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  1. #1
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    Jan 2015
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    Default Sailing sit on top conversion.

    This is a sit on top Iíve rigged for sailing. Iíve just sold a Hobie revolution which was marvellous but unfortunately just a little big for transporting on the top of my smallish ASX. Previously I converted two Canadians for sailing and both worked extremely well, I was just a little concerned about such a short platform (2.6m).


    I first bent up a 25mm x 3mm round ally tube frame on which to mount the mast and the leeboard. The tube follows the shape of the front section of the sit on top and then extends down the right side for a short distance for the leeboard. The frame is fixed to the hull by three clamps and three large ally washers supporting the hull internally. The mast mount is a bicycle handlebar mount. The stem end is 28mm so I had to bush it down to 22mm to take the mast, the handlebar end is 31mm so I also had to bush it to accept the 25mm frame I bent up. The bushings are just simple PVC and aluminium tubing slotted to conform to the sizes required. The leeboard mount is comprised of two 25mm ally clamps I machined up, mounted together with a piece of 5mm ally plate drilled to accept a 10mm bolt on which the leeboard swings. I made up two leeboards, one 600mm long the other about 800mm long. Both are made of 17mm ply and are damped by two 65mm plastic pressure washers. The rudder is also made from painted ply but only 10mm thick.


    The rudder mount is just two plastic bimini hinge mountings fixed to the rear of the sit on top via four S/S bolts supported inside the hull by a largish PVC square plate. To assist assembly I had to drill a 25mm whole which I filled with a standard Kayak bung after fixing the rudder mount. The rudder assembly is made from PVC and 3mm ally which supports the ply rudder between two 50mm circular plastic damping washers.


    The mast and sail are standard hobie kayak items I retained from the revolution. The Hobie sail kits are boomless so donít perform too well downwind. To solve that problem I made up a PVC and ally boom. The boom has an ally cleat for outhaul only. I want to add a vang also but first I have to work out where to anchor it. I also want to convert the mast step to a loose step so I can install a furler Iíve made.


    I made this for use on rivers lakes, etc, when we take off with the camper, itís short length and lightweight making it easy to top and transport. Iíve only had a chance to sail it twice, both times in the ocean. Once in very light wind conditions, the other in light gusty conditions. Both outings were successful the kayak pointing well, turning quickly with no indication of languishing in irons and it also handled downwind runs well. It was a little ítippyí, but thatís to be expected in a hull with only a 75mm beam. I should add, whilst Ďtippyí itís not tippy to the point where I get wet.


    This SOT doesnít have mirage drive like the Hobie, so I carry a single ended paddled for emergencies. Next step is to start slimming the leeboards, both are way to wide and hopefully the 600mm board will be plenty long enough.
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    Sit down comedian.

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