Kayaks and sails

Places, technique, kayaks, safety, the sea...
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Mike Buckley
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Kayaks and sails

Post by Mike Buckley » Sun Sep 08, 2002 7:57 pm

"Whilst crossing Frederick Henry Bay - - the kayak achieved 19.8 km/h (GPS reading) - - Flinders Island was paddled and sailed in a diminishing 3 metre swell, with a 5-10 knot cross wind in 10 hrs, that’s 8 km/h over 80 km. Some regular 70-80 km distances per day during an expedition - - "

This taken from www.nswseakayaker.asn.au/...oto580.htm , the on-line mag of the New South Wales Kayak Club in Oz.

Are we missing a trick here in UK ? I seldom see a sea kayak with sailing gear on my aquatic travails.

Thoughts?

Mike.

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Jim
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Re: Kayaks and sails

Post by Jim » Sun Sep 08, 2002 9:41 pm

There are a few methods for doing it, but as most prople wouldn't want to step a mast in or through the deck of their expensive sea kayak it really boils down to 2 methods.

Chris hare marine used to make the K-wing, an outrigger for sea kayaks which strapped on (ooer) and had the mast built in - I don't even know if the company still exists!

The easier method is to use a kite. This used to be a bit specialised when it first came out and there were very few suitable kites available, however I guess since kite-surfing has become so popular there must be loads of kites available. It would take some time to learn the skills before actually getting in a boat with the things!

Open boaters have always sailed, in fact they have their own sub association, the Open Canoe Sailing Group, who are dedicated to getting a free ride. Most people just use a pole lashed to a thwart and a bivi bag for a sail and a paddle to steer, but there are some pretty pukka rigs around, using mirror dinghy rigs and leeboards for example. I think they meet on Ullswater which would be reasonably handy for you Mike, assuming you have an open boat and some ingenuity?

JIM

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Mark R
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Re: Kayaks and sails

Post by Mark R » Sun Sep 08, 2002 10:32 pm

Seen this tried on one occasion. Looked like fun, but I don't think it is really practical in a single kayak...rarely will you encounter the right wind conditions, going your way...and a sail is near impossible to manhandle.

When I saw it demonstrated, it was by a double kayak. It shot off in the direction of the Isle of Wight with both paddlers desperately trying to steer and hold things stable. I couldn't keep up with them, no idea what ever happened to them...


-----------Mark Rainsley

Mike Buckley
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Kayaks and sails

Post by Mike Buckley » Mon Sep 09, 2002 10:06 am

Have a look at www.tassie.net.au/~lford/sa95.jpg - this bloke (Laurie Ford) is using a double sail system on a single kayak.

www.tassie.net.au/~lford/sails.htm will link you into his "sails" page with some interesting stuff.

The Tassies and Aussies seem to have this field to themselves (almost).

Jim's comment re stepping the mast is fair - there is an outfit in Canada (Spirit Sails) who are making a curious "V" shaped sail they say is based on a Polynesian design - they are marketing a deck mounted base for the base of the sail.

There is an Aleut II in Scotland with sails stepped thro the hull.

I think I came across members of the Canoe Sailing crowd on Coniston Water in the summer - but why not just sail a dinghy if you are going to all the trouble of dagger boards etc?

JohnFlynn1877
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Re: Kayaks and sails

Post by JohnFlynn1877 » Mon Sep 09, 2002 3:17 pm

I have seen a double used with a sail in Belize and it was hopeless.As soon as there was a reasonalbe amount of wind it was unstable and when there was not enough wind it was ridiculously slow. I have heard good reports about the Chris Hare device though but I beleive his compan ywent out of business about eight yeears ago.

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Jim
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Re: Kayaks and sails

Post by Jim » Mon Sep 09, 2002 9:18 pm

The curious V shaped sail is the "crab claw", traditional polynesian, used on their sailing canoes for centuries, and technically the most efficient sail invented! 'nuff said?

Why muck around sailing canoes when you could buy a dinghy? Well canoes have almost always been sailed, albeit with very simple downwind rigs, the advantages are obvious:
You have a boat you can paddle, pole, portage and sail downriver, upriver and accross large lakes, woah, that's exactly why the trappers and prospectors of North America used them so extensively. A dinghy isn't that versatile (don't tell the vikings, there is evidence they may have sailed, rowed and portaged their longships accross Russia and invaded Turkey...).

I sort of agree that fitting daggerboards is a bit overboard, but most people use leeboards - like a daggerboard, but you have it on a length of rope tied to the thwart so you can just throw it over the downwind side to reduce leeway (the side-pressure holds it in place). On the other hand, think of the speed you could get out of a canoe hull with a proper rig! The oldest class of sailing dinghy is the International 10 sq m canoe, which is also the fastest displacement sailing dinghy out there, and is governed by the ICF! Sailing canoes have not been unusual in the past, Uffa Fox built several, including a 2-hander he undertook some mammoth voyages in/on.

I think the kite idea is probably the best, it might take a lot of practice but you could probably moderate the power reasonably easily, and the fact that it doesn't require alteration to your boat and is lightweight and easy to stow away. Has anyone here tried any of the new wave of kite sports, or at least flown a power kite?

JIM

dave miller
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Sails & kites

Post by dave miller » Mon Sep 23, 2002 1:42 pm

Tasmanians sail in BIG seas and STRONG winds, it's not for the faint hearted.

I've been using sails on and off for about 10 years and was put onto them by an ex-pat Tasmanian friend.
I use spimmakers (1m sq & occasionally 0.65 m sq)on my Orion, rigged on bamboo mast in tube through deck.
Mine are polythene & packing tape, cost nothing and work superbly.

