Folding Kayaks Forum

BOSS outrigger adjustment
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Author:  DLee [ Fri May 22, 2015 7:09 pm ]
Post subject:  BOSS outrigger adjustment

Any of you BOSS owners think the aka could be bent so that it can work more like the Hobie Sidekick with variable height?


Author:  DLee [ Fri May 22, 2015 8:58 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: BOSS outrigger adjustment

... or Non BOSS owners with thoughts on the subject. There's a slight chance I may be able to get one of these rigs at a reasonable price. I am not in love the idea of having to sail with outriggers, and I think the Balogh sail pretty much dictates use of the outriggers. If I could bend them a little like the Hobie Sidekicks, so that I could do a little leaning and keep both amas out of the water, I might be more interested.

The day I made my sailing video I sailed until the wind died at sunset and then had to paddle a mile or so back to the launch. It was nice to take down the sail and have a kayak again.

Looking for thoughts on all of it really.


Author:  DBuckStopshere [ Fri May 22, 2015 10:59 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: BOSS outrigger adjustment

When I get thinking about using my S4 sail rig, I just "turn on YouTube" and watch, "Klepper Sailing on Long Island Sound" and watch how slick Dennis works the rig.


Author:  DLee [ Sat May 23, 2015 10:07 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: BOSS outrigger adjustment

Ha, thanks Buck.

I'm Jones'n to get out there. How about you? Been sailing?


Author:  robonaboat [ Wed May 27, 2015 2:09 am ]
Post subject:  Re: BOSS outrigger adjustment

Dennis. I was hoping someone with knowledge of bending 1&3/8 inch aluminium pipe without crimping it would answer you, but it appears not as yet. I know it resists bending under extreme sailing forces from personal experiences when I was caught out unexpectedly in average wind around 25 knt gusting over 30 knt in my LHFK double with BSD rig. The forecast was 15-20knt from ahead of beam, my chosen upper limit in the circumstances of a 19 mile Moreton bay, Australia crossing, but was exceeded halfway across. I had to sail upwind to get ashore some miles away, and even reefed to the minimum 22 sq ft sail area and being very careful, the ama was sometimes being pushed completely underwater, deformed and twisted. I was sailing solo and no way could paddle upwind in that. The amas survived with no visible damage and after many extra unexpected hours of tacking and paddling for minor advantage all ended fine. Now a different question. A smaller sail which could have been deployed in those conditions would have been good of course. OR a second pair of amas mounted on the same aka just inside the existing pair? Would two BSD amas on each side in these conditions cause something else to permanently deform or break? While out there I was imagining what would happen if an ama was punctured or torn right off. Probably capsize, furl sail underwater, right boat, sail downwind on one ama to a lee shore in an undesirable direction 20 miles away. Very difficult, dangerous, unpleasant, exhausting. But a second pair of amas on the existing aka would have have been good too. The second pair of inside amas could be deflated and folded up tight in place on days of light wind and inflated on days of forecasts over maybe 15 knts or other special circumstances just in case. It requires the expense of a pair of amas but only 4 screws each to fit. No pipe bending. I would actually prefer to follow Dennis in his wish for an amaless sailing kayak and sitting out but its just not practical for me and the sailing I do in the conditions I have. Dennis, how about an inflation tube extensions for amas running back to the cockpit in a setup so you could inflate/deflate them on the water as required, by hand pump which can either blow or suck and an elastic band or bands on the amas which automatically folds it up as it deflates, or a string back to the cockpit which you pull to do the same thing? Or you can just slide each aka off the thwart tube, twist 180 degrees and refit with the amas above the akas, but the amas won't tolerate immersion as well, I think. Please give us feedback on our crazy ideas someone. There are some good brains out there. Roberto

Author:  gbellware [ Wed May 27, 2015 6:52 am ]
Post subject:  Re: BOSS outrigger adjustment

Bending the tubes to match the Hobie aka is easy, but only with specialized equipment in a metal fabricating shop. You can not bend these tubes by hand, don't even think about it! Now, my concern would be how to make the "click it" capability that the Hobie uses to raise and lower the ama height. I have never seen it work, so no comment on how difficult it would be to replicate. But if anybody can do it, well, I say go for it Captain.


