When I began the process of converting my cheap plastic 'paddleski' (sit-on-top kayak/canoe) to sail I wanted to construct the rigging from a few simple readymade materials which could be easily replaced.
So I created my sail rig by using:
- Bamboo for the mast and spar
- Second Hand Crutches
- Zip ties
- Stretch Cord
I sweated over everything and kept fiddling with my options, but in the end some solutions seemed to work quite well.
I based my sail design on that outlined in William Mantis' little book, The $50, 5 Hour Canoe Sail Rig.
I supported the mast by a set of crutches and lashed them to the bamboo. I dropped the two arms of the crutch either side of the kayak carry handle. The bridge in the crutch for the armpit rest became the pivot for the mast so that I could raise and lower it. I held this in place by a off cut of wood. I supported the boom by adhering it to some webbing. My mast is 3 metres long. The paddleski is 2.4 metres in length.
Since the mast is supported upright at approximately 45 degrees, I ran more crutches from a thwart I ran across the hull. I attached this to the mast by inserting a steel rod through the bamboo and the already existing holes on the crutches: I used two crutches aligned together for extra strength.
I held the mast to the crutches by twining through a stretch cord. The base of the paired crutch arms sat on the thwart in a pair of socks made from webbing. This isn't the best solution, but it gave me any opportunity to adjust my design before I arrived at a permanent fix. (Maybe a better solution would be to make the crutch arms and the thwart one triangular unit which is then attached to the hull rather than have two separate attachments each side of the hull for the crutch arms.)
Since this was a temporary and provisional build, everything was held in place with Zip ties.
|Steal Rod Through Bamboo Mast and Crutches|
|Stretch Cord Strapping|
|Mast Lowered to Deck|
That's because the struts running up from the hull give the mast adequate structural support upwards and laterally, and the meteorological forces are spread between the two connecting points on the mast.The join between the crutch arms and the mast functions as a lever -- like the bridge on a seesaw. The stretch cord lashing the struts to the mast are adequate to the task of holding the rig in place against upward lift or side push and pull so long as the base of the mast is anchored to the hull. Raising or lowering the mast is an easy business of unwrapping the stretch cord and unhooking the struts from the rod. Raising the mast and setting sail takes less than two to three minutes.
The crutches on which the mast rests hold the structure firmly in place as though they were custom made for the task, especially as the crutch arms curve inwards when attached at the gunwale.
Reefing can be done very easily while seated by lifting the boom to the mast and throwing around the boom rope to tie the boom to the mast.