Kleppers any good at sailing?

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Kleppers any good at sailing?

Post by fuzzybabybunny »

I'm thinking about paying $1300+shipping to get a Klepper Aerius 2 that was made in 1970. Includes all the sail stuff. I'll be sailing with a friend, but a lot of times I'll also be sailing by myself. I live in Hawaii (Honolulu) where there are constant tradewinds.

1. Did these 1970 Kleppers already have the Hypalon Shell?

2. I talked to an expert sailer who has a big Klepper Expedition and he doesn't enjoy sailing the Klepper. I have never sailed before, and I was going to learn on the Klepper.

a. unlike a traditional sailboat, you can't really move around to sit on the sides of the Klepper to balance weight with the wind
b. sailing upwind is a real chore because tacking is really hard
c. he recommended that I definitely get outriggers, don't use the jib, and bring a pump or cut up milk carton to bail out water when I inevitably capsize
d. he says those tales of people making trans-Atlantic or trans-Pacific crossings were all sailing downwind, which is much easier
e. he says I should definitely look into getting a bigger rudder/keel

Can anyone offer me some more advice?

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Re: Kleppers any good at sailing?

Post by DLee »

Hi Bunny,

2)The Klepper is not a sail boat, but I think it is a lot of fun to sail. I have a Klepper Expedition as well and find it quite entertaining to sail. My feeling is that learning to sail a kayak is not the easiest thing to do. But, if you can learn to sail a kayak, especially one with a full rig like the AII has, you're going to be able to sail just about anything.

a) The cockpit of the AII is quite large, I made a sailing board for the interior of my boat so I can move all around the cockpit and lean way out over the side to counter the wind in the sail. You don't need to make a floor like I have either. All you need to do is take the front seat out, maybe the rear, and put some foam or type IV PFDs in the bottom of the boat and you can move all over the place. I put the floor in because my knees didn't like hitting the ribs in the bottom of the boat. Check out the Sailing section in this forum...

b) The klepper sails wonderfully upwind.

c) A lot of people use outriggers and I plan to make a set for myself, but I have yet to use any. I sail on a lake with very gusty wind. Since I learned how to move around the cockpit and really lean out over the edges I haven't had a capsize. I'd like to have a set of outriggers that I can put out when conditions get to the point where you really can't afford a capsize. I have capsized a lot. It's kinda fun in the right environ. But in changing weather when you just want to get back home... or you really want to push the speed... why not take advantage of an outrigger. There's a company in Europe that has a very nice outrigger;http://careen.eu/#/D/Home/. BSD makes a nice outrigger as well but it's even pricier.

Your friend is probably too used to being on a sailboat. A kayak will never be a sailboat. But, there is nothing greater for me than to see both my jib and main flying on my Klepper. Looks great, feels great, and it's fun! I recommend starting with just the jib. It will get you moving and is very forgiving. After a sail or two with the jib go out with just the main. It's going to catch a lot more wind but it's still very controllable. Remember, if you start catching too much wind just drop it, let the sheet fly and you'll straighten up and come to a stop. After a couple sails with the main put the two sails together and get ready to have some real fun. A canvas bucket works great for bailing the big stuff. You'll want a kayak pump when the level gets low. I just got a portable pump that runs on 3 D cells - I tried it today and it seems great. Learning to sail in a controlled safe environ is important. Because you will capsize and it's important to have the right space and time to recover from it. Wear your PFD, it can be tiring. It will be exhilarating as well though.

e) I have the standard rudder and find it works absolutely fine. A big part of sailing the Klepper is balancing the boat. I come about into the wind and jibe with the wind and have never felt like my rudder was lacking. Many reverse the rudder or weight them or extend them. I have never seen the need. Many canoe sailers don't even have a rudder. They steer the boat by careful placement of the lee boards and then proper weight distribution in the boat and a little tillering with the paddle. The key is to get out of the seat and move around the boat with the Klepper sailing rig.

There are quite a few sailors on this forum with quite a few different sailing rigs. Do a little reading in the sailing section. I'm not sure I'd want to recommend learning to sail the Klepper out in the Pacific. But if you have an nice lake, bay or pond to practice and learn on. I say go for it, it's great fun.

Klepper Aerius II
Klepper T9
Long Haul MK1 Expedition 'light'
Klepper S4 sail rig
Kayaksailor 1.6 +genoa


Re: Kleppers any good at sailing?

Post by mbradican »

Hi Bunny,

I'm getting ready to sail my Aerius II soon myself. Although I'm not too experienced I do have some advice for you. I would recommend you get some flotation bags to put under the deck, behind the rear seat, and forward of the front seat. This will save you a lot of bailing if you capsize.

