WE NEXT come to those parts of a canoe, which though properly belonging to the hull, can without much difficulty be fitted or altered at any time after the boat is built, and are, therefore, less important than the foregoing, to anyone buying or ordering a canoe. First, the well. This may be of any size or form, some being long, some short, some narrow, some nearly as wide as the canoe ; and rectangular, oval, or "coffin shaped" in outline. A very short well is to be avoided, though it has a very neat appearance ; some canoes have an almost circular well, extending only from just behind the man's back to over his knees.

 These, however, make stowage difficult, and sleeping on board even more so, while they quite prevent carrying a passenger. On the contrary a very long well weakens the deck and greatly interferes with neatness of appearance. I would carry the well forward from the backboard nearly to the stretcher, say 2 feet 6 inches, and aft of the backboard, forming a locker, about 18 inches, making 4 feet in all, as a minimum, but another foot or so is all the better. With a 5 feet well the canoe can very well be used as a "double," the foremost sitter having his legs under the deck.

For sailing, the wider the well is at the seat, the better for sitting and leaning up to windward, and for comfort in moving about. On the other hand, in a low canoe, a wide well may lead to the lee coamings getting under water in a squall, which means shipping a lot of water, and a probable upset. To avoid this, many sailing canoes are fitted with "side flaps" and a narrow well. The coamings and side deck are cut away for about a foot on each side of the seat, and the piece so removed is hinged to the gunwale, and held in position, as it was before cutting, by a spring. The lee one is of course closed, and the weather one opened in sailing: which can be done instantaneously without the smallest difficulty. The chief objections to them are that they weaken the boat just where strength is required for lifting and hauling about: that they require a quantity of ingenious fittings to keep the water from finding its way in, and that they are liable to get knocked off and carried away by any accident, leaving the canoe in a very perilous condition for sailing or for encountering rough water. Also they are in the way of the "lead" of one's strings on deck, and prevent carrying paddle or spars along the waterways. I should prefer a well made as wide as the whole boat, with flaps either of wood or of mackintosh to cover the lee side of it for six inches or so. However, for a light canoe with a fair amount of freeboard, side flaps are unnecessary, as a wide well gives enough room to sit up fairly well to windward, while the lee coaming would not be under water till the boat was actually hove "keel out," and a capsize almost inevitable.

Besides, a cruising canoe is not intended to be sailed down to her coamings, but should be so canvassed that in the true strength of the wind her lee gunwale is well out of water. A rectangular well, having the sides parallel, is bad for sailing as the water that comes on the weather deck has no tendency to run off fore or aft. For this reason the widest part of the well should be at the seat. The after end should be square, or nearly so, and wide enough to sit in, if only in case of a passenger: the fore end may be narrower, and may even be brought to a point. An oval, or egg-shaped well, with the small end forwards, looks and answers admirably, and if made in one piece, with but one join, is immensely strong.

The covering of the well has exercised more of the ingenuity of canoeists than anything else about the craft. It would take long to describe all the varieties but most commonly a piece of waterproof material is nailed along its edges to strips of wood, which rest along the outside of the coamings, and are kept in place by a fillet, or by small wood or brass chocks on the decks. These, supported by an arched cane or piece of wood, are enough for rain, or in very small canoes ; but in a sailing canoe it is usual to have a flat wooden lid to the hatch, folding back with one or more hinges, the waterproof being merely used to prevent the water from coming though the hinges or under the sides of the lid. With a rectangular well the lid may be made --- to fold up very neatly in the fore end of it, out of sight, but in a tapering well, which is much better, this is impossible and one must either put up with the trifling unsightliness of the lid overlapping the end of the well when opened, or make provision for stowing it below. The same kind of coverings are suitable for the after end of well or "locker" as for the fore end.

To add to the safety of a canoe, by preventing her from sinking if filled, some 3 or 4 feet at each end of the craft is shut off by a watertight bulkhead, or is fitted with indiarubber air bags. Both these plans have their faults, watertight bulkheads are not always really tight, and air bags are liable to collapse, either gradually, from the effects of change of temperature, etc., or suddenly, from a flaw or injury. And bulkheads, unless ventilated, are apt to cause rot, and if ventilated by openings their security is seriously diminished. Much the best plan, where the weight can be afforded, is to have a zinc air-chamber fitted in each end of the boat ; with a light non-watertight bulkhead behind it, just to keep it in place, and protect it against the ends of spars, etc., when thrust below, without impeding the circulation of air, or the flow of any leakage from the ends to midships.

