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 Post subject: intro to sailing
PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2005 12:17 pm 
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Joined: Wed May 25, 2005 1:10 pm
Posts: 16
Greetings to all. We have a sport and an outback with the sail kits. I had the occasion to introduce some novices to small boat sailing. With zero experience in any boat of any kind, these folks were sailing in minutes. I decided to skip all the nautical talk, points of sail and whatnot. I just put them in a boat and said, "follow me and do what I do. "

The drive system helps overcome any mistakes whilst tacking and the boats are stable enough in light winds to be comfy for most neophytes. I put the same folks into some Sunfish a few days later. The learning curve was really flattened by sailing the Mirage first. They thought the Sunfish were awesomely fast compared to the kayaks.

Surprisingly, given the better sailing potential of the Sunfish, my students prefered the Mirage kayaks! They said it was easier because having the pedal system eliminated the potential to get into irons and the small sail area presents less of chance of tipping while on a jibe.

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 Post subject: Beginner
PostPosted: Sun Jun 19, 2005 6:37 pm 
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Joined: Sun Apr 03, 2005 5:21 pm
Posts: 335
I decided to do some sailing this morning and traveled light in case the boat tipped over, which never happened. The problem I had was with the fins down and the sail catching the wind, I would turn the rudder and it wouldn't steer the kayak. The kayak kept trying to go in another direction no matter which way the rudder was turned. Does this mean I reached the limits of what the Outback can handle wind wise? The kayak was sailing along at 4.5 mph, winds were steady 12-15 mph, seas were 1 to 2 foot chop.

I have to admit, today is the first time I really sailed the Outback. Other times I played with the sail for 10 minutes here and there. Today I picked two destinations and actually reached them. What a blast!

Is there an easier way to control the Mainsheet line. I was wrapping it around my hand and wrist and arm and fingers - having to change grips frequently. It looked like two feet of line movement was necessary to control the kayak from flipping over. What is the secret for holding onto the line easily? Tips, suggestions?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jun 19, 2005 7:54 pm 
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Joined: Fri Nov 19, 2004 6:56 am
Posts: 822
Location: Tallahassee, FL
Hey Rnykster,
Sounds like you may have a problem with your rudder control lines. The rudder should work the same either under sail or pedal, so some adjustment may be necessary. Assuming of course that the rudder lines are still intact and not severed--there have been a few problems with the rudder lines being chafed and frayed, and eventually parting where they exit the hull.

So far as additions to make sailing easier (and safer), two Harken blocks, one at the stern, and one amidships will give you a lot quicker and more effective control while under sail. To make the main sheet make more responsive, I attached a Harken 16 mm block to a SS carabiner that I had previously added to the stern handle eye strap. This gave me a clean and fairly friction-free fairlead up to the tag end of the main sheet.

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The next thing was to add a West Marine cleat to the upper starboard side just ahead of the midships handle. I then attached a SS shackle to this new cleat. This cleat also comes in handy as an anchor or leash attachment point. I then attached to the shackle a Harken 16 mm block thru which I ran the main sheet (with an overhand knot in the tag end). This tended to cut down the overall friction in the system, and to make the main sheet and sail more responsive while sailing close-hauled.

Image

Hope this helps. Have fun!
Dick

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 Post subject: Rudder
PostPosted: Mon Jun 20, 2005 5:32 pm 
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Joined: Sun Apr 03, 2005 5:21 pm
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Quote:
Sounds like you may have a problem with your rudder control lines.
Nope. Rudder functions just fine and it was working when the kayak was sliding. The pedal fins were completely aligned (down). The kayak was in about a 20-30 degree lean and I watched the rudder move back and forth (left and right). The rudder is tight when down and responsive. When trying to turn, the rudder turned and there was a big spray of water coming from it, but the kayak was turning the wrong way. Had to ease up on the mainsheet to slow down in order to get aiming in the sweet direction again. It must be a wind/speed/lean limit type thingee. I'm green when it comes to sailing and don't know what to do or not to do. My goal was to stay upright and have some fun in the waves.


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 Post subject: Harken blocks
PostPosted: Mon Jun 20, 2005 5:38 pm 
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Apalach wrote:
... two Harken blocks, one at the stern...
I have one on the stern thanks to previous tips in this forum. It might have been your previous post - the photo seems familiar. :) The mainsheet went through the rear block and directly into my hand/arm. Are you saying that if I run the mainsheet through another block up front, that my hands won't have to absorb as much tension, but the responsiveness will still be there?


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 20, 2005 6:00 pm 
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Joined: Sun Apr 03, 2005 5:21 pm
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I had tried to sail on a previous occasion, but felt there was too much wind and wanting to avoid a capsize, I took the sail down as quick as I put it up.

What do you do when the wind is strong (15 mph+)? Has anyone tried to roll up their sail a few turns and then tie it down up front so there is less sail for the wind to hit? Or will it come unfurled as soon as wind hits it?

I've seen windsurfers who had about six different size sails for different wind strengths. I am interested curious to know what kind of winds some of you are sailing in.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jun 20, 2005 6:36 pm 
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Joined: Fri Nov 19, 2004 6:56 am
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Location: Tallahassee, FL
Hobie recommends you run your mainsheet thru the right seat clip to your hand. This to me seemed to ensure you would have a fair amount of friction in the line. Instead, I ran mine thru the starboard add-on cleat, but even there it seemed like it was not as responsive as it should have been, and I felt like I was more prone to flipping. That is the reason I went with the forward Harken--to provide a more or less friction-free fairlead and give me better control over the sail while close-hauled.

My first time out was in about 15 mph winds. That was before I got the Harken blocks, and I never felt like I was in good control of the sheet so as to avoid flipping. I never did, but I also sacrificed some speed in favor of more control (i.e., I wimped out), in the stronger winds. I think yak sailing in stronger winds is much like any other skill--the more you do it, the better you get at it. I hope to test that theory in a couple of weeks...

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 Post subject: Yaking
PostPosted: Mon Jun 20, 2005 7:32 pm 
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Apalach wrote:
...I think yak sailing in stronger winds is much like any other skill--the more you do it, the better you get at it. I hope to test that theory in a couple of weeks...
Good point. After watching the GPS stay around 4-5 mph, sailing has certainly opened up my eyes. I could sail across Mobile Bay (10 miles) faster than I could pedal with the right wind. You can do everything in this kayak! (well, almost). :wink:
I can't wait to see a new catagory added to sail races - Class Hobie Outback. 8)
We're only about 4 hours apart. We need to get together some time and do some serious yaking. How is your knee rehab progressing? My sister is waiting for me to come over to visit her in Tallahassee. :D


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jun 20, 2005 7:54 pm 
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Joined: Fri Nov 19, 2004 6:56 am
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Location: Tallahassee, FL
The knee is coming along. Tested it on MemDay and it did not cause me a lot of grief so long as I did not use full pedal strokes. I hope to head down to the coast for the family vacation over the next couple of weeks, so we shall see.

If you have any plans to get over this way in the near future shoot me a message here to see of we can hook up. Maybe we can have a little regattta vs. the Hobiecats at Shell Point just south of Tally. We won't beat them, but we sure can confuse them...! :mrgreen:
Best,
Dick

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2005 8:23 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jun 29, 2005 8:14 pm
Posts: 9
Location: Tallahassee, Florida
Where did you get your Harken blocks? I would really like to pick up the ones you have....


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2005 8:39 pm 
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Joined: Fri Nov 19, 2004 6:56 am
Posts: 822
Location: Tallahassee, FL
These babies are expensive, but West Marine carries a a full range of styles and sizes.

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