Waterlust Sailing Canoe #3

I love my Waterlust Sailing Canoe!

I purchased the boat from the original owner/builder.  We think this is WaterlustCanoe #3, the first kit sold after the pair of prototypes were born. I did a lot of work refining, customizing, dialing in the details and finally built the outrigger kit. Building the little amas was fun. Preparing a saggy table and laminating the aka was more involved.

-Outrigger kit - As advertised, the outriggers expand the capabilities of the boat. A sailor can relax a bit more, reef a little later, be afforded a mistake or two, and feel safer in cold water and higher winds. I might not recommend the WaterlustCanoe to a beginning sailor, but the added outriggers make it much more possible. I prefer to sail the WaterlustCanoe without the outriggers, but I put them on for higher winds and cold water. They work great!

-Seating -  After trying a few different seats in my WaterlustCanoe, I've settled on an Ergoboost seat from Pelican Kayaks. Designed for fishing, two seats in one, it has a sitting place on the back of the chair. When the chair back is folded closed, you can sit perched up a bit higher to be ready for hiking. I cut half-round notches in the boat's chair rails at various intervals to accommodate the seat frame securely. It is important that the chair is secure so it won't slide back when pedaling, but easy to slide back out of the way for sailing. When sailing from the seated pedaling position, you'll often need to get up quickly to hike out, and it can be hard if seated low. That is why I like the upper perch on the Ergoboost seat. I often sail standing as well, shifting weight from one leg to the other. 

-Floatation - The boat has plenty of buoyancy built into the ample storage compartments, but the space under the aft decking, behind the cockpit is wide open. I found that a Rugid BigStone 120 liter drybag fills the space nicely. A waterproof suitcase / floatation bag with an air valve for inflation.

-HobiePedalDrive - Also called MirageDrive. It seems that the Waterlust Canoe was designed around the Hobie pedal drive which works way better than paddling this boat. Your legs are bigger muscles than your arms. When not sailing, the pedal drive is the strong point of the boat, adding a modern advance to an otherwise traditional craft. I was glad to meet the inventor of the Hobie pedal system, who based the propulsion on penguin flippers. I was first drawn to the WaterlustCanoe because of my experience with HobieAdventureIsland kayaks, where the Mirage pedal drive originated.

-Steering - For pedal cruising with no sails, I like two tillers about 9' long, one for each hand. When sailing, I prefer only one shorter tiller, 8' long. I think it's push-pull on one tack and pull-push on the other, you'll know if you do it wrong. Sometimes my tiller interferes with the forward end of the mizzen boom sailing on a certain tack.

-Ballast - The primary ballast is your movable body, of course, but a little more in the right place helps too when sailing this skinny hull. The Waterlust is a full figured expedition canoe, just asking to haul the weight of some gear. When day sailing with an empty boat, I add a couple of items; I carry a 15 pound mushroom anchor that nestles on one side or the other of the dagger trunk, moving it for each tack. Sailing with the pedal drive removed, I plug the pedal drive hole with a 5 pound custom "ballast bar", secured by the pedal clips. I also have an optional daggerboard that is extra long and heavy. With all that, the big canoe almost thinks it is a keelboat.

-Daggerboards -  For now I have abandoned the original wood daggerboard to use two manufactured fiberglass boards that are foil shaped. My favorite gives the boat a draft of 29". Shorter than the original tapered design, but about the same surface area. The larger option is a long, heavy Nacra catamaran board, modified with a bit of added lead at the very bottom, draws 41". Solid feel, but too big to handle comfortably. I also made a thwart seat that doubles as a spare shoal draft daggerboard.

-Sails - I think the boat is more balanced and sails best under full sail, including the mizzen sail. With the mainsail far forward, I am not crowded by the boom. My mainsheet is custom mounted in the unused aft mast step. It goes great in light wind and I reef after baby-caps grow into true whitecaps. I find the sail rig a bit heavy and the mast like a log. I fantasize about a lighter weight carbon fiber mast for a Marconi rig with a jib, but will probably leave the traditional rig well enough alone.

6 replies:

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RE: Waterlust Sailing Canoe #3

Wow! LONG post there, glad you've joined up here!

There's not much posted here about this design, sadly. It has its fans though, world-wide. I'm curious who built the one you've acquired? I know of a couple built then sold off here in the US. I've always belived I may have bought the first kit sold (the day they were announced back late in 2016) but mine certainly wasn't the first kit built then launched.

You may find it entertaining to look in on the magnum opus thread being hosted by a UK kit seller here: https://forum.fyneboatkits.co.uk/viewtopic.php?id=652 where some of us others have been detailing our experiences with out builds.

