Kayak sailing back from Ailsa Craig.

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Douglas Wilcox
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Kayak sailing back from Ailsa Craig.

Post by Douglas Wilcox »

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Yesterday's forecast for the Firth of Clyde looked ideal for...

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...nipping 14.5km out to Ailsa Craig and taking advantage of the W/NW wind to come back using the sails.

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When we arrived at 9am at Lendalfoot there was full sunshine and little wind but a lumpy sea and the clouds told of an approaching cold front.

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As the front crossed us the temerature fell and the wind began to increase...

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...so we had to work for the crossing.

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We took luncheon in the lee of the Craig but my anenometer was showing the wind to be gusting between 8 and 20knots.

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We set off like scalded cats, although the water was flat in the lee of the island, it was obviously going to be rough on the crossing so I put my camera away.

What followed was some of the finest sea kayaking fun we have ever had. Some 14km of exposure, the wind and the swell all added to the fun. The sails regularly allowed us to surf faster than the waves. Slicing up the back of a wave then surfing its front is incredible fun. We were regularly hitting 13km/hr and my maximum run was 18km/hr. At these speeds group control becomes more critical than our usual spread, so we paddled 3 abreast in tight formation and had our VHFs ready on channel 6 in case one needed to call for assistance from the others.

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We were back at Lendalfoot in record time but totally exhausted as there is a lot of PLFing involved in catching so many waves. Don't be fooled by the shelter provided by the reef in the above photo. Even on the shore, my anenometer was showing 10 to 14 knots and the fetch in that wind is about 60km.

If you havn't considered putting a decent sail on a sea kayak, you really should. It is the most amazing fun.

Douglas

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Re: Kayak sailing back from Ailsa Craig.

Post by jamesl2play »

Douglas Wilcox wrote:
What followed was some of the finest sea kayaking fun we have ever had.

If you havn't considered putting a decent sail on a sea kayak, you really should. It is the most amazing fun.

Douglas
Thank you Douglas those two comments have just cost me £299

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Re: Kayak sailing back from Ailsa Craig.

Post by PhilAyr »

jamesl2play wrote:
Douglas Wilcox wrote:
What followed was some of the finest sea kayaking fun we have ever had.

If you havn't considered putting a decent sail on a sea kayak, you really should. It is the most amazing fun.

Douglas
Thank you Douglas those two comments have just cost me £299
Douglas... I couldn't agree more. The word exhilarating comes to mind !

Money well spent James. Mick M knows how to make a good sail rig. Have fun ! :-)

Phil

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Re: Kayak sailing back from Ailsa Craig.

Post by nigelhatton »

Does the sail not try and push you over to one side a bit. Presumably you must have to do a fair amount of low bracing.
I keep meaning to buy on.

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Re: Kayak sailing back from Ailsa Craig.

Post by Douglas Wilcox »

Hello Nigel, we were on a run with the wind behind so there is little tipping force, When reaching with wind from the side there is more tipping force but if you keep paddling and lean a little to windward everything is pretty well balanced. In confused waters round headlands the sail actually steadies the kayak. Only in very strong winds would you need to resort to a trailing low brace which generates a huge amount of lift given the speed you are travelling at.

Phil it was truly great!

James, I hope you have as much fun as we have. Some fitting instructions here..
http://seakayakphoto.blogspot.co.uk/201 ... tting.html

Douglas

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Re: Kayak sailing back from Ailsa Craig.

Post by mick m »

The new code zero range will sune be avalabel in the UK, the first shipment is being layed out on the lofting tabel at present ,and shuld be bundeled up for shipment in a few days. ther similer to the proto tipe yoused by Douglas (the all white one in the pics . ) ther avalabel in a CZ100, CZ80 AND CZ70 , thats 1 mter, .8 mtr anf .7 metr, douglas has got the test sail for the CZ80 .
and Douglas's fiting notes are the best around .

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Re: Kayak sailing back from Ailsa Craig.

Post by Jim »

How did you boys find the wind on Sunday?
The forecast plot suggests it was going to be a bit gusty - did you find that out on the water?

