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I've constructed 2 small kayak sails similar in appearance to shoulder o' mutton sails that contain small battens to hold out the peak and the clew of each sail. The 12-13 sq. ft. sail is mounted to the lower 3 sections of a 13', 4-section, telescoping fiberglass fishing pole. The 1" OD base of this pole fits in a hole in the footwell and an open face press-in spring clamp holds the pole in place near the top of the bulkhead.

Not owning a kayak, would a sail this size provide enough area to assist the paddler and give him or her some rest on a downwind leg?

LDPE
 

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Tartan 34C
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Anything helps. So, yes you might gain a knot or two. If you don't own a kayak yet and you want to put a sail on one, I would suggest looking at a Hobie Adventure Island. I have one and love it. The sail is about 55 sq ft I believe. They aren't cheap but you can get a used one for a good price. The Mirage drive is also genius.

Mirage Adventure Island : Islands : Hobie Cat
 
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