Flat Earth Sails^

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DryDan
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Flat Earth Sails^

Post by DryDan » Sat Aug 28, 2010 1:55 pm

Will anybody be eager to try one of these, (as featured in issue 22 of OP)? It's a 1msq sail mounted just forward of the bow hatch, and can be folded flat to the deck, then released and controlled from the cockpit obviously. Having done a bit of Mirror dingy sailing in the past I would be interested in combining the two disciplines, yet another £300 I'll have to save up and put aside!

DryDan

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Douglas Wilcox
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Re: Flat Earth Sails

Post by Douglas Wilcox » Sat Aug 28, 2010 2:53 pm

Hi Dan, on Thursday we paddled back from Cara, S of Gigha, to Tayinloan, about 5km. Phil is a fearsomely fast paddler, who normally covers about 30% more ground than me in the same time. There was a force 3 NW wind (beam reach) and I used the flat earth sail while paddling at my normal rate. I beat Phil by 4 mins 40secs. In stronger winds the difference is much more dramatic.

Karitek currently have a small stock of flat earth sails but use a different fitting kit to the one I used. More sails are being manufactured in time for the Kanumesse International Paddle Sport Trade Show. I will be talking about using them at the SCA Canoe Show in Perth and Karitek will have some on their stand.

Other than having bought and imported some direct from Australia for friends before Karitek started importing them, I have no connection with flat earth.

Douglas

wobblypeter
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Re: Flat Earth Sails

Post by wobblypeter » Sat Aug 28, 2010 6:10 pm

Hi Dan
I have been paddling witha fellow kayaker Jim, who has just fitted a Flat Earth Sail to his NDSK Explorer. I was most impressed in the ease with which he was able to raise and lower the sail in all conditions and the way it copped with gusts.
The thing that has set me on a course to try one was the size of his smile
enjoy
Peter

DryDan
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Re: Flat Earth Sails

Post by DryDan » Sat Aug 28, 2010 7:21 pm

Nice, thanks fellas!

DryDan

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EK Sydney
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Re: Flat Earth Sails

Post by EK Sydney » Sun Aug 29, 2010 7:10 am

Folks, you couldn't buy a better thought out, better made product, from one of the genuine good guys of paddling here in Australia. Great to see that Micks sails have made it to your shores.
Mark.

tommfuller
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Re: Flat Earth Sails

Post by tommfuller » Mon Aug 30, 2010 3:55 pm

Fitting mine now, all I can report so far is:

It's beautifully made.
It is very much a proper sail rather than some sort of bag on a stick.
The rigging is pretty simple, and allows demounting very simply.
The system offers a good option to immediately depower the sail. It can also be stowed very quickly on deck.

(And many thanks to Douglas for getting it all to me!)

Cheers,

Tom.

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Jim
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Re: Flat Earth Sails

Post by Jim » Tue Aug 31, 2010 9:54 pm

Douglas Wilcox wrote:Hi Dan, on Thursday we paddled back from Cara, S of Gigha, to Tayinloan, about 5km.
I know I have lost track of things a bit over the last couple of months, but that opening sentence looks like the bearer of news I've been waiting for...... (I probably missed a public announcement?)

Jim

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Douglas Wilcox
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Re: Flat Earth Sails

Post by Douglas Wilcox » Tue Aug 31, 2010 10:19 pm

Hi Jim, I have actually managed a fair bit of paddling recently with the help of some very understanding friends. The mobilisation of my knee post op has proved very much more painful than I had anticipated, if I was younger I would have had 5 separate operations but it was done all at once as a last ditch procedure. As a result I have been taking a lot of painkillers in the evening, which has somewhat restricted my interest in the Internet. However, in my weakened state and as part of my rehabilitation, I have managed to get out to Ailsa Craig, paddle the length of Loch Fyne, get right round Morvern peninsula, get round most of Islay including all the hard bits, explore west loch Tarbert on Jura, Heads of Ayr, round Lunga and Scarba from Crinan, Fleet Bay, Solway x6, Gigha and Cara, and the Garvellachs on Monday. The Garvellachs was the first time I was able to carry a kayak over a rough beach and to get in and out of the kayak myself. All in all I am feeling pretty pleased with myself, as the surgeon had indicated I would be unlikely to be mobile before December.