I have seen very good air-chambers made of thin wood, like a band-box, tacked over frames like a boat's timbers, covered with calico and varnished. They were as light as could be, and easily made.

A rudder is, I fear, a necessary evil in a canoe of any but the very smallest size, and even light paddling canoes are all the better for one. If it were only for sailing, one might make shift to steer with a paddle, but the rudder is very useful in paddling also. It is not at all easy to guide, and turn a long narrow craft like a canoe without the leverage of oars, and thus, even for paddling it is best to have a rudder. To use it while paddling, and when sailing, to have both hands at liberty it is necessary to steer with the feet. A revolving stretcher is fitted, and the rudder lines lead through holes in the deck and are secured to its ends. Even a better plan is to avoid piercing the deck, and to attach the lines to an iron yoke on deck, rigidly connected with the revolving stretcher. If the canoeist has gone forward in the well for any purpose, and cannot get at the stretcher, a touch to the deck-yoke will keep the vessel from running off her course. If, however, the stretcher is in the well, and not under the deck, this latter plan cannot be used. The rudder lines may be small wire rope, or even stout bell wire, which is cheaper, and works well.

In case of breaking a rudder line it is a good plan to lash a strong brass ring to one arm of the rudder yoke, into which the boat-hook may be inserted, and the canoe thus steered till the damage can be repaired. The rudder, however, is a great nuisance in backing astern, in hauling ashore, when aground, etc. Its evils can, however, be minimised by judicious fitting. A circular yoke, with a deep groove round it, to take the rudder lines, which meet and are fastened by a screw on the aft side of the yoke, allows the rudder to be controlled when backing, so as to steer for stern-way. It also gives more power over the rudder when "hard over," and is less liable than the ordinary yoke to catch in anything.

The rudder must be fitted so as to rise above the level of the keel on striking the ground, either on very long pintles, or on a pin. This secures it from damage, and allows of the blade of the rudder being made deeper than the keel of the boat, to the great advantage of the steering. An iron shoe, projecting from the keel of the boat under the fore part of the rudder, will prevent weeds, ropes, etc., from catching in it, and should never be omitted. A line from the rudder, through a ring or sheave on the stern-post, is useful to lift the rudder in shoal water, or before hauling ashore.

This completes the catalogue of "fixtures," and we may now pass to the accessories of the canoe.

First and foremost in order of precedence and dignity, comes the paddle. It is the special feature of the canoe as distinguished from boats, and forms the badge of our canoe clubs.* I am sorry to have to admit that, as a means of propulsion, the paddle is vastly inferior to sculls, and that its inferiority increases with very ounce of weight and every inch of size. Even as compared with such miserable little sculls, 5 or 6 feet long, as can be worked in a small canoe, the paddle would be beaten by a mile in every three, though for a few yards it might hold its own. The paddle, however, has grand advantages. It is worked "facing forwards" in the same seat as is occupied for sailing; it can be worked with the sails ; and used in rough water when it would be impossible to scull a canoe, and also in waters too narrow for any sculls. When it is desired to rest, the paddler has only to lay down his paddle and lean back at his ease, while the sculler must leave his seat if in quest of an easy posture. Also, when paddling the canoe can be completely battened down, -- which is not the case with sculls. It is sometimes thought advisable to have a little pair of sculls in addition to a paddle, and when any distance has to be travelled, especially in smooth water against the stream, there is a good deal to be said for the practice. I will describe the method by which I have known it to be managed with the minimum of extra weight and gear, only premising that after trial I have quite given up sculls, chiefly because the use of them makes one get so little practice in paddling, that when the latter method of propulsion is necessary, the arms are unable to do their work either well or pleasantly.

 * In some very large "canoes" the occasional and
  not very successful use of a paddle apparently
  constitutes their sole claim to the title.

The sculls were formed by adding a handle 2 feet 6 inches in length to each half of a jointed 7 feet paddle, the shaft and ferrules being fitted with square ends inside to prevent twisting. The blades were somewhat narrow for paddle blades. The rowlocks were very small iron crutches, covered with leather, and pivoted in the ends of a 3-armed 9 inch outrigger. The two outer arms of this were bent downwards at the inner end, and dropped into brass-fitted holes in the side deck, while the middle and longest arm passed through the coaming and was secured with a wing-nut. They were very light as well as strong, and when detached, the 3 arms folding together, they then could be stowed in very little space.

