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Engineering the Inflatable Kayak Sailing Kit

Findings from the first sea-trial

Since the last time I’ve tested the ‘Build a sailing Kayak kit under £20‘, I’ve been doing a lot of reading and researching about materials, design and function of sail boat components.

It has been a fruitful one that I’ve came up with a new setup that it’s going to be a better sailing experience on our inflatable kayak.

From the first sea-trial, I’ve noticed that :
1. The rudder-mount must be sturdy to withstand the twisting-motion when manoeuvering the kayak.
2. The rudder-blade must be wide/long enough (relative to the kayak’s length) to have good steering power and control of the craft.
3. The leeboards must also be wide/long enough to prevent the kayak from drifting sideways and have a smooth surface to reduce drag.
4. The main-sail should have a boom to harness wind power more efficiently and should also have a good setup of main-sheet ropes for easier sail adjustments when sailing.

These improvements won’t cost too much since they are mostly sourced from the recycle-centre or materials that you can find for cheap. My guess-timate is less than £30 on top of the previous £20, that brings the total to still under £50.

Materials for the upgrades

Here are some of the materials I’ve used for my improvements. You may substitute the parts to suit your build and what suits your budget.

Plywood/Polycarbonate Sheets – for leeboards & rudder
Water-sealing paint – for leeboards & rudder
Aluminium Tubing – for the tiller (rudder), rudder-frame and leeboard mounts
Wood Fillers – for leeboards & rudder
Eyelet-Bolts c/w Oversized Washers & Wingnuts – for leeboard mounts
Bolt, Nut & Washers – for rudder-frame, tiller (rudder)
Polypropylene Ropes – for main-sheet line & leeboards
2-Part Epoxy Glue – to seal and secure leeboard mounts

For a better understanding on this whole idea, click on the kayak below to watch Episode 2 :

Engineering the Kayak Sail Kit