Sailyak modifications: Rudder, side seats, stability

Discussion in 'Multihulls' started by driggers, Jul 12, 2009.

  1. driggers
    Joined: Jul 2009
    Posts: 4
    Likes: 0, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: Victoria, BC

    driggers New Member

    Hi there,
    I'm new to this community and I recently bought a (pygmy) wooden kayak with a sail kit (a sailyak!). I've been sailing in it once and already I want to modify it. I'll tell the big picture in case anyone has good suggestions but I do have a few specific questions.

    The sailyak is a trimaran, 17ft middle piece and about 10 foot long outriggers. It is about 10 feet wide.

    I've got two pieces of 1x6 spruce that I will drill a couple of holes in and run them along the side of the kayak, attached to the cross beams. I and a smallish friend will sit on them with our feet in the cockpit. At the moment I plan to drill attach the spruce seats to the beams with rope and seal them with the WEST system (I'll read the product instructions and find the right one). They seem pretty resilliant but I was wondering:

    Should I use fiberglass cloth on the spruce? Would this add a lot to their structural integrity?

    The next thing is that I will need to add a tiller because my feet won't be on the pedals in the cockpit. However, after sailing this and sailing a dinghy, I noticed that the dinghy's rudder has a LOT of surface area and the dinghy turns on a dime, while I end up in irons tacking in good wind in my sailyak (maybe I wouldn't with more experience, but this is relative to the dinghy). The sailyak, piloted from the cockpit with a regular kayak, aluminum rudder, does not turn fast enough.

    That said, I'm building a rudder out of plywood. I have two major things in mind:

    1. I do not want to do irraperable to my boat or rudder by running it aground.

    2. It needs to fit on the existing mount (see picture, it will be 6.5cm from pintle to pintle)

    My ideas are as follows. One is pictured here

    The other is to extend the existing rudder by drilling holes in it and bolting a piece of glassed plywood to the aft end of it (making obvious considerations for hydrodynamics). I can clamp a tiller to it too. My concern is that there will be more force on the extended rudder.


    OK! next issue :). You can see below, the way the beams attatch to the boat is a bit primitive and slow to set up. Any ideas would be good because I'm stumped.


    Another Issue: Since I will sit on the side of a boat intended to be piloted from the cockpit, I risk making it awkward and unstable. Any thoughts?

    LAST issue: The mast has no stabilizing cables and only a mainsail... on second thought I'm going to go look at rigging on other boats before asking this question (about adding a jib and some cables).

    Thanks for helping out a newbie! I promise pictures and an account of my experience :).

  2. rayaldridge
    Joined: Jun 2006
    Posts: 581
    Likes: 26, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 322
    Location: USA

    rayaldridge Senior Member

    You could try a simple kick-up rudder like the ones I have on Slider, my little 16' cruising cat. My rudders just have a stock that the pintles attach to and a blade that rotates on a single bolt-- simple and so far, strong enough. There's a video here that shows it:

    You won't need the elaborate system I have for raising and lowering the blades. But do drill the bolt and put a cotter ring through it to make sure you don't lose the nut and washer if it works loose.

    As for lashing ideas, I just went through this with my next design, a little cartoppable cat. Here's the best idea I've come up with so far:


    Because of the multiple purchase, you can get the lashings really tight, and because of the cleat, it's very quick.
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