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PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2011 6:12 am 
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Location: Jax FL
Anybody use a non-Hobie sail rig on their Mirage? I am planning an expedition race next spring and looking for a sail rig with less 1 sq meter area for use on my Revo. I have the Hobie sail (and love it) but according to the race rules, its 1.9 sq meter size would put me in the "Sailing Kayak" division. I would much rather compete in the "Expedition Kayak" division (max 1 sq meter sail) because I believe this is where the advantage of the Mirage will really shine. Thanks.

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Mark N
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2011 7:20 am 
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Seems like it would not be hard to make a small sail for it out of a shower curtain or something.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2011 12:25 pm 
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Location: Sarasota,Key West FL
Mark N:
If making a new sail I would use the Hobie mast and hardware, slip the old sail off, then measure up something similar in design but limited to 1 sq meter. Go to a fabric store and get some rip stop nylon. I doubt you will need more than a couple yards (probably under $10 bucks), then just sew something up, you can almost copy the concept of the hobie sail (just smaller), pull out the battens from the Hobie sail and use them in the new sail (battens are the fiber glass rods slid into the sail at an angle, (pretty neccessary)). It might take a couple trys to get something that works well, but it's not rocket science.

If it were me I would furl up the Hobie sail (wrap it around the mast) until it measures under 1 sq meter, then just trace over it and make the new sail just like what you see, it should work. You can also test it all out before cutting anything by just furling the Hobie sail to the required size, take it out and see how it sails.
The advantage you get by doing it this way is pretty much all the small purchased kayak sails out there are "downwind only", the Hobie sail is very capable of sailing upwind (it's a very good design). Using your Mirage drive as a centerboard (with the fins pointing straight down) you will have a huge advantage over everything else out there.

Another thought would be before buying any material, just reef the Hobie sail and put a hose clamp on it so it can only be opened up to 1 meter sq. The race committee will probaby allow it as long as you can't unfurl it more while out in the race (that would be cheating).

We bought our Hobie Revolution and Oasis back in 2007 with all the sail rigging, sailing turned out to be our favorite thing to do, I'm sure our Revo has way more than 500 sailing miles on it by now (we actually are on our 3rd set of sails, we wore the other ones out). Actually it's two sets, the first sail my wife lost in deep water when she tipped over and the sail sank (I went through two scuba tanks of air trying to find it in Sarasota bay). Tie the bungie line on the sail if you don't want to loose it, and also a knot at the end of the sail line (called the bitter end), helps keep you from losing the sail in the event of a tipover (she had neither).

BTW what's the race you are entering, if it's the EC challenge (300 mile race from Ft Desoto fl to Key largo put on by the Watertribe), the Revo might be a little small and light for an event like that. Most are using large pro type expedition kayaks like krugars and such which are blazing fast, and are designed and built for ocean racing with a couple hundred pounds of gear (and most if not all are over 20 ft long (important). Even an AI or a TI (both longer and faster than the Revo) are no match for those types of boats even with the Mirage drives. Most of those expedition boats are many thousands of dollars, and the drivers are seasoned atheletes who live for that stuff. My opinion here is if thats the race you are thinking about, you might want to look into a bigger boat (longer is always faster with displacement hulls).

There are tons of Adventure Islands and Tandem Islands entered into the EC Challenge race every year, but in classes IV and V. For more info on the watertribe go to their website ( http://watertribe.com/ )
Good Luck, hope you win
Bob


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 11, 2011 10:16 pm 
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A couple of commercial possibilities?
viewtopic.php?f=32&t=10967&hilit
http://www.pacificaction.com/models1.htm


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2011 9:45 am 
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Location: Jax FL
Thanks for the replies. I really appreciate the advise/suggestions.

First of all, it is the Water Tribe event next March that I am considering, but only the short 67 mile one from Tampa to Charlotte Harbor (Ultra Marathon). I realize that the Revo is a bit small for this but after an on the water comparison, I chose it over an Adventure because it is a much better fit for my normal kayak usage. I do not beleive that the cargo capacity will be an issue because I am a small guy and I don't have to carry nearly the gear/food/water that the guys doing the long race need. A review of past race results shows a number of smaller boats have completed but no Mirages. Most take 14-20 hours and based upon my training/testing runs I should be competative in that range.

As for a smaller sail, I came to the same three options listed above; 1. Make a sail for use with Hobie mast. (I would get a sailmaker to do this more me. My experience with homemade sails is not good) 2. PAS (these are popular with Water Tribe competitors). 3. Wind Paddle. At this point I am still undecided. A fourth option is to just use my current Hobie sail and go in the Sailing Kayak division. I can buy the Sidekick Amas for less than any of the small sail options.

Part of the reason that I have not made a decision regarding the sail is that last week daughter #2 expressed some interest in doing the race with me. She is a good little athlete and and the two of us can make our Outfitter go at speeds similar to the Revo. (Again, I realize that the Oasis would be a better boat for this but I already own an Outfitter). If we do the race tandem, we can use the 1.9 sq meter Hobie sail and still be in the Expedition Kayak division. More as I figure things out.

