How to Install a Sail on a Kayak - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 10 Old 05-18-2019 Thread Starter
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How to Install a Sail on a Kayak

This is my second sailing kayak conversion. My first conversion last year was intended to be a boat for racing and was pretty experimental. This one I had a better idea of what I needed to do so I made a vid while I did it.

The purpose of this boat is canal cruising with my kids, so the boat has a big deep cockpit and lots of storage space for camping gear; load capacity 500 pounds. The boat is equipped with aluminum rudder and foot pedal rudder control from the stern seating position only. The boat has a water tight compartment with bulk head in the stern and foam floatation in the bow.

I led the control lines back to the stern seating position so I can control everything while seated in the stern without having to move about the boat, however, I also left them accessible to the bow position so the bow person can sail the boat as well.

I don't anticipate a lot of upwind performance with this boat, but being a kayak, it can be paddled upwind.

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Re: How to Install a Sail on a Kayak

Looks like a nice kayak sail kit. Interested to see how it works. Others I've seen didn't seem to worth the effort.
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Re: How to Install a Sail on a Kayak

^^^ I have used the rig on my expedition kayak and its surprisingly powerful rig on such small easily driven hulls. 4.5-5 knots are not unusual speeds sailinf that boat.

I expect this boat to be slower as it has an extra 7 inches of beam and is nearly 4 ft shorter.

But, my son and I are doing a 12 mile sail through our favourite bird sanctuary this afternoon, so that will be a pretty good test. Going to find a beach and roast up hot dogs, kolbassa and marshmallows.

Which reminds me, I wanted to list the vital statistics for the boat;
-weight 71 pounds, so she is definitely a car topper.
-Length 13.5 feet.
-Beam 31 inches. My other kayak is 23.5 inches, so this boat has earned itself the name "The Sail Barge" (from Return of the Jedi). The ultra wide beam will give some form stability and make the boat easier to sail than my other kayak.
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Re: How to Install a Sail on a Kayak

Nice job!

I've always called a kayak with two seated positions, the divorce kayak. No couple returns from a tandem kayak trip on solid ground.
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Re: How to Install a Sail on a Kayak

And here is the finished product under way. I got lucky on my test day and got winds gusting to 28 mph, so I was able to put her through her paces. She planed out pretty easily with those wind speeds. I think I might make some adjustments to the stays as the rig got a bit floppy gybing and what not. Fun boat, easier to sail than my sea kayak, and handled the blowy day like a champ.

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Re: How to Install a Sail on a Kayak

Good to see you having fun with it.

I bet that water was chilly and you are in shorts in a near gale. Unfortunately, it may be used by your family at your competency hearing. Iíve seen less get folks committed.
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Re: How to Install a Sail on a Kayak

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Originally Posted by Minnewaska View Post
Nice job!

I've always called a kayak with two seated positions, the divorce kayak. No couple returns from a tandem kayak trip on solid ground.
I hope not, I just picked up a tandem from the spring boat swap. My wife is a decent paddler but I am still significantly faster. With the tandem, she should not have trouble keeping up.
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Re: How to Install a Sail on a Kayak

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I hope not, I just picked up a tandem from the spring boat swap. My wife is a decent paddler but I am still significantly faster. With the tandem, she should not have trouble keeping up.
Coordinating paddle strokes, when one is stronger/faster than the other is the exact conflict that causes stress in a tandem. Pro tip, suggesting she stop paddling won't make it better.
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Re: How to Install a Sail on a Kayak

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Coordinating paddle strokes, when one is stronger/faster than the other is the exact conflict that causes stress in a tandem. Pro tip, suggesting she stop paddling won't make it better.
This reads like first hand experience

Not all tandems are created equal. This tandem of mine 13.5 ft, you are pretty close to the bow guy, paddles definately cross. But, I have managed all 4 of us in this boat. Wife and baby in the front seat, not paddling, my son sitting back against the front seat and me the only one paddling in the back. Its a bit awkward, I have to paddle with my elbows more bent than I normally would.

I rented a 12 ft sit on top in Cuba. It was ridiculously small. I could have bumped my son in the back of the head with the shaft he was so close and we were paddling in some pretty good size surf, so adjusting my stroke was not really that convenient.

But, then there are the expedition tandems. They are sweet boats. My brother has two of them, his and hers so each of them can paddle with a kid in the bow. 22 feet long with a rudder, so no real need to sync strokes, just paddle as you please. They're a kevlar blend so they don't weigh much more than my 13.5 ft. They use the "Windpaddle" style down wind sails.

I would think the need to sync strokes would disappear somewhere around the 16-17 ft range.
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Re: How to Install a Sail on a Kayak

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This reads like first hand experience .......
Roger that. My wife and I can't even agree on who leads, when we're dancing.

The only time I got away with it, was with my 10-12 yr old daughter in an ocean tandem and we had to break through some waves to make enough distance offshore to turn, lest be rolled. I had her stop paddling, as I needed to give it everything I had. She forgives me.


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