Q1 sails report

Discussion in 'Trip Reports' started by kayakwriter, Feb 16, 2015.

  1. kayakwriter

    kayakwriter Paddler

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    So I actually received my cool new Falcon Sail http://www.falconsails.com/over the Christmas holidays. But what with life events, and me being among the mechanically declined, the installation took a while (it's got the most installation required and moving parts of any sail I've used so far.)

    [​IMG]

    Upshot of it all, yesterday was the first day time and weather came together for me to try the sail in a proper wind.

    [​IMG]

    [shortyoutube]http://youtu.be/gifZsLXKKm8[/shortyoutube]


    Results from the sea trials:

    As expected, it doesn't perform as well downwind as some of my other sails. But, since I also have a mount for my Spirit Sail on this boat, I should be rig a suitable sail for a wide variety of wind directions and courses.

    Across the wind and slightly upwind, it does great. Especially upwind, you do need to paddle-sail, not just sail, but that's OK, since upwind sailing is tippier anyway, and you want to be actively using the paddle, ready to throw out a brace.

    I will need to tweak the base mount - it's a bit misaligned (told you I was among the mechanically declined), but overall I'm well pleased. If I can handle it in 20 knot winds empty, it should be even better loaded for touring, and may go to windward better sitting lower in the water. I'm looking forward to showing it to anyone interested in seeing it at the spring WCP campout. Speaking of which, shouldn't we start mulling over dates for that?
     
  2. Astoriadave

    Astoriadave Paddler

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    Looks like you were moving right along, in the video. What speed was that?

    Those stays looked good. What sort of backing did you use?

    Appears to be a well designed rig.
     
  3. kayakwriter

    kayakwriter Paddler

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    Didn't have my GPS on. My guesstimate is about 3.5-4 knots. When paddling as well, nearer to 5 knots.

    For the backstays, there was a second hole available in each of the existing recessed deckline fittings, so I just put a loop of line through each and clipped into those. For the sidestays, I attached deckeyes, and put a 1 inch washer behind all 4 screws to spread the tension forces. The forestay runs through a mini-block up by the bow, and back to a cam cleat by the cockpit to allow for lowering.

    Yup. You can't see it in these photos, but there's also a folding strut under the deck that carries the compression load from the mast base down to the "floor" of the bow.
     
  4. mick_allen

    mick_allen Paddler & Moderator

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    Any idea of the angle spread betw the 2 closest tacks? Basically how close to the real wind do you guess?
     
  5. kayakwriter

    kayakwriter Paddler

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    For my first outing, I didn't use my GPS or compass - I wanted to concentrate completely on stayin upright. If you look in the background of the video above, you can seed the Canadian flag near the Maritime Museum blowing out. Its angle suggests I was doing a point or two (11.25 to 22.5 degrees) upwind. Not bad for a short, soft chined and unladen boat that wasn't being paddled, has no keel or centerboard and that was being batted by developed beam seas.

    When I was paddle-sailing, the shift in the apparent wind let me head what I quesssimate to be 45 degrees on either side of the true wind.

    Falcon claims you can sail within 30 degrees of the wind.
    http://www.falconsails.com/KayakSailingFAQ.php

    I'm thinking that's best case scenario with a long, hard chined boat being paddled agressively. Frankly, I'll be quite happy with a 270 degree range with a loaded boat. We shall see. I already know being able to make the true airfoil shape gives me superior cross and upwind performance than my Pacific Action sail.
     
  6. nootka

    nootka Paddler

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    I was wondering how they compared.
    I see a big advantage in having a boom that will swing from side to side.
    [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DEVG0hNft_4[/youtube]
    Do you find that the back stays limit the angle the boom can swing through?

    Did you look at Flat Earth sails as well?


    PS for admins:
    To make the video embed, I had to change https:// to http://
     
  7. mick_allen

    mick_allen Paddler & Moderator

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    yes, that's not bad at all. Are you going to go for your more balanced setup - with two of those sails, one front and one back?
     
  8. kayakwriter

    kayakwriter Paddler

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    Yes, they do. Kinda comes with the territory with this design. By letting off the line at the clew, I can let the sail curve into a more "catcher's mitt" shape to catch more air when sailing downwind.

    I did. I was kinda swayed to the Falcon by the fact Patrick has made custom-machined fittings and joints for his set-up. (The Flat Earth just adapts an off-the-shelf tiller fitting, as far as I can tell.)

    On an Australian sea kayaking forum there was a bit of a flame war a while back, with supporters of the hometown Flat Earth sail accusing Falcon of ripping Flat Earth off. I don't see it myself - there's bound to be a certain similarity of shape and "convergent evolution" due to the functional requirements, but Flat Earth sails are battened, Falcons are not. And as mentioned, Patrick has made custom components for his sail. Generally, when I think "rip-off" I think exact copy, often using inferior materials. Neither applies to Falcon - he's both innovated and used quality materials.

    I should also mention that Patrick has always had plenty of time for me with both my pre-order and post-sale questions, helping me via email and on the phone.

    That said, the folks using Flat Earth sails are obviously having a ball with their choice. And having fun is what it should all be about, whatever you are paddling or sailing.
     
