Beaufort: Sail installation

Beaufort with sail installed!

The time had come to make my Beaufort even better than it was ! Time for a sail ! A kayak without a sail is boring.. sorry I had to say it! Now its out there. ūüėČ

I had ordered the SeaDog Commander sail last year with the primary thought of using it on the coastal paddle  and since the Beaufort is the chosen kayak for the trip,  I needed to modify the Beaufort accordingly!

There are several ways to install a SeaDogstyle sail onto a kayak. Heres a very rough categorization of what I have found online:

  1.  3 stays +1 uphaul the most common method: 2 lateral side stays, 1 aft stay and 1 uphaul opposite the backstay. A good set of instructions
  2. 2 stays + 1 uphaul : Gnarlydog
  3. 4 stays + 1 uphaul : 2 lateral sidestays, 2 diagonal back stays and 1 uphaul : Some excellent advise by Douglas Wilcox

I’m sure there are several variations of the above mentioned set-ups all have their merits and faults, heck I have used a sail set up which differs from all the above mentioned methods.. which works “ok” , I might share¬† it hereabouts at a later date..

Currently my preferred installation method is the last of the three described:  2 lateral side stays and 2 diagonal back stays +uphaul. Ofcourse this adds the amount of itsy-bitsy strings on-deck.. but the fun of sailing over-rides the negatives of them strings..

The installation of the sail can be divided into the following bits:

  1. Mast base plate installation
  2. Sidestay points
  3. Back stay points
  4. Uphaul pulley
  5. Sheet pulley
  6. Sheet cam cleat
  7. Uphaul clamcleat

Basicly the method for sail installation described here will probably work with most kayaks. The biggest difference would be the use/need for the mast baseplate adapter to mate it on the deck, as was done here.

Mast Base plate Installation

Due to the Beauforts peculiar deck profile: a semiround groove running down the lenght of the deck from bow to stern, this adds some challenge to make a sturdy and water proof installation for the mast. I had to prefabricate a mast base plate adaptor.  The actual installation was ALOT easier than making the adaptor, thankfully so.

Apply masking tape, mark centerline along the area where mast base plate will be installed..
Apply masking tape, mark center-line along the area where mast base plate will be installed..
Base plate adapter "dry fitted" I decided to install the mast so that the mast centerline is approx 790mm from the tip of the bow of the kayak.
Base plate adapter “dry fitted” I decided to install the mast so that the mast center-line is approx 790mm from the tip of the bow of the kayak.
After drilling the first hole, I used the actual adapter as a template to drill the second hole, thus (hopefully) ensuring that the drilled holes will align with adapter plate AND actual baseplate...
After drilling the first hole, I used the actual adapter as a template to drill the second hole, thus (hopefully) ensuring that the drilled holes will align with adapter plate AND actual baseplate…
Voila! Two neat holes thru the deck! Crikey! I've just drill two holes thru my kayaks deck!!! what the heck is wrong with me? ;)
Voila! Two neat holes thru the deck! Crikey! I’ve just drill two holes thru my kayaks deck!!! what the heck is wrong with me? ūüėČ
Next I used window seal, weatherproof EPDM seal with a self adhesive backside. This comes on the bottom of the adapter - against the deck surface. to help seal against water ingress thru the screw holes AND even the pressure against the deck.
Next I used window seal, weatherproof EPDM seal with a self adhesive backside. This comes on the bottom of the adapter – against the deck surface. to help seal against water ingress thru the screw holes AND even the pressure against the deck.
Here is the whole shebang: mast baseplate, maste baseplate adapter, EPDM seal and 2 Stainless Steel M4 x33mm flat head screws.
Here is the whole shebang: mast baseplate (red), mast baseplate adapter(black CF), EPDM seal and 2 Stainless Steel M4 x 33mm flat head screws. EPDM seal has been roughly scissored to the outline of the adapter!
Underneath, I used a 2mm thick rubber washers under the SS washers to help seal against potential water ingress.
Underneath, I used a 2mm thick rubber washers under the SS washers to help seal against potential water ingress.
Side stay points

