My local dealer, Nomad Ventures, was conducting some hands on training for their staff at the lake this weekend with the new Revolution. It turns out that he didn't have a sail available, but I did, so I got myself invited as the sailmeister
I grabbed my Hobie sail, trusty Turbofins (which I never leave home without) wife (official photographer) and camera. Here's how she looks:
Downwind (broad reach) -- the grand entrance
This baby will move if you apply a little body English!
Close-up -- tending the sail with the right hand
Almost time to head upwind...
Upwind is a piece of cake Love that window in the sail!
Well, we're at least under control.
Whoa, I take it all back. Where's that Sidekick when you need it?
Maybe no one noticed; think I'll sneak off
By the pictures, you'll have to agree she's a dandy sailor (for a kayak)! Sailing under standard rudder and Turbofins, the Revo handled quite well. There was a little more weather helm on a close reach than I like. It had a strong desire to point into the wind and took lots of rudder to counteract. All other points of sail were easy to control. We rectified this situation later by slapping a Hobie "Sailing" rudder on.
Summing up equipment, the Turbofins work quite well as a daggerboard and are highly recommended. The sailing rudder, while not necessary, gives excellent control at all points of sail. I would want both.
I'm going to go out on a limb here and say the Revolution can out sail the Adventure. There are two reasons for this. 1) The main sheet runs through the rear pad-eye (I recommend adding a Harkin block there). That pad-eye is 14" closer to the sail on the Revolution, and that makes a huge difference in controlling the sail's twist (look at the sail shape in the pics). This makes the sail operate at a greater efficiency, especially upwind. 2) although only one inch wider, you can actually lean out more in the Revolution than the Adventure, giving more counterweight against the wind. Also the boat is slower to react to gusts, giving a fraction more time to react to changes.
Peddling, the Adventure is easily fastest. Under sail, the Adventure is quite a bit faster (sailing) than the Outback. But the Revo has better manners and sails better (and possibly faster) than the Adventure. I was very impressed!
Thanks to my wife for her patience and talent with the camera!
I also got to take a couple of wake rides. You must
have both the Turbos and larger rudder to do this successfully, as you need acceleration and control. Being shorter than the Adventure and much easier to turn, the Revo has some real advantages here. In the end, I caught and sustained a ride for about a minute -- an absolute thrill and a new record time for me! I was flying along at 9.3 mph (GPS) on that ride! The sail happened to be up, but we were going dead into the wind and I was able to pretty much ignore it.