I just finished the sail rig. Adding the jib is a huge improvement. I get a much better point upwind, make much better forward progress, and I no longer need to peddle through a tack, plus it’s a lot more fun. The furling jib allows for instant sail reduction when “Gus” shows up (my sons name for Gusts), and I don’t have to worry about dumping the sail into his lap when approaching the beach. Sorry, no action photos yet, but once I’m able to convince someone to stay on the beach long enough to snap a couple of pictures, I should have some to post.
The jib sail material of choice was going to be a shower curtain, but even the largest curtain was too small and I found the fabric shower curtain material to be too “stretchy.” So I used 3 mil. plastic tarp material and lined the edges, on both sides, with white duct tape for strength. If nothing else, it will make a good template for a monofilm sail to be made later. Right now the jib is a right triangle and measures approx 9’x6’x11’. I may taper it up to resemble Skua’s jib, which will give it a better look, and help it clear the head of whoever sits up front.
The jib never fully unfurls because the control line tends to spin up the PVC onto the edge of the sail. I tried a couple of things to prevent this, but once I was out on the water it proved not to be a bad thing because I noticed that there’s always at least one or two turns of tarp rolled onto the PVC, and the Duct Tape/PVC connection never gets fully exposed or weakened, at least not yet. The jib furls around a piece of half inch PVC which runs the length of the front stay and spins nicely on top of a stainless karabiner.
This next shot shows the path of the furling line which neatly runs through the paddle holder slots, no blocks needed.
In order to control the sail lines, I fabricated what you could call “control paddles” made of wood. I mounted jam cleats and pad eyes to the paddles, and all the sail control lines run through them. They are removable, adjustable, and their low profile allows for unobstructed paddling. They’ve really worked out well.
The lines running into the right paddle are the main sheet (blue jam cleat) and starboard jib sheet (green jam cleat).
The lines running into the left paddle are the port jib sheet (green jam cleat) and the jib furling line (red jam cleat).
The inflatable sail rig is different from the rigs sold for the hard shell boats. For one, the mast for the inflatable is modular; it comes apart like a tent pole and breaks down into three sections. The rig is also stayed; anchored to the hull at three deck locations by three lines, or stays. The stays that come with the sail kit are basic nylon cord; they stretch considerably when under load even without a jib. If you’re going to construct a jib, replace them. West Marine sells 1/8 inch stay line with a 1% stretch tolerance for about 70 cents a foot; a bit pricey but it’s easy to work with and worth the cost. The inflatable sail kit is stayed from a point approx. ¾ of the way up the mast. To increase sail area I removed the forward factory stay and replaced it with one that runs from the top of the mast to the bow of the boat. To handle the additional weight of the forward sail I stayed the upper section of the mast with two additional side stays that run from the top of the mast to the factory deck stay locations. The mast is now supported by four side stays, two left and two right, and 1 forward stay.
The stays are hard to spot in the pics because they’re light in color.
I mounted a wind vane to the top of the mast. It’s not a necessity by any means, but just something I’m used to sailing with. I used stainless threaded rod, bent it at a right angle, inserted it into the top of the mast and threaded a piece of pine closet pole (sprayed white) onto the rod for the vane to attach to. It works great. It’s a Davis Black Max, and it’s worth the $24.
This last shot shows the path of the main sheet as it runs through a stern block and a second mini block attached to the paddle holder. I’d recommend using two blocks, you don’t want this line to get snagged or hung up when Gus shows up.
I couldn’t have done a lot of this work without the helpful post, pics and descriptions from so many people on this forum.
So thank you “so many people.”