Sailing Rigs

Anybody have experience sailing a kayak? I’m interested in getting a full rig for my kayak (mast, main sail, head sail), but can find little info.

Also would like to know how well they work on a kayak, dose it interfer with paddling, can one sail upwind (tack) and sail downwind with the same rig.

how to stay up
You need either: a lot of ballast, a weighted keel, or pontoons. Do a search for balogh (SP) sails. Thy have inflatable pontoons. Otherwise, you can really only do downwind sailing without flipping.

Balogh for full rig

What boat are you planning to use?


folding kayak
the size and shape of a Feathercraft K1.

Was thinking about making it into a kayakamaran. That is, the rig will be attached to a square frame, so i can attach another kayak along side to act as kind of out rigger. There is a company that sells just such a rig, for that purpose.

there are several simple sails
that can be used for a sea kayak without much modifications needed. The simplest are the V sails but somehow not as efficient as a "leteen’ design. I have installed 10 kayaks so far with these sails and the best result has been on a skegged boat. Yes, no rudder is needed for sailing.

To view pix of sailing:

If interested I can send you the document outlining the design and installation of the sails.


kayak sailing kit
Your best bet is:

Scroll all the way down for the kayak sailing kit.

Balogh? If you don’t mind waiting 10 months…
lots of experience there. I know a fellow who bought some inflatable pontoons,from Prijon? I forget where then made his own cross pieces, leeboard and other parts. It was an affordable and faster option than going with Balogh. One thing you have to do is get a real rudder and not just a bigger kayak rudder once you apply sailing forces on the boat. I saw CLC try and market their sailing rig with the Feathercraft double rudder but eventually a bigger rudder was attached. I think the figure is 1.5% of the sail area should be rudder. So a 30sq.ft sail would require approx. a .5sqft. rudder IN THE WATER. Look at any double kayak rudder and I don’t think you’ll find 6"x12" IN THE WATER. Be ready to experiment with mast placement before making anything permanent.

The watertribe guys have lots of experience on this, take advantage of it.

Take a look at my rig…

I got my rig from: The owner offers a lot of options, and ways to connect the sail to the hull.

It’s by no means perfect (I’ve since adjusted my sail so it rides higher), and can be tough to paddle -sail upwind directly. Sure if you take the time to tack it works great, but paddling into the wind with the sail up adds too much drag. It’s easier to drop the sail if you need to paddle upwind directly into the wind.

I’d really advise against it without outriggers of some kind. I think the PACIFICACTIONSAIL might be a better solution if paddle sailing is really what you have in mind. Via con dios,


SAY WHAT!?!?!?!
What the bloody hell is that CUSTOM LATEEN sail!!?!? I have a PA sail, but that "custom lateen looks really interesting. :slight_smile:

Dang, just what I don’t need… one more sail. :wink:

I’d be interested I knowing more about that rig, for curiosity if nothing else.

much obliged,


my opinion is different
I advise against complicated outriggers.

The simple sail that I have seems to handle winds up to 30 knots and it dead simple to hoist and lower to the deck.

If the wind direction is not favourable within seconds the sail is stowed on deck and I can paddle with very little drag (what little resistance the folded sail on deck creates).

I regard my sea kayak as a paddling tool first, sailing is only a bonus.

If however you would like to use the kayak as a light sailing craft primarily then a larger rig is probably desirable.


Sailing kayaks
Hi. If you want a kayak that can sail in up wind. Go to