Sailing Santa Cruz Kayaks E-mail
Saturday, 15 June 2013 00:00

Jim Martin is the innovative designer of the Raptor, and owner of Santa Cruz Kayaks. It gets windy almost every day on the Monterey Bay, and of course, that got Jim to thinking.....Take a look at his slick sail design and don't be surprised if a product hits the market soon.

 

It seems as though 80 percent of my fishing trips result in wind picking up by mid-day. This usually gets me to thinking about what would be the perfect sailing rig for my kayak. I like the way some of the other rigs worked, but they just didn't have the control I wanted. I wanted a sail that would allow me to sail upwind without having to drop a leeboard. Stability is also an issue. In a kayak without amas (outrigger pontoons), stability gets challenged so having a way to quickly and safely reef (release the sail) is paramount.

raptor.sail I came up with an idea that I thought could work. I had to fabricate a roller furling set up in order to quickly reef no matter what the conditions were. The sail needed to be positioned behind the cockpit and not have any support lines. I borrowed a friend’s Hobie sail for the initial test. The kayak sailed along ok... The second test flight I added the Kayak Sailor to the front. That test was a success and allowed me to understand how the kayak would handle. It also popped the idea in my head about fabricating a roller-furling jib next.

I did a little research to learn how a furling system should work, then came up with a design that could quickly be attached. The whole rig can be set up or taken down in 3 minutes. A few snips on another sail, some duct tape and a few stitches later I had a jib sail... now I just needed wind and good timing to allow me to get OTW.

When unfurled, the main sail acts like a weather vane, pointing the kayak into the wind. To shift either direction you only have to travel the boom over using the control lines that also act as a "mainsheet" dumping wind out of the sail if needed. When in doubt, let it out, is how the saying goes. To give you better control, just un-furling the jib sail will balance out the whole rig, allowing you to steer using only the jib sheet and light pressure on the rudder.

The Raptor has a hybrid hull design that is half catamaran and half paddleboard. The unique keels along each pontoon work like skegs to prevent side slippage. This cool rig turns the kayak into a sailboat. It's a lot of fun to sail. Several times I've sailed it in 10+ knot winds and not tipped it over yet, although the last attempt on the ocean was a bit unnerving. I was sailing alone and not really dressed for immersion in 49-degree water. I reefed heavily that day, but still managed to confidently maintain control, including in and out through the surf.

 

You must be registered to post a comment.


Login

Newsletter

Subscribe here to receive FREE email issues of Kayak Fishing Magazine.

Most Popular

The Ultimate Home Made Kayak Fishing Trailer
I really enjoy your magazine and I’m glad to see this sport catching on so much. Last winter, I got so hooked on kayak fishing that I bought two Hobie Outbacks and rigged them...
Buiding a Kai-Rack for Kayak
  They say that, "Necessity is the mother of invention," but in truth, sometimes a really bad case of cabin fever, combined with watching old Tim Allen’s Home Improvement...
Hummingbird Scupper Transducer Install on Ocean Torque
Posts and DIY threads for this install are few and far between so I figured that I would keep a    photo journal of how I made this install. I really didn't know what to...

Random

Predator 13 Rigging
Mounting the FF.  Given the relationship between OK and Hummingbird FFs, no surprise the boat is ready to receive a Hummingbird FF.  I have taken a liking to my trusty...
Installing a Center Hatch
Here I've installed the center hatch system on an Elie Horizon 130 which is standard equipment when you upgrade  to the Elie Horizon 130 Angler package. Using the hatch...
Home Made Scupper Transducer Mount
After seeing the new Lowrance scupper transducer mount work so well on Jackson Kayak, a customer of mine decided to figure out a cheap way to do this for other fish finders. In...

Latest Kayak Reviews

Lifetime Sport Fisher
 
5.0
Cobra Kayaks Tandem
 
3.0
Perception Sport Pescador 10.0 Angler
 
4.0
Hobie Mirage Outback
 
4.0
Current Designs Tailfin
 
5.0
Hobie Mirage Outback
 
2.0
NuCanoe Frontier 12
 
5.0
Native Watercraft Mariner 12.5 Propel Anglers
 
4.0
Hobie Mirage Outback
 
5.0
Pelican Castaway 100
 
2.0
Stealth Pro Fisha 575
 
3.0
Field and Stream Eagle Talon
 
5.0

Latest Equipment Reviews

Body Glove 3T Barefoot Max
 
5.0
Body Glove 3T Barefoot Warrior
 
5.0
Body Glove 3T Barefoot Warrior
 
3.0
Columbia Drainmaker
 
5.0
Sperry SON-R Sounder Shandal
 
4.0
Garmin VIRB Elite
 
4.0
Polaroid XS100
 
4.0
Backwater Paddles Assault Hand Paddle
 
5.0
Backwater Paddles Assault Hand Paddle
 
5.0
Stohlquist Piseas
 
4.0
Wheeleez Tuff Tire Kayak Cart
 
5.0
Boga Grip
 
4.0