Folding Kayaks Forum

Feathercraft Big Kahuna + Kayaksailor -- Hobie Amas?
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Author:  donnadrury [ Wed Mar 18, 2015 8:56 pm ]
Post subject:  Feathercraft Big Kahuna + Kayaksailor -- Hobie Amas?


I am the lucky/happy owner of a Feathercraft Big Kahuna and a Kayaksailor rig with a jib. I love both paddling and kayak sailing. I am a bit nervous about dumping since I often paddle alone and re-entry is not easy. Does anyone out there attach Amas to their Feathercraft folder? I have a few questions for those who have tried:

Do you place the Amas fore or aft of the cockpit?
To the amas get into the way of the paddle?
Does this configuration prevent dumping?

I am quite sure that with a few more years practice I wouldn't want them, but, in the meantime ...

I have the possibility of purchasing a pair of Hobie Amas ($215 Cnd).
Any thoughts?

Author:  DLee [ Thu Mar 19, 2015 10:42 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Feathercraft Big Kahuna + Kayaksailor -- Hobie Amas?

Congrats on your purchase! Sounds great.

The Hobie Sidekicks work great but you might have to get a little creative mounting them to the BK. It probably will be in the way for regular paddling so if you are determined to use the outriggers you might consider picking up a canoe paddle which might work within the constraints of the outrigger space a little better.

There is another alternative though, they are additional sponsons that fit outside the boat along the cockpit and add considerable stability. They are Harmony sponsons: and I use them on my Klepper T9 which is very tippy with the Kayaksailor and so far I've had really good luck. The beauty of these sponsons is that they can be deflated and covered up so that you can paddle normally... probably after you put the sail down.

The Hobie Sidekicks sell for around $175 new down here in the states. So I'd try and get that price down a bit if they are used. Again though, mounting could be tricky.

Keep in mind that you can sail the Kayaksailor reefed which only gives you half as much sail and is very stable. I would highly recommend going without the outriggers if at all possible. They (the outriggers) will really limit your use of paddles and therefore the boating experience. Becoming more familiar with capsizing and getting back into the boat is a worthwhile endeavor and the KS is really a very forgiving sail. I spent a lot of time in the shallower waters getting familiar with capsizing with and without sail... the bottom line is that sailing the kayak is a ton of fun. Get comfortable and go play. In my opinion the Harmony system is probably the best option for more stability and remaining a kayak.

I think Greg had a Big Kahuna and I know he has a Kayaksailor, perhaps he will have some insight here.


Author:  DLee [ Thu Mar 19, 2015 10:57 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Feathercraft Big Kahuna + Kayaksailor -- Hobie Amas?

Here are two pictures of the Harmony, unfortunately I don't have one of the system deflated in the water.



Once you have the spacing figured out you can put D-rings onto your hull and lose the straps... I haven't been able to make that commitment yet, ha.


Author:  gbellware [ Sat Mar 21, 2015 7:48 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Feathercraft Big Kahuna + Kayaksailor -- Hobie Amas?


The Feathercraft BK is a stable platform for the Kayaksailor, I have sailed in heavy winds without fear of dumping and without amas with the 1.6 m2 reefed main. I would not try that with the Klepper sail, it is not so forgiving. Like you, I fear reentry after capsize would be difficult if not impossible, I have never had to try and, now that I have swapped my BK for a Klepper A1, won't need to :-)
I will probably get serious about amas for my Klepper single this summer but, as Dennis points out, there are serious drawbacks to them when it comes to paddling. Any configuration, whether mounting fore or aft, will hinder your paddling stroke unless you do some serious modification to the akas. I really like paddle/sailing my doubles, but with a single I am afraid it is either paddling or sailing with akas/amas...but not both.


Author:  donnadrury [ Wed Mar 25, 2015 10:24 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Feathercraft Big Kahuna + Kayaksailor -- Hobie Amas?

I really appreciate your insights. Thank you!

Author:  windspired [ Tue Jun 23, 2015 3:14 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Feathercraft Big Kahuna + Kayaksailor -- Hobie Amas?

Hi Everyone,

Just wanted to say Hi and ask....

Has anyone tried using thigh straps in the Aerius I or II? I have the NRS Inflatable thigh straps in my self built skin-on-frame and PakBoat XT 15 and find them essential for sailing as they provide an amazing amount of hull control. Here is a link to their website; ... igh-straps.

Since we don't have the Aerius boats, I was just wondering if you think it might be an alternative to outriggers.

Thoughts anyone?


Author:  DLee [ Thu Jul 02, 2015 12:43 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Feathercraft Big Kahuna + Kayaksailor -- Hobie Amas?

Hi Patti, nice to see you here.

The Aerius 1 and II are both very stable boats. The Aerius 1 has a beam of 28" with air sponsons and I don't think there would be an issue with keeping that boat upright as is. Perhaps an owner with both the A1 and Kayaksailor will chime in here.

The Aerius II has a 34"(?) inch beam with sponsons, and I can tell you from personal experience that there's no issue in sailing this boat. The only thing I wish for with the AII is a larger sail on the KS.

The boat I have trouble with is an older Klepper T9. It doesn't have sponsons, and even though it has a 28" beam it rolls like a log. I've tried sailing it without the outriggers, even reefed (I have the 1.8 sail) I was blown over almost immediately as the first blast of wind hit the sail. I am thinking the thigh straps might be worth a try for this boat.

I'd like to see if I understand the operation of the straps correctly... Instead of just leaning against the push of the sail, the strap on the lee side of the boat would allow me to put upward pressure on that side of the boat while pushing down on the other, upwind, side. Giving me better leveraging against the sail from both sides of the hull. Is that the way it works?

Thanks for this idea. Love to hear how it works for you. I imagine your skin-on-frame is very tippy. BTW, the re-entry you make into your Pakboat on one of the KS videos is the cleanest boat re-entry I've ever seen. Cheers!


Author:  windspired [ Thu Jul 02, 2015 9:04 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Feathercraft Big Kahuna + Kayaksailor -- Hobie Amas?

Hi Dennis,

Yes, the thigh straps allow one to pull up on the lee side in addition to leaning to windward. I find them very effective. They have saved me from going bottoms up many times.

I hope you have some float bags in your T9!

Thanks for your kind words on that re-entry. It was a super fun day!


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