From sailing to kayaking, sort of...

Blue Ghost

New Member

I've enjoyed my Sunfish for 20 years now, but would like to expand my horizons. I came across a website that sells sail rigged outriggers, and I was wondering if any of you Sunfish types have been in one of these things?

I've sailed 40 footers off of Boston, Hobie cats on lakes, and my sunfish in the local waterways, but I've never "sailed" an outrigger kayak, and am wondering how hard or easy it is, and what precautions an experienced Sunfish type like myself should take.

Thanks much in advance for any help.
A sailing kayak handles like the following...

Needs to be paddled thru the tack, tho at times will just barely barely make it.

Very fast like 5 to 7 knots on a decent reach

Extremely wet ride. Doesnt matter what kayak you get, they all have very fine bows compared to a Sunny and you will at times think you re in a submarine.

Not as fast as a Sunfish on the whole because they are so slow and laborious thru the tacks.

Thanks. That's the answer I looking for.

I've been thinking of doing the coastal camping thing, and was curious if I should try it with my fish or go via kayak. And if I were to go kayak would it be worth my while to invest in something with sail? The outrigger thing and sail thing looked appealing because of the extra stuff it looked like it could carry.

I think I'm going to stick with sailboats. Heck, maybe I'll invest in somekind of cat.

Thanks again for the answer. It's much appreciated.
Im going to sound like a hypocrit, but I have a kayak, 17, 5" long, 22" beam, with a sail rig soon to be ordered - but it needs explaining...

A sail on a kayak does not have it perform like a sunfish - it'll hit 7 knots, sometimes more in a burst, but it turns like the Titanic and there fore paddling through the tack is needed. That said, on any given course, the sunfish would always be faster, and something like a Laser, faster still.

The reason people attach sailrigs to there kayaks is to make good of windy weather for a few reasons...

1. Reduce tendonitus over the course of a long trip
2. Speed and stability in wind and chop not had by paddle alone. Indeed, with my hull in heavy chop, its enough just to try to stay upright much less maintian a fast clip. Outrigger floats, be they inflatable or hard shell, go a long way to taking the stress out of a steep chop wave condition - tho being a kayak with fine ends it will always be a wet ride.
3. Just to plain relax, sitback and have your craft work for you, enjoy the scenery, even eat and drink.

Sailing kayaks is a good thing, but in the purest sense of the sailing term, it'll never compete with a sunfish or any racing dinghy for that matter.