The Bermudan Rig

solway dory bermudan rigsailing canoe with Bermudan rigPyrhana Prospector with Bermudan Rigwooden sailing canoe with bermudan ketch rigThe Bermudan Rig is our most efficient sail. It will sail closer to the wind and is faster than all our other rigs. Fitted to a good open canoe in good condition we have found that it can out sail many small dinghies such as Toppers or Mirrors.

We keep the sail stored by wrapping it around the mast. This keeps it crease free and in good condition. To put it up all you need to do is rotate the mast to unfurl the sail and attach the boom. It has an outhaul, downhaul and kicker which allow you to easily control the shape of the sail to suit the wind conditions. We have an article on how to set up and reef a bermudan rig

The Bermudan is quick and easy to reef. You unhook the kicker and slacken the outhaul, rotate the mast to take in a couple of turns of sail, re-attach the kicker and tighten the outhaul. With practice it can be done on the water in a few seconds. A 44sq ft sail can be reefed in stages down to about 10sq ft. Even at this small size the shape can be adjusted to make an efficient upwind sail. We have sailed upwind with a heavily reefed Bermudan sail in wind strength of force 7 against which it would have been very difficult to paddle. If the wind dies completely the sail can be completely furled away. Like this it does not interfere too much with paddling or it can be lifted out and laid along one gunwale.

For a standard plastic open canoe with a beam of around 36in we would recommend the 44sq ft bermudan rig. Even though this is a powerfull rig, it is so easy to reef and sets well when reefed that it is still suitable for a novice to sail. A 30sq ft rig might be more suitable for a particularly narrow and tippy canoe.

For a two person open canoe it is possible to combine the 44sq ft or 30sq ft with a 14sq ft sail to make  a ketch rig. Here the sails are set near the ends of the canoe and for two people this can work well. For the experienced couple you could use a 44sq ft sail in the bow with a 14sq ft mizzen and for the less experienced a 30sq ft in the bow. The bermudan ketch rig only really works as a two person rig because to reef the main you need to get at the mast. This is not easy if you are on your own as it tends to upset the trim as you reach forward to reef the main and you loose some stability just as conditions are getting difficult.

Details of how to place an order can be found here

Bermudan Rig - Prices

Sailing Rig Sail Only
Bermudan 44 sq ft £420.00 £25.00 P&P £200.00 £5.00 P&P
Bermudan 30 sq ft £340.00 £20.00 P&P £150.00 £5.00 P&P
Bermudan 14 sq ft £180.00 £15.00 P&P £80.00 £5.00 P&P

Sailing rig includes: sail, mast, boom, mast foot, mast thwart and rigging but no rudder or leeboard.

Please look at the Accessories page for details.

We can fit your rig for you if you can leave it at our workshop for the day. Please contact us to arrange a time. Prices from £50 to £100 depending on what you are having.


bermudan sails reefed in a force 6sailing canoe with Bermudan rig stowed and paddlingboom jaws,outhaul,downhaul, on solway dory bermudan sail44/14 bermudan ketch on outrigger canoeThe SOLWAY DORY BERMUDAN rig is similar in many ways to those used on Lasers and Toppers and books on how to sail these contain many useful hints.

For the  canoeist who wants the best sailing performance this is our most efficient rig, together with a pivoting leeboard and rudder.

Please note that our rig prices do not include rudder or leeboard.

The rig will not work without a leeboard.