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Thread: homemade kayak sail

  1. #1
    New member
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    Feb 2012
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    Default homemade kayak sail

    hi all. i am new to the forum. congratulations for the good work you are doing here.
    I own a Bic Tobago Kayak for three years now. I am thinking of making a homemade sail. I know that there are plenty of ready kits out there but i like most making things on my own. My kayak is a sit on top kayak (2 persons) and it is 4 meters in length. I am thinking of making a sail that it is 4 meters in height using an aluminium tube as a mast. I do not want to use a boom for the sail so as to be able to reef it (rap it around the tube). I am also thinking of using a tosable leeboard as i don't want to drill any holes at the moment.
    My questions are:
    1. what should the thickness of the aluminium tube should be so as not to bend much under air pressure? Is it also ok to use a tube so high or should i use a shorter one?
    2. any thoughts on the mast step without having to drill any holes?
    3. is it worthy to make outriggers? it is a very stable kayak i could say. never tipped over once under normal use.


    Please any thoughts would be helpful.
    Thank you in advance.


    A fellow kayaker.

  2. #2
    Member
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    Nov 2011
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    Sterling
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    I made a sail from scratch for my tandem SOT this past summer. I used to do a lot of windsurfing so it was a fun project and it is so fun to fly downwind. I didn't use a boom for the same reason as you. After some trial and error (tried a wooden dowel first, but it was too heavy), I made the mast about 6' tall out of 1/2 " pvc pipe because my priority wasn't stiffness (I actually wanted some flex in the mast); my priorities were light weight and strength. I made the sail itself out of a tarp I had lying around. I did wind up drilling a hole to mount the mast and reinforced the mast step laterally with more pvc pipe. It's difficult to explain the configuration of the mast foot with words so I'll post some pictures this weekend (after I dig the boat out!). I don't use outriggers. The sail works great, the parts cost less than $20.00, it was a fun build, and it's really fun to sail! Good luck with your project! Pictures to follow.

  3. #3
    Member Arcticmayhem's Avatar
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    Sep 2010
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    Wasilla, Alaska, United States
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    I made a sail for my 12' sailboat out of Tyvek and Gorilla tape. I used a 16' piece of 2" aluminum pipe for the mast and a 1x2 for the boom. I know it sounds a bit redneck, but tape worked better than stitching it and it has held up for 3 seasons so far. It is fast and solid. Tyvek is lighter and tougher than tarp, and sheds water better than canvas. It took me a few tries to get enough belly in the sail to make it work right, and as it gets older, it is less efficient with low wind, but with 10+ of wind, I can make good progress upwind. Spend a little time on google and you should be able to get some other tips.

  4. #4
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    Feb 2012
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    thank you guys for your advice. After a lot of google search I am now thinking of copying the 6004 sail rig from sailboatstogo which can be found here http://www.sailboatstogo.com/catalog/KAYAK_RIG. I will make a lateen sail of 5 square meters from polytrap fabric. I will make the aluminium frame around the kayak, a rudder using a kayak paddle and two leeboards from 5mm plexiglass. I think it is a good idea and the sail will be large enough to move 170 kgs (the kayak, me and my girlfriend ). What do you think? It will cost around 150 $ but it will worth the try. Do you have any idea on the size of the leeboards acoording to the size of the sail?

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