The sidestay hardpoints needed more drilling thru the hull. One would normally want to use the existing¬† installed “Recessed Deck Fittings” (RDF) .. and that would be fine BUT.. Usually the¬† installed RDFs have not been installed with the pressures/stresses that a sail will put on it in mind. Without extra re-inforcement there have been cases where a RDFs has been pulled off/thu the deck causing a pretty big hole on the deck! Not to mention annoying extra work to fix it!¬† The Sidestays will have considerable load stresses when sailing beam reach or close reach…¬† So its better to install the sidestay hardpoints on the side of the hull rather than “topside”. Also the fact that the Beaufort has¬† nice 50mm Aramid/Kevlar tape running along the hull deck seam on the inside, gives a good (solid) place to install the hardpoints.¬† The hardpoints were drilled approx 792mm aft of the bow tip..

In the two previous kayaks Vixen and Vortex I've used this method for side stay hardpoints. 25mm wide nylon webbing folded (approx lentgth of webbing before folding is approx. 100mm). Melt a hole for the M4 screw with a hot solder, use a crown washer outside and an epdm deam washer against the hull. Inside another rubber washermated with a correspondinf SS washer and hatnut..
In the two previous kayaks Vixen and Vortex I’ve used this method for side stay hardpoints. 25mm wide nylon webbing folded (approx lentgth of webbing before folding is approx. 100mm). Melt a hole for the M4 screw with a hot solder, use a crown washer outside and an epdm deam washer against the hull. Inside another rubber washer mated with a corresponding SS washer and hatnut..
Hardpoint installed, jsut above the seam... (yikes! hope this holds!!) Even though I have used this method previously, successfully I might change the nylon webbing to a kajaksport hardpoint at a later date.. will have to wait and see.
Hardpoint installed, just above the deck/hull seam… (yikes! hope this holds!!) Even though I have used this method previously, successfully I might change the nylon webbing to a kajaksport deckfitting at a later date.. will have to wait and see.
The quick snap shackle, even though bigger than the U-shackles I have used previously does make the take-down and set up much faster and easier!
The quick snap shackle, even though bigger than the U-shackles I have used previously does make the take-down and set up much faster and easier!
The "inside workings" of the sidestay hardpoint. Here additional re-inforcement was /isnt required.. as the hole goes thru the Kevlar tape!
The “inside workings” of the sidestay hardpoint. Here additional re-inforcement was /isnt¬† (hopefully) required.. as the hole goes thru the Kevlar tape! Otherwise an additional patch of Glass Fiber or Kevlar Or Carbon Fiber might be a good idea!
These quick snap shackles weren't previously easily available in Finland, now this (52mm) is the smallest size available in Finland, hopefully the next size smaller will become available soon!
These quick snap shackles weren’t previously easily available in Finland, now this (52mm) is the smallest size available in Finland, hopefully the next size smaller will become available soon!
The quick snap shackle next to the variety of U-Shackles I have used previously.. size difference is apparent!
The quick snap shackle (on left) next to the variety of U-Shackles I have used previously.. size difference is apparent!
Back stay points

Contrary to what I said previously about NOT using the existing RDF’s, for the backstay hardpoints I decided to use the existing RDF’s !!! Woo twisted logic!
The logic here is that the RDFs. are so far back that the pull angle is shallow PLUS I will be using TWO points that hopefully will share the load! This is all theory at this point. However I’m confident that this set up will work – time will tell!

The big plus side of using the existng RDF’s is that I dont need to do any thru-deck drilling. Just add a 2mm dyneema loop thru each RDF for the quick-snap-shackles!

