Stability of a Sailing Kayak

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"Strippers" they are often called, relate to the method of boat building is old and well perfected. It basically involves setting up a series of molds and then wrapping strips of wood around them. More specifically, I'm mostly using the method outlined in the book Kayakcraft which is a great set of instructions for anyone wanting to take on this type of project.

The wood for this boat is clear cedar that has been ripped into 3/4" x 1/4" strips. Each of those then get a concave and convex edge. This a great method because then each strip fits together perfectly at any angle seen on the plans.

The molds and raised construction surface are all made of particle board. It's cheap and easy to work with but you have to make sure it doesn't get wet. You can see in the photo how the strips fit over the molds.

Eventually, all the wood inside and out will be coated with a clear epoxy over fiberglass which ultimately will provide most of the strength and all of the water resistance.

The sail plan is going to be quite simple but could consist of either 1 or 2 sails. Each option has its benefits. Dividing the load of the wind between two sails would lower their center of effort and therefore lower their leverage on the boat. But, these are fairly small sails to begin with and, aerodynamically, larger sails are generally more efficient. So while having two sails would increase my stability, having one would likely increase the performance.
The option I will likely choose will be two large sails that can be easily reefed (or taken down). Then you could travel with one, or both if the wind was light.

This problem can be thought of as one of rotational motion due to force. As the wind pushes on the sail, the buoyant force and keel mass push in the opposite direction. So, if we can define all of the forces acting on the system, we should be able to say something about how the boat will react at certain wind speeds.
One problem in determining the wind speed necessary for capsize is the changing function of this system's center of mass, particularly the people inside. Most boat models involve boats that are much more massive than their passengers but mine will weigh around 75 lbs and carry 2 passengers.

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"Stability of a Sailing Kayak." 23 Jun 2018
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As the angle of heel increases, passengers can lean to compensate or not lean at all and, there will be a natural angle of capsize in which the passenger+boat mass would prefer inversion rather than correction.
My solution, as applied to this problem, was to basically remove the boat and passenger weight from the equation by assuming the axis of rotation to be the center of mass and, that they do not contribute a torque force. And, since the boat and passengers are most of the mass, adding a sail and keel would change the natural angle of capsize very little.
So my initial problem of wind speed necessary for capsize will be in terms of reaching that estimated angle at which capsize will occur or, simply one that is comfortable. This model can now be thought of as a simple problem of static equilibrium where, when the sum of the torques at an angle equals 0, v will be the wind velocity necessary to reach that angle.
Some diagrams outline the torque exerted on the boat. Some distances are functions of the heel angle as well as the apparent area of the sail. These models consider the worst case scenario of full sail directly on the beam.


The Crusing Multihull, Chris White, Mcgraw Hill 1997

Mechanics, J.P Den Hartog, Dover 1961

Physics for Scientists and Engineers 6th ed., Serway & Jewett, Thompson 2004

Kayakcraft, Ted Moores, Wooden Book Publications 1999

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