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Post by Yostwerks »

Has anyone here used a wingsail on a kayak ? If so, how well do they perform ?

I have two of them made for me by a guy in Cleveland who competes in ACA sailing
canoe racing. I made him two aluminum breakdown masts for his two masted canoe
and he made me the wingsails in exchange. He tested the wingsails, but felt the speeds
achieved were not sufficient for racing, but otherwise were an ok recreational upwind
sailing solution.

I've never tested them, but they are about 24 sq ft each. I plan to use only one of them.

The concept behind them is that they have an inflatable sponson inside, running near the
mast that give them a thick / high lift airfoil shape, and the shape "shifts" depending on
the apparent wind direction as the sponsons deform on either side.

In theory they sound great, but I never read about them being used much, hence my
curiosity. I plan to test the wingsail this summer, or when the ice melts...whichever
comes first :?

Sometimes ideas get overlooked , not because they are inferior, but because they are
out of the norm, and that's always been my favorite place to be :)

The patent is held by Mladen Milidragovic in Vancouver BC. He gave us permission to
make our own wingsails based on his design.

One test is worth 10,000 opinions !


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Post by chrstjrn »

I have no personal experience, but James Wharram has been has been advocating the use of his own version of a wing sail for decades. Many people have built used his wing sails on catamarans ranging from 14 to 63 feet, with both single and multiple masts, and for everything from racing to circumnavigations. They have a forum at The Wharram design is somewhat simpler than the ones you described, but you might be able to get some helpful feedback there.

Please let us know what you discover!
Chris T.
Klymit Packraft
In storage in the US:
~'91 Klepper A2 w/ BSD schooner rig
'64 Klepper Passat/Tradewind
'64 Klepper T12
Early '90s Old Town Canoe
'04 Pakboat Puffin II
'05 Swift (prototype)
'84 Hobie 16.


Post by Christov_Tenn »

I'll be glad to test your spare for you, although I know nothing about sailing. My swim reports might be good for a few laughs. Anyway, I'll be able to climb back into the RZ easily enough. :D

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