Flat Earth Sail

Places, technique, kayaks, safety, the sea...
geoffm
Posts: 387
Joined: Sat Oct 29, 2005 5:05 am
Location: Tasmania
Contact:

Flat Earth Sail

Post by geoffm »

postby ruralweb » Sat Jul 21, 2012 6:59 pm
the mast foot split in two and part jammed in the mast ( I eventually managed to get it out ) and the side lines slip through the retaining cleats meaning the sail falls over in anything above a F2. I originally looked at the sail you had and it looked very good but had the opportunity to buy a code zero. When fitting it was very different to the original with side lines and a bungee on the uphall which introduced alot of slack into the system - the only way I could get it to perform well was to rig it similar to the original. After these changes the sail is brilliant and I would without hesitation reccommend it. It's just annoying that a sail which costs £380 has problems. Prior to this I had already sent back a line for replacement as it was comming apart and was too big a diameter to be rigged easily.
The bungee on the uphaul is a very good idea to retain, if you capsize at speed with the sail up it prevents things from snapping, the mast will simply lie down on the deck. It just takes a little patience to get the correct combination of bungee and bungee length. Mick makes quality gear and rather than complain on the forum you would be far better off to contact Mick directly (or Karitek in the UK I guess) and resolve the problem that way. Every manufacturer has problems, some small some big. The difference is in the way that they back their products. I have used Mick's sails for a few years now and they are good. And yes, he is a mate but the gear is still good :-)

Geoff

ruralweb
Posts: 647
Joined: Wed Oct 19, 2011 5:14 pm
Been thanked: 1 time

Re: Flat Earth Sail

Post by ruralweb »

Hi Geof
Thanks for the promt to post about my adventures with the sail. Ive now used it for 40+ hours in winds upto F6 and have been speaking to Karitek at every stage and they have been excellent with advice and replacement bits that failed or did not work as intended. I've also been chatting with Mick in Aus about rigging options and have now sorted the main issues out. I've also pushed sales to Karitek of the sail.

Over all the sail is brilliant - if it was not then I would have asked for my money back. The main problem I had was with the rigging as it differed from all the other flat earth sales I had seen and was different from the rigging instruction on the flat earth website etc. the problem with it was that the side lines slipped through the cleats when under load and despite Karitek sending new lines etc they carried on slipping. After changing the rigging to match that on the flat earth website all is well and by using snap shackles I have retained the ability to ditch the sail in an emergency. The bungie I have removed - as you describle it's function was to reduce shock in a capsize but after testing I found it did not really work that way and just introduced slack into the system. I have capsized at speed and had no issue so ill live with the chance of damage ie snapped uphall or bent mast.

The other problem was the mast foot separating which I thought I had solved but it broke again last week and I lost the mast foot - I phoned Karitek and they immediately sent me a new one. They are currently looking at the problem.

Overall I am 100% happy with the sail and Karitek - my first email to mick apologised to him as when I re read my post a few days later it did sound like I was not that happy. My mate has bought one and I'm currently rigging it for him ready for this weekend and a trip to Scotland.
Mal

mick m
Posts: 445
Joined: Sun Sep 06, 2009 1:23 am
Location: East Gippsland Vic Australia
Contact:

Re: Flat Earth Sail

Post by mick m »

Good morning,
Im always avalabel to sort out problems with the gear I make, as for trubel shooting Douglas has sume realy good enteries on my sails on his blog, most of which I have reproduced on my web site. I will be in contact with Karitek in regards to eny problems with bonding the mast bace ,its probably not known but the sail rigs for the UK are a joint colabiration between flat earth and KariTek, of which I coldent be hapier with.This partnership has realy done good things for the development of the product.
I wold also like to acknowlege the input of athers like Geoff, who perchased one of my first oferings years ago and through his input and the input of paddlers like Douglas,gnarly dog and the boys at Expodition Kayaks who chose to youse my gear on ther north reaf trip (the vidio log is realy worth a look at!) And long term distruction tests performed by a lot of other expadition paddlers hear in Australia like Stuwarts little paddle around OZ whear a sail sat on his deck for the hole trip in the uv (which was replased with a smaler sail for higher winds after the origanal one was geting a bit second hand from excesive youse, a liftime of normal youse condenced into 12 munths, a product developers dreem!)
Im always interested to hear from yousers, both the good and the bad as this helps with making the best product I can, flat earth sails are still made individualy by hand in a small sail loft in country Australia (and in conguntion with kari tek in the UK) with no intentions of doing much diferantly in the future. Apart from mabe triying to get onto the water more.
Mick MacRobb
Flat earth kayak sails

ruralweb
Posts: 647
Joined: Wed Oct 19, 2011 5:14 pm
Been thanked: 1 time

Re: Flat Earth Sail

Post by ruralweb »

