NSW Sea Kayak Club – Driftwood Designs [62]

Sails for Sea Kayaks

By Mick McRobb

These sails have been designed from an old style of sail called a sprit sail, used on small craft in all major coastal ports world wide.

The sea kayak sail has been refined by many paddlers to give us what we expect today , these sails are best used down wind or on a broad reach.

Depending on the kayak they sometimes can even be sailed on most points of the wind! The sail is mounted on a “pop up” mast, easily dropped and folded up on the deck out of the way of the paddler.

With the sail up its positioning is forward of the paddler so that the paddle can still be used to steer, support and even paddled.

With practice, when the kayak is knocked over the sail and mast can be folded underwater and the kayak rolled upright.

The rigging of the mast is very simple , it consists of backstays, either 2 or 3, depending on the width of the deck. The mast foot is mounted on. A swivel at the base of the mast to enabled it to fold, and a front stay runs through a block on the bow, back to a “V” cleat at the cockpit , when its released the hole mast collapses towards the paddler and then rolled and made fast on the deck which only takes a couple of seconds, an important thing for safely when the weather turns really bad .

The boom is mounted onto the mast for better stability in both light and heavy winds. Both the boom and the sail sprit are made of aluminum with the battens made of flexible nylon. The thinking behind using this materials is that in the case of a prang they wont brake, just bend and can be straitened to be used again with no need to be replaced

The sails themselves are made up from light weight rip stop polyester / nylon blend with biaxial sail binding around the edges and on both sides of the boom and stays and sewn with bonded polyester cotton. The boom is tensioned from the outside edge onto the boom, with “loose feet” to enable better setting of the sail and less wear of the sail cloth in the high stress areas when the rig is folded and when in a strong wind.

The boom and sprit are finished with end caps and stitched in with marine grade heavy thread.

The positioning of the mast and the cut of the sail doesn’t interfere with the ability to low brace and when paddling.

Features include:

  • Alloy mast and spars
  • Stainless steel fittings
  • Polyester and nylon blend fabric
  • Wind tell tails
  • Wide variety of high viz colors
  • 100 % Australian Made

I’ll make sails to your specs and sizes as well .

Driftwood Designs
0411 989455

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