Sunday, 23 December 2012

Kayak sail manufacturer

I just came accross a manufacturer of kayak sails that i have not seen before on youtube:

From thier web site:

"We are obsessed with kayak sailing along with designing and delivering the best quality compact kayak sail kits available anywhere in the world."

There web site can be found here - Its great to see more manufacturers of kayak sails - I still can't believe more people are not interested in this great sport!

Bye for now

Saturday, 14 July 2012

Launch day for my Version Two Lay Down Sailing Boat!

A very exciting day for me as it was time to launch the second version of my RX3 lay down sailing dinghy. For this version I have added an asysmetric spinnaker for some off the wind fun. I initially lanched without the spinnaker setup to do a quick shake down sail. All went well and I returned to the beach to install the spinnaker.

Relaunching, I worked my way up into the wind in preparation for launching the spinnaker. Although very rudimentary controls for the spinnaker system, it went up fairly easily and I soon had both sails set well.

The helm was surprisingly balanced when flying the spinnaker and I was pleased I could easily sail at 90 degrees to the wind. I have always wanted a boat with a bow sprit and spinnaker and now I have one!

Just as I was thinking about calling it a day the leeboard bracket snapped. This was a very old bracket so I need to make a stronger one anyway so no bad thing. I was very pleased with this first sail and can't wait to get her up to my local sailing club once I have made a few tweaks over the next week or so.

Monday, 25 June 2012

First Garden shuffle

I did a quick garden shuffle this evening to start working out the rigging for my Rx3 Lay down sailing boat. I have decided on using a centre sheeting system for the main sheet.

I also started looking at how I could rig the spinnaker. The bowsprit is a little too low but I think I can work around that.

The 35sf mainsail is from an Optimist and the spinnaker is cut down 420 spin also measuring about 35sf. So that gives me 70sf of down wind sail area! If it works it could be fun on a hull that weighs just under 20 Kg!

Monday, 4 June 2012

Second version of my Rx3 lay down sailing boat

After much thought I finally decided it was worth starting to build a second version of my lay down sailing boat rather than continuing to tweak the original prototype any further.

I have cut out the basic hull. The picture to the left shows the sides temporarily held in place to give an idea of the final shape. I am incorporating quite a few changes to this version due to the lessons learnt in sailing my first version of the Rx3.

The main differences are that I am using 75mm core instead of 50mm to give just a little more all round buoyancy. She is also just over 1 foot longer at 10'3", and just a little narrower to make car topping easier. I have also raised the gunwales towards the bow. These changes should give me the additional free board in the bow that was lacking in the first version.

Hopefully I can get her on the water in the next couple of months as I am really keen to discover how this version sails!

Monday, 28 May 2012

Another test sail of the Rx3

Having completed filling in the transom cut out on my Rx3 lay down sailing dinghy I took her out for another test sail today in slightly windier conditions. I was probably out for about 45 minutes and I found it very comfortable, which I am very pleased about.

As the wind picked up the bow started to bury a little, however sailing was great fun, although admittedly conditions were pretty gentle.

Rather than spending any more time modifying this version I am contemplating starting a second boat incorporating the lessons from this first build.


Thursday, 17 May 2012

Progress on my Rx3 Lay Down Sailing Boat

I have started work on filling in the transom cutout on my lay down sailing boat. I am hoping to get her ready for another test sail in the next couple of weeks.

In the mean time I am trying to find an old dinghy spinnaker that I can cut down to about 20 square feet. I have a bid on Ebay at the moment, it is a symetrical spin but I should be able to make a small assymetric out of it. I figure the mainsail of 35 square feet will be just right for going into wind but adding an additional tiny spinnaker might make it possible to get up on the plane off the wind.

N.B I have decided I should be calling the Rx3 a "lay down" sailing boat as opposed to "lie down" sailing boat! :)

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

A second test sail on my lay down sailing boat!

I went out for a second test sail on my lay down sail boat this morning after making a couple of modifications.

I have made so many changes to this platform that it is looking rather a mess, however it is serving it's purpose well in allowing me to experiment with the concept of a lay down sailing boat before I possibly go ahead and build a second version.
Anyway, since the first test sail I have added a little side buoyancy and also centralised the rudder, it is now foot controlled as opposed to hand controlled.

I am very pleased with the foot control option as it keeps my hands completely free. After some advice from someone on the Boat Design Forums I have decided to fill in the transom cut out. The idea was that I could use flippers as an alternative propulsion method, however now that the rudder is centralised it is in the way so there is little benefit in having this cut out.

So, before a third sail I shall fill in the cut out and re design the rudder mounting to make it more robust. This is certainly a fun project and even though I have not been out in anything like a reasonable breeze, I think it is going to be great fun when I get it all together.

I have decided to name this boat the Rx3!

Sunday, 29 April 2012

Inflatable Sailing Boat!

Being a minimalist sailor, a couple of years ago I decided to build a sailing dinghy I could pack into my car boot. I got the inspiration of the basic rigging concepts from a great site called Here are a couple of low quality phone pics of my attempt at putting together a boat that would fit in the boot of my small car!

The shape of this particular inflatble kayak makes for an excellent sail boat. This was my first attempt at using a steering oar and I have to say it was fun to use instead of a rudder. One of the advantages of a steering oar is that you can very easily tack by simply lifting the oar out of the water to help spin the boat around on the lee board axis.

Look closely at the mast step: A round mast going into a square section mast step!!! I went out one day off Exmouth in rather windy conditions and when beating into wind I experienced a mast failure, surprise surprise it was at the mast step. Lesson learnt :)

That being said I had some fun with this boat - thanks Jim Lucket at for the inspiration.

Saturday, 28 April 2012

Lay down Sailing boat!

For a while I have been toying with the idea of building a lay down sailing boat, and here are a couple of pics of my prototype on her maiden voyage!

The cut out in the transom is so I can kick with my legs for propulsion if needed (I have a couple of flippers I took on the boat with me) This also makes tacking a very quick process.

I am using an Optimist rig, stayed with some dyneema rope. The hull itelf is made from a foam core sandwiched between two sheets of 3mm plywood so the hull is very light!

I made a hand stearing mechanism for the rudder using two cables lead through some pulleys to a lever where my right hand falls naturally. The main sheet leads to a cam cleat in easy reach of my left hand.

There was very little wind on the day (a good thing), however I was rather nervous on my first launch as this is a pretty whacky concept. The idea is that although she is never going to be that fast, as I will be so close to the water it should give a good sensation of speed!

I was pleased at how comfortable it felt laying on my front - this was one of my worries. The steering mechanism did not work well but I managed to steer by just using my foot on the rudder. The boat seemed balanced well, with maybe just a little too much weather helm.

I need to add a little more buoyancy on the sides and aft, I shall do this with some closed cell styrofoam. I am also going to change the steering mechanism, I am thinking at the moment to change to a foot controlled mechanism.
Happy days!

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Kayak Sailing on the South Devon Coast

This photo was taken during a 4 day kayaking trip along the South Devon coast. We had just entered the lovely River Erme.

That is my good frend Johnny in the red sea kayak. After this trip he got hooked on the idea of kayak sailing!

The picture shows my yellow Scupper Pro rigged with my favourite configuration, a PA sail near the bow and a small mizzen aft.

More Kayak Sailing Info Here!