Author:  DLee [ Wed May 27, 2015 8:32 am ]
Post subject:  Re: BOSS outrigger adjustment

Glad to hear from you guys. I was afraid nobody was going to chime in here.

Roberto, long time, welcome back. That sounds like quite a journey you had. Wow. Seeing the ama bending and twisting underwater must not have been a comforting sight.

I've only seen pictures of the rig, but I wonder if having two Amas on the Aka might damage the Aka in a tough situation like that... or the mounting hardware? Any thoughts on this?

I'm getting the impression that it's not too difficult to set-up or remove the BOSS system while on the water? That's good. Having a storm sail or something less narrow and tall as the BSD would probably be advantageous in a situation like that. Are you able to lower the position of the sail on the BSD rig? So that the CEO is lower and closer to the deck? I was looking at pictures last night and wondered if the lowest portion of the sail could be folded up, or rolled up, common reefing I guess, on the BSD for situations just like what you had.

The BSD sail is a windsurfer design and a windsurfer has his body weight up where the CEO of the sail is to counter the forces of the sail. On the kayak the aka and ama have to do all that work at much greater effort I'm thinking. Perhaps the solution is to sail the BSD's while standing on a short ladder, ha.

Seriously though, what would happen if you lopped off the bottom of the sail where it tapers out to it's widest point? I guess that's why I was thinking of folding it up...

Back to the aka question. If Greg thinks its possible to bend the tube I have no further query there. Mounting and rotating the Hobie is done just like a multi position paddle. There is a ferrule that slides into the female portion of the tube that supports the extension, this ferrel can be rotated so that the locking pin can sit in one of three different positions (on the Hobie). High, medium or low. The straight BOSS setting would be considered medium in a system like Hobies. High would raise the amas up and low would give you a very stable platform for working on the boat. The shaft is straight where it enters the mounting tube and then bent a little ways out.

How does the BOSS aka mount into the center tube? Would such an adaptation be possible?

Maybe Chris (jcwlx) will chime in here. He's done a lot of capsize analysis with outriggers compared to sail size and wind. He might even have some insight as to whether or not the aluminum tubing of the aka is up to the task of holding two amas in rough conditions. Or is the question whether the coaming of the boat is up to holding that force?

Where are all our BSD sailors?


Author:  robonaboat [ Thu May 28, 2015 1:17 am ]
Post subject:  Re: BOSS outrigger adjustment

Thanks Dennis, you're an inspiration. You all are. I still read the forum when I can but writing takes too long. Yes waiting to see if an ama gets destroyed in very windy conditions is sickening. I was a bit scared. I don't actually enjoy when it's rough but I enjoy cruising around for a couple of weeks at a time and sometimes things happen. And yes I'm better off to have a stormsail system than put more stress on the next weakest link. I had already installed a 1 meter long piece of aluminium C section which closely fits over the coaming on each side extending either side of the outrigger clamps, just to strengthen it. Yes it's not the first time I've been out when it's gotten rough. Of course the clamp bolts could break or the coaming snap off a rib. I had a look at my mainsail to see if your idea to further reef it could work, but I don't see a practical/solid way to do it. Nice try though. I have another idea for a storm sail which could be put into practice. It works like this; Furl and tie mainsail firmly to it's boom. Take down both of the middle and the upper section of the mainmast but leave the boom in place on the mast base section. Stow excess mast tubes under spray cover. Have a small 3 sided storm sail handy, which I haven't yet made, with a sleeve along the luff into which you slide one upper mast section, luff and one mast section being about the same length. Install that on mast base. Foot of sail is same length as main boom and attached to it at tack and clew only by snap shackles. Tighten luff with the existing downhaul on boom and control sail with the mainsheet. All done without moving from my seated position in the rear cockpit. In answer to Dennis I think I described some time ago how I assemble/disassemble the BOSS system out on the water. It isn't too difficult in light winds. I haven't tried in strong winds. The 2 aka sections have a 6" male section which slides into a corresponding female section each end of the centre outrigger/thwart tube and a hole through the middle of everything partway along each overlap takes a fastpin which holds it together. You can reach all this from the rear cockpit without capsizing as long as you when you reach out you have your crew, or the wind, or one or both of your of your legs leaning the other way to keep it balanced. The tubes are all 1&3/8" outside diameter and thick walled. The centre tube is at least double thickness as is the male part of the overlap that I can see. This centre tube is through bolted to clamps on each of the coamings. I think most of the length of the two akas are single wall thickness. I can't yet think of a practical way to make your idea work but maybe someone else can? And where are the BSD sailors? I'm listening. Roberto.

