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single handed sailing a double kyak
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Author:  Gary57 [ Tue Sep 22, 2009 9:33 am ]
Post subject:  single handed sailing a double kyak

I have a Hobie Mirage, two person kyak. I am contemplating purchase of the sail kit. My question is: Can one person sail a two person kyak or will the balance problem be prohibitive? Also, what about the outrigger kit, would that help single handed sailing a double kyak?

Author:  stobbo [ Tue Sep 22, 2009 6:01 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: single handed sailing a double kyak

I have an outfitter. You can sail them singlehandedly (from the rear cockpit) but you need to put a bit of ballast (e.g. poly bag of water/sand) in the front well to hold the nose down.

Be aware that the sail does not have much area & it doesn't propel the outfitter very quickly at all two up; it does better with just one person on board.

Also the boat is quite stable with 2 people on board and you can get a good old bend in that mast which deforms the sail causing it to become less efficient. If I were going to sail the Outfitter on a regular basis, especially 2-up, I would think about staying the mast & running a jib to improve sailing performance (see the posts from me & others on this subject). Or, if you have the oasis, think about 2 sailing kits and rig it as a schooner like someone else has done - this would seem to me to be the ideal solution for getting better sailing performance out of the Oasis (and you could then even then add a jib and a reacher to the schooner set up if you really wanted to go mad ! aaahh, the possibilities... )

2 other suggestions: 1. when sailing single handed don't forget thet you have a spare set of pedals & fins in the front which you can use as a keel... just stick an appropriately sized rod thru 2 of the adjustment holes in the drive to lock the fins in the downward position & you're done. 2. get the larger sailing rudder: the longer boat needs this what with the extra carrying capacity & waterline length & it will definitely need it when sailing IMHO.

Author:  Roadrunner [ Tue Sep 22, 2009 8:17 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: single handed sailing a double kyak

Hi Gary and welcome to the forum. I also have a tandem (Oasis) and sail it solo occasionally. I agree with Stobbo -- ballast forward is essential, as is the large (sailing) rudder if you have the twist and stow rudder. I also use Turbofins which double as a centerboard of sorts, but plug or tape over the front drivewell to streamline the hull a bit.

Both the Oasis and Outfitter are very stable with the Hobie sail and I think you'll be comfortable without Sidekicks with these beamy boats. Your ballast also lends stability by lowering the center of gravity. You can always get a Sidekick later if you think you need it.

For ballast you can carry bags of water -- fill em right on the spot and throw them forward in the front cockpit. I use lead weights -- one in the front drivewell and one in the front hatch. The lead lets me use less weight, keeping it lower and more forward. The disadvantage is having to transport it. Anyway, 50 or 60 lbs will probably do it for you.

Here's a couple of pictures of the Oasis sailing:


There are lots of tips here on rigging improvements. To start with, the most important thing is a small pulley or micro-block to run the mainsheet through at the aft padeye:
This improves the speed and handling of your sail, especially in gusty winds (get a simple block, not a swivel block).

Tandems are not the fastest sailers, but sailing them is a lot of fun anyway! 8)

Author:  stringy [ Tue Sep 22, 2009 9:03 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: single handed sailing a double kyak

G'Day Gary,
What Stobbo and Roadrunner said!! :wink:
Before I got an AI I regularly sailed my Oasis solo. It's great fun once you ballast the front. Simplest method is a dry bag about 40 litres in size filled with water and located in the front footwell. With a single sail I didn't see a need for the Sidekicks as the Oasis stability was great. I added a second sail for the front passenger and that was when Sidekicks became necessary. I really like them because they eliminate that chance of a capsize. I use them in the up position so they are rarely in the water. By hiking out a bit you can easily prevent heeling and with the Sidekicks out of the water drag isn't an issue. Being inflatable they store nicely inside the hull when not needed.
A search of this forum will yield lots of great info. Look out for posts by Kepnutz, Skua, Soyjer, Stobbo and of course Roadrunner just to name a few. 8)

Author:  stobbo [ Wed Sep 23, 2009 1:36 am ]
Post subject:  Re: single handed sailing a double kyak

Hey there Roadrunner, Stringy & other Oasis owners ! While we are on the subject of sailing/singlehanding the Oasis can you give me your impressions of the boat as a tandem?

I have the Outfitter & am a bit disappointed with it to be honest because the front passenger gets so wet in it if there's any kind of wavelets; it seems that any wave-splash at the bow ends up landing over the feet & lap of the front passengers...

Given that it has at least something of a foredeck (which the Outfitter lacks) I was wondering if the same sort of thing happens in the Oasis or if, in fact the foredeck catches and deflects the bow-spray before it gets into the cockpit & over the crew?