I have to admit I got onto the beach at Sandhead on Sunday and immediately decided the gusts were too much for reasonably safe racing. A course was set out and I noticed that despite the discussion we had on Saturday night that we all believe the brown scum that an be seen in the standing water on the beach is cattle manure slurry and the possible health risk from it, that the course required crossing several wet patches ensuring that everyone would get some slurry spattered all over them. I packed up and went home, the others raced.

I didn't phone to see where you had gone in the end, I wanted to get back and sort out my heater matrix (fail! need new seals) and some other stuff, I did have a glance towards Ailsa Craig as I passed but didn't look in the car park at Lendalfoot - I think I had just overtaken something coming down that hill...... Looks like I wouldn't have fitted in anyway - I can't see me ever keeping up with you lot with the sails up in those conditions - I am going to have to get one!

Jim

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Re: Kayak sailing back from Ailsa Craig.

Post by mick m »

hears a vidio of sume realy good down wind paddling

this is from Mark at EK and the north reef expodition boys on sume traning runs befor ther expodition
(non of this futage is mine , its stolen from Mark at expodition kayaks )

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Re: Kayak sailing back from Ailsa Craig.

Post by Douglas Wilcox »

In case any one has missed it, this video shows the Code Zero 0.8 in action.


Jim, we assumed you would be buggying, sorry. We had plenty wind though it was surprisingly gusty for WNW.

Douglas

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Re: Kayak sailing back from Ailsa Craig.

Post by Douglas Wilcox »

Jim I meant to say that Geoff Turner at Karitek is considering making up some internal braces for fitting sailing rigs to the lightweight foredeck of the Taran... if there is enough interest. Might be an idea to have a word with him.

Douglas :o)

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Re: Kayak sailing back from Ailsa Craig.

Post by Boots »

.......and if you do get one fitted to your taran Jim, no cheating in the oban race lol

Boots

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Re: Kayak sailing back from Ailsa Craig.

Post by hartfield »

Hi folks,

If Duncan has wetted your appetite, at this years Sea Kayak Expedition Gathering (SKEG look in the events page), we will be hosting workshops on sea kayak sailing. We will have a range of sails to try, including Flat Earth Sails, Windpaddle, Pacific Action, and a few home made ones!!

Hope to see there


Cheers

Steve

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Re: Kayak sailing back from Ailsa Craig.

Post by carpyken »

hartfield wrote:Hi folks,

If Duncan has wetted your appetite, at this years Sea Kayak Expedition Gathering (SKEG look in the events page), we will be hosting workshops on sea kayak sailing. We will have a range of sails to try, including Flat Earth Sails, Windpaddle, Pacific Action, and a few home made ones!!

Hope to see there


Cheers

Steve
Looking forward to that Steve :-)

Douglas, fancying Creag Ealasaid this coming Saturday / Sunday weather dependant.

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Re: Kayak sailing back from Ailsa Craig.

Post by mick m »

Douglas Wilcox wrote:Jim I meant to say that Geoff Turner at Karitek is considering making up some internal braces for fitting sailing rigs to the lightweight foredeck of the Taran... if there is enough interest. Might be an idea to have a word with him.

Douglas :o)
The boys from Expodition Kayaks ,North reef fame had deck strengthaning plate made up out of carbon,, thay mounted onto the deck, held in place with two captiv nut and bolts, realy neet job . the taran realy dose need strengthaning in the deck. thers a lot of downword preshure from all stayed masts

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Re: Kayak sailing back from Ailsa Craig.

Post by Mark T E »

Nice looking trip there Douglas, can I ask by the way which site you got that forecast from? Can't seem to find it myself.

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Re: Kayak sailing back from Ailsa Craig.

Post by Douglas Wilcox »

Hello Mark, that is the BBC coastal forecast
Douglas :o)

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Re: Kayak sailing back from Ailsa Craig.

Post by Mark T E »

Cheers for that Douglas, never thought of looking there.

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Re: Kayak sailing back from Ailsa Craig.

