This is a short video I made of some of my kayak sailing around Key West last summer. The sail worked great in the 10-25 knot winds and made the kayaking ridiculously fun. You can read how I made the sail here and here.
The setup I decided on for the outriggers is similar to Andrew McAuley’s rig for his Tasman Sea crossing. I used ram ball and socket mounts, size 1.5 inch ball on the deck on either side. I used giant 1.5 inch washers on the underside but I still think I need to reinforce the hull with some fiberglass in that area. The benefits of this design is its flexibility and convenience. It’s weakness is the stress on the hull and weight. I considered simply strapping the extra paddle to deck but realized that would be neither flexible, resilient, nor convenient. However, the load would be distributed across the hull whereas the load for the ball and socket setup is on the hull in just a 2.5 inch diameter circle. Another fault of this system is that the outrigger can slip over the ball, a problem I imagine worsens in the water. Still a work in progress but I’ll figure it out.
I added some deck rigging for a kayak sea anchor and towline. I used 80 feet of 2.8mm Spyderline. I took the line all the way from the bow to the stern using Ronstan’s sheaveless blocks at either end. The reason I did this is so that when say I have the sea anchor deployed, the tension runs through the bow block all the way to the stern and then to the deck cleat on the right side of the cockpit. What this essentially does is lower the force on the deck cleat by half. The deck cleat is the most fragile component of the whole system and the one that would cause the biggest problem if it breaks (a hole in the boat). It also allows me to easily deploy and retract both a sea anchor and towline from the same rope. A sea anchor is used in heavy winds to slow the boats progress by acting as a parachute in the water and to orient the bow into the wind where the boat is least likely to capsize.
My homemade kayak sail is complete and I just want to thank my wonderful aunt for all her help with it! It looks absolutely beautiful. I have yet to take it for a test run but with all the forethought, I am certain it will sail wonderfully. In the last three days I also added the outriggers and some deck rigging and cleats for the sea anchor/tow rope. I will post about them in the next couple days!
In preparation for my fast approaching attempt to kayak from Key West to the Bahamas, my aunt and I made a kayak sail. I created the mast and boom using fiberglass rods which I ordered from DX Engineering. I considered using carbon fiber rods but changed my mind because of the expense. A fiberglass pole may cost $10 whereas the equivalent in carbon fiber will be over $100. For a low stress kayak sail, the fiberglass will do.