Tuesday, February 1, 2011
More Kayak Sailing
My approach to rigging the kayaks for sail is to hack away at the problem without any good idea of what I'm doing. Ideally, I would have done a design first. I know the basic principles like how big the sail should be, where it should be on the boat and so on. And I have some books that describe the different sailing rigs suitable for a small boat.
But that's not how I did it, at least not this time around. I made a sail based on John Bull's book using materials I had available to me. The sail ended up being about 8 feet on a side because that was the length of spar material I had laying around, redwood from reclaimed deck lumber that my friend Steve had donated. I know that nobody ever uses redwood for boat applications. Apparently too soft and doesn't hold screws well etc. Still, there it was, lovely old growth redwood with tight grain and a marvelous deep color. It would have been a shame to not use it for something nautical. If you're going to cut down an old growth tree, better to use it for something less earthbound than fence posts or rain gutters. And friend Tim had donated a several damaged wind surfer kites from which I salvaged sail material for a new life as a kayak sail.
The center of effort of the sail looks to be a bit far forward, ok for going downwind but in need of an additional sail in back to bring the center of effort back far enough where a leeboard deployed somewhere around the middle of the cockpit would do some good.
The other problem with this configuration is that the mast step is a bit far forward of the front of the cockpit so that tending the sail is difficult. But we're learning.