Club Information Mick sailing, Banks Strait Tasmania logo
Tasmanian sails for sea kayaks.

Why do many Tasmanian sea kayakers use sails?

Tasmania is in the path of the "roaring 40's". Historically this resulted in many sailing ships being wary of approaching the rugged west coast of Tasmania. They couldn't determine latitude exactly and failing to get a "fix" after days of storms, tried to avoid the treacherous coastline. Many wrecks testify to the terror of ships being blown before a storm and piling up on the rocky west coast or the islands in Bass Strait.
The most horrific example of this problem occured in 1845. The 800 ton Cataraqui, sailing from Liverpool to Melbourne with 369 emigrants, foundered on the rocky west coast of King Island. At 4.30am, on Monday 4th August, she struck without warning. Only nine of the 423 people on board survived the ordeal.
Tasmania is still at the mercy of the westerlies, but sea canoeists have learned to respect and make good use of these winds. This information on sails has been collated from a number of members of the Maatsuyker Canoe Club who regularly make extended trips in windy conditions. The ideas and designs may make a good starting point for others interested in developing sails for their own conditions and capabilities.
Laurie and Mick, Banhs Strait Grant, Coles Bay
Matthews' new spinnaker Laurie and Mick, Banks Strait Grant, Freycinet Peninsula.
Click on each image for larger picture.

Grants' sail Lauries' sail
Grants' North Sea Tourer sail. Not for the inexperienced paddler. Fast but "tippy". Lauries' design. Two of these on the double and Sea Leopard really make things fly.
Jeffs' sail Greenlander deck layout
Jeff's second design. One of these on a Greenlander is hard to beat. This is the deck layout for most sea kayaks. Some have an extra center cleat.

My new front sail and rear storm sail. 2007

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All Images Copyright Jeff Jennings

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