Rushton’s Princess sailing canoe – deserving of royal treatment

It ought be no secret that we here at the editorial offices of Chine bLog are fond of classic sailing canoes. It was, after all, lines for and pictures of a long-lost canoe, likely printed in some mid-80’s issue of WoodenBoat, that helped spur the interest that plays out in these posts. The real wonder is why we don’t devote more attention to the type. Happily, though, there are great many traditional and classic craft to discuss and the myriad lovely boat types out there can each find their way into our posts.

It is time, though, to steer back to that eminent canoe man John Henry Rushton. While playing around with boat ideas in recent months, we rediscovered, in the Chine bLog corporate library, Rushton’s Rowboats and Canoes – The 1903 Catalog in Perspective, by William Crowley. It is what it suggests – a forwarded and excerpted take on the catalog for one of the later years of Rushton’s business. It includes a number of canoe designs, mostly straight-up Canadian-style paddling craft, some pulling boats, and a couple racing sailing canoes. There is a good deal of hardware and sails too.

It was in the introductory section, about Rushton and his work, that we came across his Princess design. It got our attention. The book shows lines of a 14′ 3″ cat-ketch rigged canoe with 32″ beam as will as a picture of one sailed 3,300 miles from Lake George, NY to Pensacola, FL by a Charles A. Neide. More attention. “Princess would be a very worthy project,” thought we, “are there plans about?”

In fact there are. Here’s the end result of them:

Floutier Rushton Princess

John Floutier in the UK has developed plans for a 15′ 8″ Princess for lapstrake plywood construction. These are some extremely gorgeous boats. Plans come to our side of The Pond for roughly $150. No desire to build? He’ll do the honors, then, for 7,500 Pounds or so.

Even more intriguing, Floutier and others seem to have done some exciting camp-cruising in his boats. He has a long log of a great-looking Baltic voyage as well as ones on the west coast of Britain.. These are still adventure boats. We like. You should check these out.

By the way, for you literary readers and Chine bLog enthusiasts, this post stands a good chance of being an instance of what is known as “foreshadowing.” Dun dun dun daaaaa…

1 Comment for “Rushton’s Princess sailing canoe – deserving of royal treatment”

Shane O'Brien


I am building one of those out here in Australia. Hope to cruise(?) the East Coast when I am done. Shane

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