which kayak sail type do you find better

the ‘two mast’ type like the one in this link:


or the ‘one mast’ type like the one in this link:



The 2 mast sail appears meant for only
downwind sailing. The pictured one mast sail looks like a true sailing rig, capable of sailing across wind and upwind. Smarter heads will contribute…

Keep it simple.
I have been asking this same question on Solotripping.com. After several postings Most people told me to keep it simple. The kayaksail has too many moving parts for long life is the feeling I was left with. I must admit it’s a neat idea.

I’ve seen some folks using the Pacific
and liking it. It does seem to work to a limited extend with cross winds. I think if you mostly were sailing in your kayak then the single masted one with what appear to be small outriggers would work well. But if you mostly paddle and wanted something to deploy on occasion for a long down wind run then the Pacific sail is simpler and may pack up better.

sails are very popular
in Australia.

I would say that probably 1/3 of dedicated sea kayakers I paddle with have them.

The Pacific Action sail is NOT only for downwind sailing and would sail just as well as the other one depicted in the link.

If you are interested in a comprehensive article on how to DIY sail check out: http://gnarlydognews.blogspot.com/2009/03/shop-diy-sea-kayak-sail.html

Kayak sailing is relatively simple and even a novice can master it in light winds.

I am looking for something I could put on our double. Wife in front seat could deploy the sail and direct it for effectivness and I could continue paddling or steering.

But I would also want to be able to deploy the same sail from the rear seat if I chose to take the double out solo. Perhaps I would need to look into installing two sails.

Also I would not really want to screw holes into our kayak. Is the pacific sail something that can be attached to front or rear seats on the fly?

also check out

Pacific Action sails require
Pacific Action sails require that you drill several holes into the kayak to attach the anchor points for the base and a couple of holes for the cleats that trim the sail’s main sheets (ropes that hold the sail up).

The only type of sail that really does not need any holes drilled is the round pop-up type sail but that will require your hands to hold it up and I believe is limited to down wind sailing.

With the lateen style sail you could mount it in the front of the kayak only and have extra long sheets (ropes) to control the hoisting of the mast and trim of the boom when paddling solo.

wind paddle
I am now slightly favoring the wind paddle type of sail which does not require any drilling. The fact that the front passenger would have to hold the ropes somehow is fine with my plans. I think it will be difficult to sail alone but we’ll see about that. I will do a little more research. I have a few months before I make the move to purchase.

Pacific Sail Mounting
I didn’t feel like drilling mounting holes in my Impex Force 4 and as I placed the sail slightly ahead of the compass recess which is just barely 12" (the minimum footprint for the 1m sail feet). To experiment I tied it off with some 2mm cord from the tensioning buckles on the feet of the sail to and around the padeyes and decklines. Has worked excellent for many miles. Will probably need to replace the cord yearly, oh well.

Additionally I didn’t want to drill holes for the jam cleats that hold the trim/downhaul line so I simply clipped the metal guide clips that come with the sail to the edges of a Northwater Deck Bag. This worked better than I expected as the additional friction created by the line running over top of the bag holds the sail securely in place.

Down wind with this contraption is great. Beam winds from 90 degrees either side will work suprisingly well with one caveat, you’re going to feel it in your hip flexors after some time.

Have a picture of the sail deployed at;


Hope this helps.

See you on the water,


The River Connection, Inc.

Hyde Park, NY


compare ideas
Interesting. So now that you have the Pacific Sail, how do you view the other implementations i.e. Wind Paddle or the ‘one mast’ rig system?

I looked at the Wind Paddle but decided against it as the control cord wraps around you while deployed. It appeared, from the video, that it would interfere with my paddling. The single mast I’m sure works great but takes additional hardware and mounting to convert the kayak to accept a rigid mount mast. I know that Prijon makes a carbon fiber deck plate for their mast system and amas.

I have a few paddlers locally that have had great fun with the twin mast system as on the Pacific Action rig so I relied on some of their experience in this.

Shoot me an email if you need additional pics or what not.

See you on the water,


The River Connection, Inc.

Hyde Park, NY



PA Sail
I’ve had mine for several years and it’s served me well. I had no issues drilling holes into the kayak for the hardware required.

The padeyes near the cockpit now have several uses besides the sail. I clip stuff to them all the time.

Here is my set up, I have made some changes that I don’t have photo’s for yet. Primarily it’s a minicell base the spreads the force over a larger area of the hull and protects it as well.



Mounting Questions for Andy
Andy, In mounting the D ring through the hull did you have to reinforce the inside of the kayak? Also I have seen a few installations on the net that use some kind of jam cleat instead of the hardware that comes with the kit to adjust the tention on the control lines. Is this part of your custom mounting now and what do you think of this modification? I see that you use some kind of hook with an eye in several places. Do these hooks come in the kit?

Some answers
D rings, yes, I did reinforce them by putting in a “linear” washer to spread the forces. Jam cleats did not come with the kit. I’ve changed those. Didn’t like the free floating ones that PA provides. Hooks come with the kits.


Don’t forget the BSD sails
Even though I make my sails, I think the BSD sails are the cat’s meow and the bee’s knees. The PAS is a great sail system. They have really made the V sail very easy to use and they are well made, colorful, and the easiest to install and use. The Flat Earth sails are a great design but seem harder to install and I doubt many first time sailors with install a sail like this for their first time.

I’ve yet to see any sailor choose a windpaddle when something else was available. I think I could do better with a golf umbrella, but I’d be willing to be convinced otherwise…by the way a big sturdy golf umbrella can work pretty well on certain days.

Hi all…Legal questions…when a person mounts a sail on their kayak …does this now make the kayak a " powered" boat? and does anyone know if a person now has to register the boat and get bow ID numbers for it? and now that the kayak is, for all practical purposes and intent, a form of sailboat…do any additional Coast Guard / state laws or regulations come into play here?

I’ve never seen it become an issue. However most states where they are used do not require sail boats under 16 feet to be registered.

In Florida a lot of Watertribe races are run with boats over 16 feet with sails. You might ask this on the water tribe site if you can log on to it.

I’ve been canoe sailing for many years and kayak sailing for a couple in North Carolina and Florida and I’ve never been stopped.

I have also noticed that when I’m in a big sailboat and wearing a pfd the odds of me getting stopped are nil. In a power boat under the same conditions I get stopped about one quarter of the time they see me and are not already busy.