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2airishuman

Pointing ability of duck punts and similar craft

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Sailboats are prohibited in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (in the USA), and (apparently) the Quetico (in Canada).  See, they're mechanized, and mechanized Things aren't allowed in wilderness areas.

I'm in the middle of a discussion at bwca.com regarding what exactly it is about a sailboat that is mechanized.  Because, I think if someone told me what exactly was mechanized about a sailboat, I could probably build a sailboat without that.

The subject of keels and centerboards came up.  I allowed as how things like duck punts exist --- sailboats that don't have a centerboard (mechanical devices! maximum infractions) and don't really have a keel, as such, either.  Someone asked how well they point.

@dylan winter

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1 hour ago, 2airishuman said:

Sailboats are prohibited in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (in the USA), and (apparently) the Quetico (in Canada).  See, they're mechanized, and mechanized Things aren't allowed in wilderness areas.

I'm in the middle of a discussion at bwca.com regarding what exactly it is about a sailboat that is mechanized.  Because, I think if someone told me what exactly was mechanized about a sailboat, I could probably build a sailboat without that.

The subject of keels and centerboards came up.  I allowed as how things like duck punts exist --- sailboats that don't have a centerboard (mechanical devices! maximum infractions) and don't really have a keel, as such, either.  Someone asked how well they point.

@dylan winter

I have no data, but I recall that Matt Leyden(sp?) micro cruisers like Paradox supposedly pointed well and did not use foils. On the interwebs I have heard debates about the benefits of chine runners (chine logs affixed to the outside of the hull) for pointing ability. In the end, a lot of the homebuilt, unsophisticated boat people* like to blather-on about how high their boat can point, but they cannot or will not post a gpx file showing the magic.

* I am most certainly a member of the homebuilt, unsophisticated boat club. But I try to remain objective and realistic about my boat's abilities and it's demerits. It is made from plywood and fiberglass, not magic unicorn powder. 

So, there are canoes plying the waters using paddles and that's OK, right? And you use the paddle to steer the canoe and that's legal. So, could you build a small trunk alongside the hull that would accept a dingy paddle (inserted vertically), so the paddle blade acted as a dagger board-lee board? But your honor, "It's not a dagger board, it's a paddle." 

As an aside, I stopped in Ely, MN in 2019. Had duck wings at a restaurant downtown. Outstanding. I then walked around the canoe and kayak shops and marveled at the carbon fiber beauties. 

Snubs

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That's interesting, I've never heard of a place with regulations like that. I found this page linked from the Forestry Service site for the BWCA: https://www.recreation.gov/permits/233396/additional-information

 

12. Is motorized equipment allowed in the BWCAW?

Motorized watercraft meeting specific horsepower limitations are allowed only on designated routes. No other motorized or mechanized equipment (including pontoon boats, sailboats, ATVs and sailboards) is allowed, except for the use of portage wheels on specific routes. Drones are prohibited.

 

There's nothing in the rules against canoes or kayaks. Many kayaks have rudders, and that's certainly a "mechanism." If you flew a small sail from a sea kayak with a rudder, then you pretty much have all the mechanisms of a small sailboat. Paddles are clearly allowed, but do oars and oarlocks count as a mechanism? I don't think there's a consistent logic to it. Which of course begs the question as to whether you can build a sailboat without sails?

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I'm guessing they consider it mechanized if you aren't providing the power, e.g. by paddle or oar.  I wonder where a pedal power boat would fit in their definition? 


Their rule does seem rather Kafka'esque.

 

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Is a canoe paddle a simple machine?

Yes, a handheld boat paddle is a good example of a third class lever. A lever can be thought of as a device or a simple machine, that allows us to multiply our effort and thus, move loads through longer distances.

from.....https://www.enotes.com/homework-help/hand-held-boat-paddle-an-example-third-class-643310#:~:text=Yes%2C a handheld boat paddle,move loads through longer distances.

