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PostPosted: Wed Jun 18, 2014 7:47 am 
Site Rank - Deck Hand

Joined: Wed Jul 13, 2011 1:18 pm
Posts: 23
Has anyone considered supplementing the Sail kit with a cruising windpaddle (www.windpaddle.com)? Although it only works from a broad reach to running, the same can be said for Spinnakers. The "cruising" model is the larger of the two. The Sail Kit is not designed to be used above a certain level of wind (although with the furling kit one can always reduce sail). The cruising model of windpaddle is designed to handle much higher winds. From the literature on their site, it appears that no new holes would be necessary in the kayak and it de-powers by just letting go of the control lines. Thoughts anyone?


PostPosted: Wed Jun 18, 2014 8:58 am 
Site Admin

Joined: Tue May 27, 2003 12:44 pm
Posts: 9415
Location: Oceanside, California
You can furl the sail as noted for the same effect in higher winds. Same controls... release the sheet or furl to reduce sail power. Having both seems a bit redundant and the Hobie sail is far superior on all other headings.

Matt Miller
Director of Parts and Accessory Sales
Hobie Cat USA

PostPosted: Thu Jun 19, 2014 1:15 am 
Site Rank - Old Salt

Joined: Sun Aug 12, 2007 5:17 pm
Posts: 540
Location: Auckland NZ
Hey John,

A couple of observations on your question as follows:

1. I have quite a lot of experience of adding more sail on my Adventure. I dunno if you have ever tried doing so but, in my experience, as you add more canvas so the strength of wind that you can handle reduces... very noticeably!! In other words, when you say that the windpaddle can handle much higher winds you leave me wondering why that would be particularly useful because you quite possibly wouldn't be able to cope with higher wind strengths with more sail up.

2. I am not sure how the windpaddle, which looks to me like a large golfing umbrella, depowers instantly but I'll take your word for it. So does the Hobie sail, by the way, if you use low friction blocks for your sheet lead.

3. I suspect that there are reasons why you don't see many full-sized yachts with sails like the windpaddle - lack of performance on all points of saiil springs to mind, as does difficulty in setting, stowing, reefing and generally managing the sail(s) on the water.

The Hobie kayaks might be small but they behave exactly like a conventional marconi-rigged yacht and personally I elected to try to copy the features of a large conventional yacht when I started experimenting with adding sail. I found it was quite easy to find a small off the shelf jib and dead cheap to provide the required rigging (forestay, running backstays, jib sheet and cleats) to enable the stock rig to support it. As I have said: the viable wind band with around twice the sail area aloft is a heck of a lot less than with just the standard mainsail but in the right light-wind conditions it transformed the sailing experience at the expense of a lot of additional complexity and much less ability to stand up to unexpected gusts. One real benefit of staying the mast is much better sail shape and performance, especially noticeable upwind. Downwind you can gull-wing the sails, pole them out etc etc which is great fun.

Each to their own but I suspect that you will make far fewer compromises with conventional sails than a down-wind only affair. But if downwind is what you are looking for, what about trying some sort of power-kite? I have seen people on kayaks being towed downwind very nicely with these and in really really light winds they have the advantage of being able to get right up into faster moving air.

Hope this helps.

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