Pacific Action Kayak Sail Systems from Johnson Outdoors UK are versatile, lightweight sailing rigs designed for sea kayaks, sit-on-top kayaks and canoes. They are simple to fit, very user friendly and are great for touring, fishing and recreational paddling. For the more adventurous they have already proved themselves on expeditions, long distance races and ocean crossings.
These sail systems allow paddlers to harness the power of the wind to travel further faster and of course save a lot of effort at the same time. The colourful rigs have been designed by kayak enthusiasts in New Zealand. The small nylon sail forms a trapezium shape reminiscent of the crab claw sails used by the ancient Polynesians. It is set between twin masts which pop up to form a V, the base of which sits in a two-piece flexible plastic mast foot. The mast foot is strapped to the bow using a simple buckle system.
When you want to sail you turn the kayak downwind, release a small bungee loop and up goes the rig. Control lines are kept to a minimum; a bungee loop hooked to the bow handle pulls the mast forward and upright and for trimming the sail two sheets are led aft within easy reach of the paddler.
Lowering the rig literally takes seconds. This is done by pulling the masts down with the sheets then coiling the sail around them. When not in use the whole rig stows neatly coiled level with the deck so you can paddle as normal. The rolled up sail can also be stowed below deck or inboard depending on the type of kayak or canoe. The whole rig only weighs about 2 pounds (1kg.)
A variety of rigs is available for different sizes and designs of craft but they all have one thing in common. They are not only very straightforward and reliable to use, but also very stable and simple to operate whether you are a beginner or an experienced paddler. The Pacific Action sail works in a wide range of conditions from 5 knots to 20 knots plus of wind. It can be sailed downwind or on a reach up to 90°degrees to the wind and the flexible nature of the rig allows the sail to depower itself in strong gusts.
Three sail sizes are available priced at: 1 metre £229, 1.5 metre £249, 2.2 metre £269. Separate rigging packs can be purchased allowing you to use the same sail on different kayaks. To see videos of these exciting sails in action go to www.pacificaction.com.