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2012 7:13 am 
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Location: Sarasota FL
I'm thinking of buying the BIC kayak sail for my tandem.
There are times I think it would be fun and helpful.
At $99 it's far less expensive than the Hobie sail kit, is foldable, and seems to negate the need for outrigger pontoons, putting holes in my boat and furling contraptions.

Anybody have experience with the BIC sail?

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2012 2:38 pm 
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Location: Auckland NZ
Personally I wouldn't spend my money on a downwind-only sail whether $99 or $9 because there's a well-proven upwind/downwind alternative there on the shelf... but you pays your money & you takes your choice.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2012 11:49 am 
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Location: Sarasota FL
stobbo wrote:
Personally I wouldn't spend my money on a downwind-only sail whether $99 or $9 because there's a well-proven upwind/downwind alternative there on the shelf... but you pays your money & you takes your choice.


What's the well-proven upwind/downwind "on the shelf" you're referring to?
--the $360 Hobie sail?

Anybody used one of these $99 sails?

I'm also hoping someone can address the need (or not) for an outrigger extension when using the hobie sail. I see many people NOT using the outrigger (inflatable banana). Thoughts on that?


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2012 12:37 pm 
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Location: High Point, NC
If you're a good sailor then you can easily get by without the sidekicks. But you'll have to stay on your toes, particularly in a narrow kayak like the Revolution. If you're not quick to head up directly into, or fall off directly away from the wind in a strong gust (or quickly let go of the sheet and de-power the sail) you can dump yourself out of the boat in an instant. It's not a huge sail but has more than enough area to flip a Revo, or even an Outback, in a strong wind or sudden gust.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2012 2:38 pm 
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Tom Kirkman wrote:
If you're a good sailor then you can easily get by without the sidekicks. But you'll have to stay on your toes, particularly in a narrow kayak like the Revolution. If you're not quick to head up directly into, or fall off directly away from the wind in a strong gust (or quickly let go of the sheet and de-power the sail) you can dump yourself out of the boat in an instant. It's not a huge sail but has more than enough area to flip a Revo, or even an Outback, in a strong wind or sudden gust.


Sounds like an "ol' sunfish sailor" like myself better get sidekicks. We got gators here in our lakes and rivers. :shock:

(Is it me or does anybody else hate the idea of screwing new things into their boat?)


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2012 2:53 pm 
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Well, the thing is, you can detach everything but the center bar so if you choose not to use the sidekicks you're only left with a center bar that really isn't in the way of anything. 4 small bolts are all that's required to affix it. It's a nice option to have and when you choose not to use it, all but that one little bar can be dispensed with.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2012 2:59 pm 
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sunday:
My wife and I started out with an Oasis and a Revo mirage kayaks. The purpose of buying them was she was into geocaching and wanted to hunt for the geocache treasures (reference --- http://www.geocaching.com) many of which are out in the water and mangove tunnels in kayak accessible only areas. Well I have to tell you we got hooked on the Hobies right away and just loved to go out every weekend kayaking and adventuring. Neither one of us were in the greatest shape and wanted to be able to extend our range without becoming totally exhausted.
Your from Sarasota so I will give some local examples. We liked to always launch from the Kayak park at south Lido, we love the mangrove tunnels and the hidden lakes, also there are several really active kayak clubs in the area. We would also like to go around to big pass and hang out at south Lido beach where we would always meet boating friends and picknic. We started out traveling a mile or so from launch, as we got more and more into it (and stronger), we would go out on adventures further and further (all day most times). We bought the Hobie sails and after the first time out with them we were hooked, we never launched our Kayaks without the sails on board ever again, when not using them they are bungied to the side of the boat. A good day for us can be 20 miles kayaking, where we might go up the Braden or Manatee river, or up to the Santa Fe river up near Jinny springs, the Crystal river is also a ball, It's also fun just to launch and go up phillippi creek and have lunch at Phillippi creek oyster bar or Sharkys (down by Casey Key). We are also big into snorkeling and snorkel off the kayaks pretty much anywhere. The sails open up a whole new world of kayaking. If there is any wind at all we simply raise the sails and the sails assist us in getting us where we want to go. Neither of us ever used any AMA's or inflatable bananas, yes we have been tipped over a few times by a wind gust or a boat wake, but it's pretty easy to get back on board and get going again. It's actually pretty important to practice mounting the boat in a controlled place (we used our pool) so you know how to get back in whether you have a sail or not.
Yes there are several what we call "downwind only" kayak sails out there that are fairly inexpensive, but function similar to you opening up an umbrella while sitting on the kayak (next time your out just take an umbrella or a big old towel tied to two sticks, you can try it out and see how a downwind only sail would work (I think you will be bummed out). Yea it will work but only down wind and not as efficient as a real sail. With a Hobie sail you can sail up wind, or with the wind at your side (called a reach), or any point around the clock, also if there is very little wind and you have to kayak into it, without a sail you will go typically 1-2 mph pedaling normal. If you raise the sails and pedal exactly the same effort, you can actually go as much as a couple miles per hour faster (up wind), it's called apparent wind (basically your making your own wind) and makes you go faster with the same pedaling effort. Of course if the wind kicks up too much (around 15 mph) you simply put the sail away.
Of course adding a sail kit will not turn your hobie into a sunfish or a laser (real sail boats), it just expands the boats capability (and yes you still will need to pedal, just not as much). Actually the mirage drive with the fins pointed straight down becomes your daggerboard for steering. I kind of recommend if you do get the Hobie sail kit that you also buy the Hobie sailing rudder, which is a little larger rudder designed for sailing. You can probably get by on a Revo with the standard rudder, but an Oasis tandem you kind of need the bigger rudder to sail.
I'm out sailing most every weekend out in Sarasota Bay, I usually launch from City Island these days (up near Sarasota Sailing Squadron at Ken Thompson park). These days I'm out mostly on our Tandem Island ( I sold the Oasis and the Revo last spring) so the TI is all I have left (we use it for all the same stuff, "even running mild rapids in places like Colorado").
Let the fun begin
If you bought your boat at Economy Tackle (really a nice bunch of people), next time they have a demo days event, just ask them to bring a sail kit along and you can try one out, (warning, thats what we did, and bought pretty much the whole store, (TWICE ,,,LOL).
We love everything we have, especially living in beautiful Sarasota, you kind of gotta have a Hobie. Over 90% of the water in and around Sarasota is not accessibly by boat, 99% is accessible by a Hobie sailing yak, and we are looking forward to covering as much as we can (we have covered at best 20% since 2007, hard to imagine).
Bob


