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Adding a Sail to a Kayak

Updated On October 1, 2020

Today a large number of kayakers want to add a sail onto a canoe or kayak. However, many of them do not know where to start. We have put together the most appropriate information and guide here for you.

It is a fairly simple task if you know exactly what you are doing.

 

Can you Put a Sail on a Kayak?

Using a kayak sail you can paddle or simply let yourself be carried away by the current and the wind.

For this, it is necessary to have the necessary materials and the most appropriate size of the sail. From the first moment you start sailing, you will notice that sailing is much easier. You should choose the most appropriate place to install the sail on the kayak.

Many sails are compact and very suitable for different sizes of kayaks. Just as with a sailboat, keep in mind that the size of the sail is important. Thus, a sail that is too large may increase the speed or be uncomfortable to control during a strong wind.

At the same time, incorporating a sail into your kayak prevents you from over-exerting yourself when paddling. If you prefer, you can also remove the sail and store it. This way, you get an excellent level of versatility depending on weather factors and water movement.

 

How to Put a Sail on a Kayak

In order to install a sail on a kayak you will need to have the following materials:

  • PVC tubes for the mast
  • Curtain cloth to make the candle
  • Rope to complement the sail
  • At least 2 oak woods to obtain the keel (1

The process is quite simple. We leave you here, the main steps to do it correctly:

  • First, you must join the PVC pipes with the appropriate height. Here it is usually advisable to have a mast of approximately 2 meters in height. It is also necessary to drill holes in the lower part of the mast in order to fix it to the kayak. (2)
  • Secondly, you should use the curtain cloth which should have the shape of a triangle, but you should secure one of the sides of the sail with the mast. Here it is important to apply the appropriate reinforcements to prevent the sail from coming off in a strong wind.
  • Thirdly, you must use a rope to hold the free vertex of the sail. After that, this rope should be tied efficiently. The key here is to be able to use the sail comfortably.
  • Fourth, the oak wood should be placed on the different sides of the mast. In particular, this wood is used to provide the proper support and fastening to the mast. Otherwise, the mast could come loose in the presence of a lot of wind.

Here are a few helpful videos from around the web of putting sails on kayaks.

Using and folding a circular sail:

Installing on a sit inside kayak:

Installing a DIY sail:


Installing a falcon sail:

 

Some Considerations of Adding a Kayak Sail

There are some very simple steps you can take to add a sail to your kayak. However, before that, your kayak must meet some requirements.

 

Choose the Ideal Type of Kayak

Here you should note that those kayaks that are too closed (IE sit-in kayaks) provide few possibilities for you to incorporate a sail. Therefore, it would be much more convenient to select an open type of kayak (Sit On Top). The weight of the person will be important to use the sail correctly as well.

 

Kayak Design

First of all, your boat must be perfect to incorporate a sail. At the same time, incorporating a rudder could help during the use of the kayak. Of course, it is not mandatory, but it will allow you to obtain greater advantages in stability during sailing.

Finally, the kayak should have a minimum width of 60 cm and a minimum length of 4.5 meters. In case the kayak is smaller than this it would not be very advisable to incorporate a sail, since the sail would be too difficult to install.

 

Wrapping Up

After you get your kayak sail or sailing canoe, you will be able to navigate more easily. This way, you will not need to use the paddles when you want the wind to do all the work. Of course, it is necessary to check that all the components are properly installed, or you can also do your own homemade kayak sail, the DIY way. Once everything is ready you can continue your trip on the water.

We’ve also listed the best sailing kayak if you’re interested to find the best one in the market today. And if you are interested to learn more about kayaking, click here.

 
  

References

(1) oak woods – https://www.extension.iastate.edu/wine/files/page/
files/oakwoodcomposition.pdf
(2) PVC – https://www.britannica.com/science/polyvinyl-chloride

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About the author 

Andrew Bell

Andrew is a seasoned kayaker with 15 years of experience under his belt. He began kayaking as a way to reduce work stress but quickly became an avid kayak fisher and lure expert. He currently enjoys both lake and ocean kayaking and loves to write and share his experiences.


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