I’ve been mucking about sea kayak sails for many years and had a variety of shapes and types fitted on lots of my kayaks, starting in the early 1980’s. I’ve been using the common fold down mast on my single kayaks with a 1sq metre sail for many years and thought this was the simplest model.
With the arrival of our Passat G3 double from Seaward Kayaks, Robyn and I have had to rethink the sailing idea. We looked at a couple of normal style mast fittings, but decided that we needed a” through the deck” mast socket. I wanted it to be able to paddle effectively whilst the sail was up so I decided on a central sail mount, between the 2 paddlers, and close to the front paddler, meaning that I couldn’t actually reach the mount to insert the mast.
I enlisted the help of Mal B, our Mr Gadget on this one. His design was a stainless steel tube with exterior flange, matching underdeck reinforcing plate with a bracing bracket to the bulkhead. It incorporated a “lead in” section in the tube so that the mast could be inserted at an angle, and then pushed upright by the rear paddler. Luckily Mal had a few ideas and some expert engineering skills to install it and make it work. After buying some tube and plate it was off to the workshop to cut and weld it together. The fairlead cleat for the boom rope is not attached by bolts through the deck as is common practice, but threaded onto a spectre cord that is attached to the deckline mounts meaning fewer holes drilled in the kayak.
Then the problem of deck storage. Because the sail mast was not attached to the foredeck as in my previous fit-out with single kayaks, I had to get a more streamlined full length bag made for the furled sail and store it on the deck.
As my sewing skills are well known to be zero, I contacted an old friend who makes kayak sails as well as doing windsurfer sail modifications and repairs.
Di knocked up a perfect storage bag suitable for storage on the deck. Di had previously built lots of sails for me and all are still in excellent condition, so if you’re in Adelaide, or infact anywhere in Australia, and need a sail repair or bag made give Di a call on (08) 82965464 or her mobile 0404040593.
I’m sure she will be able to help you out.
I took a couple of photos and filmed a little of the Passat under sail during our recent trip along the coast of Yorke Peninsula. Hope it gives you an idea of the mounting system and sailing fun.
This is only a basic overview of the system so if you want more information please contact me. The next project is to design a sail fitout for my Nimbus Njak kayak, that doesn’t involve extra holes drilled in the kayak and can be easily fitted as one unit. I’ll get onto that one when I get back from our next holiday.
Ian and Robyn
PS. There is a review of the Passat G3 double sea kayak here