Well another great weekend with my flat earth sail. Sailed the length of Loch Ken , camped overnight and sailed back the next day - added a 4mm plastic tube under my deck bag to help the sail line run freely and it worked a treat - trimming the sail is much easier now the deck bag is not rubbing on the line.
Mal

ruralweb
Posts: 647
Joined: Wed Oct 19, 2011 5:14 pm
Been thanked: 1 time

Re: Flat Earth Sail

Post by ruralweb »

Some pictures of the sail in action http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid= ... =1&theater
Mal

mick m
Posts: 445
Joined: Sun Sep 06, 2009 1:23 am
Location: East Gippsland Vic Australia
Contact:

Re: Flat Earth Sail

Post by mick m »

Good morning, can I get apicture or two with a breaf description of hiw you set the deck tubing,,and deck bag up for on myi web site, im going to start a /new page on cbustomising sail rigs and wold love your inpoot
Regards mick, flat earth sails

ruralweb
Posts: 647
Joined: Wed Oct 19, 2011 5:14 pm
Been thanked: 1 time

Re: Flat Earth Sail

Post by ruralweb »

Hi Mick
I will take a few for you in the morning. Can you email me at info@ruralwebdesign.co.uk so I can send them direct.
Mal

User avatar
gnarlydog
Posts: 234
Joined: Fri Jul 03, 2009 5:35 am
Contact:

Re: Flat Earth Sail

Post by gnarlydog »

I have been offered Mick's sail since the early days and Flat Earth soon sails made my other sails obsolete.
I rig my sails differently that what seem to be the standard (I only use two side/backstays and the uphaul, no backstay).
I don't have any bungee in the uphaul (never thought of it) but not sure if with my set up would work.
I also reinforce the underside of the decks of all my kayaks since I use a custom made carbon fibre mast. Details here: http://gnarlydognews.blogspot.com.au/20 ... pdate.html
I have consulted with Mick on a few issues and I have to say that his products are way superior than what I have seen elsewhere.
Of course, my opinion could be skewed since I am sponsored by Flat Earth Sails.
Latest video of some sailing fun in 20knots: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hiZFsyyjwZM


[youtube][/youtube]

User avatar
Kayaks'N'Beer
Posts: 802
Joined: Wed Aug 17, 2005 7:12 pm

Re: Flat Earth Sail

Post by Kayaks'N'Beer »

Never mind the sail, how the hell is that gopro mounted? Looks like it's just magically flying along behind you!

User avatar
Douglas Wilcox
Posts: 3639
Joined: Sun May 11, 2003 1:31 pm
Location: Glasgow
Has thanked: 5 times
Been thanked: 50 times
Contact:

Re: Flat Earth Sail

Post by Douglas Wilcox »

Great video Gnarly,

Kayaks'n'beer, bikers have been using these swivel mounts for some time.

Gnarly gets away with only three stays because he does not use the elastic in the uphaul/fore stay. When I started kayak sailing I didn't use elastic either. One day I left the kayak on the shore with the sail up but the tide came up quicker than I thought and the shore break trashed the kayak for about 5 minutes until I got back to it. The mast didn't bend but it cracked right through the fore deck (which I had reinforced underneath).

Since then I have used elastic in the fore stay. However, to avoid the mast leaning to leeward when sailing upwind as the fore stay stretches in the gusts, I now use two side stays mounted at right angles to the mast foot (with respect to the keel-line). This means they do not support the mast when the wind is aft, so you need a back stay. An additional use of the back stay is that you can tie the loose end of the uphaul line to it and use it to pull the sail down if you get caught out by an increasing strong wind when running down wind.

One of our team was sceptical about the need for this until a day with a wind gusting down over a high headland at F5-7. One of the team capsized when he launched the sail but this person (despite having kayaked, sailed and windsurfed for 40 to 30 years) couldn't get the sail down easily and he ended up racing away for about 750m before he got the sail down, leaving the other kayak sailor in the water. He has now fitted a line to his back stay and practised getting the rig down quickly on a run in strong winds

http://seakayakphoto.blogspot.co.uk/201 ... tting.html





Douglas

User avatar
gnarlydog
Posts: 234
Joined: Fri Jul 03, 2009 5:35 am
Contact:

Re: Flat Earth Sail

Post by gnarlydog »

a little bit more bumpy seas with with Flat Earth Sails: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jNFpdSfjHs0
Light winds but fun conditions

User avatar
Yakdiver
Posts: 644
Joined: Tue Apr 20, 2010 11:11 am
Location: North Baddesley Hampshire

Re: Flat Earth Sail

Post by Yakdiver »

Amazing well done
Name Richard
Point 65n Sea Cruiser
Ocean Prowler

ruralweb
Posts: 647
Joined: Wed Oct 19, 2011 5:14 pm
Been thanked: 1 time

Re: Flat Earth Sail

Post by ruralweb »

I now use two side stays mounted at right angles to the mast foot (with respect to the keel-line). This means they do not support the mast when the wind is aft, so you need a back stay
Im now going to move my side stays forward so they are at right angles. This will mean that the mast does not move sideways in strong winds and so reduce the efficiency of the sail. It maybe that I can add back the elastic because the sail mast will have reduced forces acting to move it backwards.
Mal

tommfuller
Posts: 465
Joined: Fri Feb 16, 2007 2:51 pm
Location: Scotland / Norway mostly.

Re: Flat Earth Sail

Post by tommfuller »

Douglas Wilcox wrote:An additional use of the back stay is that you can tie the loose end of the uphaul line to it and use it to pull the sail down if you get caught out by an increasing strong wind when running down wind.
Douglas
I have found this to be more the primary than the additional use! Without a backstay you can depower the sail by releasing the sheet, but you can't easily stow it back on deck as (unless you turn head to wind as the sail flogs) it powers up when you try.

Cheers,

Tom.

User avatar
Douglas Wilcox
Posts: 3639
Joined: Sun May 11, 2003 1:31 pm
Location: Glasgow
Has thanked: 5 times
Been thanked: 50 times
Contact:

Re: Flat Earth Sail

Post by Douglas Wilcox »

Tom I am delighted to hear you are getting out in decent winds!

Douglas :o)

tommfuller
Posts: 465
Joined: Fri Feb 16, 2007 2:51 pm
Location: Scotland / Norway mostly.

Re: Flat Earth Sail

Post by tommfuller »

Douglas,

My idea of "decent" is probably most people's idea of "millpond"!

Cheers,

Tom.

User avatar
Geebee
Posts: 174
Joined: Fri Aug 14, 2009 10:18 am
Location: N. Devon
Contact:

Re: Flat Earth Sail

Post by Geebee »

Just got one of these. So much fun, thinking of sticking one on the surf boat for the paddle out.... :)


User avatar
gnarlydog
Posts: 234
Joined: Fri Jul 03, 2009 5:35 am
Contact:

Re: Flat Earth Sail

Post by gnarlydog »

Geebee, looks like you are really hooting along and chose a decently windy day to try it for the first time; you are way more courageous than me. I was very worried (unnecessarily) when I started sailing with a kayak...
What happened at 0:45 and 1:23? the mast is really leaning over a lot...

User avatar
Geebee
Posts: 174
Joined: Fri Aug 14, 2009 10:18 am
Location: N. Devon
Contact:

Re: Flat Earth Sail

Post by Geebee »

gnarlydog wrote:What happened at 0:45 and 1:23? the mast is really leaning over a lot...
The stays are located on cleats, and given the newness of the spectra cord they slipped when getting really loaded. I'm going to change from having them cleated and fix them for the next outing.
gnarlydog wrote:I was very worried (unnecessarily) when I started sailing with a kayak...
As was I, I should of waited for a lighter wind day really..... but I was really surprised how easy it was, only requiring contol of the skeg to maintain course. Top fun.

Glyn

User avatar
gnarlydog
Posts: 234
Joined: Fri Jul 03, 2009 5:35 am
Contact:

Re: Flat Earth Sail

Post by gnarlydog »

Now it makes sense: slipping of the stays in the cleat. I use fixed stays.
For me there is a downside for mounting a sail on a sea kayak : I no longer wish for windless days like I used to.
15 knots is what I hope for, these days :-)

User avatar
Douglas Wilcox
Posts: 3639
Joined: Sun May 11, 2003 1:31 pm
Location: Glasgow
Has thanked: 5 times
Been thanked: 50 times
Contact:

Re: Flat Earth Sail

Post by Douglas Wilcox »

Hi Glyn, glad you have joined the club in such an impressive first outing. I agree with Gnarly, I would also fix your stays.

Gnarly>
For me there is a downside for mounting a sail on a sea kayak : I no longer wish for windless days like I used to.
15 knots is what I hope for, these days :-)
Yaaaaay....me too!

Image

Image

Douglas :o)

ruralweb
Posts: 647
Joined: Wed Oct 19, 2011 5:14 pm
Been thanked: 1 time

Re: Flat Earth Sail

Post by ruralweb »

The stays are located on cleats, and given the newness of the spectra cord they slipped when getting really loaded. I'm going to change from having them cleated and fix them for the next outing.
This is exactly the problem I had - can you please pass this info back to Karitek who are looking at the issue. Up to this point it's only been me with the problem but as you say it's only in stronger winds it begins to happen.