Post by Jim »

mick m wrote:
Douglas Wilcox wrote:Jim I meant to say that Geoff Turner at Karitek is considering making up some internal braces for fitting sailing rigs to the lightweight foredeck of the Taran... if there is enough interest. Might be an idea to have a word with him.

Douglas :o)
The boys from Expodition Kayaks ,North reef fame had deck strengthaning plate made up out of carbon,, thay mounted onto the deck, held in place with two captiv nut and bolts, realy neet job . the taran realy dose need strengthaning in the deck. thers a lot of downword preshure from all stayed masts
I have seen the photos Mick, but with the excellent job Mike has done on my flames I'm not in hurry to cover them up :-)

It has been my plan for a while (although I have had no time to do anything about it) is to speak to my local plastics specialist about a clear acrylic spreader plate to go on the foredeck, and to build myself a dismountable kingpost which I can install in the front tank after I have loaded it - I am thinking of something along the lines of a miniature acro-prop which I could knock up in aluminium on one of my collection of vintage lathes.... Obviously I would shape the foot to distribute load into the keel and head to distribute over an area of the deck.

If I ever find time to get a working prototype together I'll have to compare notes with Geoff and the EK guys, not to mention letting Mike at Rockpool know in case he wants to develop it.

Before that I need to see my plastics guy about any possibility to alter the lower bend on my Karitek J bars, still getting contact with non-padded parts of the J's and noticed some gel coat damage as a result :(

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Re: Kayak sailing back from Ailsa Craig.

Post by mick m »

I like the flames as well ! consider re enforcing the under side of the deck permanantly with a bit of core fome and glass or carbon, that way thers no interferance with the art work. the back stay can be taken from the inside reses of the fruny hatch, along with a small block to re direct your sheet . , I like the sounds of a mini acro prop !

Q; Whats faster than a taran down wind ?
A; A Taran with a sail !

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Re: Strengthening deck for mast base

Post by RoryD »

I glassed in a DIY rib under my foredeck to take the mast base forces as my kayak's deck flexed un-nervingly (Point 65 Xray):
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It certainly stopped all flexing and cost virtually nothing as I had the resin etc already - but it's not a job I'd repeat in a hurry as the access for/ view of the job was incredibly contrained through front hatch - I ended up with resin in my hair and suffering from the fumes!
- Rory

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Re: Kayak sailing back from Ailsa Craig.

Post by jamesl2play »

Well the new sail has arrived just need to work out how to fit it now ready for next weekend.

Douglas, is yours fitted to a Cetus HV or MV?

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Re: Kayak sailing back from Ailsa Craig.

Post by Douglas Wilcox »

Hi James that's great news. I have fitted FEKS to both Cetus HV and MV.

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Just in front of the compass recess is probably the best spot as the deck is very stiff round the mouldings.

Douglas

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Re: Kayak sailing back from Ailsa Craig.

Post by jamesl2play »

That is a very useful picture Douglas, thank you for posting.

One further question, your installation details show that you are not using a traveller. Is there a reason for this or has the design been modified on a newer sail?

Thanks for your help, I do not want to go drilling in the wrong place.

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Re: Kayak sailing back from Ailsa Craig.

Post by Douglas Wilcox »

Hi James I don't use a traveller anymore because I get better upwind performance without one. The idea of the traveller was to allow you to have the sheet deck pulley attachment below the sail attachment (when sheeted in) by simply tying the traveller to the deck lines on either side instead of drilling a hole in the kayak. I like drilling holes and so prefer to mount the sheet pully midline (even if there is no existing RDF in the midline).

Douglas

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Re: Kayak sailing back from Ailsa Craig.

Post by mick m »

Its interesting that you get beter performance from having the boom sheat mid way, I always thort the traveler wold give a beter sheeting angel on all points of sail . sumthing il need to re visit !
the traveler can be tied to the perimiter lines of your kayak to determin wether you have it in the right place befor drilling .,
yousing eather a block in the midel of the deck as Doglas has or yousing the traveler are both OK

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Re: Kayak sailing back from Ailsa Craig.