Spinnakers without a pole adjust to variations in wind and boat direction, and work well up to 30 degs either side of downwind. I've had my Orion planing many times in force 6+ winds.
If you go over, pull the mast out of the socket, roll and sort it out or ditch it, depending on how big the scare was.

Started with the Laurie Ford type battened square(ish) sail, works well with a centreboard, otherwise stick with the spinnaker.

I'm tending to use kites (parafoils) more now, but forget kiteboarding sails, they pull so hard that the aparrent wind drops and they fall out of the sky.
About 1 to 1.5 m sq works well, 0.5 m sq in v. strong wind. It took years to figure out how to solo launch & retrieve, but worth the effort - launch & forget.
ALWAYS have a dead man's release for the kite in case of capsize or lost control.

For both systems:
- always have a knife (not folding) on your BA.
- don't bother in F4 or less, unless practicing.
- I use a rudder, you can sail without, but will almost certainly result in capsizes if paddle steering in strong wind & lumpy water.

Anyone want a go, get in touch and you can try my setup.

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Mark R
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Re: Sails & kites

Post by Mark R » Mon Sep 23, 2002 10:17 pm

Strewth Dave, it sounds terrifying! Love to see this in action sometime, although I'm sure I'll be happy just to watch.

Haven't forgotten the time I tried to refold my waterproof map out at sea in windy conditions...


-----------Mark Rainsley

dave miller
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Sails

Post by dave miller » Tue Sep 24, 2002 10:46 am

Have a go Mark, you'll love it!

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Jim
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Re: Sails & kites

Post by Jim » Tue Sep 24, 2002 11:37 am

"Haven't forgotten the time I tried to refold my waterproof map out at sea in windy conditions..."

A waterproof map is probably about the same area as the spinnakers Dave was talking about......

Of course a spinnaker is more efficiently shaped :-)

Trying to work out the kite thing, would a 6' stacker equate to about the size Dave is advising or should it be smaller?

JIM

Mike Buckley
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Sails and kites

Post by Mike Buckley » Wed Sep 25, 2002 10:15 am

Any pics of the rig in action Dave?

dave miller
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Dual line kites & pics

Post by dave miller » Wed Sep 25, 2002 1:16 pm

The stacker is about the same size but can be powered up more by flying 8s, of de-powered by parking overhead.
The snag is you need 2 hands to fly it and someone else to launch (especially on the water, as you can't even launch before you go afloat, 'cos you need hands to get in. In short, solo launches are out, and in a good wind you will need a hand for other things.

'Jacob's Ladder' (the Flexifoil powered catamaran) had a launch crew and a chase boat to assist with their stack.

Consider delta kites, they launch from one hand and stay up in low apparent winds. Adjust size to suit.

Sorry, no pics(except a few Foxy type from the cockpit). For reasons you can guess, I end up sailing on my own.


Phil Oxborrow
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Dual line kites & pics

Post by Phil Oxborrow » Wed Sep 25, 2002 3:35 pm

You can always use a bar with a flying line on each end & a loop in the middle to attach to a kite surf or windsurf type harness. This would free up one hand....

dave miller
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Kite bar & harness

Post by dave miller » Wed Oct 02, 2002 4:57 pm

You've tried it? How about in lumpy water?
Personally, I find plenty of occasions when I need both hands to stop it going pear shaped.

It still doesn't solve the water launch problem, and if you launch on the beach you still only have one hand to launch, put deck on etc .

Stackers have lots of pull, but downwind that decreases apparent wind a lot, so traction decreases.
Note that kite surfers always reach, they never sail downwind, they tack down if they have to.

PaulC
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Joined: Sat Jul 06, 2002 9:13 am

sails

Post by PaulC » Fri Oct 04, 2002 11:44 am

On a 2 hour (I think") crossing from Monach Isles to North Uist we watched as the double kayak with 2 sails disapeared out of sight within 20 minutes. We reckoned it would take them half the time to get back.

After we arrived back, packed cars and some people had headed North, we were somewhat surprised to see the the double driving (er on the car)towards us from the south.

Navigation problems! They landed to the south of their car and had to walk back! Very amusing. tortoise and the hare etc.

Nevertheless the sail was very impressive and fun to use. Easy to erect and drop. I know two other bods with sails and they work well.

Also had a very enjoyable expresso (!) whilst sailing down Loch Tay in a two canoe raft mid way thru a 4 day trip down the Tay system (recommended).

May the winds be with you.

Paul

Bluebayfox
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Sails for small kayaks

Post by Bluebayfox » Tue Dec 17, 2002 3:48 am

Im currently making a sail to fit on a small plastic kayak. goes on without any permanent mounts and sails to weather with the aid of a small leeboard.
anyone know of similar sails already in existance?

dusty
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Joined: Mon Nov 04, 2002 2:17 pm

kayak sail

Post by dusty » Wed Jan 22, 2003 2:21 pm

Try this:
www.nswseakayaker.asn.au/...osdgl.html

I've used the big version stepped in a PVC tube through the deck, and it's great.
The little one on this site is reputed to not need a rudder if mounted well forward.

Don't spend money on the trial version. Clear polythene and bamboo canes held together with polypropylene packing tape (that's the wide waterproof industrial sort) works well.
Once you've got a design you like you can make one anywhere in a few minutes from what you can scavenge.


Helen
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Sails etc ....

Post by Helen » Wed Jan 22, 2003 11:36 pm

Wil everyone - PLEASE - not give Mike any more sail type ideas - he is taking me sea kayaking this year and I would quite like to have a great time - something that isn't going to happen if you keep putting ideas into his head!

Thanks - Helen :eek

ps - sorry Mike but it had to be done! You are getting far too adventurous!

Mike B
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Sailing away - - -

Post by Mike B » Thu Jan 23, 2003 8:12 pm

:evil
:D

I could I let that go Helen? Still, at least you have a lovely new drysuit - - - -

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