I have attached my side stays directly to the side of the kayak which has solved the issue completely.
Mal

ruralweb
Posts: 647
Joined: Wed Oct 19, 2011 5:14 pm
Been thanked: 1 time

Re: Flat Earth Sail

Post by ruralweb »

I have one of the new Code Zero sails and after a a couple of outings with a mate of mine who has a standard sail and the same kayak as me I can see quite a difference in performance between the two. I was unsure that the price difference was justified but side by side there is an advantage in the newer sail design.
Mal

ruralweb
Posts: 647
Joined: Wed Oct 19, 2011 5:14 pm
Been thanked: 1 time

Re: Flat Earth Sail

Post by ruralweb »

I think we managed to exceed the limits of the sail today in some big gusty F7 winds on Lake Ullswater http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set= ... 029&type=1

We ended up with two bent masts :) - guess we are buying some new ones then!
Mal

JohnGreenview
Posts: 60
Joined: Thu Nov 25, 2010 4:28 pm
Location: Whiting Bay Arran

Re: Flat Earth Sail

Post by JohnGreenview »

Is their flexibility in the mast? Would a carbon mast be too heavy or too expensive?

ruralweb
Posts: 647
Joined: Wed Oct 19, 2011 5:14 pm
Been thanked: 1 time

Re: Flat Earth Sail

Post by ruralweb »

Is their flexibility in the mast? Would a carbon mast be too heavy or too expensive?
There is a slight flex in the mast but I think we were just pushing our luck TBH - Ive sailed in up to F5/6 before with no problems but today the wind just got stronger and stronger as we went up the lake. At the point they bent we had rafted up to take them down and just got caught out by a strong gust. Carbon may have snapped I think and perhaps made matters worse.

Ive just checked the wind speeds on the Lake today and the wind was gusting up to 52mph

I think they will still sail ok but Ill get a new mast in the New Year
Mal

User avatar
Douglas Wilcox
Posts: 3639
Joined: Sun May 11, 2003 1:31 pm
Location: Glasgow
Has thanked: 5 times
Been thanked: 50 times
Contact:

Re: Flat Earth Sail

Post by Douglas Wilcox »

Hi Mal sorry to hear about your masts. Where abouts did they bend? Did they bend before or after your shrouds gave way?

The secret with using the sail in high winds is to keep going as fast as you can by paddling and sailing downwind to reduce the apparent wind. If you have rafted up you will have lost speed and so the apparent wind will be much higher with much greater force on the rig. Did you think to release the sheets to let the sails swing forward of the mast when you were running?

Given the elastic in the sheet and forestay it is not that easy to bend a mast. The only time I have seen it happen was after a capsize in shallow water without elastic in the forestay and then the deck cracked as well.

I have experimented with a cut down tapered carbon fibre rod (a windsurf race sail batten) but its bend did not match the twist cut into the sail, especially the CZ sail, and the rig sailed better with the aluminium mast.

Happy sailing in 2013.

Douglas

ruralweb
Posts: 647
Joined: Wed Oct 19, 2011 5:14 pm
Been thanked: 1 time

Re: Flat Earth Sail

Post by ruralweb »

Hi Douglas
We were travelling pretty fast TBH and had just made contact running down wind when the gust caught us. We had rafter up a few time before this at slow speed with the sail released but the slack sails had wrapped themselves round the mast so we were trying to keep a little wind in the sail. It was beyond what we should have had the sails up in TBH and we had nearly capsized several times but good fun racing down the lake.

The mast has bent just above the point where all the support rigging meets. Mine is a simple bend but my mates is a a little worse as the sail dropped into the water and we think was pushed under the kayak for a while till he slowed down.

I think a possible solution would be to have another tube inside the mast that extends above the rigging joint -
Mal

User avatar
PhilAyr
Posts: 414
Joined: Mon Oct 18, 2010 12:51 pm
Been thanked: 6 times

Re: Flat Earth Sail

Post by PhilAyr »

Mal, your a braver man than I. I would have released the sheet, or better still taken the sail down long before it had got to that stage !

Am I right in saying that your side - stays are adjustable ? From my limited experience I have found that side stay tension adjusters or the equivelent knot can slip in high winds. Thin lines are the worst offenders. I now prefer a good old fashioned bowline for the side-stays.

Phil

ruralweb
Posts: 647
Joined: Wed Oct 19, 2011 5:14 pm
Been thanked: 1 time

Re: Flat Earth Sail

Post by ruralweb »

We were going great guns but as we rounded the top of the lake the wind was channeled by a valley and suddenly increased. I had released the sail a few time but the gusting wind wrapped it round the mast throwing the kayak from side to side. The plan was to sail on and drop the sails one by one with one of us at the front of the kayak pulling it down - it's worked before for us but the winds were way too strong today.

I used to have the adjustable side lines but as you say they slip through the cleats so I have short ones now. The side stays and base of the mast stayed in place but the mast bent above where the side lines join. My mates side lines are slight forward compared to mine and the mast went forward and sideways collapsing into the water.

Overall it was a great couple of hours :)
Mal

Post Reply