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post #1 of 66 Old 10-21-2018 Thread Starter
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Sailing kayak

I am looking to assemble a sailing Kayak. The purpose of the boat will be adventure racing with the boat ready t go for the 2020 season. I started work on a wooden boat for the purpose, but the cost to complete exceeds my available budget. So I started looking into sailing kayaks as an affordable option.

I put together a rudimentary sailing rig on a Coleman canoe I had laying around this summer just to get an idea of challenges. I have also been out sailing on Sea Kayaks with the Wind Paddle downwind sail rig.

The boat will be a solo boat. I want her to reliably make 45 mile days, some 60 mile days and handle some exposure to Coastal Ocean conditions and carry gear and food for 1 guy for 1 week plus 4 days fresh water. I want a reasonably powerful rig capable of sailing through about 240 degrees without seriously compromising my ability to paddle.

I am aware of Hobie AIs and Wind Rider 17s, but dont want to go that route for a few reasons.

I am looking for gear recomendations from kayakers, multi hull sailors or who ever has ideas.

People like to know budget so lets call it $3000 cdn for a complete boat with rig.

My current plan is to buy a lightly used ex rental or demo rotomolded expedition kayak hull. Something like this (I am demoing one this week, so I will know more about this hull later).
https://www.perceptionkayaks.com/eu/...aks/essence-17

Hobie makes a nice looking upwind sail specifically for kayaks and I like the price. I would get the roller furling/roller reefing kit. There is a reliable Hobie dealer in my city, so that helps too.
Hobie Kayak Sail Kit Red Silver : Trailhead Paddle Shack


I am also thinking removable stabilisers or Amas are a good idea so I spend less time swimming. Again, Hobie being hobie has a product. Inflatable kayak amas.
https://www.hobie.com/accessories/sidekick-ama-kit/

Curious if any one has comments on that set up or knows of alternative gear. There was a thread on this subject about 10 years ago, but there is just so much more gear on the market for this stuff now, so I decided to start a new one.
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post #2 of 66 Old 10-22-2018 Thread Starter
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Re: Sailing kayak

I cross posted this question to a Kayaking forum and got some interesting feed back from Kayak sailors. Thought I would share as the feed back makes sense (probably should have been obvious to me actually). The Hobie sail probably isnt powerful enough to drive a 17 foot kayak at speeds that would make me happy except in piping conditions

Recomended I nearly double the size of the rig. Found a Michael Storer designed 36 sq foot standing lug sail intended for canoe and Kayak sailing. Conveniently, its about half the price of the Hobie sail (but not nearly as pretty).
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post #3 of 66 Old 10-22-2018
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Re: Sailing kayak

60 mile days? I think that's a bit of wishful thinking. Good luck.
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post #4 of 66 Old 10-22-2018
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Re: Sailing kayak

First of all, I would research the voyaging canoes from the late nineteenth century since they had achieved a very high level of efficiency in terms of distances covered, foils, rigs and so on. Mystic Seaport has an amazing collection of these boats, drawings and photos, and I was able to get a researcher's pass to examine and measure these boats. There is a huge amount of data points there. In particular look at the 'radix' telescoping centerboards. They were amazingly clever. The main take away from these canoes is that they were largely decked over making them more seaworthy than open canoes and often had watertight buoyancy tanks which made them recoverable from a knockdown. The early ones had side decks with a hinged panel that allowed the person in the canoe to open the windward side deck and lean to windward. Later versions had a side deck that could be hinged to provide a hiking seat, and the last versions actually had a transverse sliding seat that allowed the helmsman to sit well to windward. You had to be pretty nimble to use the hiking seats.

Beyond that, a standing lug rig is a really crummy rig for this purpose unless you only plan to beam to deep reach with no close reaching or beating involved. Standing lugs can be slow to rig, hard to rig underway, have poor sail shape and are not especially efficient once the wind is above a beam reach. While the earliest sailing canoes had standing lug rigs and lateen rigs, the rigs quickly evolved.

The best rigs that were developed were a sliding gunter rigs with 'batwind sails' these look a lot like modern sails with huge roaches but with all of the battens essentially parallel to the boom so that they could stow easily. They employed a reefing systems similar to a junk rig that could be used from the cockpit and which allowed them to sail in a broad range of conditions. Some were cat ketches and later they became were sloops with the jibs set flying on very sophisticated retrieval systems for the jibs.

