Home                                       Scroll down for pictures and video                                             Back


( shuh-TAW-kwuh )

A modern 19th century tradition
15' 3" x 38"   -   4.65m x 94cm 
Sail area: 61 square feet - 5.7m    Maximum recommended capacity: 375lbs - 171kg     Hull weight: 65lbs - 30kg

Chautauqua is a SOF decked sailing canoe of the classic style developed in the late 1800's. Boats similar to her were very popular in both the UK and North America. Fierce international racing, serious cruises and day sailing were all part of the spectrum. Called "the poor man's yacht," sailing canoes were, in fact, the fastest small sailboats on the water. There are faster boats these days, but I've had Chautauqua to 11.98 knots, with the potential for more - and that seemed pretty fast at the time. And, i
n the right hands, she is exceptionally seaworthy; Chautauqua has been battle tested in the grueling Everglades Challenge.

Vintage sailing canoes are rare and expensive. Chautauqua, however, is accessible to even novice builders for just a small investment of time and money. She's quicker, easier and less expensive to build than any other similar boat, and her light weight makes her easy to handle both on and off the water.  She can be either rowed or paddled, car-tops easily, and readies for sailing in just a few minutes. Sans sailing rig, she'll be great for fishing and able to poke into every tiny pond or backwater.

Plans are in both metric and imperial, and include full sized templates for all the plywood parts, so there's no lofting required. Plans are easy to understand, comprehensive, very well illustrated and take you step by step through the building process. Everything you need to know including materials, sources, skinning, spar making, rigging, et are all covered in the instructions. And, I'm available to answer any building questions you might have  - just email me.

Plans also include instructions on how to build a cruising version of Chautauqua. The cruiser has a longer cockpit that will seat two inside of it, with a leeboard to free up cockpit space. The cruiser version has enough room for a solo sailer to lie down inside, for convenient - if not luxurious - camping.

A few things to consider:
All in all, Chautauqua is a fantastic sailboat that is easy to build, easy to use, and a joy to sail.

Order plans and kits here

And ruling in light air: