How To Make A Kayak Sail? (Step By Step Guide) – 2022

As kayakers, we all love the feeling of being on the water and paddling around. However, there are moments when the wind is blowing and the current is strong that we wished we had a sail to help us along. Luckily, it is possible to make a kayak sail yourself! But how to sail?

Simply, when you are making a kayak sail, depending on the size of your kayak, you will need to adjust the size of the sail. For example, a kayak that is 12 feet long will need a sail that is approximately 8 square feet. As for the type of fabric, you will want to use something that is lightweight and waterproof.

Today I’ll show you how to make a kayak sail and also give you some extra tips about it.

Materials You Will Need? 

You will need the following materials: 

1. A Kayak

The first thing you’ll need is a kayak. You can either purchase one or rent one from a local shop. There are many different types of kayaks available on the market, so it’s important to do your research to find the right one for you.

2. PVC Tubes 

You will need two tubes, one for the mast and one for the boom. Make sure they are approximately 4ft long. If you can’t find any tubes at your local hardware store, you can also use pool noodles.

3. Paracord

You’ll need around 8 ft of paracord to wrap the PVC tubes with. This will help to keep the tubes from slipping out of place.

4. Duct Tape 

To make sure the paracord stays attached to the kayak, you will need duct tape! Get two or three rolls of different colors so that you can make some cool designs on the kayak while you are at it.

5. A Large Garbage Bag 

You will need this to cover the kayak while the glue is drying. It’s important to make sure that the bag is big enough so that you can move the kayak around without ripping it.

6. Wood Glue

This can be considered optional, but it will make sure your kayak sail stays attached to the kayak for a long time.

These are all of the materials you will need in order to make your own kayak sail! 

How To Make A Kayak Sail? 

Now that we have covered the materials you need, it’s time to show you how to make this sail. All you need to do is follow these steps:

Step1: Make A Tube Sock

Purchase some fabric that is big enough to go over the front of your kayak. Then, make sure that you are using a thick or heavy-duty fabric if it will be exposed to the elements frequently.

Cut out four pieces of fabric specifically for the tube sock – two sides and two ends. The tube sock will help you attach your kayak sail to your boat.

Step 2: Attach The Tube Sock 

Once you have cut out the fabric to create a tube sock, use a heavy-duty thread and sew all four pieces together to form a long, cylindrical tube with open ends.

Insert one end of your kayak between the two open ends of the tube sock and make a knot to secure it. Next, do the same at the other end of your kayak to create a secure fit.

Step 3: Sew Sails 

After you create the tube sock, cut out two pieces of fabric (same as before) to use for your sails. Sew each piece inside out and leave an opening at the bottom by turning it right side out once complete. Place one on top of the other and then stitch along three edges – leaving the fourth side open.

You will then pull the thread to gather the fabric and knot it.

After that, you can then either tie your kayak sail onto the front of your boat or purchase a mounting kit to easily attach it.

Step 4: The Sail Design 

Now that you have created your tube sock and sewn together with two pieces of fabric for each sail, you need to choose the design and overall sail size. For example, you can place two sails so they overlap or use one large piece of fabric for a single flat sail.

Tips and Warning

It is important to know that this type of kayak sail is not safe and should only be used for recreational purposes. It might look more complicated than kayak sails that you can purchase, but it will provide the same amount of help in moving your boat along.

However, it is important to note that this design does not always work well if the wind is coming from behind you (such as in a tailwind) or if there are any waves.

If you know that your kayak will be exposed to harsh conditions, it is best to purchase pre-made sails instead of making them yourself at home. If the material used isn’t thick enough, it could rip very easily and you might get stranded out on the water.

Since this is not recommended for use in exposed conditions, do not leave it attached to your boat when unattended. If you are planning to store your kayak indoors or cover it, then feel free to leave the homemade sail attached at all times.


Now you have a better understanding of how to make a kayak sail and what materials you need in order to do so. Just remember that this type of DIY project should only be used for recreational purposes when the weather conditions are fair. 


Q1. How do I know what size to make my sails?

In order to determine how large your homemade kayak sail should be, consider three factors: how much wind you typically get, where you will be paddling, and how large you need it to be in order to move your kayak along. 

Q2. Can I leave it attached when sitting idle?

Yes, if you are planning to store your kayak indoors or cover it, then feel free to leave the homemade sail attached at all times. 

Q3. Where can I buy a kayak sail? 

You can purchase a kayak sail from many different retailers, both online and in person. Some popular places to buy kayak sails include Amazon, REI, Bass Pro Shops, and Cabela’s. You can also find kayak sails at some specialty stores that sell kayaking gear.

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