The early sailing canoes used in Victorian times were made of wood with decks and watertight bulkheads. Within a couple of years of the OCSG forming, a few members started a revival of the decked sailing canoe. Homebuilt plywood canoes were starting to appear amongst the plastic open canoes and a few of these experimented with decks and bulkheads to make built in buoyancy. John Bull, our founder, drew up some plans for a small lightweight sailing canoe called “Little Pete”. Hundreds of plans were sold and a few turned up at meets.
When Dave Poskitt and Dave Stubbs took over Solway Dory in 1998, they were already making plywood canoes for themselves. Having acquired boat design software Hullform and Plyboats, they were able to use these to design and predict the performance as well as the stability of their boats. By 2002 they were able to offer fully decked and rigged sailing canoes in plywood. Plywood is a good material to experiment with as all boats are made as one offs, so it was easy to refine and evolve the designs; to compare how they sailed and coped with wind and waves.