Author:  chrstjrn [ Thu May 28, 2015 6:55 am ]
Post subject:  Re: BOSS outrigger adjustment

I actually raised this question with an engineer friend just last week. Conclusion was that it would probably be a bad idea to bend those tubes. That matches my personal experience, having crashed in surf (years ago) and cantilevered up on one of the outriggers with a loaded boat-- destroyed the leeboard (it was still down :oops: ), but the ORs were intact. I think the best bet is to figure out how to raise the entire assembly higher above the gunwales.

Author:  robonaboat [ Fri May 29, 2015 10:36 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: BOSS outrigger adjustment

Dennis. If the amas are remounted along the akas closer to the boat then the boat will heel further before the the amas touch the water. Even mounting on the centre span of the aka just outside the beam of the boat and dispensing with the outer aka arms. But as mentioned previously with the mounting of the whole thing higher you can't quickly change the height on water. Telescoping outrigger akas? I don't know how a hinge could be fitted to tubing but they do it for folding bicycles. But then how to lock it at different angles? It gets a bit complicated. Would you be happy with permanently being able to heel further before ama contact with water? Just so you know, in light winds I perceive very little drag friction of ama in water, and in strong winds if there are also big waves I'd be nervous about sitting out, but that may be because I'm not practiced at sitting out. But I'm interested in trying sometime and I'm looking for ways to do it safely and comfortably even in higher winds and waves so I follow your experiments with interest. Roberto.

Author:  jcwlx [ Sun May 31, 2015 12:52 am ]
Post subject:  Re: BOSS outrigger adjustment

I have not been on here for a while (gone Jan 1 to May 15 in China, Australia, China, then Canada....too busy....but retiring on July 31!), but skimmed over this string just now and see your desire to to be able raise the amas on the BOSS outriggers higher off the water, like your adjustable Hobie set. The BOSS aka tubes are 1/16" wall, but I made mine out of 1/8" wall aluminum tube. Although I am a metgallurgist, I do not have experience cold forming aluminum tubing. I believe that it can be done on with the right type of tube bender. However, I think the simplest solution is to just raise the entire outrigger higher off the coaming. I have this provision in the BOSS set up that I made using just the BOSS amas that I bought from BSD. If you look at my Facebook album ( ... 916c13c1c4) about the 100th photo or so, you can see I have spacer nuts which I can move from the upper positon above the aka tubes, to the lower postion, below the tubes, to raise the aka higher off the coaming. I have never actually raised them very high, but if the stainless bolts in the coaming clamps are left long enough, like I made mine, it's very easy to do. If you want to raise them a lot, I think it would be wise to go with bigger diameter bolts.

I also just posted a new topic on the forum about the new 32 square foot genoa sail, that I designed with the sail maker at Sailrite, and finally got assembled and sewed up this last week. In the FB album that I sent the above link to, you will see the last 8 photos are of that genoa sail. I still need to sail with it. I'll post something after I try it.