Are you mobile yet?

Douglas :o)

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Jim
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Re: Flat Earth Sails

Post by Jim » Tue Aug 31, 2010 11:44 pm

That's great news Douglas, well apart from the pain obviously, but I'm sure you can handle that if there is a full recovery waiting at the end of it...
Douglas Wilcox wrote:
Are you mobile yet?

Douglas :o)
Yes!
Passed my test and bought a car. Just need to add a roof rack now. Not the car manufacturers for me, but the rack needs to be secured with bolts so I'm sure it will be reliable even though it is a well respected brand that you have had trouble with in the past....

Jim

RoryD
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ANOTHER KAYAK SAIL - BY Q-KAYAKS

Post by RoryD » Mon Sep 20, 2010 10:07 pm

There’s a cheaper Kiwi-made alternative (currently £179 incl. mast & all fittings) that’s imported/sold by Marine Revolution in Tayport, across the Tay from Dundee. See images towards bottom page at http://www.marinerevolution.co.uk/kayakaccessories.htm .

I bought one of these Q-Kayaks sails last year, and finally tested it out properly on a trip with a loaded boat on a wet and windy Loch Nevis at the weekend. It’s similar in principle to the Flat Earth one, although lower/wider aspect and possibly a simpler/less streamlined design/cut. But it has a great feature in it can be reefed very easily and effectively (apparently from 1.13 sqm to 0.71 sqm) for stronger winds/if things turn gusty – particularly useful sailing across the wind. I found it simple/effective to use and great fun but, as the only sail in our group, I had to hold back and wasn’t able to use it to the max. Seemed effective across the wind and could possibly make a wee bit of ground upwind too. Boat’s stability (Point 65N Xray) was surprisingly unaffected by the sail – except for nasty gusts from the hillside when reaching, and a wee twitch when gybing – although likely more sensitive with unloaded kayak. My kayak has a rudder, and I found it better to use this when the boat was really being powered along by the sail (esp if wanting to sit back & enjoy the ride!), but when I was paddle-sailing in lighter conditions the rudder wasn’t needed as paddling corrected anything. There was a tendency to veer a bit to windward when running (centre of sail effort off to side?) and possibly a slight lee-helm when reaching across the wind (bit of bow side-slip?). Only real issues I found were a need to take care collapsing the sail/mast when you were side or back to the wind, and there’s a bit of blade/sail conflict when you are sail/paddling close-hauled.

Fitting-wise, I glassed in support under the foredeck in front of the hatch as I felt that was needed to prevent any crazing of the quite thin/flexible GRP under the mast base. I also replaced the mast-pivot screw with a drop-head shackle so the mast/sail can be fitted/removed without tools, and replaced the flimsy-looking plastic shroud-clips supplied with some old bronze jib shackles I had kicking around. I do miss a wind-indicator so may well add a trailing ribbon to the top of the mast. I’d earlier replaced my kayak’s irritating sliding footpegs with the OZO rudder flap footrests also from Marine Revolution (see link above too).

I’ll not be tripping/touring without it from now on – and just hope paddling buddies also see the light so I can take full advantage of its full exhilaration/ speed/ mileage potential. As a sailing dinghy cruiser before a paddler its always seemed silly to ignore the wind’s offer to play - and its good finally to have a use for the rudder I bought with the kayak 5yrs ago in hopeful anticipation of a sail. I very nearly bought a 1sqm Pacific-Action sail a few years back but I think it was Douglas Wilcox who then flagged up this reefing sail at a Scottish canoe expo.

I concur with the view that we in the UK have been missing out terribly compared to our open-minded Antipodean friends; I recall suggesting (to no avail/response) that the Scottish Sea Kayak Symposium should feature sail demo’s/ workshops. So don’t agonise over which sail to get – just get the one you can afford (even if this means DIY!). And sneak on a rudder too while you’re at it – your credibility and nice clean deck lines will be scuppered by the sail anyway !

