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RobVG 06-22-2008 12:35 AM

SportYak II Sailboat
Hi there.:)

I'm just finishing 'restoring' a late '60's Sportyak II with a sail kit. I sailed it quite a bit when I was a kid. I don't speak the lingo and wondered if someone could tell me what type of sail I have?

It's a single sail with sewn-in 'sleeves' or pockets on the leading and lower edges--into each you slip lightweight metal pipes. The lower pipe (boom?) has a ring attached to it and the mast goes through the ring. There is a pulley at the top of the mast, and you pull on a rope attached to the leading edge/pipe and raise the sail. What do you call this type of arrangement?

Also, is there anyone else out there still sailing SportYaks? I found nothing on the internet about sail kit options.

RobVG 06-22-2008 12:32 PM

Hey! That's it.

Thanks for the link.

2ndbsn 07-28-2008 12:06 AM

Sportyak II Sail Kit?
Hi RobVG!
I just bought a Sportyak II (Dayton Marine Products) this weekend but it didn't have a sail kit with it - just the oars and a motor mount. I have searched all over the internet and haven't found any reference to the sail kit except your note.

I would really appreciate any info you can give me on where you got your sailkit, including the mast, dagger boards, and rudder, and any dimensions to your sail. Would be interested if I could just buy the kit before I start making something from scratch.

How does it sail? Would love to see a picture, if possible.

Thanks for any help you can give me.

FYI, there is an original ad for a Dayton Marine Sportyak on ebay right now.


kittykosmo 07-30-2008 09:25 PM

I have a Sportyak w/the sail up on craigslist right now. Can I measure something for you? It's item #776798349 in Michigan-Ann Arbor if you'd like to see the pics

RobVG 08-02-2008 04:01 PM

Sail kit
2 Attachment(s)
Hi Dianne!

I couldn't find any info on the internet when I was looking. KittyKosmo is the first person I've seen that also has one. I'll try to post some pics just to prove the sail exists;)

There is a 'cup' or 'socket' molded into the front seat to accept the mast. If you don't have one you might be able to mount it some other way. There are two cross braces than bolt to the sides and the mast passes vertically through these into the socket. Also, the outriggers have brackets that bolt to the ends of the cross braces.

I sailed it this week and it was a blast!- after I remembered you have to sit with your back to one side to steer with the rudder (the rudder is just one oar)

Hope these pictures come through.

2ndbsn 08-11-2008 04:49 PM

Thanks Kittycosmo and RobVG!!

Mine is slightly different than either Kitty's Craigslist or Rob's pictures, in that the cup for the mast is in the bottom of the front part of the boat, not in the front seat.

Thanks loads for your great help!!!


Jerry43 12-01-2008 08:20 PM

Another Sportyak II Sailboat

Originally Posted by RobVG (Post 331931)
Hi there.:)

Also, is there anyone else out there still sailing SportYaks? I found nothing on the internet about sail kit options.

Hi RobVG,

I was beginning to think I was the only one left with a Sportyak II sailboat until I found your posting. I bought mine used in 1978 and it looks just like your pictures except it is not restored. The wood is there except the outriggers have been replaced with cut plywood by another party that had been using it so I need to have the dimensions of what the original outriggers were to replace them. I did not see the short oar that is used for the rudder in your pictures but I assume you have that as you made reference to it when you sailed. I have the rudder oar but the original main two oars were missing when I bought it and the marina supplied me with standard length oars which made rowing interesting.

peffley 07-05-2009 08:37 PM

Sportyak has meaning
Reading these posts about the "old" Sportyak brings back very fond memories for me. I am 46 yrs.old and back in the early 70's my father got me an orange Sportyak2 with the sailkit. It was my first very own boat and began a whole lifetime of loving boats and boating. (After we moved to Florida from NJ, we lived on a lake in Lantana, FL and me and my friends would flip it over and go up inside the upside-down hull.) If anyone has any more pictures of your own Sportyak 2, I would greatly appreciate any and all pictures you could email to me. Thank you. email: brianpeffley AT gmail DOT com.

BanDrui 08-11-2009 05:26 PM

Sailing Sportyaks
Wow. I was beginning to doubt my memory---I've never met anyone else who's even heard of a Sportyak, to say nothing of a sailing Sportyak. I learned to sail in a sailing Sportyak back in the late '60's. RobVG, the configuration is called a Cat-rigged Spritsail; it's basically the same configuration as the Skerry I'm building (a kit from Chesapeake Light Craft in Anapolis; another very cool little sailer).

My father improved the sailkit that came with the Yak. I don't recally exactly how the wood members connected at the gunn'ls; I think it was at the oarlocks, but the configuration was two pieces of wood that met at a 90 degree angle above the hole in the forward seat, and the mast passed through a matching hole at that point. Where the two pieces passed out to the gunn'ls and attached, they formed attachment points for larboards: they looked essentially like the lower part of an oar, and were free to rotate down into the water to act as keels, or to rotate back up out of the water if you ran the boat into the shallows.

I recall that the original sailkit was poplar wood; it was pretty cheap and warped pretty easily. My father, being quite the handyman, took dimensions off the existing angled parts, and made new ones out of oak (he'd already made a center seat out of oak so that you could row from amidships instead of from the bow (too long to reach comfortably, especially for a kid of 7 or 8 yrs, as I was at the time) or the stern (what's the sense in rowing backwards all the time???). I don't recall that the Yak was very fast, but it WAS fun. It also set the love of sailing deep---in addition to the Skerry I'm building, I'm the proud owner of a '71 C&C Redwing 35' and I'm looking for a buyer for my '77 Catalina 27' (if I find a good home for her, I'll just about give her away. I can't do justice to maintaining three boats; she deserves one on one attention from someone). And as much as I love the challenge of a larger craft, I still love sailing in the smaller boats, as well.

Thanks for refreshing a great memory...I've almost stopped mentioning it to otehr sailors, because they look at me with a blank stare as if to say, "What the heck is a Sportyak??" (I have resisted, so far, pointing out that 'pram' is an utterly ridiculous name for a sailboat as well...but moral superiority will only get you so far).

Hope to see y'all out there on the water...


Jeff_H 08-11-2009 05:42 PM

I still have a 1960's Sportyak II that I bought used for next to nothing back in the 1970's. I don't have a sailing rig for mine. The sailing rig and the thwart were options, as was an outboard motor mount. Mine is frog green on above the rub rail. Believbe it or not BIC, the pen company still makes Sportyak II's.

I actually still use mine a lot. It is so light that I can throw it over my shoulder and haul it down to the dock whenever I want to do something like polish the topsides or work under the dock repairing water lines or something like that. Before I got inflatable kayaks I would sometimes throw the Sportyak on board if I thought I might go ashore somewhere. For one person its easier to toss around than an inflatable dinghy and outboard.

My Sportyak has held up very well. It rows okay, nothing great, but what do you expect for 7 foot x 3 1/2 foot plastic dinghy.


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