Building the "Swiss Army Knife" of Small Boats...Wood Duck Double (WDD) #5: Why the WDD Will Make a Good Sailing Kayak

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Blog entry by DustyMark posted 06-01-2020 11:41 AM 532 reads 0 times favorited 1 comment Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 4: Why the WDD Will Make a Good Duck Hunting Kayak Part 5 of Building the "Swiss Army Knife" of Small Boats...Wood Duck Double (WDD) series Part 6: Surveying the Kit »

Previous Sailing Kayaks
In 1996, my late wife and I bought a pair of Nautiraid folding sea kayaks, rigged them with Balogh Sail Designs sails, and brought them with us when we were stationed in Germany for three years.

It was a great way to get our young family out on the water.

We paddled rivers through wine country, passing by an occasional castle.

We sailed alpine lakes in several locations and discovered that kayak sail rigs were quite a bit of fun. They didn’t yield Hobie Cat performance, but you still got the satisfaction of harnessing the wind for a free ride! We sold those folding kayaks upon our return to the states in favor of more traditional boats.

Chesapeake Light Craft’s Kayak Sail Rig
I’ve bought and sold two small sailboats since and would like to return to day sailing. A kayak sail rig is a good way to sail without the complications of a bigger boat.

The CLC kayak sail rig uses laminated wood akas (cross beams) joined to plywood amas (outriggers) to stabilize the kayak for sailing.

The akas are joined to the kayak by a simple lashing system.

John Harris, the owner of Chesapeake Light Craft, says that “relatively short and fat kayaks make the best subjects for trimaran conversion.” He adds that “given my choice of CLC’s 70+ kayak models, I’d mount my CLC sail rig on the Wood Duck 12. It would squirt along joyfully, fast and nimble in in close-handling, the cockpit dry and voluminous.” The WDD is two feet longer and will support two passengers while sailing…it should be a lot of fun! I plan to build the sail rig over the winter.

I plan to use a sail in the 50 square foot size range. I’m considering two options. Option one is to sew my own from a kit made by Sailrite Kits. Option two is to buy a 5 Meter (54 sq. ft.) sail from Balogh Sail Designs. Option one is a lot less expensive and that’s my likely path!

Surveying the Wood Duck Double kit.

-- Mark, Minnesota

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#1 posted 06-04-2020 03:50 AM

I had a great, 40-minute, conversation today with David Valverde (owner of Balogh Sail Designs) about how best to rig the Wood Duck Double for sailing. He suggested his 36 HP would be the largest sail he’s recommend installing in order to avoid the bow plowing with such a short kayak. He convinced me and I’ll order his Batwing 36 HP sail, mast, boom, and rigging in the fall. I’ll combine this with the Chesapeake Light Craft ama/aka system for a sail rig that will be great for day sailing the Apostle Islands of Lake Superior.

-- Mark, Minnesota

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