Rafting with a sail

July 7, 2007

An interesting idea I think for a group – I guess you need at least 4 people for this to work:

“A tail wind meant that we could raft the boats together and hoist the purpose made sail. The sail is a sheet of tarpaulin with pockets for paddle blades in the top corners. These paddles are hoisted as masts by the front outside paddlers in the raft. Sheets from the top of the sail go back to the rear outside paddlers to take the strain of the sail. In this way we soon crossed the excellently named Hopeless Reach.”

posted by wanderings of a farmboy in Australia on a tour run by rivergods but sadly with no pictures of the sail or raft.

The same post goes on like this, next day:
“Although strong, the wind was behind us, so we rafted up again. The wind was so strong that we were physically not strong enough to hold the sail in place. Instead we hoisted our paddles in the air and this provided enough propulsion to move us at a descent speed.

After 2 hours of sailing like this we approached the Cape Peron. At this point Easterly waves started to meet the South-easterly waves we had been riding along. The resulting 2 metre of so seas on our aft quarter started trying to pull the raft apart. As the seas got bigger more ropes and eyelets snapped so that in the end most people were holding the kayaks together. One particularly large wave broke over the heads of the rear paddlers.

Just when we were at our most terrified we spotted a large dugong with her calf a short distance away. Our tribulations were forgotten briefly as we watched these rare and remarkable animals.

Eventually we were washed up on the more sheltered shoreline, where we broke up the raft, bailed out water and set off for Cape Peron.”

Souns interesting.


2 Responses to “Rafting with a sail”

  1. PeterD Says:

    I have seen people separate their paddle in 2, and put one shaft up each side of a paddle jacket, and use that as a sail. Or you could just use an umbrella (if you happen to have one – I don’t normally carry one).

    Having a rudder makes this all easier, as you don’t have to do directly downwind.

  2. Sounds lilke there is a product in there somehwere? I keep thinking that kayaking is such a new sport, hardly anyone does it and the “stuff” is nowhere near as designed and developed as it could be.

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