- Rory

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gnarlydog
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sails ain't sails

Post by gnarlydog » Tue Sep 21, 2010 2:14 am

I have been using my own design before Flat Earth sails.
While my design was based on existing models (Australians sea kayakers have been sailing for some time now) I asked a professional sailmaker to cut and sew my sail.
The rigging is of my design.
I thought that my sail was pretty good, and it was.
When I received Mick's sail for comparison I initially tested it for only a short time and really had little opportunity to evaluate it properly.
After a recent remote trip of two weeks where I used Flat Earth sails on two kayak for more than half of my time on the water I have one thing to say: brilliant.
Mick's sails kind of look very similar to mine but outperform it hands down.
They catch winds that I could not before. I could sail up to just about 30 degrees off the bow, something that my old sail could not!
While some sails might look the same (to the novice all kayaks look the same too :-) Flat Earth are superior, to me.
And to see how easy they are to use: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nEBfRUXhEac

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Douglas Wilcox
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Re: Flat Earth Sails

Post by Douglas Wilcox » Tue Sep 21, 2010 8:20 am

Hello Rory, I am glad you are also enjoying your sailing. I couldn't agree more about making use of the wind in the same way that most kayakers already use tide and swells.

Yes the Q-kayaks sail is the one I reported on after examining it very closely at a recent Canoe show in Perth. I even made arrangements to test one before I bust my knee. Yes it is cheaper than a Flat Earth sail but as Gnarly says not all sails are equal and there are some very considerable differences in fittings and "cut" of the sails, for example the flat earth has a removable tendon universal joint for the mast base.

The Q-kayaks sail has very little shape to its cut and it certainly does not have inbuilt twist at the roach to spill wind in gusts like the flat earth sail. This gives the flat earth sail a much broader wind range and means it does not have to have a reefing system to use it in higher winds. When reefed for higher winds the Q-kayaks sail is not very aerodynamic. The flat earth sail also is out of the way of the full range of paddle movements, even when close hauled.

The Q-kayaks sail is very attractively priced but is compromised by its lack of "cut" and need for a reefing system. As a long time sailor and windsurfer I appreciate the development and sail making kill that has gone into the fittings and cut of the flat earth sail and think that it represents very good value for money. Also with the Flat Earth rig on on a Quest, Quest LV and Nordkapp LV a rudder is not necessary. You can control weather or leecocking whatever course you are on by fine adjustment of the skeg.

Image

Image

Hope to see you on the water!

Douglas :o)

RoryD
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Re: Flat Earth Sails

Post by RoryD » Tue Sep 21, 2010 10:10 pm

Seems like Mick has created a bit of a masterpiece there - VERY nice indeed. It will interesting to see whether sailing does indeed catch on here as over there - I have my doubts. Here's a few shots of my Q-kayaks rig as I thought mine was expensive enough, and not everyone can/would invest £300 in order to get the best on the market.
Image
Image
Image
The 1st shot is the Moray Firth rather than Loch Nevis, and the last shows the sail reefed - you get feel for the weather from it. "Compromised" or not, the Q-kayaks rig is still pretty effective and fun ..... and infinitely more efficient than not having a sail at all!
- Rory

mick m
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Re: Flat Earth Sails

Post by mick m » Tue Sep 21, 2010 10:48 pm

Good morning,
Im planing to get across to Scotland in the future it realy looks like an idealic place to paddle.
Rory,I wold recomend a slight mod to your sail, wher the sheet ataches to the sail, put a loop of 4mm shock cord about 150mm long , I find it helps take the bulets out of suden gusts , and have you played around with ajusting the for/aft rake of the mast I find on sume boats this helps, my LV aquanort likes the masy raked forword by a good 2 inches , as dos the F1 skin on frame (no ruder no skeg ) but my Mailstrom prefers the mast strait up and down .
Over hear the Tasmanians started the re berth of sailing , and for a long time it dident catch on but now it is , its espeshaly on trips and juging by the personal emails im reseaving from the UK I think given a bit of time ther will be sails all over the locks of Scotland again
regards Mick MacRobb
flat earth sails.

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