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very strange rules

 

however, rules is rules

 

as for pointing

 

better than you think - the punt has a right angle chine - so that is one long shallow keel when the boat is heeled - no heel and you slide sideways

 

here are some drone sshots of punting... loads more from lurch in west mersea where there is  a fleet of them

bloody wonderful boats that you can build in a week -

 

 

this bloke is beating up a river with the wind on the nose - works pretty well I would say

 

 

 

the bottom has rotted out of mine - I started repairing it but my skin took against the epoxy (never happened before) so I am about to cut it up.  I now use my little clinker tender with a wide oar - no rudder, no centre plate. It does not point as well as the duck punt but it is easier to row and sails in six inches of water whereas the punt will sail on 3 inches of water.

the plans are on my website if anyone wants to build one

 

D

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Maybe they just don’t want sailboats in the boundary waters. And I’m fine with that, it’s a canoeing haven after all. 
 

if you wanted to get technical ask if the old Old Town sailing canoe would be allowed. 

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Dylan, I'd call those pirogues rather than punts, to me "punt" signifies a boat that is square-ended. But such is language, if most people around them call them "punts" then that's what they are!

I don't see a steering paddle or a rudder. A rudder is definitely a mechanical device. There are a number of small double-enders that steer by the skipper shifting his weight but it doesn't look like he's doing that either.

FB- Doug

{edit to add} Dylan, my sympathy on developing skin sensitivity to epoxy. It's difficult to avoid if you work with the stuff long enough. It takes a long time to go away, a bunch of people will say it never does.

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18 hours ago, Zonker said:

It's very illogical. How is a sailboard mechanized? 

No one seems to know.  One definition involves the presence of moving parts, like blocks and pulleys.

An honest answer would be that the legislation and rules for the area were the result of considerable political compromise and lobbying by interest groups.  The original intent was to create an area specifically and exclusively for canoe travel.  Local interests insisted on motorized access to some of the lakes, and so exceptions were added for motorboats.

Kayaks and other paddle craft are tolerated but not rowboats with outriggers, and not motorboats with pontoons.  It's byzantine.

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18 hours ago, sam_crocker said:

I'm guessing they consider it mechanized if you aren't providing the power, e.g. by paddle or oar.  I wonder where a pedal power boat would fit in their definition?

Pedal powered boats aren't allowed.  People have tried.  Sailboards (windsurfers) also aren't allowed.

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2 hours ago, 2airishuman said:

An honest answer would be that the legislation and rules for the area were the result of considerable political compromise and lobbying by interest groups.  The original intent was to create an area specifically and exclusively for canoe travel.  Local interests insisted on motorized access to some of the lakes, and so exceptions were added for motorboats.

Kayaks and other paddle craft are tolerated but not rowboats with outriggers, and not motorboats with pontoons.  It's byzantine.

I fail to see how this is complicated given what you have just outlined. 
 

it was established as an area for canoeing. The wording regarding ‘mechanized’ is probably there for legal reasons to exclude sailboats and other craft that aren’t canoes. It keeps jet skis out too without saying as much. 
 

from etymonline.com: machine: It gradually came to be applied to an apparatus that works without the strength or skill of the workman.

you can get into and argue about the strength needed to raise the sail or skill needed to steer, but no hand is actually causing the craft to be moved. 
 

I will also admit that I just reread your original post. So there’s an argument on a website that you want a different website to help you with. Fine. Argue away, but why are you so invested?

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Well, it's mainly a thought exercise at this point.  I don't want to be a test case or an activist.  This came about from planning a sailboat camping trip with one of my children and realizing after getting quite far along that I had made I mistake by assuming that sailboats would be allowed on a lake where motorboats were allowed.  I've moved the trip to other lakes with different rules.

Even as an armchair exercise it's interesting to me though.  Sails are allowed, apparently, but not sailboats.  What makes a sailboat?  Is it possible to design a vessel that is easy to portage, capable of being paddled in shallow water, capable of being sailed, but without a keel and rudder?  I think it probably is, and duck punts came to mind.

