This simple do-it-yourself kayak sail is a very inexpensive alternative to some of the more expensive ready-made sail kits on the market.
If you are like me you want to "do it yourself" but you do not want it to look like you did it yourself. With the JNR Kayak Sail you can take great pride in accomplishing this project. It will look professional. Not only will you save a ton of money on the cost but your new sail will look and perform just as good as the more expensive versions. Everyone on the lake will want a sail as cool as yours!
Note: The following instructions are demonstrated in YouTube videos by John Royals himself. We recommend using both the below well illustrated information and the videos in concert together. Jump to JNR Videos In Four Parts.
Materials needed from local hardware store: Carefully match your pvc pipe to the wooden dowels. Dimensions can vary from one supplier to another.
#1 Make sure your saddle straps are above waterline and that you have a minimum of 12 inches to shock cord attachment point.
#2 Completed mast &
saddle without sail
# Completed sail mast saddle.
#4 Sail mast saddle w/ sail attached
& secured to saddle.
#5 Sheeting and shock cord attachment to mast.
#6 Routing of sheeting around seating area. The blocks remove most of the friction from your sheeting allowing for easy adjustment of sail from downwind to a reach.
#7 Shock cord attachment point
Materials needed from Tom's
Step One: Attaching the side release snap buckles
to your kayak
Determine where to drill holes to attach the female ends
of the side release snap buckles (photo #1). The two holes
must be above the water line and at least 12-inches from the shock cord
attachment point on bow of the kayak.
Drill the holes just big enough insert well nut screw into hull. Now take two 8-inch long 1-inch wide webbing strips and fold in half. One inch from the end of the webbing make a mark with a pen in the center of each end of the webbing strips.
Take an old Phillips head screw driver and heat with a candle and melt a hole where you made the mark into each end of the webbing just big enough for the well nut screw to go through. Attach the female end of the side release snap buckle on the webbing loop and place one flat washer on the well nut screw and insert into both holes of the webbing and then into the hole in the kayak and install the well nut.
To install well nut: Reach inside the kayak with the well nut(s), and twist the well nut onto the screw, with the larger flange end sealing against the hull material. Hold the well nut in place while you turn the screwdriver (out of the kayak) and eventually the well nut will hold itself and only a few more turns of the screwdriver will be necessary. These instructions are from Basics of Strap Eyes, Rivets and Well Nuts by Tom Holtey. Now do the other side.
Two: Making the masts
Cut two six foot long sections 1/2-inch PVC pipe. Weld an end cap on to the end of each section of pipe. Take one section of the 5/8-inch by 48-inch dowel rod and cut in half. Then put one of the half pieces of dowel rod in to each of the 1/2-inch by 6feet long PVC sections.
Now place one whole 5/8-inch by 48-inch dowel rod into
each of the mast sections. The dowel rods add strength to the PVC masts.
Weld one PVC tee to the other end of each mast sections. (photo
Step Three: Attaching the mast saddle to your kayak
Insert the 1/2-inch ID braided PVC tubing through both
tees it will be a tight fit but it will go in. The two tees should be
about 2-inches apart when finished trim off excess 1/2-inch ID braided
PVC tubing so that no more than one half inch of tubing sticks out past
slide the remaining 1-inch webbing into and all the way through the
1/2-inch ID braided PVC tubing so that equal amounts of webbing is on
each side of your mast saddle. (photo #3)
At this point you can now carefully slide your sail all the way onto the mast. (photo #4) Use the 1-inch webbing strip attached to your sail to secure the sail to the saddle. Next place the male half of your side release snap buckle on the 1-inch webbing.
Insert the male end of the side release snap buckle into
the female ends and tighten the webbing very tight you want just enough
slack in the webbing to connect the side release snaps. Finally tie
the two ends of the webbing together tightly.
Step Four: Attaching the sheeting and shock
cord to masts and kayak
Attach the hose clamp to one of the mast at the point where the hole in sail sleeve is located insert the 5/32-inch line and 1/4-inch shock cord between the mast and clamp then tighten the clamp to firmly hold the two lines to the mast. (photo #5)
Mark and install the strap-eyes to your kayak so that the sheeting can be routed as shown in image to right. Use the micro blocks on the two forward strap-eyes. You want to route the sheeting so as it will not be in the way of your feet.
You will want to place the rear sheeting strap eyes where
they will end up on your kayak between your ankle and knee so as to
be easy to reach for adjusting your sail but also not to interfere with
your paddling. Use the quick-link chain links on the rear two strap-eyes
as shown. (photo #6)
Routing of sheeting around seating area. The blocks remove most of the friction from your sheeting allowing for easy adjustment of sail from downwind to a reach.
Route the shock cord through the quick-link chain link attached
to the bow of the kayak (photo #7). The shock cord will
deploy your sail from a stowed position.
Attach the second hose clamp to the second mast and the ends of the sheeting and shock cord. Adjust sheeting so that both masts are plumb removing all of the slack from the sheeting.
Now stretch the shock cord fairly tight (so that when the masts are pulled down in the stowed position the shock cord is at nearly at maximum stretch) and tighten hose clamp very tight (a extra set of hands would be helpful at this point).
Leave extra sheeting and shock cord until you have sailed a couple of times in case any future adjustment is needed. You may also want to mark the sheeting and shock cord where they attach to the mast with a permanent marker so you can easily remove and reinstall your sail.
You are now finished installing your sail.
You can use the sheeting to adjust your sail for downwind sailing and up to a 90 degree reach. You will want to attach a line to your kayak to secure the sail to the kayak when not in use.
To remove your sail from your kayak simply loosen one hose clamp enough to remove shock cord and sheeting and unsnap both side release buckles. I recommended that you carry a knife just in case of an entanglement problem. Oh and have fun you are now a kayak sailor!
Instructional Videos In Four Parts. Clicking on the images will open the video in a new window:
Related articles at TopKayaker.net:
We also recommend:
We hope you've found this information helpful.
We appreciate your feedback & support.
Using these links to purchase or to participate makes TopKayaker.net possible.