Okay Brian, I think it’s safe to say we’re in obsession territory here.
Shortly after I emailed you, I connected with a friend and booked three more nights up in Killbear Park (Monday-Wednesday nights), so I was to connect with him early Monday morning, which meant I was to drive to my brother’s place in Toronto Sunday night. Well, my neighbour showed me some apparati for rigging a canoe for sailing, which he’s had stored in his garage attic since the ’70s when he used it for his canoe. He gave me his Larboards/Mast Partner, his Rudder/Tiller attachment, and his mast. So on Sunday, I modified all these things to fit Big Lassie and installed a Mast Step in her. So, this time on my campsite, I spent Monday rigging up a sail from an old tarp and outfitting Big Lassie for sailing. Tuesday morning I was out sailing her around on Parry Sound!!
It was a lot of fun, but probably a big too much effort to go through to do it very often. The big appeal of these boats is how easily you can be off and paddling, from roof top to water with ease.
Anyway, Wednesday was very windy, with unsettled weather blowing hard from the west, periods of driving rain and threatening thunderstorms. I took Free Lassie out in conditions that featured abundant and pervasive white caps. I barely shipped a drop over the bows and she stayed true in the wind and made very quick headway upwind! I can tell you, these boats are INCREDIBLE. Way better than sea-kayaks, or any of those roto-plastic jobs, or injection molded things. And I can go out when actual canoes dare not. These boats are the IDEAL boat for the waters of Parry Sound. On Thursday, things were marginally calmer and my friend and I had a wonderful paddle upwind to an island and the surfing back downwind, he in Free Lassie and me in Big Lassie.
I cannot emphasize enough how convinced I am that there designs are as good as it gets, really. My Free Lassie feels like it’s part of me when I’m paddling. So nimble and responsive. I can even skootch the boat fore and aft as well to ease the impact of any really big waves. If I made a 1/3 length deck with coamings on it for the front of the boat, I feel I’d go out in almost ANY conditions.