  9. kayakwriter

    kayakwriter Paddler

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    I did play around with rear deck sails on my previous boat. It was fun for messing about in English Bay, but proved impractical for touring. I'd like to keep the sail set-up on this boat "tourable" (i.e. stuff I can rig and dismount at sea) so I don't think I'll go with a rear deck sail. Besides, at least with the Falcon, you have to furl the sail once you lower it. That works fine when the mast is lowering from the bow to the front of the cockpit. I can't think of how to make it work if the sail was lowering onto the rear deck, near the stern.

    That said, I am already scheming with ways to add a jib to the Falcon for lighter winds. But I'll wait til I've got some experience under my belt with the regular sail. Always good not to switch up too many variables at once.
     
  10. mick_allen

    mick_allen Paddler & Moderator

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    lower it forward, at the ckpt so you could wrap the sail sim to the front sail? Lots of tension for the backstay under operation, but if there was a linestop of some kind that might work. But it would be a little rube-ish. Could also get stabbed in the back for laybacks.
    Nah.
     
  11. aaront

    aaront Paddler

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    I've got a 1.3m falcon sail with carbon spars. Super nice rig. Tried a wind paddle prior for downwind runs, easy call to switch - so many advantages to the falcon. Been using it on a tandem decked ocean canoe and am now rigging it for a Necky Nootka plus tandem kayak. Very quick to raise and lower, efficient. Definitely prefer to paddle with loaded boat. My trips now revolve more around following wind than specific location objectives. Nothing like 6 hours of travel at 3-5 kn with only 1 hr of paddling! I'm surprised the flat earth or faclon sails have not caught on more in the NW.
     
  12. kayakwriter

    kayakwriter Paddler

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    I'm always surprised sails of any kind haven't caught more for kayaking. Whenever I sail into anywhere there are people, somebody - whether it's a casual passer-by at English Bay or a fellow touring kayaker at some water access campsite - always remarks on how cool that is. Followed almost invariably by "I've never seen a sail on a kayak before..." I've sometimes joked I should keep a supply of sails and a wireless debit/credit card machine in the boat for impulse buyers.
     
  13. designer

    designer Paddler

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    Makes me wonder though ... once upon a time if you wanted to telemark XC ski, you just used technique, bending knee and bringing skis parallel. Then they made telemark boots stiffer and bindings tighter. Then they changed the cut of the ski, making the shovel wider and a deeper side cut. Before you know it, they re-invented the downhill ski.

    So I wonder when they will come out with a strap on keel or centerboard for those kayak rigs.

    Still, when the wind is at my back and I'm on the water, I too just WANT to get more push from nature.

    I have one of those disc shaped sails out of Hood River. I don't trust the videos I watched because guys were showing 6 mph on their GPS and you could see people passing them by just paddling. Maybe, just maybe, the current had something to do with that speed.

    I tried my disc sail on the lake and it was a little difficult handling the lines and keeping hands on the paddle. It didn't help that the wind was changing direction every few seconds. It was great fun for my paddling partner though - as she watched the 180 degree wind shifts and my attempts to go in one direction.

    But once - for a few seconds - it all worked correctly. I could feel the bow take off. Not fast but clearly giving me the push I anticipated. Your sail looks like it could catch a bit of wind. If it doesn't take up too much room, I'm sure it would be nice to have on days when the wind cooperates with your desired direction.
     
  14. kayakwriter

    kayakwriter Paddler

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    [​IMG]

    I don't know if I'll need it on my new boat, but on my old boat, I used this "tossed" leeboard. It just hung on the downwind side, held in place by water pressure, and let me sail several degrees further offwind. I borrowed the idea from Dutch sailboats. They used a similar idea when sailing their shallow, muddy zees, so the leeboard wouldn't rip the side off the boat if they went aground on a mud bank.

    I've used a Windpaddle too. I didn't like it as much as my other sails. For one thing, you have to keep holding the sheets. I like having my hands free to take pictures, snack, drink or brace with my paddle. And the model I tried was the first generation, with the more bucket-like shape. It didn't go offwind well. I have one of the second generation now. Its flatter shape is supposed to do better offwind. I'lll have to try it sometime.
    The upside I do see to the Windpaddle is the drill-free installation - nice for borrowed or rented boats or for folks who are just loathe to put holes in their boats.

    Since we are talking sailing, may I shamelessly plug my new wordpress blog? (Link is below with my signature.) My first ever post is about kayak sailing.
     
  15. designer

    designer Paddler

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    I bought the cleat kit for the windpaddle but couldn't bring myself to drilling holes in the deck. So I made a loop that goes around the cockpit and knots hold the two cleats (one on each side) in position - in theory. With the kit, you are supposed to have two separate lines instead of the single line/loop that is standard. The challenge, as you've seen, is to somehow anchor the lines to hold the sail in the desired orientation, while allowing for a quick release, and still having two hands free for paddling, BRACING, and camera work.

    ... If only there was something that had a wider beam. And maybe some kind of weighted fin that ran along the center line of the bottom of the boat. And perhaps some "one way" cleats that allowed pulling on a line and having it hold when you stopped, yet let your release it by pulling up. ... If only there were something like that :)
     
  16. kayakwriter

    kayakwriter Paddler

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  17. mick_allen

    mick_allen Paddler & Moderator

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    goodbye to coffee on "come on you ____ thing"
     
  18. kayakwriter

    kayakwriter Paddler

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  19. kayakwriter

    kayakwriter Paddler

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