Also, I took my Klepper to Oahu five years ago. I didn't sail it, but even paddling solo it was a struggle to get back to shore in the wind. I was paddling off Waianae, using the rear seat. I don't have a solo seat. After I got out a little ways the wind was stronger and I couldn't get back in going forward. The bow kept getting blown sideways. I remembered something my Grandmother told me about paddling a canoe in the wind, so I turned the boat around and paddled in backwards. That worked. Anyway, I would recommend you start your sailing on the Windward side of the island. That way if anything goes wrong you can relax and let the wind take you back to shore.

I'm making a sailing control board for my boat now, a cleat board so I can control the halyards and sheets solo from the back seat. I'm also going to try to make a deck board so I can sit up and hike out a little.

I've heard both good and bad review of the Klepper sailing, I guess we'll find out.


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Re: Kleppers any good at sailing?

Post by john allsop »

I am a VERY novice sailor and quite frankly i can,t give you advice considering where you live. It is very hard to paddle into a strong wind and making any headway is difficult even without sails. You will go over many times with the Klepper full rig,and in the years before outriggers (amas) arrived on the kayak scene most people gave up and put their sails away, this is why i think "early" boats when they come up for sale have perfect sails that have been hardly used. Klepper and Careen have a device so you can keep the jib furled even from the back seat and unfurl it when you want to, it also can be furled, it works well. I would get the best outrigger system available, i have low cost ones and use two pontoons each side but for you they are not good enough (in my opinion). The one,s i would get are the new larger one,s now being developed by BSD, not yet available but an e-mail to them may give you some info.The photo is to show the jib, the "pontoon" have to be all the way up in waves and these are too small, the boat will still go over.
AERIUS TWO with the JIB FURLER 003.jpg
AERIUS TWO with the JIB FURLER 003.jpg (44.04 KiB) Viewed 1010 times


Re: Kleppers any good at sailing?

Post by CanvasClipper »

Hi there,

I don't sail my Aerius II a lot but when I do I wonder why we don't do more of it. A double Klepper is not the fastest or easiest sail boat afloat, but it does sail pretty well, and it fairly steams along (like a Clipper) in a good downwind blow. That close to the water, you feel like you're going like a Boeing (we were clocked at 10km/h on GPS on one particular occasion. :mrgreen: )

I tend to use the sail rig as an auxiliary on long paddling trips so I don't use outriggers - too much extra gear, and they get in the way of the paddles.

We generally sail two-up with the front paddler handling the jib and leeboards and rear paddler the main and rudder. Our rig is the old red cotton mainsail and a newish jib adapted from a South African dinghy called the Dabchick. The jib packs plenty of punch on its own and I often prefer to sail with just it alone - it's a much less complicated set-up.

Good communication is, naturally, vital with this set-up. We have capsized a couple of times. Next time there will be two canvas buckets AND some cut-off 2l soft drink bottles to hand for bailing. It's no fun dragging a swamped Klepper a mile back to shore in cold water.

The proper leeboards are vital.

I have Harken micro-cams on the crosspiece for the jib sheets and mainsail halyard, and a Harken cam-block on a home-made "traveller" for controlling the mainsheet.

Happy paddling and sailing. Folding boats are the best travel devices and the most fun ever invented.


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Re: Kleppers any good at sailing?

Post by thalweg »

I have sailed my A2 in the bahamas and in the great lakes. I agree with the notion of putting flotation in the bow and the stern. The more flotation bags (blow up beachballs work) the less water you have to pump if you take on water or capsize. The boat sails better when loaded. When I am not loaded for camping/touring I ballast the boat with plastic gallon jugs filled with water. When sailing solo I put the jugs near and in the bow so the bow doesn't get blown around by the wind. When sailing tandem, I put the jugs from the front seat to the back seat. I use 8-10 gallons of water ballast. the nice thing about water is if (when) you go over, the water jugs become neutral weight. You or your passenger can sit on the side deck for balance against the wind. Klepper used to make a sailing seat that would let you hike out a little further. when sailing down wind (with the wind) in strong or gusty wind is is best to sail with just the jib. When tacking or reaching letting out on the sheet or turning into the wind are effective ways to reduce the chance of capsize.
1960's Klepper Passat
1970's Klepper Classic Aerius II
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Re: Kleppers any good at sailing?

Post by CarolB »

Hi, My husband and I sailed a Klepper Passat in Florida. It is bigger than the Master and hods a lot of camping and fishing gear. It is sloop rigged with a nice sturdy aluminum dagger board. We had a fun sail. We have sailed it here in Narragansett Bay and find it fast. I have been tempted to add an electric motar to extend the cruising range and do some trolling for fish. The most important thing is to rinse it well and be sure it is dry before storing it for the winter.


Re: Kleppers any good at sailing?

