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Using an adapter block to install a Falcon Sail rig on a kayak without a flat deck

Click here to download a pdf copy of our deck measuring tool.


Most kayaks do not have a flat deck that allows the Falcon Sail deck plate to lay flat on the deck. So an adapter block is necessary to solidly and properly rig a Falcon Sail on your kayak.
Every Falcon Sail complete rigging kit comes with a pre cut adapter block that will match the deck of your kayak.  In the picture below you can see how an adapter block is used to transition from the non-flat deck on a kayak to the Falcon Sail deck plate (the black aluminum piece with the Falcon Insignia laser inscribed on it).


kayak sail deck plate


In the picture below, you can see a standard pre-cut adapter block kit along with the complete deck plate and deck support strut assembly. A pre-cut adapter block kit includes a deck adapter block (shown in black) and an under deck adapter block (shown in white). All these parts are included when you buy a Falcon Sail with a complete rigging kit. At least one standard pre pre-cut adapter block kit is included with all Falcon Sail Complete Rigging Kits. When you purchase a Falcon Sail With Carbon Fiber Rig & Complete Rigging Kit, at the end of the purchase, we ask what kayak you plan to rig the sail on, so we know what adapter block kit to include with your sail kit. If you do not let us know what kayak you will be rigging the sail on during the purchase process, do not worry. We will make every effort we can to make sure we find out what  kayak you plan to rig the sail on before we ship your rigging kit.

On occasion, we will not have information on your specific kayak or may have questions and might ask for your help in determining what the best matching adapter block is for your kayak. If this is the case, we will send to you a PDF copy of our deck measuring tool. Click here to download a copy of it now. Our deck measuring tool shows the shape of all our standard pre-cut adapter blocks and makes it very easy to select what pre-cut adapter block is best for your kayak. Before you select what pre-cut adapter block is best for your kayak, you will need to determine where you will rig the deck plate / the base of your mast. You can call our shop or email us and we will quickly figure out the best place to locate your mast. Or you can use our instructions on deciding where to locate the mast.

kayak sail deck rigging hardware


If you would prefer to make your own adapter block, the below instructions may be helpful.


It is easy to make an adapter block for your kayak with a Falcon Sail adapter block blank. Every Falcon Sail complete rigging kit, will include at least 1 adapter block blank in addition to at least 1 standard pre-cut adapter block kit. Since every complete kit includes a pre-cut adapter block kit, you will probably not have to even consider making your own adapter block.

With basic wood working abilities, it is easy to make a deck adapter block that will nicely fit your kayak. If you think you will have any problems making an adapter block, let Falcon Sails know and we help you. Do not forget that you can get a standard pre-cut adapter block kit from Falcon Sails if you need one.

If you make your own adapter block, the best way to make an adapter block is to follow the steps below.

#1 Start with a plastic adapter block blank provided with your Falcon Sail kit.
They are made of a soft plastic and are very easy to cut. They are just a little harder than balsa wood.
They are perfectly shaped with pre drilled holes to match the Falcon Sail deck plate.

#2 Measure the shape of your deck so you know what needs to be done before you start your cut.
A profile gauge (available for under $10 at most flooring shops and hardware stores) works nicely for this step. See the picture below.
Sometimes an angle gauge or bevel will come in handy if the deck is primarily an angled peak, rather than a curved peak.
You can even use some cardboard to cut and match the shape of your deck to make a template.

#3 Draw a line of the deck shape on your adapter block blank so you can see the material that needs to be removed and the material that will be left when done shaping it.