The diagonal backstays (green lines).
The diagonal backstays (green lines).
Uphaul pulley
The uphaul pulley was another easy installation. Adding a small 16mm SS pulley with a 2mm dyneema line onto the Bow RDF. A small U-shackle for semi-easy removal.
The uphaul pulley was another easy installation. Adding a small 16mm SS pulley with a 2mm dyneema line onto the Bow RDF. A small U-shackle for semi-easy removal.
Sheet pulley
On two previous installations I have used a thru-padeye installed on the deck centrally fro the sheet pulley, this usually requires two thru deck holes! I cringe at every etra hole I drill thru the deck. One previous installation I tried a pad-eye styled pulley, it seems to work so I decided to try it with the Beaufort installation. Another consideration for this choice was the compass installation which prettymuch rules out a "central installation! Here pictured I have replaces the pulley with a 4mm SS thimble which has been jury rigged with a Prusik styled knot onto another 4mm dyneemaline (darkblue/white) running across the deck. The idea is to find a working position for the "pulley/thimble" line so that the sheet line will not snag onto the compass.. (yes sounds complex..)
On two previous installations I have used a thru-deck pad-eye installed on the deck centrally for the sheet pulley, this usually requires two thru deck holes! I cringe at every extra hole I drill thru the deck. One previous installation I tried a thimble/ pulley, it seems to work so I decided to try it with the Beaufort installation. Another consideration for this choice was the compass installation which pretty much rules out a “central installation! Here pictured I have replaced the pulley with a 4mm SS thimble which has been jury rigged with a Prusik styled knot onto another 4mm dyneemaline (darkblue/white) running across the deck. The idea is to find a working position for the “pulley/thimble” line so that the sheet line (pink/white) will not snag onto the compass.. (yes, it sounds a tad complex complex..)
Sheet cam cleat

To lock the sheet line, I use the smallest cam-cleat available, with a wire gate of sorts. This allows for reasonable fine-tune-control of the sheet line, especially when tightening the line, but it still reasonably easy to loosen as well.

 

Also needs to be reasonably close to center. ALSO thru bolts need to have a reasonable flat location so that the washers wont be in the way of any underdeck countours, such as the "mini glove-box hatch" etc etc etc...
Finding the correct position for the cam-cleat is always a bit tricky. It cannot be too far forward, but cannot be too close either so that it will be in the way of low angle paddle strokes either. Also needs to be reasonably close to center-line of the kayak . ALSO keep in mind that the thru bolts need to have a reasonable flat location so that the washers wont be in the way of any underdeck countours, such as the “mini glove-box hatch” etc etc etc…
Same modus operandi for drilling holes here as previously: masking tape, mark, drill one, use actual component to use as a drilling guide for second hole.
Same modus operandi for drilling holes here as previously: masking tape, mark,(double check correct location of markings), drill one, use actual component to use as a drilling guide for second hole.
since the deck is slightly curved and the cam cleat base is staright AND I was a bit lazy I decided to used some leftover EPDM foam washers.. betwix the two ...
since the deck is slightly curved and the cam cleat base is straight AND I was a bit lazy I decided to used some leftover EPDM foam washers.. betwix the two (deck and cam-cleat).
Here the cam cleat is prior to tightening.. the EPDM washers stand proud!
Here the cam cleat is prior to tightening.. the EPDM washers stand proud!
Screws tightened! A slight gap between the center of the cam-cleat and the deck, yet no wobble on the cam cleat! looks good me-thinks!
Screws tightened! A slight gap between the center of the cam-cleat and the deck, yet no wobble on the cam cleat! looks good me-thinks!
Cam-Cleat installation as seen under-deck. Note the close proximity of the glove-box! Also Before installation check to feel that the nuts will not be anywhere near where your, knees, thighs etc may be.. during normal paddling modes!
Cam-Cleat installation as seen under-deck. Note the close proximity of the glove-box! Also Before installation check to feel that the nuts will not be anywhere near where your, knees, thighs etc may be.. during normal paddling modes!
Uphaul clamcleat

Since the uphaul line basicly has two clear positions: Mast DOWN and Mast UP, then a simple clam-cleat would be enough! Another added bonus  of using a CLAMcleat compared to a CAM-Cleat (as with the sheetline) is that the CLAMcleat is lower in profile, thus less likely to be on the way of anything: paddle, knuckles, lines otherkayaks etc. !

