TopKayaker.Net: Guide To Kayak Sailing

OK Drifter

OK Drifter

OK Drifter

OK DrifterKayak Sailing with the Drifter
All photos by Phillip Dang. Not to be reprinted without permission.

Phillip Dang of Hui Wa'a Kaukahi, Honolulu's Kayak Club, shares his unique sailing rig:

Here are pictures of my drifter kayak outfitted with a home made "miniaturized" sloop sail rig, with a fiberglass rudder and dagger boards.

Average speed is about 4.5 mph with a 20 mph wind. Like any sail boat, it is capable of running 45 degrees to the wind.

With the relatively wide beam of the Drifter kayak... no side pontoons are necessary for stability.

How I did it:

OK Drifter As for the construction of the sail assembly.....it is primarily made of 1" PVC tubing.....with a 3/4" wooden dowel inserted for rigidity, stainless steel pulleys and other marine hardware, stainless steel wire for the jib, dacron rope for the guy supports, remnants of an old windsurfer sail....cannibalized to make my jib and mail sail.

At right is a close-up of the pulley rope system showing the ropes that control the jib and main sail......all controlled at one convenient control console.

The mast is approx 8 feet in length.

The rudder is made of several layers of fiberglass cloth made into a flat sheet.approx 1/4" thick.......then cut with a saber saw to resemble the shape of a rudder. The same process is made with the two side dagger boards. OK Drifter

Actually the jib (larger of the two sail) does most of the work. Like any regular sailboat.........it can tack 45 degrees to the wind and any direction aft. Since the drifter has a width of 34"...it is very stable in the water....making it unnecessary to use external pontoons. I've sailed in 30 mph winds will good stability.

Phil Dang is also the inventor of The Solo Rescue Assist (SRA). TopKayaker.net's Tom Holtey tested it and it works! For more information on the SRA visit his website: www.Phil Dang's SRA.

Helpful Links:


Go to: JNR hardware sail rig packJNR SAIL AT TOM'S TOPKAYAKER SHOP At Tom's TopKayaker Shop:
We carry a large variety of kayak sails including the JNR Sails with industry standard hardware for kayak modifications.Now you can buy the JNR recommended hardware in a kit at Tom's TopKayaker Shop, useful for modifications with other sails as well.


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