#4 Cut along this line so the block matches the deck of your boat. Some ideas on how to do this are listed below.
- Many times the easiest way to remove a lot of material is to use a coping saw. They are easy to use and can be purchased for less than $20 at most hardware stores.
This method has the advantage of slicing the adapter block blank in half, giving you both a deck adapter block and an under deck adapter block.
- A power band saw is a really nice way to make this cut also.
This method also has the advantage of slicing the adapter block blank in half, giving you both a deck adapter block and an under deck adapter block.
- You can sand your deck shape into the adapter block blank. This can go very quickly with a belt sander.
If you do not have access to a belt sander, you can sand by hand using heavy grit sand paper (40 to 60 grit is usually pretty good).
You can wrap the sand paper around common items with a convenient shape like a wood block, tube, rod, aerosol can, broom handle, corner of a work bench etc..
The deck of your kayak has the perfect shape for final sanding an adapter block to match the deck of your kayak.
If you use the deck of your kayak, you may want to put some paper between your kayak and the back of the sand paper in order to protect the finish of your kayak.
- Some people will set the adapter block blank in a vise, and then use a Dremel tool, grinder, or block plane to shape it. The block plane approach works very well for the under deck plate.
- It is difficult to do, but some people use a table saw to make this cut. This approach is an option if your deck has an angled peak.

#5 When you have the basic shape done, sand paper is handy for refining the final shape of the block to better match the deck of your kayak.

#6 In the end, it is nice to have the block be 2/10 to 3/10 of an inch thick at its thinnest point. Be careful as you work on making it thin like this because it can be easy to break.

#7 If you have a reason to make your adapter blocks thicker, it is perfectly fine to ignore this 2/10 to 3/10 of an inch goal mentioned in step 3.
An example would be you want to raise the mast base so when it is folded, the mast will go over some bump in the deck or a deck hatch or anything else that gets in the way.
You can stack adapter block blanks along with adapter blocks to get your desired thickness.
Once you know you have the adapter blocks piled up to the thickness you are looking for, you can glue them together using common plumbers pvc glue.

Look at the pictures below for some ideas. Click on an image to see it in high resolution.
Some of the examples are made of teak, which was replaced by the soft plastic material to make the rig lighter, and make shaping the block much easier.

Contour gauge being used to make an adapter block
   
Final adapter block on Epic 18x Sport - Picture 1 of 2
Note how thin this adapter block is.
In this example the adapter block is made of teak. 
Teak blanks are available on the Falcon Sail store.
   
Adapter Block on a Sit on Top Kayak Here is a nicely cut minimalist adapter block.
sea kayak sail adapter block
Contour gauge being used to make template of Eddyline Fathom deck ridge. Adapter block installed on Eddyline Fathom deck ridge without the mast attached.
Here is a personal boat of the owner of Falcon Sails with an adapter block. It is a recreational boat. Here is the owner of Falcon Sails trying out an Eddy Line Sandpiper with an adapter block under sail.
See his review at www.falconsails.com/equipmentreviews/eddylinesandiper/index.php
Adapter block installed on Eddyline Fathom deck ridge with the mast attached in the down position. Another Eddyline Fathom with an adapter block under paddle sail.
On occasion, it makes sense to use an adapter block blank, to raise the level of the mast base to allow for clearance when lowering the mast.  Every Falcon Sail Complete rigging kit includes adapter block blanks which are perfect for raising the base of the mast. An adapter block installed on a Kruger Canoe.
This particular boat was used and came in first place in the 300 mile Everglades Challenge, used by a paddler that had never paddle sailed until just a few weeks before the Challenge.
Here is an adapter block used on a Impex Currituck - Picture 1 Here is an adapter block used on a Impex Currituck - Picture 2
Here is the deck of a boat (Valley Nordkapp) with a  curve that has a decent installation that does not involve an adapter block. A small amount of deck curve can be compensated for with a little bit of flex if the kayak is made of plastic. But still it is structurally better to use an adapter block when rigging if the deck has any curve. Falcon Sails will provide an adapter block as needed for the boat you will be installing your sail rig on. The below picture provides some information on how it works. In this picture, it shows teak adapter block blanks, but our latest kit includes pre cut adapter blocks and also easy to cut plastic adapter block blanks.
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