Does anybody have great success with Kayak Sails?

Is there an inexpensive source of sails suitable for Kayaks? I have tried a very small triangle at a local demo which proved a bit useless in a pretty good wind, and occupied both hands.

Canoes have had some temp. sail rigs. Are these custom made? Anybody have plans for a reliable kayak rig?


Have not tried these but here it is:


Any Experience with a Kayak Sail ?
Thanks for the lead Revman. With all the wind recently in Coastal Carolina, I’m thinking a sail would give a welcome paddling break when going with the wind.

Often thought I might try it. These look simple. I used to live in Charlotte – pretty far from you I am sure. I have some friends in New Bern.


In my quest for a Kayak Sail, I of course checked EBAY. There is a seller from Buenos Airies with an inexpensive offering. I was very hesitant about an international transaction and shipping. I checked the seller’s feedback and found a negative on sail quality. I emailed him for his observations. And boy am I glad I did! He found it poorly made and most particularly pooly designed or thought out. Complete unusable junk.

Pacific Action Sails
Have been very satisfied with their product.

Easy rigging, deploying, stowing. Also a “breeze” to move from one boat to another. (I use on open top and sea kayak depending on conditions)


no problems
with my spirit sail that i’ve had for 3 years. i mean the workmanship is fine, no loose edges or broken poles. i’ve had it up in winds over 20mph & the gusts will cause the sail to fold forward to spill most of the heavy air. keep in mind that this is really only a “downwind” sail, ya still have to paddle to windward! what i like best about the spirit sail is that it still allows full freedom of your paddle and is hands free, no guidelines etc. i continue to use my paddle, sometimes to correct my track other times is catch a swell. under good conditions (12-15mph wind on my back, just starting to whitecap, slight swell on the Gulf) I can get a 20%-30% increase in speed with the sail up. when i do take a short break to grab a drink or stop paddling for some reason instead of just having a short “glide” I can still move along at 2-3mph.

On the down side, I still think the price is kind of high for the cost of the materials in the set-up. but, the cost of extra toys like this are so much cheaper for my kayak than on my brother’s powerboat that I can justify the purchase. That’s what I told myself last month when I bought my first ONNO.

I’ll let you know…
I just bought a cheap windsurfer sail off of email and will soon experiment with a pvc mast and some creative rigging. I’ll let you all know how it goes.

Sounds like alot of sail.

– Last Updated: Aug-17-04 12:20 PM EST –

Will you be using some kind of outrigger when your sail is deployed. The sail may make you way top heavy. An unexpected gust and over you will go. I saw a real nice set up but I can't recall the maker. It had sail, mast, rigging, an outrigger and a place to stow gear between outrigger and kayak. With this set up you can really sail, not just run downwind. But, I suppose with a little ingenuity, one could make something up. I also have a Pacific Action kit. It's a fun downwind sail. But you need a pretty good wind to really get going.

Kayak Sailing
This is a really nice set up from Balogh. They can provide the sail, outriggers…the whole shebang.



Craig, THANX for an interesting idea. A well used sail here would provide material for experimentation. TOO much sail [top heavy] could be cut down.

Yeah, that is nice!
But pretty expensive. I can hear Jalene now. “You bought what??!!” :o

I’m sure I’ll be flipping and having some problems but I’ll just take my time experimenting. This is with a SOT.

East NC
Hey Revman,

I’m much closer to New Bern than Charlotte. We have great paddling adventure potential here on the low coastal plains. And the State has figured out that developing canoe trails is a cheap way to attract tourists.

Hey…wanna go cheap?
try a Golf Umbrella…it works.

Took one out with me a couple of times when they were predicting better than 8 knot winds out of the southwest (Shenandoah flows Northeast for the most part) Had me moving right along enough to stir up a good bow wave and wake.

a golf umbrella sounds intriguing and it folds up quick and small to stow.

www.baloghsaildesigns.com The finest sailing rigs in the world