These outriggers will transform your solo or tandem kayak or canoe from a mono-hull into a fast sailing trimaran. On a light kayak or canoe, with some tweaking of rig and seating arrangements, these floats make for very fast and exciting sailing. All that most people see are sails disappearing into the distance!
Will convert kit or commercial kayaks to sail and will reward home builders with a project that is both eye-catching and fun to sail. It is quick.
Christopher Cunningham, Sea Kayaker magazine April 2005.
While the outrigger equipped kayak is a proper sailing boat, the beauty of the design is that you get your kayak back when you have finished sailing. With the outrigger removed, all that is left are four eyebolts and an easily hidden mast step: no bulky reinforcements or heavy gear.
The floats are attached to two very attractive bent beams which give the kayak or canoe a 10 foot beam. After a hard day of sailing the floats and beams can be detached so that the whole lot will fit easily upon a car roof rack.
Mounted on a single kayak, the acceleration is almost neck-snapping, with good handling upwind and down and a 9 knot potential. The ten foot beam gives you monolithic stability (and thus sail carrying power with no hiking out), but the whole rig can be dismantled to car top in half an hour. If the wind dies there is plenty of room to paddle.
Fast sailing kayak-trimarans open up all sorts of adventure possibilities. The compact kayak and rig can be cartopped to some far-flung archipelago, assembled on the beach, loaded with gear, and sailed 40+ miles in eight hours. If the wind dies, you paddle. In good weather, long crossings can be contemplated, and a theoretical voyage might carry you 250 miles or more in six days.
The builder must be prepared to undertake some minor additional work to adapt the outriggers to the kayak or canoe.
The total weight of the outrigger components is about 30 lb.
Had her on the reservoir today and can tell you that she works astonishingly well. She sails astonishingly close to the wind and we had no trouble going about.
Phil – outrigger on a Mill Creek 16.5.
Three different sails are available to suit different boats, conditions and skill levels. There are two different sizes of sail for the Mk II sailing rig: the smaller is more than enough for fast sailing in solo kayaks and canoes and the larger sail is a good fit for most tandem kayaks or for pushing single kayaks a little harder. Both of the Mk II sails have a single full-length batten, a boom and a sleeve that fits over the aluminium tube mast.
The Mk III sail has a much larger area and has four full-length battens. It has two reef points to allow reducing the sail area on rough days. The Mk III sailing rig includes a sail track to be pop-riveted to the aluminium mast, for easy hoisting. This rig requires strategic reinforcement of the host kayak to handle the loads. The Mk III rig should be reserved for sailors with some skill and for kayaks with enough bow volume to handle the speed without submerging.
The Mk III sail cannot be used with the Mk II rig, or vice versa.
The outriggers clip onto the kayak in a few minutes and can be removed for paddling or for carrying the boat on a roof rack.
The outrigger kit comprises:
The kit does not include the sail. What is in a boat kit.
This kit only contains what is needed to make the floats, so you can obtain the other items needed from a timber yard or use an old rig that you may have.
The floats-only kit comprises:
Plans and manual are available for those who wish to source the materials themselves and build the outriggers from scratch. The plans give full lofting details and the manual explains the techniques that will be used as well as a step-by-step guide to the assembly.