Pacific Action vs Spirit Sails

Not being a sailor (which means I do not know of or understand technical aspects or subtleties) I want to get a sail for both my hardshell and folding kayaks to use on the inter coastal and on the coast itself. the two obvious choices are the Pacific Action Sail and the Spirit Sail. But which one?

First and foremost: no rudder. Just a skeg.

the PA sail apparently lets you “reach more” but my question is this, without a rudder, wouldn’t you travel sideways and have to constantly correct if you were at that much of an angle?

The PA sail being so far forward reduces weathercocking significantly?

The PA sail can be stowed and instantly deployed on deck.

However, the PA sail has all sorts of line (sheets) needs cam cleats or equivalent on your deck line, would not do well on a folding boat due to the stress and force being transferred to the aluminum frame that far forward.

And lastly, the PA sail hardware looks like it is pretty much a one boat sail.

The Spirit Sail has various mounts that will go on lots of different boats including one for a folder and since it rests on a deck beam and gunwales, it is less likely to damage the aluminum tubing under the skin.

The SS has no lines, bungees, or anything else that could become possible entrapment issues (not sure how valid this statement is about the safety)

The SS apparently can reach up to 30 degrees, you just have to set it so that it is at that angle

However, apparently the SS sail is a bitch to pull out of the mount and turn while under sail? Or even if you just want to stop sailing?

Also I understand a boat would have much more of a tendency to weathercock with the sail that far forward? (It is only as far as you can reach from the cockpit.)

So for occasional up and down the coast usage would one sail be significantly or marginally better than the other? Are the skill sets greater for one sail over the other? which would be less maintenance both under sail and not?


check you tube
Hi Paul, here’s a video of the Pacific Action turning a fairly tight turn, watch the two strings on the yellow part of the sail to see which direction the wind is blowing.

Search You Tube for Pacific Action and Spirit Sail and enjoy…some of your questions will get answered and new ones will come up. I have the same question for a coastal trip this summer and I’m hoping you get a lot of input from experienced p.netters.

PA sail
I’ve used a PA sail on kayaks without installing any hardware to the boat. Just run the mast straps through the decklines and clip the sheet clips to the decklines near the cockpit. It is advisable to place something under the masts to protect the deck.


look here


pretty simple to make, a lot easier than building a kayak

heres mine

have fun!

while from a rudimentary level I can see some advantage to the PA sail as it gives you some more options and a greater degree of reach, I shudder at the thought of so much line that could cause entanglement. I naturally gravitate to the spirit sail as there is nothing but sail and base. if you want more reach I wonder how hard it is to pull it out of the base and turn it? (My understanding is that it is a gear style base with teeth so it locks the sail at specific angles?) I guess I was looking for something overwhelming advantageous with the PA sail and the only thing I can come up with is the possibility of less weathercocking as the sail is much farther forward or is this even true?