lower edge are hooks, such as are used on shoes for lacing, and a cord is run through them and over screwheads on the coaming, holding the cover tightly down. A door in the after bulkhead gives room there for storage, the forward compartment being entirely closed.


This sail plan of the double canoe is designed for cruising rather than racing. The area of the mainsail is 63 ft., reefing down to 47 and 34 ft., and the mizzen is 23 ft., reefing to l4 ft.


Mainmast -	Deck to truck, 10 ft.		Mizzenmast -	Deck to truck, 6 ft.
		Diam. at deck. 2-1/4 in.			Diam. at deck, 1-1/2 in.
		Diam. at truck, 1-1/8 in.			Diam. at truck, 7/8 in.
		Rake 1/2 in. to 1 ft.				Rake 3/4 in. to 1 ft.

Main boom 9 ft.; diam. 1-1/2 in.		Mizzen boom 5 ft. 4 in.; diam. 1-1/4 in.
Main yard 7 ft.; diam. 1-1/4 in.		Mizzen yard 4 ft. 2 in.; diam. 1-1/8 in.
Main battens, oval, 5/8x1-1/4 in.		Mizzen battens, oval, 3/8x1 in.

Mainsail - 	Head, 7 ft. 			Mizzen - 	Head, 4 ft. 2 in.
		Foot, 9 ft.					Foot, 5 ft. 4 in.
		Luff, 6 ft. 6 in.					Luff, 4 ft.
		Leach, 10 ft. 2 in.				Leach, 6 ft. 1 in.
Tack to peak, 12 ft. 				Tack to peak, 7  ft. 2 in.
Clew to throat, 10 ft. 6 in.			Clew to throat, 6 ft. 3 in.

A a. Maintack.
b b. Main halliard.
c c c. Parrels.
d.	Main sheet sling.
e.	Main sheet.
f.	mizzen halliard.
o.	Mizzen tack.
g.	Mizzen sheet.
n. n. Mizzen toppinglift.
m.  Main toppinglift.
L l. Main jackstay.

The main tack is led down through a hoock on the after side of a brass spider band that encircles the mast, and is belayed on the port side nearly amidships. The main halliard leads down through a cheek block on the starboard side of the spider band, and belays on a cleat on starboard side of well, while the downhaul leads through a similar block on the port side of mast to port side of well. The toppinglift is in two parts, fast to the masthead, and leads down on both sides of the sail, and through a bullseye lashed on the underside of the boom. The jackstay is also made fast at the masthead, leads down the port side outside of the sail, and is lashed to the mast just above the boom. In lowering or setting the sail, it lies in the toppinglift and jackstay, which prevent its falling overboard.

The mizzen tack leads direct to a cleat on the deck near the mast, and the halliard leads through a single block lashed to the mast, and is belayed to a cleat near the after end of the well on the starboard side. The mizzen sheet leads to a cleat on the coaming on the port side of the well. The mizzen toppinglift is doubled (on both sides of the sail), and also terminates in crowfeet on the lower ends. The mizzen may be lowered and allowed to hang in it.


Details of canvas canoe building are given on pages 111-114.


This boat is of the ordinary type of pleasure boat for rowing and fishing on lakes and rivers. Full details are given on pages 115-122.


This boat was designed for sailing in a small bay, where it frequently happens that after sailing some distance the wind falls and it is necessary to row home, and it was desired to keep her in a boathouse in order that she might be always dry and ready for use when required.

Her length over all is 13 ft., beam 4 ft., draft aft when loaded 10 in., freeboard 1 ft., at bow 1 ft. 8 in., at stern 1 ft. 4 in. Owing to her depth, the centerboard, which is rather long, is entirely under the two thwarts, and as much out of the way as it can well be. It is of oak bolted through with 1/4 in. iron, and is fitted with a lifting rod of 3/8 in. brass, with a handle at the top. This rod is so hinged as to turn down on top of the trunk when the board is up, being held by a button. The mast is stepped in a tabernacle so as to be easily removed for rowing. This tabernacle is made of two pieces of oak 3x2-1/2 in. at deck, above which they project 1-1/2 in. At the bottom they are secured to an oak mast step, in which is a mortise for the heel of the mast, and at deck they are let into a piece of board 5 in. wide, running athwartship, and screwed firmly to each gunwale. From the mast to the bow a deck of 1/4 in. mahogany is laid which, with its framing, holds the tabernacle firmly, and prevents any straining of the boat. The forward side of the tabernacle is closed from the step up to within 8 in. of the deck, so that the mast will not slip forward when being stepped. The heel is slipped into the tabernacle, the mast raised up, falling into the step, and a brass catch, pivoted at one end, is thrown across the after side at deck and fastened with a turn of the thumb nut shown. The sail is a balance lug, fitted with one batten. Foot, 13 ft.; head, 9 ft. 6 in.; luff, 6 ft.; leach, l4 ft. 6 in.; tack to peak, l5 ft.; clew to throat, 13 ft. 3 in.; batten above boom - 2 ft. 9 in. on luff, 3 ft. on leach; mast at deck, 3 in.; at head, 1-1/8 in.; mast, heel to truck, 13 ft. 8 in.

The mast is square in the tabernacle, above which it is round. The head of the sail is cut with a round of 9 in., the yard being bent to fit it. The sail is hoisted by a halliard running through a strap on the yard just aft the mast, and hooking into a similar strap forward of the mast. Below it is led through a brass snatch block on the heel of the mast, and aft to a cleat on the trunk, within reach of the helmsman. The tack is spliced to the boom just forward of mast, leads through a bullseye lashed to boom abaft the mast, and down to a cleat on the after side of the mast. The sail may be easily taken from the mast and stowed, for rowing. which cannot be done with a boom and gaff sail. The stem, stern and keel are of white oak, the former two sided 1-1/4 in., the latter sided 4 in. outside and moulded 1 in. The planking is of white cedar, lapstreak, 5/16 in. thick, the upper streak being of 3/8 in. mahogany, The ribs are 3/8x1/2 in., spaced 9 in., being jogged down to the plank and copper riveted, the thwarts are of 3/4 in. mahogany; rudder 15 in. wide, of 1 in. mahogany, fitted with tiller and yoke. The gunwales, of oak, are 1x1-1/8n. at midships and 1x3/4n. at ends. The sides of the trunk, which is covered on top, are of dry white pine, 1-1/8 in. at bottom and 3/4 in. at top. They are set flat on the keel, a strip of canton flannel well painted being laid between, and fastened with 3/4 in. brass screws from outside of keel. The ballast is of gravel, in 30-pound canvas bags.

Table of Breadths and Depths [Rowing and Sailing Boat]
Stations01234567 8910111213
DepthsGunwale to Load Waterline2018-1/416-3/8 14-7/813-3/412-3/412-1/4121212-3/812-7/8 13-3/414-3/416
Load Waterline to Rabbet....3-1/27-3/4 Straight from 3 to 898-1/27-1/2 4-3/4....
Load Waterline to Bottom of Keel....7-1/28-3/8 Straight from 3 to 1210
Half BreadthsAt Deck....6-3/412-1/2 17-1/820-3/822-3/423-3/42423-5/822-3/421-1/2 19-5/817-3/815
Load Waterline....37-1/812-1/216-7/820 21-5/822-1/421-7/82017-1/416-1/89-3/42-1/8
No. 2 W.L.....1-3/45-1/89-3/813-1/216-3/4 17-7/819-1/21916-7/813-1/87-3/82-1/8....
No. 1 W.L.........2-1/44-1/279-1/411-1/2 1211-5/89-3/85-1/22-1/2........


The members of the Mohican C.C., of Albany, have found the balance lug sail unsuited to their work, river sailing and cruising, and have labored for some time to find something better, the result being the sail now described, devised by Com. Oliver. This sail resembles somewhat the sail of the Atlantis, as made and used by Mr. S. R. Stoddard, but it was fitted by Com. Oliver without any knowledge of the Stoddard sail, from which, however, the idea of the reefing gear was afterwards taken.

In shape the sail is an ordinary balance lug, cut off at the first reef, thus leaving a short luff, and one batten above the boom. The sail is hoisted by a halliard d, which is practically continuous with the downhaul e. The halliard is made fast to a brass ring on the mast, thence it leads through a snatch block on the yard, through a block b on masthead, thence through a block at deck, and returns through a block j, ending in a brass hook. The downhaul e is fast to the batten i; runs down through rings on the sail to brass ring n lashed to the mast. The two reef lines f f are double, one on each side of the sail, running through block on the boom, and uniting in a single line, which is also part of e so that the three lines from batten to boom at middle, fore and after ends really run through n, as a single line, the small ring in the bight, into which the halliard hooks, only serving to equalize the pull.

The boom is held to the mast by a brass jaw g, above and below which are leather collars C C, which prevent the boom rising or falling, and render a tack line unnecessary. A parrel may be used on the batten, or a jaw h. The tension on the halliard and reef lines is obtained by the line on block j, by which all is hauled taut.

To set the sail the jaws are placed around the mast (g being between the collars C C), the bight of the halliard, next the ring is slipped into the snatch block c, the down-haul and reef lines e f are passed through ring n, and the end of the halliard hooked into the ring. Now the block j is drawn aft and its line belayed, putting a tension on the halliard and downhaul. The sail is now ready to hoist. It will be seen that the halliard, with block m, always remains on the mast; in stowing the latter the block j is cast off, leaving the halliard free. To take in a reef, that part of the halliard to which e and f are attached is hauled aft, thus slacking away the other part, and at the same time taking in the reef neatly, with no ends to coil away or belay. It is found in practice that the halliard will slip a little, letting the sail down. To prevent this is a little brass cam clutch, k, is screwed to the deck, the halliard d being slipped into it. The roller will jam the cord as it pulls forward, but a pull aft will instantly release it.

	Foot			9 ft. 6 in.
	Head			10 ft.
	Leach			12 ft. 6 in.
	Luff			3 ft.
	Tack to peak		12 ft. 6 in.
	Clew to throat		9 ft. 10 in.
	Total area		65 ft.
	Reefed  		38-1/2 ft.

For description of steering gears, see pages 128-132.


See page 149.

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