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2012 8:50 pm 
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Yup, the "off the shelf" option to which I was referring is the Hobie sail kit.

I have never used any other sail on my kayak but they are quite popular here in NZ and I have seen a few people using them (plus 2 kayaks being towed by kites). The problem for all of the after-market sails, as has been pointed out, is that they are only really any use downwind. On that point of sail it seems that they will work OK on pretty much any kayak.

By contrast, the Hobie sail, as has also been pointed out, can allow you to sail downwind, across the wind and upwind (exactly how well it will sail on various points of sail will depend on factors such as your boat, daggerboard, rudder, the wind conditions, waves, tides, your skill as a sailor, etc) but in my experience it beats hands down any of the 'circular' or 'two-stick' kayak sails I have been near.

I am a great believer in the Hobie-sail sailing experience which IMNSHO is pretty much exactly the same as a scaled down yacht (though unless you add another sail, which can be done, clearly it will be comparable to sailing a one-sailed yacht). So from the point of view of learning how to sail or gaining enjoyment from the experience of sailing or from pushing the limits of sailing (e.g. racing or tweaking) a Hobie kayak equipped with a Hobie sail should offer exactly the same menu, albeit one scaled right down to a miniature size as 'big-boat' sailing... and in my experience it does!

It is not my job to try to justify the price of the Hobie sail but I do think you might wish to consider the price in the context of the amount of use and enjoyment you will get from it - after all these are probably the reasons most people buy into kayaking in the first place...

I reckon I have covered more miles in my Hobie kayak then I would have done in a paddle kayak costing half as much by several hundred times over - in other words I have had a huge amount more use & enjoyment out of my Hobie than I would have ever got from a bog-standard paddleyak. If I could calculate the Hobie cost per mile vs the Paddleyak cost per mile I know what the answer would be - the Hobie would be cheaper by many a country mile.

The same argument applies to the sail kit - I have sailed more and further in my Hobie than I ever could have (let alone would have) done with a downwind sail. And I have been able to save myself from several tricky situations and loads and loads of miles of pedalling by being able to take advantage of the wind. Plus I have had the enjoyment of tweaking my rig to add roller furling, a jib, stays to the mast - and I have been teaching my wife to sail (we have 2 Hobies with sailkits) and taking friends out sailing and will be able to do the same with my daughter when she's old enough. In fact I would go as far as to say that my Hobie Adventure with its sail(s) is the best sailboat I own (I have 3 - an AI, a 'classic' daysailer and a hydrofoiler, not to mention the two windsurfers) - it is so easy to use, really engaging and quite challenging and cost next to nothing by comparison.

So as I say - you pays your money and you takes your choice. If you can afford to buy the Hobie sailkit, larger rudder and (if you have an Adventure) the daggerboard (N.B. you will want to make a couple of other minor tweaks to get the best out of it by adding a couple of blocks and a longer sheet - research the forums for info; and personally I do not think you need outriggers - to my mind they spoil the sailing experience) I do not think you will be disappointed by either the comparative performance of the rig (compared with other kayak sailing - none of them is going to win you any wind-powered speed records!) or the comparative amount of sailing you are able to undertake (compared to what you would have been able to achieve with a different sort of sail - you aren't going to be able to go out sailing your kayak in every type of weather!).

Hope this helps.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2012 12:15 pm 
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Mock up a 0.99sm sail from light visquene, and trim/hem with duct tape. When you get a design you like, then make a real one from light dacron (spinnaker weight. Or stick with the visquene and see how long it lasts.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2012 12:55 pm 
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Indeed, there are many possibilities! Here a local budget-bound teen gets upwind performance from an old tarp, stick and twine to the amazement of his friends. Great innovation! :wink:
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