Clamcleat CL-241 , aluminium seems to work best for me.
Clamcleat CL-241 , aluminium seems to work best for me. Feels the sturdiest available. The more common open sided plastic versions  work too. The mirror version of the CL241 is CL273
Same consideratons for the Clamcleat installation applies as with the CAMcleat.. (I wonder when I will mix the two up!??) :)
Same considerations for the Clamcleat installation applies as with the CAMcleat.. (I wonder when I will mix the two up!??)¬† ūüôā
Clamcleat installed! Prety much the same wasy as the CAMcleat! only difference that the screws used were SS M4 x20 , instead of M4 x 35
Clamcleat installed! Pretty much the same way as the CAMcleat! Only difference that the screws used were SS M4 x20 , instead of M4 x 35
Almost there…

Now most of the big dirty work, ie drilling is over.. hopefully!  Some final tweaking of knots and lines.

Starting to look cluttered. LInes have been roughly placed. On the bottom of the picture the blue/white line is the mast uphaul laine. The loose tail has been wrapped aroound the deckrigging ( blackline) . On the top of the picture, the PInk/White line is the sheet line. Both lines have been pulled thru their respective Cleats.. Also PADeye/Thimble is visible on the lft above the compass.
The deck is tarting to look cluttered. No worries!  Lines have been roughly placed. On the bottom of the picture the blue/white line is the mast uphaul line. The loose tail (excess)has been wrapped around the deckrigging ( blackline) for the duration  . On the top of the picture, the Pink/White line is the sheet line. Both lines have been pulled thru their respective Cleats.. Also thimble/pulley is visible on the left above the compass. At this stage the thimble/pulley is for testing purposes as is. Once its location has been tested and deemed fit a smarter solution will be applied. On the far left on the green lines are the two quick snap shackles of the diagonal backstays just visible.

 

Here all is more or less visible.. Mast has been left ever-so-slightly tilted aft. Not sure if it makes any difference or not.. may straighten it later. Lines and knots still need to be adjusted /tightened to their final setting. BLUE= Sidestays, PINK/WHITE=sheet, BLUE/WHITE= Uphaul, GREEN= Diagonal backstays. BLACK= standard deck rigging,
Here all is more or less visible.. Mast has been left ever-so-slightly tilted aft. Not sure if it makes any difference or not.. may straighten it later. Lines and knots still need to be adjusted /tightened to their final setting. BLUE= Sidestays, PINK/WHITE=sheet, BLUE/WHITE= Uphaul, GREEN= Diagonal backstays. BLACK= standard deck rigging,
Adjusting the mast  tilt/angle

Getting the mast just right will take a couple sessions on the water testing and tweaking.. for this the right type of knot is essential, recently Douglas Wilcox (Again !) has come up with a suitable looking knot the adjustable grip hitch. At the writing of this post I haven’t personally¬† tested the knot in action but I don’t see any reason why it shouldn’t work..? This is the knot I have used on this particular installation! Seems GOOD!

Some final words..

Adding a sail onto a kayak adds to the fun but there is also added risk of things going wrong. Maybe even REALLY wrong! The writer will assume no responsibility¬† if something goes drastically wrong with this set up! Common sense “laws” should and will apply here. Each does as each sees fit with each own responsibility!

That said, after I started kayak sailing a¬† paddling/emergency knife became a permanent fixture on my PFD! For those extra lines…

Take care and have FUN!

Author: paaso.fi

A wee bit touched on the head! Something , anything and pretty much everything that has to do with sea-kayaking has my undivided attention, adoration and possibly worse.. ;)