Sailrig alternate rigging options

Hey every one my name is Mcfly (no it has nothing to do with Back To The Future however much I do love the movies) any ways. I am going to start m firstbuildof a Chesapeake double and sailrig within thenext couple of months. I am getting the 55sq foot sail but the big question I have is has any one done any alternative rigging to them without really moding the kayak itself. I would love to put a jib on that does not require a roller ferling or a headstay. and if possible be able to use a spinaker. 


So What have you guys done?




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RE: Sailrig alternate rigging options

   Hello McFly, I built a CLC LT17 and added the sailrig. I am now about to modify my rig to accomodate a home built roller furler for a jig sail that I have not yet built (but have the materials). However first I need to reduce compression loading on the mast by adding a halyard lock on the mast head or at the bottom of the mast. Then I need to add mast stays to either the akas or the amas.

I am concerned about this because John at CLC has mentioned the excessive compression forces in some posts regarding the additional rigging. I am hoping the reduction in mast compression from the halyard lock will help. When I built my kayak I also added an additional layer of Okoume plywood and carbon fiber (12x12") under my mast step plus additional fiber glass and "legs" off the CLC mast step that are through bolted from the bottom of the boat. In short this has withstood forces that caused the mast to bend like an archer's bow while other boats ran for cover (yes, they were smarter than I was; it was my maiden voyage).

I am not yet sure of what I will end up with: a high aspect ratio jib or a low aspect jib; a non-stayed system or a a stayed system (my prefered choice now), a halyard lock that I design or something that will be cheap and easy, etc...

Sailcut is a great SW package that you can download and use to design your jib for free. Here is the link:

This guy gave me plenty of ideas to build my own roller furler (Ithink I improved his design but, hey...):

And this person sells polytarp sail making kits and has a ton of usefull information on his web site. Do you want to cross the pacific with a poly sail? No. but I have sailed my LT 17 in conditions that CLC probably would not advise and survived. If I had a proper jib it might have been better.

I am not sure how much traction your original question will get in this forum due to the wide range of products that CLC sells and the lack of necessary modifications those products require. But I for one find the discovery as fun as the voyage. Whatever the outcome, it will be fun. Please contact me and let me know what you decide to do. If I can help you, then I will.

As always, repeat: what could go wrong?





RE: Sailrig alternate rigging options

Well I'm back to answer my own question of "what could go wrong".

John let me know the following:

""""The CLC SailRig is really set up for the loads imposed by a jib.  It's a lot more involved than just hoisting a second sail.  Here's the relevant quote from my monograph on the CLC SailRig:


"What about adding a jib?" I hear you ask.  A jib requires that the mast be stayed with wire shrouds led out to the hulls or it will be too baggy to sail upwind.  The shrouds shift the loads on the mast from mostly axial to mostly compressive.  The stock mast, intended to bend gently and deliberately under sail, isn't stiff enough to handle the compression, so a heavier mast is needed.  Meanwhile, the mast is pushing down on the mast step, requiring further reinforcement there.

The shrouds are pulling up on the crossbeams, and they'll need additional stiffness to handle it.  The kayak itself is being bent like a bow between the upward pull of the jib and shrouds and downward thrust of the mast, so the whole hull could use more fiberglass.  All of this takes a lot more money and especially time, for a modest increase in speed.  Meanwhile, the kayak is now too heavy and cluttered with extra structure to be any fun on its own, and sailing requires more setup time before you get under way.  Let's stick with a single sail and avoid the escalation.


I've seen a few CLC SailRigs outfitted with a jib, and even sailed with them once or twice.  They had much huskier crossbeams, heavier masts, and a lot of hull reinforcement.  The paid more for the extra weight than they gained in speed from the jib.  Just putting a bigger sail up (like the SailRig 70) will get you more speed with a lot less trouble, although that one DOES require some modest mast step reinforcement."""


So I can infer what could go wrong by all of this if I proceed without all the structural reinforcements, etc. Some I have done (I have the 70 sail) but others I am not willing to do.

So, I think I'll make a kite-style spinnaker and see what that does. I don't have to connect it to the mast and I can keep it small.

I hope the information helps others.


RE: Sailrig alternate rigging options

Do you have any pictures?

RE: Sailrig alternate rigging options

   Jibs are very useless on unstayed rigs. Stays add a lot of complication and large compressive rig loads. Most of the old time sailing canoes (the hey day of sailing canoes was the late 1800's) went with a Ketch or Schooner rig on two unstayed masts to add more sail area. There are some really good books out there (check the Wooden Boat Store) about sailing canoes and thier evolution.

The Gougon Brothers did a lot of work on small, quickly reefable rigs for kayaks too, not sure if they wrote much of it up, but check thier site too.


RE: Sailrig alternate rigging options

   I have a lot of pictures. What would you like to see?

 here is a link to some pictures of the construction. But as I said, I'll not be modifying the boat      for a jib. I modified a few things already because I have the 70sq ft sail and I think a couple things needed it. But adding more fiberglass or carbon fiber and beefing up the akas is not going to happen.

Here is a link to a long ocean trip I took a couple years ago before I even had 5 hours on board experience. The thing was great in wind and big seas!

RE: Sailrig alternate rigging options

>> Jibs are very useless on unstayed rigs.

Not if the boat is designed for it in the first place.  As an add-on to an unstayed rig that was never designed for a jib, I totally agree. But if the boat was designed from the beginning by a competent designer for a jib, they can be useful, especially in light air.


RE: Sailrig alternate rigging options


I have a Sport Tandem that has the Sailrig Mk3 on it and have recently added basic test trampolines in addition to the RS200 jib I added a while ago.

A couple of photos of it are on

and I should have some video posted soon.

The jib makes a huge difference to performance however I do now need to bring the mast back a little into the front cockpit as the centre of effort is now further forward.

I will also try adding a small mizzen to see if that works as I already have a mast step setup in the rear cockpit.

The stays spread the load over both akas with a spreader and it that works well.

The mast step is well reinforced and no sign of issues and I have been out in some 20-25 knot winds where the mast was bending and twisting all over the place.

The boat really cracks along although tacking is still slow as you would expect but the jib certainlyimproves the tacking.

We should have some videos posted soon but we've only had really light winds last few weeks.

RE: Sailrig alternate rigging options

Here is a recent video of the Sport Tandem with the jib and now trampolines and stays. The mast is so bendy it is quite frightening in reasonable winds.

Much lower winds and trampolines fitted.

Sorry for posting this in various areas, not sure if anyone is interested but it would have been useful info for me when I was looking at the sailrig combo and options to move forward.

Will get some video of some old windsurfer rigs that have also worked really well.

I am also going to try using a large jib as the main - I have mast steps and deck holes much further back so I can use an aft mast / jb combo as perthis:

which might prove amusing.

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