Kayak Sailing - Techniques and Best Practices

Kayak Sailing is Fun! As soon as the mast and sail is released you are off. Recover your paddle quickly and use it for steerage and stability. If you are sailing directly down wind ensure that the sail is central to the kayak. You will soon realise how easy it is to cover a large distance and what little effort it takes. It is very easy to steer and stabilize your kayak using the paddle.
   
Paddling with the Sail Stowed:
The sail will be rolled and stowed to one side of your kayak and secured with a strap.
On shorter boats you might find that the bottom of the mast gets near to your feet, this is not normally a problem and soon forgotten also the mast/sail assembly does not usually cause any problems. Keep control cords under your feet and legs when paddling!
   
Release Sail from Stowed Position:
The sail is released from its stowed position just prior to sailing your kayak. Turn the bow of your boat away from the wind so the wind is blowing over your shoulder from the back. Put your feet and legs under the control cord. Release the securing strap with one hand and hold on to the closed mast/sail, guide the mast toward the front of the kayak and release. We recommend that the paddle is dropped over the side prior to the sail release. Ensure that you have a strong paddle leash well secured before you launch from the beach.
   
Cross-Wind Sailing:
You will be able to sail across the wind after a little practice, although slower than downwind sailing it is possible to cover a lot of ground with minimum effort. Pull on one control cord and push the other to tilt the sail left or right. Do not pull the sail too much to one side.
 
If your kayak turns into the wind, the sail will blow towards you. To avoid this paddle on one side to keep the bow off the wind. Cross-wind sailing is easier with a stronger wind, but possible in a Force one as shown in this clip. Longer kayaks stay up-wind better than shorter ones.
 
Light Wind Sailing:
Even with the lightest off breeze the sail makes paddling very easy and can really extend your range. The best technique is to let the sail take the strain and paddle gently.
   
Stopping and Stowing:
When you want to stop sailing, pull the two control cords towards you and collapse the masts together, roll the sail around the mast and secure with the strap.
We highly recommend that you stow the rig in good time prior to getting too close to the landing area. Take extra care when landing in surf. Put control cords back under your feet and legs if you intend to come ashore or to paddle any distance.