Wednesday, December 09, 2015

Two fine tuning tips for the sailing rig on the P&H Scorpio mk2 sea kayak.

P&H Sea Kayaks should be lauded for being the first mainstream manufacturer to supply a sea kayak complete with sailing rig, all ready to go paddle sailing: the P&H Scorpio mk2. The sail is manufactured for P&H by Flat Earth Kayak Sails in Australia.

It comes complete with everything you need to go on a paddle sailing adventure on your first trip.

The Scorpio mk2 fore deck has been strengthened for a mast foot, a threaded insert for the mast foot screws has been moulded into the foredeck, two RDFs have been moved forward to be opposite the mast foot to give the side stays the best attachment position on the deck, the rig comes with a separate back stay and it even comes with stainless steel snap shackles for quick attachment and removal....all excellent stuff!

However, I do not like the way the side stays have been attached to the mast as the long fixed loop coming down from the stainless steel saddle on the front of the mast does not give the side stay best mechanical advantage.

Tip 1.
I cut the existing stays off and replace them with thinner 2mm dyneema line and...

...attach them through the saddle and round the mast using a simple sliding hitch knot like this..., though I am not sure what it is called. 

Edit: Many thanks to Mike B for identifying it as a double overhand sliding loop. :o)

Tip 2
I also like to have the ability to adjust the length of the side stays quickly and easily without tying knots. If you are starting off paddle sailing, I recommend Clamcleat Mini Line-Loks CL266. These work well up to F3 winds but slip in F4. They will also slip if you are unlucky enough to capsize in the shore break with your sail up. Then the Line-Lok slipping can save your deck and your mast!  

Once you are ready to paddle sail in stronger winds, an alternative is to learn how to tie the adjustable grip hitch. This will not slip under load yet is very easy to adjust when not loaded. You want to have your side stays "twang tight" when the mast is vertical and being able to tweak the tension in the stays bit by bit make setting up much easier than tying knots by trial and error.

Adjustable grip hitch 1

Adjustable grip hitch 2

Adjustable grip hitch 3, pull tight to complete.

I hope you have as much fun hoisting your P&H/Flat Earth kayak sail as I have had with mine.

I will post a full review of the P&H Scorpio MV mk2 with skudder and sail before the New Year.

PS I have just heard that P&H branded Flat earth sails will soon be made using the same Grand Prix tri-laminate material which I liked so much in the new Flat Earth Trade Wind 80 sail.