Arrow 14 – Update

15' Kayak Home 17' Kayak Rogue Sailboat

 Summer 2016 Update

This Summer the Arrow canoe has become my "go to" boat.

It's light, easy to move around in, easy to load up with supplies, and quick to load onto the car. It also fits perfectly on the padded roof racks I use.

I've experimented around with the seating and found sitting a little higher off the floorboards works better for me. Without permanently altering the frame, this support was lashed in place to elevate the seat a couple inches.

I'm using this rigid but padded stadium seat I came across at a local outlet store.

A strap around the seat back and the thwart secure it to the canoe.

Last winter I toyed with the idea of adding a sailing rig. I got Michael Storer's plans for a drop in mast, thwart and lee board unit but never got around to building it – maybe it would be too top heavy for this ultralight boat? While procrastinating I recalled some small spinnaker-like sails I had seen a while back. At that time I had no interest, but they seemed worth revisiting!

There are quite a few YouTube videos on the WindPaddle sail and after seeing how the sails operate, I had to give one a try. It seemed like a perfect option – quick, lightweight and simple – just like the canoe!

It made a perfect "birthday present from my wife"!

While used primariy for downwind sailing, you can sail up to 90° to the wind with some practice (using the paddle as dagger board and rudder).

I devised a simple way to install the sail without making any permanent modifications to the frame. A couple loops through the gunwales (one on each side) served as attachment points.

Two additional loops provided a way to add a bungee under the thwart.

Here's where the sail will be stored when it's not in use.

With a slick maneuver, the sail folds up to 1/3 its size for storage but is ready to quickly spring open for action when needed. I've been out twice with the sail and this boat flies with a good wind – a lot of fun!

A quick little movie – not an easy task to handle the sail, paddle and iPhone at the same time. There are a couple edits where I had to grab the paddle.

 Summer 2021 Update

Just sneaking in another quick update for those wondering about longevity on these skin-on-frame boats.

It's been 10 years since launch and the Arrow istill going strong. The only maintenance was one coat of polyurethane on the hull exterior at about year 4 or 5 (only because it seemed like the right thing to do).

It got a new transport vehicle but the soft roof racks remain the same.

All decked out out for a great day paddling and sailing! Also using a homebuilt Greenland paddle exclusively these days.

NEXT – More 2021 — an end-of-season river paddle >>