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Old 05-03-2013
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how to make a marconi sail

Im new to sailing and have been experimenting with sailing my kayak, I guess i made a marconi sail, just a basic right triangle, out of poly tarp, its great down wind, but just about 45 degrees from running, after that i just get pushed sideways, I dont know if im doing something wrong (most likely).

When i go straight down wind i have the boom out at around 80 degrees, When i try to go 90 degrees from running i pull it in to 45 degrees, but that doesnt do the trick, Is that what I should be doing? Ive never sailed anything before, I have a rudder I built too.

I tried to tack but im sure you can guess how that went.

Basically im looking to know if marconi sails should have any special curves or what not, or just a flat cut.
Also looking for some tips to get me started, cant afford lessons either.

-matt
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Re: how to make a marconi sail

Sails are definitely sewn with very specific "curves" and its a complex process. I suspect, though, that your bigger issue is lack of lateral resistance... i.e. you need some kind of keel/daggerboard to resist the extreme leeway you're experiencing.
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Re: how to make a marconi sail

That would make sense. Now ive seen sail kayaks with outriggers and they had daggerboards mounted on the outrigger beams, could i just mount it on the side of my kayak and how big should it be? should there be one on each side?
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Re: how to make a marconi sail

You could get away with one, I'd think... Something 12-15inches wide and 3ft deep would be a start.
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how to make a marconi sail

Check out www.sailboatstogo.com for pics and kits sailing kayak rigs. They sell reasonably priced daggerboards and outriggers that clamp on to your boat. I have used their kit on my canoe and it works pretty well. Note that you will likely need to rig a rudder (oar trailed aft works) to really make tacking work for you.
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Re: how to make a marconi sail

THere are many ideas for sail shape and rigging options shown here.

Index of /tbradshaw/Sails and Plans

Also, you can use TYVEK material to make a sail with little or no skills.
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Re: how to make a marconi sail

I have a rudder, and for material a neighbor is giving me some old sails off his boat. Is a gaff rigged sail cut flat or does that too have special curves?
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Re: how to make a marconi sail

For how make shift and ugly the first sail was, I was suprised by how many other kayakers took interest. I kind of dont even want to try it today since there will be so many people on the water.
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Re: how to make a marconi sail

The material from an old sail off a larger boat will probably be kind of heavy for what you want to do. I think the tyvek idea has merit.. Someone's already gone to the effort of working it out, no need to reinvent the wheel. Add a daggerboard and you should be in business. Try to design the daggerboard mount to allow for some fore-and-aft adjustability so you can experiment with how well she'll steer.
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Re: how to make a marconi sail

Check this out also... Cheap Pages/Sailing Canoes
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