Author:  DLee [ Sun May 31, 2015 6:10 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: BOSS outrigger adjustment

A lot of interesting ideas and comments.

Roberto, thanks for the reminder that the BOSS system can be deployed on the water. I like your storm sail idea and wanted to mention that the dimensions of the Klepper S1 sail might be a very close fit to what you are looking for and it mounts just the way you describe. I have one and can give you dimensions one of these days if interested. Actually, the boom portion is sleeved as well. I wonder if the Klepper gooseneck would fit the BSD mast?

There's a metal fabricator pretty close by me, I'm going to try and get to him about this project. Roberto can you give me the lengths of the aka sections?

It may be that simply elevating the thing is the way to go, but I think that will weaken the system unless it's done very solidly, like with wooden cross bars under the tubing. I do like Roberto's idea of moving the amas inboard temporarily.

One of my issues is that I launch and land at places that simply won't accommodate the width of the BSD BOSS rig, I think,... how wide is it?

Chris W., I've checked out your pics a few times now and I like what you've done. Just saw the new Genoa, wow. I think if I get the system I might want to raise it as much as 6+ inches. I think this will require a different system than simply using spacers. I'll bounce ideas off of you and the gang here as I come up with them.

Chris T., that seems like quite a test of the system if there was no other damage than to the leeboard. Care to elaborate on the experience? Sounds pretty exciting.


Author:  chrstjrn [ Mon Jun 01, 2015 12:54 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: BOSS outrigger adjustment

Inexperience-- I think it was 2005, maybe even 2004. I came in to land in a surf-- the swell had only been 1-2 feet, further out from shore. It was a downwind run on to the beach. Distracted by the surf and trying to get in through it, I left the LB down. I had the deck on, and couldn't get out easily. I was trying to sail it straight onto the beach, and nearly succeeded. I broached in the last breaking wave as the LB dug in and then turned into splinters. The entire boat cantilevered up about 25-30 degrees on the outrigger (right side, if I remember correctly). I was still in the boat when that happened. I was saved by the wave either breaking or receding-- jumped out and dragged the boat up, still tangled in lines.

It took 8-9 months to receive the new $300 leeboard (I understand the new owner at BSD is quicker). I had lots of time to think about all the things I had done wrong. Thank god I wasn't hurt, and the boat had so little damage. There is a long list of mistakes in that occurence. It's long enough ago that I can describe it with a little less embarrassment, now.

Author:  DLee [ Mon Jun 01, 2015 5:49 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: BOSS outrigger adjustment

There is a long list of mistakes in that occurence. It's long enough ago that I can describe it with a little less embarrassment, now.

Talk to anyone with a fair bit of boating experience and they will completely understand and sympathize with that remark. I once came within inches and seconds a flipping a 21' center console trying to dislodge an anchor. A little luck, and some kind of immediate intuitive response was all that prevented it. As it was, that maneuver was supremely high on the stupid move level. Fortunately, I was alone in the boat and didn't risk injuring anyone other than myself. It's also true that it is seldom one thing that gets you into trouble. It's like a rock slide that begins with a pebble and builds exponentially. Accidents in boats happen like that all the time and that is why keeping 'ship shape' is so important. Escalation is so fast.

But, experiences like yours when shared might help someone else prevent the same mistake. I've never landed a kayak in surf and am not sure I'm looking forward to that moment... But, I read all I can about it and hope some of it sticks when the time does come.

Pretty impressed that nothing else got damaged there. It must have been a tremendous amount of pressure on the coaming when the lee board started shredding. Do you think the plastic version lee board may have bent the aka tube?


Author:  chrstjrn [ Mon Jun 01, 2015 7:15 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: BOSS outrigger adjustment

Certainly the shredding LB was sacrificial in terms of saving the coaming. But the massive forces that were exerted through the aka-- with no harm to anything-- left me in awe of the basic strength of the structure for a long time. These boats are really quite amazing.

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