Post by sleslie »

I've sailed my old Klepper Aerius II on lakes and find that's a good place for it under sail. Protected ocean bays would also be appropriate. Having sailed a variety of proper sailboats, I wouldn't be comfortable sailing my AII in rough ocean conditions. I have the large mainsail and a jib, sideboards and custom cleatboard for the lines; I've never tried it with an outrigger set-up, which should be more stable.

I'd suggest learning to sail on a proper sailboat. Then if you have access to appropriate waters, by all means take a sailing Klepper out on them. It's fun and gives your arms a rest on reaches and downwind stretches.

>I did find the AII hard to bring around when sailing upwind, compared to small sailboats like Lasers or Sunfish.
>It's difficult to hike out without the special mods some posts on this string have suggested.
>I believe hulls from that era are rubber.
>I do suggest some sort of cleatboard, particularly if you want to use both the mainsail and jib. It's tough to handle two sail lines and the tiller at the same time.

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Re: Kleppers any good at sailing?

Post by mje »

Jon Waterman sailed his Nautiraid through the Arctic using a Balog sail with outriggers (see his book). Doesn't get much tougher than that. And Hannes Lindemann sailed a 1950s A-II with a homemade outrigger across the Atlantic!

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/158574 ... 1585747300
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Re: Kleppers any good at sailing?

Post by john »

Just a small correction, Jonathan Waterman paddled/sailed a Klepper A1 on his Artic crossing, the book is worth reading, he capsized when not using his outriggers. He only did that once.
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Re: Kleppers any good at sailing?

Post by mje »

You're right, of course, John. Who am I thinking of who sailed a Nautiraid with a Balogh rig?
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Re: Kleppers any good at sailing?

Post by nicolaasdekker »

Hell yes!

I've sailed my AII many times in a busy harbour with sizeable wake from big tug boats, haven't capsized yet. I actually tried to capsize on purpose once by keeping the main sailed sheeted tight each time a gust hit (+-25-30knts) and each time she lay down on her sponsoons and spilled all the wind before taking on any serious water.

I am planning to take her out of the harbour this summer and give her some serious sea trials, just need to find an old reefing claw of the right size then I don't see why you should capsize no matter the conditions. I found the AII more stable than some boats I've sailed!

I thought I would hate sailing a kayak, being stuck without the ability to hike out but I actually love the snug seating arrangement.

That being said, I live on a yacht and could sail quite well before trying the Klepper, I can imagine it could be quite another matter if your first sailing experience is on a klepper.

Klepper Aerius II (circa 1973?)
Expedition hull + full sailing Rig

Klepper Double Blauwal 4 (circa 1960s)

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Re: Kleppers any good at sailing?

Post by george »

I am an experienced sailor. I am also familiar with Hawaii's wind and weather conditions.

Sailboats come in three basic types: Keel boats, centerboard boats and multihulls.

Sailboats are subject to extreme lateral forces depending on the strength of the wind and the size of the sail. There is a strong tendency for the sail to cause the boat to tip to one side and eventually tip completely over.

Keel boats have heavy weights designed to counter the lateral force of the sail. They tend to be pretty stable yet they too can be knocked completely over in extreme conditions. They are designed to pop back up once the sail force is reduced, as long as the hull has not been flooded. These kinds of boats are the most safe to sail.

Multihull boats don't have heavy keels but they do have hulls spaced wide apart. The wide spacing of the hulls acts as a counterbalance to lateral force. You can get enough force to lift one hull out of the water, the weight of the lifted hull tends to counter the lateral force from the sails. The problem with multihulls is that if the forces get bad enough the multihull ends up sideways in the water. IF that happens you will have a difficult time getting the boat back up. Multihulls are pretty dangerous for use in open oceans.

Kayaks with pontoons (amas) are an attempt to mimic a multihull.

CENTERBOARD boats are the least stable. They rely on crew weight and skilled boat handling to prevent capsizing. They are very tricky to sail and capsizing is a normal experience in all but the calmest of conditions.

Centerboard boats gain stability from being wide (beamy).

Kayaks are particularly badly designed centerboard boats because they are so narrow. They are much more easy to capsize than regular centerboard boats. They have very little lateral resistance.

Hawaii can get a bit windy. You are also sailing in an ocean and waves are an issue as well. Waves can make control of the boat more difficult.

I would suggest that you take sailing lessons with some kind of a regular sailboat before you get too adventurous with sailing a kayak.

There are two ways to turn a boat, tacking (into the wind) and gybing (off the wind). Tacking can be difficult with a kayak because the boat tends to stall out in the middle of a turn, resulting in loss of control of the boat. Gybing is easier except that the wind will suddenly whip the sail from one side to the other with considerable force. IF some part of you or your crew's body is in the way you can get whacked pretty hard.

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