Which kayak for the sail rig?


I am planing to order the Sail Rig Mk2 and am interested in suggestions or comments on a fast single to go with it?

I currently have a C17 but wondered what other kayaks builders have successfully paired the sail rig with?

I haven't sailed before but would like something efficient and responsive to make it an effective sailing tri.  Stability of the kayak isn't important (I paddle much less stable boats than the C17 now, and am also after something faster anyway).

Thanks in advance.

Melbourne, Australia

5 replies:

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RE: Which kayak for the sail rig?

Sailing is not intuitive. It takes some time to learn the ropes. So a boat as narrow as a canoe or kayak is not ideal unless you are comfortable with getting wet  a lot.

Some of the main problems I had while learning was having lines hang up and the sail not deploying properly. The only way I could get things to function again without rowing back to shore was to stand up in the boat. The boat was an 8' pram and standing was tricky but possible. Nobody I know has ever successfully stood up in a kayak.

Because of that problem the setup for sailboats that prohibit standing has to be almost foolproof. Everything has to fall to hand and be routed so as to not foul. I saw the rigging and hardware for a rather narrow 13' ultralight double-ender.  It probably took longer to design that stuff than it did to design the boat.

If you can arrange to get some learning time in a smallish, standard sailboat you will be money ahead and will be equipt to answer your own question.

RE: Which kayak for the sail rig?

Charlie... you should have a look at the sailrig, its a tri. You could stand up and walk around if you wanted, regardless of the kayak  the thing has a 12'beam. Other than slow tacking it should be pretty easy to learn to sail on it, mainly because of the fact that its nearly impossible to capsize yet will be very responsive to helm and trim.

Darren... any boat will work. I'm fitting mine to a 17LT with a modified sheer and deck and also to a fiberglass tandem, You simply make custom adapter pads to go between the akas and the deck (and in my case they bolt on rather than glue so I can change them out depending on the boat. I also chose to thru-bolt the rig to my boat rather than lashing (I really don't like the idea if eyebolts sticking out of my rails)... I just added reinforcment at the bolt holes to prevent tearout and I'll use a short bolt with a rubber washer to seal the holes when the rig is not in use. So use the longest, leanest boat you can find... we can compare top speeds when we're done!

RE: Which kayak for the sail rig?

psh1978 is right.  The sailrig will work with any kayak or canoe.  My sailrig is on a Redfish Spring Run Kenai.  However, I would not classify a kayak with the sailrig as a high performance sail boat.  It is just too hard to tack.  Most of the time I have to use my paddle to push the bow around.  The problem is that kayaks are designed to go straight without too much work and sailboats need to be able to turn more easily.  I overcame this problem by using a vastly larger rudder than the original double kayak rudder I started with.  

 However, the huge advantage is that the CLC sailrig is extremely stable.  I have stood up in the cockpit of my boat several times and the boat never came close to tipping.  Also, I have sailed in 20 knot winds with some huge swells and even when the downwind float (ama) was completely underwater I have never come close to capsizing.  

RE: Which kayak for the sail rig?

Thanks for the replies...I guess it's just up to personal preference, although it appears logical a Mill Creek will be a lot slower than a Mystery under sail :-)

I'll keep pondering and hopefully pick something over the coming weeks and put in an order.

PSH - I'll let you know how the speed tirals go.


RE: Which kayak for the sail rig?

I have a MC16 with a Klepper sliding gunther and jib sail.  For the Klepper rig, I had two halyards for the sails, two sheets for the jib sail and one sheet for the main.  All lines are manageable.  I run the halyards into jam cleats for quick release.

As for the boat, I would perfer a V or U shaped hull, not a flat bottom like the mill creek.  In heavier seas, after the boat broaches, the bottom often hits hard with a loud smack.  I also have a S12 and got the windpaddle for it.  I even ambitiously tried running leeboards on the canoe with the sail - but didn't get the performance I was after.  With that S12, it is so light, I can usually paddle faster than the wind would push on all but the most foul of days - then one isn't out in a boat that size...

I think someone one this forum, cannot recall who, has mentioned that a shorter boat length performs better in tack manuvers.

As a side note, my MC16 and S12 are fitted with float bags.   Kayak and canoe sailing has been around for a while.   Happy sailing...

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