Post by jamesl2play »

From my Cat sailing days I can recall that if it was blowing a bit we would slacken off the traveller a little to depower the rig. So if using the main sheet is the only way of centralising the traveller any stretch in the system would lead to a loss of power because the traveller would not be exactly central. I would assume that this is why Douglas gets better sailing with a fixed point.
Down wind the traveller right out would presumably give more power.

It seems a back stay is also required to keep the mast upright.

I think I will get a little practise using the traveller system supplied and then maybe do some drilling later after I have got the feel for it.

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Re: Kayak sailing back from Ailsa Craig.

Post by Douglas Wilcox »

Hello James,

I only have a backstay because I have the two sidestays at right angles to the mast. Geoff from Karitek supplies a kit with a forestay and two sidestays mounted behind the mast. This means you do not need a backstay but I have found you can't point into the wind so well in force 4 and 5 winds. The elastic in the forestay stretches and as the mast rakes back it flops to leeward. If you are only interested in downwind sailing then this wouldn't matter. You could also remove the elastic from the forestay, which would make the three stay arrangement very solid. However if you capsized in surf you might risk putting the mast through the foredeck so I think the elastic in the forestay is an important safety feature.

Part of the fun is finding a rigging solution that suits your kayak, the number of holes you are happy to drill and your sailing style.

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I know drilling holes in kayaks is not everyone's cup of tea but I have to say, I love it!

Douglas :o)

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Re: Kayak sailing back from Ailsa Craig.

Post by jamesl2play »

http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5199/7091 ... 1b14_z.jpg

Hi Douglas,

The sail is fitted but it is not quite ready for the sea yet.

I have set the two fair leads supplied at right angles to the mast as you suggest. I can connect the shrouds with shackles and bowlines. I do not want to use cleats because this adds two more lines to think about.
A back stay works well fitted to the RDF just behind the mast. As you say the mast is quite solid then.

All that is left is the traveller, at the moment it is too far back and my main sheet cleat pulls it off centre because I have fitted the cleat to the right of the cockpit ( I am right handed.)

I might just tie the traveller pulley to the adjacent RDF.

Any more suggestions you have would be gratefully received before my trial run on the weekend.

One last thing it is surprising how much difference there is between a Cetus and a Cetus MV/HV. I could not p[lace the mast step near to the compass because this meant the top of the mast would have been alongside the cockpit when stowed.

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Re: Kayak sailing back from Ailsa Craig.

Post by mick m »

jamesl2play wrote:http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5199/7091 ... 1b14_z.jpg

Hi Douglas,

The sail is fitted but it is not quite ready for the sea yet.

I have set the two fair leads supplied at right angles to the mast as you suggest. I can connect the shrouds with shackles and bowlines. I do not want to use cleats because this adds two more lines to think about.
A back stay works well fitted to the RDF just behind the mast. As you say the mast is quite solid then.

All that is left is the traveller, at the moment it is too far back and my main sheet cleat pulls it off centre because I have fitted the cleat to the right of the cockpit ( I am right handed.)

I might just tie the traveller pulley to the adjacent RDF.

Any more suggestions you have would be gratefully received before my trial run on the weekend.

One last thing it is surprising how much difference there is between a Cetus and a Cetus MV/HV. I could not p[lace the mast step near to the compass because this meant the top of the mast would have been alongside the cockpit when stowed.
Hi James, re your travler, you can tie the travler to the deck lines as a starting point, looking at your picture I think it may need to be sumwhear in frunt of the hatch the best resolts are placing it slightly forword of the center of the bridal of the sail , if you tie the traveler on with roling hitches or prusic hitches it can be ajusted realy easily by anuther paddler while your experimenting with it .

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Re: Kayak sailing back from Ailsa Craig.

Post by Douglas Wilcox »

Hi James, I have photos of various installations we have done here.

Image

Image
This is how we did Tony's Cetus HV. Tony didn't use a traveller either.

I love the yellow sail/deck!


Have fun,

Douglas

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