Lastly, where do you sail yours? Maybe you're close to one of us!


RE: Waterlust Sailing Canoe #3

   The # order of built / sold is up for debate. CLC lead me to beleive I have #3. Maybe the original owner, D.C. can confirm. CLC seems to have records of sales and should be able to tell you.

Is yours sailing yet?, or still under construction?

RE: Waterlust Sailing Canoe #3

I bought my kit the morning of 12/2/16 after reading here that the kits would be made available to customers. Dillon and I had been having a long corrrespondence since I'd read of the design commission from the Waterlust folks in Miami but I wasn't aware that CLC had chosen to move the project towards making kits availalable until that morning. My end of the conversation was basically a lobbying effort.

Having uprooted myself and my spouse two years prior (after 37 years in our former residence), the kit had to languish on the basement floor after being delivered early in February '17. I had no place to begin construction at that time, so it sat there for 2-1/2 years until I could bring epoxy to plywood. My build was much assisted by a builder in Texas who'd completed his more than a year before me, but even still I didn't launch until August last year. In the mean time I fell onto the thread on that other forum I mentioned early in 2020, where you can spend a few hours getting up to speed with what some others and myself have learned about this design.

Lastly I have to admit I also lobbied hard for an ama accessory after experiencing the rather twitchy stability of an unballasted Waterlust under full sail last year, that some of the others had also made mention of.

Before CLC made it known that such would be made available I had paid for a design exercise in that direction from Mike Waters who's credentials for trimaran design is well established. CLC sells a kit to build Mike's W17 trimaran BTW. Once CLC announced an augment to their Waterlust product I abandonedt my private efforts.

I believe I know who D.C. might be. Yes he was a Very Early builder also. I assume you might also be somewhere in the SE part of these United States? There's a builder on that UK forum in Alabama (I think) you may want to reach out to. He's done some serious sailing with his build, has plans perhaps to add a bowsprit & jib to his rig, developed a rope-steering concept similar to what LFH used in his Coquina design. Then there's a fellow in the UK who had built a steel daggerboard along with a custom set of sails more apppropriate to the conditions he sails in over there. I myself have added 9# of lead ballast to my daggerboard as well as a ballast "carrier" board onto which lead bricks of various weights can be secured in the storage compartment between forward mast pockets.

Glad you chose to add your post here BW! You'll be met with a warm welcome after you join the rest of us over on the FyneBoats forum!


RE: Waterlust Sailing Canoe #3

   You may not have been the only one chomping at the bit and coordinating for the first Waterlust kit. When I questioned CLC, this was the response;

"Interesting question. Checking our records, it looks like your boat would have been Hull No. 3 (after the two prototypes built by Waterlust a few months earlier). Since the first two, we've sent out 31 kits, including a couple through our German agent and eight through our British agent -- so 21 in the US. If you wanted to play around on your own and look for other builders, you could try our Builders Club. Log into the CLC Builders' Forum (https://www.clcboats.com/forum/clcforum/), select the boat from the checklist and go from there. Not everyone posts there, but using 3000 miles as the distance from 21401, where we are, I see four (including your guy Clark). Or put out a question in the Forum itself."

RE: Waterlust Sailing Canoe #3

No, somehow I doubt I was alone with a bit in my mouth late in 2016.

I'd inquired a couple of times (after starting my build) of a couple of folks at CLC just how many kits they'd sold to date but never got the granular details you've quoted.

In the US I know of five*, including yours and mine. Europe has three unless the one built by a German citizen working here back then returned to Germany with him in 2021 which would make it four*.

Tried the builders club query too. Obviously not all builders choose to leave a trace of their activities. One of those being our Texas resident who helped me greatly as I got deeper into my build.

So your's is #3, mine maybe #4? No matter, glad you found yours 'ready to wear' off the rack so to speak! Mine took longer to get ready for launch than I'd expected but that happens with new pursuits. I learned a lot along the way, not only on my own but also with help from the others on that UK forum and my friend in TX who launched his early in 2020, about the time the FyneBoats' forum thread appeared.

That Waterlust thread is running close to 2,500 posts by now. There's a wealth of info available to prospective builders in its 45 pages with many, many pictures (easier posted there than here) and links to videos. Can be read by anyone but authoring new posts requires a 'membership' (free) registration.

I'll be looking forward to seeing you there!

RE: Waterlust Sailing Canoe #3

Got your message via the BC function BW. I'll try replying to what you'd sent.

We'll have to see if it reached you, I'm not sure it's a two-way channel... I haven't used it in a long, long time....

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