Sailing canoe

canoe with sails

Sailing canoe. Image courtesy of the Open Canoe Sailing Group

A canoe is a narrow lightweight boat, pointed at both ends and open at the top, usually propelled by a single blade paddle.

This canoe was made c1900-1914 and used by the Wynn family in North Wales. It could be operated under sail as well as paddled. Under sail it could be difficult to handle, and frequent capsizes were the source of much amusement, especially when an unwitting guest was the victim. 

According to family tradition, the canoe was built in Japan, but it is very similar to the famous ‘Rob Roy’ canoe design developed by John MacGregor of Scotland in the 1860s.

man in canoe with sail and floats attached at the sides

Sailing canoe with outriggers. Image courtesy of the Open Canoe Sailing Group

The canoe is made of wood. Some modern sailing canoes are made of fibreglass, and incorporate outriggers to aid stability. Canoeing is hugely popular in the UK, there are over 500 clubs where you could try it out! 

The canoe will be added to the Messing about in boats display soon.

Accession number MMM.1986.201.24.1, Wynn Collection

7 canoes in star formation near a floating goal

Canoe polo team in Liverpool. Image courtesy of Liverpool Canoe Club