Gary Gibbs’ Klepper/Balogh Schooner)
Folding kayaks make great sailboat. in fact, many of them are not all that dissimilar in hull design to the great sailing canoes of Rushton and other canoe sailers of the 19th century. Folders are beamy, seaworthy and have plenty of deck space for rigging. Ralph’s Complete Folding Kayaker has a fairly exhaustive treatment of the traditional sailing rigs available from Klepper, as well as the more modern Balogh rigs, so I won’t repeat that information here. Instead, I’ll cover mainly homemade and unusual rigs from readers and other sources, and provide links to companies offering sailing gear. (That’s the Klepper Freewind downwind sail above.)
One good place to start investigating home made sailing rigs is Craig O’Donnell’s Cheap Pages. Craig has assembled a wonderful collection of drawings and descriptions of sail rigs for small boats, and canoe rigs in particular. He’s got lugsails, junk rigs, batwings, polytarp sails- you name it, he’s got something on it. I find myself returning there often to see what he’s added.
Balogh Sail Designs now has a web site. They’ve added a lot recently, and the full catalog is now available on line. If you’re not familiar with Mark Balogh’s designs, you should b. his “batwing” sails are extremely efficient battened designs that have made some pretty amazing journeys. He offers a number of different sails and outrigger systems. Mark tells me he’s considering some new designs, so you’ll certainly want to watch the site for announcements. He also mentioned that they’ve been improving production methods to the point that delivery times have been cut to about eight weeks- quite an improvement.My Balogh sail arrived in 2002. I finally managed to get time to mount it on my Klepper Aerius I. This year I’m mounting it on my Aerius II, and I’ll report my activities here.
Folbot , who have long offered a simple downwind sail, have just announced their new upwind sailing system, and it looks like it should be a popular addition to their line. See the Folbot pages for details.
Jeff Jennings in Tasmania has a nice page with photos and drawings of some neat home made rigs at http://www.vision.net.au/~jennings/sail/sail.html. These are batwing-style sails used on rigid, narrow boats, apparantly without any leeboards or outriggers. Tough guys, these Tasmanians. You’ll also find sources for sails and some great photos of trips Jeff and his friends have made around Tasmania. Jeff wrote to tell me he has a number of videotapes available of these journeys, too.
Tony Nilius’ page describes how he mounted a Balogh Batwing and BOSS outriggers on his Feathercraft K-1. Some great ideas on modifying Folbot rudders and rudder pedals, too. See it at http://www.geocities.com/niilus/
Lyman Copps suggests checking out the crabclaw sails from Spirit Sails. This reasonably priced (under $300, complete with mount as of Fall 2004) system is adaptable to all sorts of canoes and kayaks, and specific fittings are available for Feathercraft folding boats and inflatables.
Mats Broberg suggests Marzelius Funktionell Design, a Swedish firm specializing in sailing gear for kayaks. They also sell a novel kayak cart that can be used as a chair as well! If you don’t speak Swedish, you can find an English language page here.
William Serjeant’s Micro Sailing pages have moved to http://www.smallsailboats.co.uk
Bill also recommends:
Emile Thimot just sent me a link to http://www.padfield.org/tim/kyk/sail/junksail_01.htm, which details Tim Padfield’s adventures with a Junk-rigged Klepper.
There’s a book that was published in August of 2001 by Wooden Boat Books entitled Canoe Rig: Sailpower for Antique and Traditional Canoes, by Todd Bradshaw. Highly recommended. See the books page for details.