Whether the paddle is to be made into a pair of sculls or not, it is very desirable to have it jointed in the middle, both for stowage and that the halves may be used as single paddles if required. For this purpose one, or if much "carrying double" is intended, both halves of the paddle, should be provided with a neat turned handle to fit the ferrule of the joint. If used as single paddles without this addition, the edges of the brass both discolour and wound the hands. The jointed paddle also has the advantage that for paddling against wind the blades can be set at right angles to each other, thus feathering the blade that is out of water. This makes an immense difference against the wind, and the use of the paddle in this manner is easily learnt. It might be thought that using it sometimes thus and sometimes in the ordinary manner would lead to confusion, but in practice it does not appear to do so.

The shaft should be about 1-1/4 inch in diameter, -- the blades about 18 inches long by 6-1/2 or 7 inches wide, with a very slight hollow or curve. Very broad spoon blades may do for racing, but for ordinary work they are unsuitable, being bulky, weak, and tiring to the arms. The total length of the paddle should be about three times the beam of the canoe. A good paddle should be made much of, and never parted with till a better one is obtained. I have a paddle now which has outlasted four canoes, or rather my ownership of them.

The paddle should be thrown well forward at each stroke, and the blade drawn sharply through the water, finishing comparatively lightly. Just as in rowing, the first part of the stroke is of the greatest value, and too deep or jerky a finish wastes strength and makes the boat roll. One should try always to paddle long however easily one may be taking it. For a spurt one may lean forward and swing fore-and-aft a little, but ordinarily the body should be upright, supported by the back-board.

When masts began to be fitted to canoes they were almost invariably placed at the fore end of the well, close to the feet of the canoeist, and could thus be unstepped with the greatest ease. Very shortly, however, they were moved further forward, principally to allow the sail to pass clear of the man's body, an advantage which outweighed a little additional trouble in dealing with the mast. Then, as soon as sailing on a wind began to be commonly practised in canoes, came a mizen; and to give head canvas without placing the mast quite out of reach, a little jib was mostly added. It was found, however, an exceedingly troublesome sail to work, of little driving power, and apt to cause dangerous entanglements, as for instance, when necessary to unship the mast in a hurry, after an upset, etc. The final step was to remove the mainmast well forward, and to do away with the jib altogether. In most canoes it appears as if the mast could hardly be too far forward, as far as sailing is concerned. There are canoes in which the mast, stepped originally at 4 feet from the bow, has been moved forward by small stages till it stands within a foot of it ; and at each successive removal, increased handiness and quickness in stays have been the result.

Of course a mast thus placed cannot be handled underway, and must be controlled by "machinery" from the well. There is a considerable variety of designs for lowering and unshipping the mainmast, but hardly any of them seem to perfectly fulfil the desideratum of allowing the spar to be got down and stowed snugly enough to allow of paddling against a head wind, and set up again, clear for sailing, while afloat.

The most usual means of lowering the mast was at first a "tabernacle." The heel of the mast is fitted into a sort of three-sided box on deck, in which it turns freely, and is then lowered by a forestay. A tabernacle, however, unless made very high, very strong, very heavy and very ugly, gives insufficient lateral support to the spar, and it is difficult to make up for this by the use of rigging, on account of the narrow width of the bow abreast of the mast. This led to the adoption of the mast trunk or box, originally of a quadrant form, but lately several square ones have been fitted, as shown in the illustration.


The mast purchase shown is used instead of a forestay, when the mast is too far forward to admit of the forestay clearing the fore end of yard.

To lower the mast, however, is only half the battle, and the latter half of it, to secure and stow away the whole rig, remains to be won. If the spars are very short, there will be no great difficulty in stowing the whole affair away: but to do this 7 or 8 feet will be the greatest length admissible. However, a very fair sized sail can be set on spars of this length, especially by the use of battens.

A design lately appeared in the Field, suggesting that the upper part of the mast should take off with a ferrule, and be stowed away with the sail, the lower portion remaining on deck. The objection to this is the great difficulty of replacing all the gear, halliards, etc., clear for resetting. Most of the large canoes of the R.C.C. have given up stowing sails below, not only with the gigantic sails used in racing, but with their working canvas.

A gentleman who has made some good cruises in a canoe thus fitted, tells me that the impossibility of stowing sails below is a great nuisance in paddling to windward, and inconvenient when the boat is housed ashore or sent by train, but his craft being too heavy to be properly driven by small sails, he is obliged to put up with it.

All this chiefly applies to the mainmast. The mizen is very seldom made to lower, but if desired, it can easily be fitted with a tabernacle. Here and there, where very low bridges are common, this might be worth doing.


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