SailRig MK2 Question

I've recently decided to build a kayak, and am in the process of deciding which kayak to build.  One of the features I would like to have would be to be able to add a sailing rig, and I'm very interested in the CLC SailRig MK2.

One concern that I have with this rig is how to build the akas.  I'm new to any type of boatbuilding or woodworking, and they look complex to build.  Does anyone have any experience they could offer?

6 replies:

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RE: SailRig MK2 Question

Hi Matthew, I think most all of your questions will be answered as your kayak build progresses. The amas are nothing more than small versions of the kayak and the akas are just contoured laminates. You will probably buils a table made of a sheet of plywood cut in half lengthwise as a work table. This table will be a good thing to build your bending form on to laminate the akas which will probably be at the end of your project. The akas are made up of several layers of wood bent over a form then glued togather. The result is a sandwitch that holds it's shape when the glue dries. You'll find this forum very responsive to your needs for help so go for it and enjoy the build, I guarantee you'll enjoy the results. SEEYA Jack

RE: SailRig MK2 Question

Thanks Jack.  Now to measure my garage to see how well a 17 foot kayak would fit :)

RE: SailRig MK2 Question

Instead of laminating cedar, I'm thinking about making MKII akas out of some 1088 marine plywood scraps I have lying around. I guess that the akas would be heavier than fir or cedar, but it sure would be faster not to rip lots of 8 ft strips and instead just laminate up a 2inch thick plywood sheet 144 3/4 by about 7 inches and then cut the nice aka curves to fit the plans. I could also just use thicker plywood and maybe only have four laminations, which might be a little easier/faster.

If this would work in spite of the extra weight, it would also make it easier to make several sets of akas, one for each kayak that I am going to fit with the rig (I will switch the MKII between at least two boats, and perhaps three). 

Another option I've been considering for the MKII is trying to modify my old JY15 rig to fit the MKII plans that I am building. Has anybody tried something other than the MKII sail rig using these amas?

Suggestions are always welcome, as I freely acknowledge my lack of any technical expertise. 

RE: SailRig MK2 Question

In theory ply is not ideal, firstly half of the grain would be oriented the wrong way. Second it is probably relatively heavy with all that glue in the ply - and half the wood adding little to the stiffness. But a small increase in aka dimension (depth) would recover the lost stiffness, and I have to agree this is an attractive option. It will be much easier to bend the strips and it should not spring back much at all.

An alternative I have used is to make hollow akas. I used 10mm hardwood for the upper and lower faces and 6mm ply for the side faces to make a hollow square section aka. By cutting the ply sides with the desired curvature I got nice curvy shapes. The upper and lower hardwood faces had their inward edges rebated 6mm to nicely locate the ply sides. Solid internal blocks at the ends and any stress points. The cross section needs to be slightly (say 10%) larger than an equivalent solid aka, but the end result is just as stiff and very very light. It was a bit fiddly assembling, but nothing a few clamps, a roll of packing tape and a bit of muttering didn't overcome easily.

RE: SailRig MK2 Question

Another alternative, which I can't do since I've already cut the pieces, would have been to orient the plywood on the bias and cut the plywood pieces at 45 degrees to the edge of the sheet. That way, assuming that the laminations of the plywood are glued in at 90 degrees to each other, all the wood would be oriented at about 45 degrees to the stress. Not sure if having all the fibers halfway right is better than half the fibers being oriented right, but perhaps somebody has an idea.

I think (having already gotten the jig ready) I will epoxy everything up tonight and then when I am finished I will lay the aka flat and trace a cap piece ()or facing plate) in 3mm plywood or similar and glue it against the edges of the laminations I've made. That should add lots of extra strength to the aka. Those with dire warnings or high praises, take your pick, let me know. I will probably sheath the entire aka in 6oz fiberglass as well. Better beefy than bendy, I say.

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