I also think, as other posters have implied, that the rules as they stand are inconsistent with their stated goals and unnecessarily pick out winners and losers based on a legislative compromise that is now 35 years old.  I think the idea that sailboats are somehow more disruptive to other wilderness users' peace and quiet than a fishing boat with a 25hp outboard is farfetched.  I think the idea that sailboats are not historically appropriate in an area that saw commercial traffic in the 18th and 19th centuries is also farfetched -- few boats from that era have survived and there isn't much of a written historical record so we don't really know.

It's a nearby area for me and one otherwise suitable for a minimalist style of sailing and cruising.  Think of it as like the Norfolk Broads prior to roads, bridges, and all the peat being dug out.

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I can understand your position.

as to sails being allowed but not sailboats/what makes a sailboat, in this case it seems to be the primary purpose of the boat. Also the ‘sails’ allowed are temporary jury rigged affairs and not original equipment to the boat. 

Is it possible to design a boat to sail without a rudder or keel, probably; easy to portage and paddle, probably. 
 

sailboat vs motorboat; well for me that’s a tough argument. I still struggle with the no swimming signs on lakes that allow motors and paddle boats. I think the argument about 200 years of commercial traffic in the 1700 and 1800 is off the mark though and invalid. 
 

the rules for the Allagash wilderness waterway are similar in their ban on boats. 10hp limit on one section. Canoes and kayaks only, mostly, and canoes and kayaks are defined as boats with no sails. 
 

what about Benedict Arnold and his fleet of bateaux? They had sails although paddles or poles were the primary movers. 

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51 minutes ago, Zonker said:

So a canoe with Lee boards or a kite is illegal? 

Good question.  Sailing canoes (with lee boards, rudders, outriggers (usually) and a rig), apparently, aren't allowed.  As an aside, they don't perform particularly well and are heavy and fiddly to set up.  Whether lee boards themselves are a violation is hard to know.

Makeshift sails of found materials, that is, someone lashing a couple of paddles and a rain fly to the bow to make a downwind sail, are allowed, and are apparently not uncommon.

Commercially available kites (see photo) are, apparently, a grey area, with the official answer depending on which official you ask.  I don't think they're in widespread use in the BWCA.

image.png.7f954fb7c4990adf3fd68f9bffce701f.png

Edited by 2airishuman

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About once a decade, someone discovers that a flat-bottom, hard chine boat can sail upwind a little without a centerboard or leeboard. It's really a throwback to sailing ships of several centuries ago that had no salient keel; the hull itself provided lateral resistance. 

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23 hours ago, Zonker said:

So a canoe with Lee boards or a kite is illegal? 

I was wondering the same thing. We had a Grumman with a sailing rig and leeboards. We could paddle the rivers, then rig up to cross the lakes effortlessly and with great joy.

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On 8/22/2020 at 10:47 PM, snubber said:

I have no data, but I recall that Matt Leyden(sp?) micro cruisers like Paradox supposedly pointed well and did not use foils. On the interwebs I have heard debates about the benefits of chine runners (chine logs affixed to the outside of the hull) for pointing ability. In the end, a lot of the homebuilt, unsophisticated boat people* like to blather-on about how high their boat can point, but they cannot or will not post a gpx file showing the magic.

* I am most certainly a member of the homebuilt, unsophisticated boat club. But I try to remain objective and realistic about my boat's abilities and it's demerits. It is made from plywood and fiberglass, not magic unicorn powder. 

So, there are canoes plying the waters using paddles and that's OK, right? And you use the paddle to steer the canoe and that's legal. So, could you build a small trunk alongside the hull that would accept a dingy paddle (inserted vertically), so the paddle blade acted as a dagger board-lee board? But your honor, "It's not a dagger board, it's a paddle." 

As an aside, I stopped in Ely, MN in 2019. Had duck wings at a restaurant downtown. Outstanding. I then walked around the canoe and kayak shops and marveled at the carbon fiber beauties. 

Snubs

Matt’s micro cruisers still use a rudder.   If I remember correctly, the boat is configured to have some weather helm, allowing the big rudder to provide part of the lift for pointing, as well as the chine runners and shape of the hull.

- Stumbling 

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