Pacific Action Sail

Tried it out for the first time yesterday. Found that with my long skinny kayak that I was constantly correcting my balance with the sail up. Light winds were fine, but a few gusts nearly tipped me over. Any possibility of rolling would be negated by the sail in the water. My kayak has a skeg but no rudder. 18’3" long by 22" wide.

Curious to find out others experiences. I tend to think that with more practice I’ll get the feel for balance. I’m still concerned about tipping over in higher winds and how to handle that situation.

Any thoughts?


I would imagine you could use a similar technique for righting a small sailboat like a sunfish if you were to tip over. Priority #1 would be to get out of the kayak safetly. Then kneel up on the bottom of the hull, grab whatever protrusion you can (the dagger board on a sunfish) and lean back to roll the boat over. Having never done this on a rigged kayak, I’m not sure how practical this advice is. :slight_smile:

Biner the top down?
If the kayak is completely over, perhaps you could rig up a biner to tie the sail to the kayak. I think the PAS is made to be able to flex down to get it out of the way so perhaps if you were to attach a biner to the kayak, you could lock it down when you need to roll the kayak back upright…

Just my .05cents anyway…


Sail does tie down and folds…
just don’t think it would be easy if I’m tipped over.

photos of kayak with sail on


good sailboats ain’t skinny
sailing my relatively wide bell rob roy with a large spirit sail can be a challenge in anything over 15 knots. i can nearly do a beam reach in 10 knots and under, but that requires plenty of leaning, bracing and sweep strokes. if on a course other than dead down wind, i’d guess it’s going to be a bit tippy. i really can’t think of anything that would help, other than experience and a huge set. :slight_smile:

Hey Chad, got pics?
I just rigged my Mad River Explorer with a sail and I’m still finding out how much lean I need/ want. It’s big and beamy compared to either of your boats but there is definatly a learning curve. Steady winds are easier. 10 mph is comfortable. 15 is getting pretty exciting.

One thing that has saved me from going over quite often so far is the ability to let out the sheet and spill air.

I’m already thinking about setting up the Osprey. That ought to be a rocket at least when I’m not swimming!

Andy, a hard lean and a quick brace?


clip a line on the bottom, then just let it go if you are about to go over…

v shaped sails
andy, I’ve been thinking of down wind rigs also. Seems to me that without a rudder one would be further challenged to brace and maintain course in a relatively skinny kayak. The Balogh batwing rig makes sense becuase it moves the center of effort lower down with some self-correcting to the rig.

A friend has some sponson (horrors) like floats made by Voyager that look like the thing to use. They mount a little higher on the sheer and may not provide the best option but without going to outriggers it seems like some kind of changing of the stability curve is required to handle the lever up on the deck.

Been thinking …

– Last Updated: Apr-12-06 7:42 PM EST –

I was on a reach (not downwind) when a gust almost blew me over. Tommy had a good point, spill the air by releasing the sheet. But in order to do that, I should not have the sheet locked, rather hold it in my hand so I can release it quickly to avoid a spill. Beer in the other hand!

I thought about getting the Balogh rig, but it seemed too much of an erector set for my own tastes. The Pacific Action sail mounts in seconds and comes apart in even less time. Folds down nicely when I'd rather paddle than sail and is not in the way.

Bottom line is a learning curve and some practice. Downwind, by the way, the sail works great and the boat was rock steady.


Hand held…nah
I had this vision of sailing along and cracking open a beer. Can’t hold a beer if I have to hold the sail.

Thanks anyways!


probably was
pretty solid running downwind. i wasn’t trying to imply that kayks couldn’t carry such rigs. just making a point about beam, etc. experience is the best bet, but you’ve been around for a while, andy, this is nothing really all that new to you.

I used to sail quite a bit years ago, and on and off now. You’re right about a wider beam. But now that I have this rig and have set up the Artisan Millenium to take it I’m determined to make it work.

What I should have mentioned that added to my panic on that beam reach was that I had my gps on top of the spray skirt (not tied down), paddle draped across the cockpit, and a pair of glacier gloves that I had taken off and set on top of the spray skirt. When the gusts hit me, all hell broke loose. Trying to brace, lean, grab gloves and gps and undo the latch to release the sheets all at the same time was a chore I don’t want to repeat.

Also had my Digital SLR in a waterproof deckbag. Did not want test the bag on how waterproof it was on this particular day.

Note to self: Use paddle leash, secure GPS and gloves next time. Also rig the CLC 17 to accept the sail. It’s a lot more stable than the Artisan. Make it easier to crack open a beer.


Umbrella, large golf umbrella!
Use a large golf umbrella. It only takes one hand, leaving the other for beer and whatever. :^)

Stows quickly and easily too.

If you go over, just let go and retrieve via tether after righting.


Yeah, but then you’re stuck with a beer while your boat floats away???



go for the trimaran set-up
i’d like to build a clc 17 just to build the trimaran with sail. that boat looks cool as hell. talk about cracking a beer.

Sheet in one hand
Beer in the other. Now how do you steer?

I’d have guessed with no rudder you would be using your paddle which would then be handy to throw a quick brace if needed.

Sounds like your paddle was stowed?

it works for portaging …
Pacific Action Sail can be easily convert into towing or pushing rig if you need to portage your kayak using a cart.

Pushing (like wheel barrel) worked better for me when I was doing 40 mile highway portage in Florida. I made that portage at night, so I have only pictures and movie from training: