New to the boat this year is a 1 sq. meter “kayak” sail.  I designed and built a sail to use on my kayak for the 2011 North Carolina Challenge:

This sail performed very well in the conditions we experienced; some downwind, but mostly reaching on Core Sound.  The main issue was the flexibility of the “boom.”  As seen in the photo above, the foot of the sail would actually bend in a reverse curve, very bad for sail shape, aerodynamics, etc…

Clearly, I needed to build another sail… besides, my wife needs a sail for her kayak.  In the meantime, I saw on the WaterTribe forum that TwinSpirit was constructing a sail from cuben fiber.  I made some tweaks to the sail design and ordered the necessary materials.  Cuben fiber is a very interesting material, mostly clear with what appears to be lots of small threads running through it:

While it appears very fragile, it is pretty tough.  It is extremely difficult to puncture and if punctured, difficult to tear.

Over the past couple evenings, I have sewn up the main panels, reinforcements and batten / boom pockets.  I plan to get it mounted on the XCR next week.  To alleviate the boom issues of the last sail, I will be using an aluminum tube for the boom instead of a fiberglass batten.

2 thoughts on “Cuben Fiber Sail

    • I wish I could comment on the performance of the new sail. Unfortunately, the first time I try it out will be during the Challenge. Right now, it is 20 degrees (F) and snowing, so I’m not doing any sailing or paddling. 🙁

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