Polynesian sailing canoes
The first sailing canoes emerged in ancient Polynesia over 1,000 years ago.
The canoes were built from island materials such as plaited leaf sails, island woods, organic webbing. The manned paddled sailing canoes explored the vast Pacific Ocean. The Polynesian voyaging canoes are to ancient Polynesian culture as the invention of the wheel in Asia and Europe. Today there is a revival of canoe sailing in Polynesia and racing is very much alive in the Hawaiian Islands in particular. Hawaiian sailing canoes have evolved: Wood has been replaced by glass-reinforced and carbon fiber-reinforced polymer, sails are now made from Dacron and Kevlar.
The Hōkūleʻa is an example of a replica of a Polynesian voyaging canoe. It has made many voyages across the Pacific.
North American sailing canoes
Canoes have been used for sailing since at least the 1860s. There are several racing classes of sailing canoes: Cruising Class or 4 Meter, C Class or 5 Meter, International Decked Sailing Canoe, and the American Canoe Association Class.
John MacGregor of Scotland is generally believed to have developed the first sailing canoes. During the 1860s, he had at least seven boats built that he called Rob Roys and sailed and paddled them in Europe, the Baltic and the Middle East. He also wrote a book which popularized the design and the concept: "in walking you are bounded by every sea and river, and in a common sailing-boat you are bounded by every shallow and shore; whereas, ...a canoe [can] be paddled or sailed, or hauled, or carried over land or water" (1000 Miles in the Rob Roy Canoe).
MacGregor founded the British Royal Canoe Club (RCC) in 1866.
The New York Canoe Club followed about six years later.
The American Canoe Association (ACA) was founded in 1880. In 1883, ACA Secretary Charles Neide and retired sea captain “Barnacle” Kendall paddled and sailed over three thousand miles from Lake George, New York to Pensacola, Florida.
In 1886 the ACA and the RCC held the first international canoe sailing regatta.
In 1991 American Howard Rice sailed and paddled a sailing canoe solo around Cape Horn, Chile considered historically to be the Mount Everest of sailing challenges. He was awarded a Certificate of Merit by the Chilean Navy and inducted into the Cape Horners Society.
- Canoe Sailing Magazine
- The Hawaiian Sailing Canoe Association
- The ACA National Canoe Sailing Committee
- Canoe Sailing Resources 2005
- The Cheap Pages/Sailing Canoes[dead link]
- The Cheap Pages links to canoeing e-books.[dead link]
- Open Canoe Sailing Group
- International Canoe Sailing in the UK
- International Canoe Sailing - International Website
- International Canoe Sailing - the U.S. Site
- Finnish Canoe Sailing Association
- "The Great Canoe Race" Article about racing sailing canoes in Hawaii. Maui No Ka 'Oi Magazine Vol.12 No.3 (May 2008).