Author:  Roadrunner [ Wed Sep 23, 2009 3:11 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: single handed sailing a double kyak

Hi stobbo. The driest place in any tandem is in the back seat! :lol: My wife gets hit with spray when there is chop, but nothing running in over the bow or solid water normally. Even when it does, it tends to roll off as you see in this pic:
I noticed with the different boats, the longer the foredeck, the less water makes it to the cockpit.

I think the Oasis cuts through the water a little better as well, with less tendency to kick up spray. Additionally, the bow points up a little bit which may help:
She looks pretty dry to me! :wink:

Author:  stringy [ Wed Sep 23, 2009 3:17 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: single handed sailing a double kyak

G'Day Stobbo,
Given the right combination of wind and chop the front passenger will get wet in an Oasis.
It is nothing like the soaking you get in the AI though as most spray gets diverted.
I haven't been in the Outfitter tandem so I can't comment if the Oasis is a drier front ride but from your comments it looks like it might be. :wink:

Author:  stobbo [ Wed Sep 23, 2009 7:12 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: single handed sailing a double kyak

Guys, I think we are in concensus - while neither of us has been in both boats logic does suggest that the forward seat will be drier in a boat with a long foredeck. I would love to try an Oasis to compare them but Hobie Yaks are pretty scarce in NZ at the best of times & those Oases are rarer than polar bear poop here.

...looks like you play on some pretty nice water over there !

Author:  Roadrunner [ Thu Sep 24, 2009 10:38 am ]
Post subject:  Re: single handed sailing a double kyak

Actually I have both tandem and solo seat time in the Outfitter and can say it's a stand up kind of boat! :lol:
But not having sat in the front, I can't say first hand about water scooping in over the bow.

Like any body of water, the local lake has its many moods. Here are just a few:




Author:  stobbo [ Thu Sep 24, 2009 12:46 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: single handed sailing a double kyak


good pictures & interesting that you have time in both oasis & outfitter. D'you still have them both?

I play in the Hauraki Gulf round Auckland. It is a very benign marine environment generally but we do frequently get sea breezes in the summer afternoons with noticeable wind-over-tide chop as well as the normal windblown sort at certain states of tide. So the conditions regularly vary from calm as a millpond (like your first and third lake moods photos) in the morning ("what a great day, lets all go out in the kayaks") to on the nose wind blown chop on the way back very much like the second of your lake moods portfolio (but I suspect quite a lot worse to be honest - it is always difficult to see exactly what the conditions are like from a photo). This is a typical 'on the way out' photo:


From the colour of the boats in the other pictures my guess is that the second picture is taken from an Oasis rather than an Outfitter. I wonder what your passenger would have thought about driving through those waves in the Outfitter instead ?

Author:  Roadrunner [ Thu Sep 24, 2009 6:55 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: single handed sailing a double kyak

Stobbo, nice picture -- I like your little pocket seat!

We're on our second Oasis now and really like them. The Outfitter actually belongs to the local dealer. He keeps his demonstration fleet at my house (no room at his store) and I find it advisable to take a boat occasionally down to the lake for a water inspection upon which I'm obligated to operate the boat in various conditions, just making sure that everything is ship shape! He's very appreciative and I don't mind helping him out. :wink:

Author:  stobbo [ Thu Sep 24, 2009 10:22 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: single handed sailing a double kyak

Sounds like an excellent arrangement; now all you gotta do is work out a cunning plan for getting him to pay you for the storage...

Author:  picah [ Fri Sep 25, 2009 4:51 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: single handed sailing a double kyak

Question from a newbie - I do not see an aft hatch cover on the oasis (at least not the new ones). Is your pic from a prior model year of the oasis? I presume that your small block for the main can still be attached to the rear lift handle? Do :?: es it interfere with the rudder (larger sailing version) when stowed?
Sorry if I am showing ignorance here

Author:  Roadrunner [ Fri Sep 25, 2009 5:55 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: single handed sailing a double kyak

Sorry for the confusion. The rigging shot above is from a Revolution. I used it because it shows the mainsheet passing through the block.

On the Oasis (shown below), the handle and block are hiding in the channel under the stowed rudder. As you can see, there is no interference with the rudder.

Sliding the rudder aside shows the details:

If everything looks like it is pointing skyward, that's because the boat is hanging upside down. BTW, the funny looking tip on the rudder is a winglet. It increases rudder authority when riding boat wakes. 8)

Author:  picah [ Sat Sep 26, 2009 9:28 am ]
Post subject:  Re: single handed sailing a double kyak

thanks for the clarification
Winglet is very cool - any info on how you built it??
Ron :D

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