The earliest evolution looked like this:
Early sailing canoe

That quickly evolved into the batwing rig: (This particular canoe Successfully cruised through the Caribbean)
Batwing canoe

Here are the published dimensions of that rig: (It really needs running backstays or carbon spars and a vang).
yakaboo_dimensions_001

Which evolved into this once a sliding seat was added:
friede-sailing-mermaid-nysha-low-res_zps1z0krolw

and reached its ultimate development as this with a trapeze:
Batwing canoe

I think that the gunter rigged Batwing offers the best set up for your goals since it can be stored within the boat and can be reefed easily, and can be taken down and stowed from on board. The early canoers often built their own hardware and much of the hardware that we take for granted today was invented by canoers. As far as spars go, the most popular form of canoe gunter rig used telescoping tubes which would be pretty easy to do with carbon fiber tubing which while not exactly free can be gotten pretty affordably these days. https://www.rockwestcomposites.com/round-tubing

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Re: Sailing kayak

Interesting. The Kayaking guys recomended the batwing sail as well. I have to look further into the rig. Found a commercial product, but the rig and sail cost over $2000, so I think it will be a home made project. I like the idea of some kind of seat at the edge of the cockpit so I can change positions.

I wonder about excessive deck flex at the mast step if I go with a plastic boat, but I thought maybe if I place the mast step at the forward bulkhead and through bolt mast supports to the bulkhead I could reduce the flex to a tolerable level.

Capta, if you break down the distances mathematically, they arent excessive. 60 miles would be the max expectation with 45 miles being the norm. 60 miles @5 knots=12 hours @4 knots 15 hours @3 knots 20 hours. 45 miles @ 5 knots=9 hours @4 knots 11 hours 20 minutes @3 knots 15 hours. I can paddle at 3 knots, but would prefer to avoid excessive paddling.
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Re: Sailing kayak

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Originally Posted by Arcb View Post
Capta, if you break down the distances mathematically, they arent excessive. 60 miles would be the max expectation with 45 miles being the norm. 60 miles @5 knots=12 hours @4 knots 15 hours @3 knots 20 hours. 45 miles @ 5 knots=9 hours @4 knots 11 hours 20 minutes @3 knots 15 hours. I can paddle at 3 knots, but would prefer to avoid excessive paddling.
We do enough 40 to 80 mile daylight trips down here that I understand the mathematics of hourly travel. However, we also have a 70 foot spar and around a 50 foot waterline length, so we can very easily average 6 knots given a decent breeze, even taking into account the island lees. But here like there, the wind is not always consistent and where you sail even a tree can give you a small lee which can slow you down or force you to paddle, further expending energy.
Unless you are only sailing with a 4 knot current behind you, a 6 knot average may be almost impossible to maintain over any distance on a 17 foot kayak.
I've done enough solo sailing on Hobie a 16 between the islands of Oahu, Molokai, and Maui. It is extremely tiring and I found (even though I was in my 20's in great shape surfing and sailing every day) that I needed to just ease the sheets for a few minutes every hour or so, and just rest. That also cuts into your hourly average quite a bit.
A kayak, unlike your present boat, will require much more physical effort and I think you will find it very tiring on longer trips.
Anyway, good luck and have fun.

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post #7 of 66 Old 10-22-2018 Thread Starter
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Re: Sailing kayak

Oh, I wasn't thinking 45 with occasional 60 miles in day light only navigation, I was thinking 45 with occasional 60 miles in a 24 hour period (dawn to dawn or noon to noon, whatever your preference). I don't mind sailing in the dark, but I do need to get ashore and sleep for 5 or 6 hours or I make mistakes. I calculate a theoretical hull speed of 5 and change for a 17 ft kayak. So I think I should be able to maintain 4 knots a lot of the time, provided I design the boat to sail well. Which is why I thought I would run my thoughts past a couple of forums. I have already learned there were some holes in my plan (poor sail choice, deck flex), so it was a worth while exercise before I go out, spend money and start drilling holes in perfectly good boats
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Re: Sailing kayak

Maybe you should look at a 10 sq. meter canoe. International 10 Sq Metre Sailing Canoe Home Page These were thought to be the very earliest planning hulls and can hit speeds in the 12 to 14 knot range in enough wind (10-15 knots) They don't have much in the way of storage and would be a sit-upon kayak to paddle but they do fly.

But back to your original plan...., For me the problem with a roto-molded canoe is that I don't know if there is anything that will form a structural bond with the plastic. (There may be, but I am not familiar with what that adhesive might be.) But this begs the question on whether this is a one time thing, and so the boat is 'disposable', or whether you visualize using the boat for a long time. For the short run you can cobble something together by adding a door skin deck and a very simple rig.

But if you plan to use this boat for a long time, I would think about buying a very roto-molded canoe in mediocre to good condition and using it as a male mold, vaccuum bag the portion of the bull shape that you want, and make a glass canoe. I would keep it as light as possible so that you had adequate carrying capacity. Then, with a glass hull, it would be pretty easy to glass in bulkheads, knees and stringers as needed to brace them for the loads of the rig. I would probably build the boat with a little less freeboard forward than a normal roto-molded canoe and way less freeboard on the aft part of the hull but with higher coamings at the cockpit.

As to the batwing rig, its a pretty easy rig to build, especially if you build many of your own parts. Given your budget you might have to make your own sails, but you might find a sailmaker who is onboard with this. If you get serious about doing this, we can exchange ideas via email which makes it easier for me to send drawings. The thing about the batwing rig is that the spars are very short . Probably the longest spar is the mast which would be somewhere around 10 feet. The two- telescoping parts of the gunter are probably around 8 feet, and the boom is probably around 8 feet. The gunter hinges off of the boom and the boom attaches to a ring bolt on the deck with a spinnaker pole end fitting allowing the whole assembly (boom, gunter, sails and all) to be 8 feet long when contracted and to be quickly removed while still fully assembled and therefore stowed below deck from on board.

Jeff
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Re: Sailing kayak

Thanks for offering to help with rig design, might take you up on it when I figure out which direction to go with the rig. Modern vs traditional, off the shelf vs home design etc.

The 10 meter looks interesting, I think I have seen them racing around here. However, I definitely think I want to build this boat around a 17+ foot expedition style kayak with spray skirt and dry storage so I can use it coastal great lakes and ocean year round (except in ice).

As fortune has it I may not have to go rotomolded after all. Happened across a nice older but lightly used fibreglass/kevlar hull complete with paddle and spray skirt and foot pedal rudder steering for less money then the rotomolded boat I was considering. Fast looking boat. 17.5 ft long, 21 inch beam, about 50 pounds. I suspect it can scoot.
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post #10 of 66 Old 10-23-2018
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Re: Sailing kayak

I like that you may be able to secure a fiberglass/kevlar hull. That should make a better platform to work from. That said I would be very concerned about only having a 21" beam. Even the earliest sailing canoes typically had a beam between 2'-6" and 2-8" in order to have enough beam to have adequate stability to be able to sail safely, yet be narrow enough to be easy to use with a double paddle. The later higher performing sailing canoes tended to be over 3 feet in width and were able to plane, but they were not optimized to be paddled since canoes designed for performance when being paddled have way less wetted surface. The 2-6" width was seen as a good compromise width.

As far as the decking vs spray hood. Decking serves a very important function in a sailing canoe besides providing space to sit and hike out and making the boat easier to rescue if capsized. The most important function for decking a canoe is that performance oriented sailing canoes experience a lot of torsion between the sailing rig rotating the deck to leeward, and the centerboard rotating the hull the opposite rotation. The deck serves as a light thin membrane to distrute those loads and keep the gunnels from being able to flex and distort the hull. Without a deck, this can be accomplished by some mix of beefing up the hull and gunnels, bulkheads, partners,and knees. But that approach is a much heavier, harder to build, and not necessarily as structurally successful.

By the way, I did not realize that this is available online but there is a lot of information on voyaging canoes on the Mystic Seaport website located here: https://research.mysticseaport.org/i...36560-c012/16/

The three boats that are probably the most relevant to what you are considering are Leprechaun, Bee, the Starling Burgess design, and to a lesser extent Foam. You also might want to look at the centerboard setup on the Everson Lassie model. This set up supposedly allowed for really good tracking and could be trimmed to balance the boat. It also moved these elements out of the way of the cockpit, and allowed the boat to weathercock when anchored. Kestral is useful in seeing how the hiking seat worked.

Jeff


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