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Thread: WindPaddle Sail

  1. #1
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    Default WindPaddle Sail

    Have any of you tried this? http://www.windpaddle.com/ It is what I decided on for my first rig for paddle sailing. It was designed for k***ks, but the model I got is bigger, for tandem canoes. The videos and reviews I've found have all been positive, but the only thing in this world that is that close to perfect is a fresh out of boot Marine. There's got to be a down side.

    Oh, no sense telling me don't do it, because I already did. It should be here next week. I'm just interested in any input any of you may have, good or bad, so I can be better prepared the first time I try it out. And if any of you have tried it, is there any hardware I should pick up that doesn't come with the kit?


    Mike
    Canoeing and camping are both cheaper than therapy... and generally more productive.

  2. #2
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    Default

    But that's only for drifting with the wind. In my opinion, sailing means being able to sail across and sufficiently close to the wind to make headway against it.

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  4. #4
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    I've got one, the smallest size, for my kayak, but I've had hardly any chance to use it, and MagiKelly's review, linked above, will tell you much more.

    I mostly paddle on a winding river, where a sail would be more trouble than it's worth. I took the sail on a holiday to Scotland, where I hoped to get in some practice. However, the first day we went out, the wind was quite strong, and I didn't risk experimenting. For the rest of the week, the wind died altogether. Just once, for a few minutes, the wind picked up enough to fill the sail, but not so much as to scare me. That was fine - it pushed the boat along at about normal paddling speed, with no effort on my part.

    It has adjustable cords and clips - you need to have a pair of dees or similar, a little in front of your seat, to attach it. It's raised by another cord, fixed near the top of the circle, about the 10 o'clock - 2 o'clock position. You can use this to pull it up by hand, but that means you only have one remaining hand for the paddle (which you will need for steering, unless going absolutely downwind). I dealt with this by looping the cord round the back of my neck; not as suicidal as it sounds, because the top of the sail was well above my head height. The cord angled up, and I could duck out of it easily. If I used it more, I'd figure a way to fix the cord to the boat.
    When folded, the sail reduces to about a third of its deployed diameter. You can fold/ unfold it while it's in position, but I recommend practising on land first. It's not difficult, but it does take 2 hands, and you need to know the move.

    A practised sailor may not think much of it - it is a downwind sail, and doesn't pretend to be anything else. Look on it as a more sophisticated alternative to a big umbrella. I chose it because it folds up small, and doesn't need any mods or permanent attachments to the boat.

    Mary

  5. #5
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    Default Ullswater here I come

    Enjoy your new sailing experience Mike.

    I have also made the decision to give canoe sailing a try but my decision has taken a different tack; after reading about different sails and of others exploits and fancying the ability to sail across and into the wind I have chosen the Solway Dory expedition rig.

    This weekend I shall take to the water with the Open Canoe Sailing Group and have fun starting to 'learn the ropes'.

    Ullswater here I come.

    Julie

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by bhofmann View Post
    But that's only for drifting with the wind. In my opinion, sailing means being able to sail across and sufficiently close to the wind to make headway against it.
    I agree - sailing is only sailing, if you can go up wind! Downwind is just one point of sail. So it's one small part of sailing! Upwind is only possible with some kind of board/keel.

  7. #7

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    That is a kite, not a sail.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by marcel View Post
    That is a kite, not a sail.
    It's actually a 'traction sail' ?? :-)

  9. #9
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    Thanks Kieth I somehow missed that review when I was looking over things here.
    Canoeing and camping are both cheaper than therapy... and generally more productive.

  10. #10
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    Thanks very much for your input guys and gals. You've reinforced the reasons I had for ordering it, as well as pointed out a few things that make me even happier that it was my choice for a first sail rig.

    I do wonder if an offside rudder board would improve it's ability to tack across the wind. I have a set of plans for building a mast and boom home made sail rig. It includes plans for the rudder board. Perhaps I'll experiment with that once I've practiced a little with it.

    Thanks

    Mike
    Canoeing and camping are both cheaper than therapy... and generally more productive.

  11. #11
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    Hi Mike,

    I did consider something like this but thought they were a lot of money for what they are. Handy in that there is nothing to drill or alter. You simply open it up and off you go, where as a proper sailing rig needs a mast thwart, mast foot and some form of leeboard, but before you know it, your thinking about rudders, more airbags, outriggers and more!

    Even though I have a decent rig now, I still like the idea for when we are just out paddling without the sailing rig and have forgotten to bring the electric outboard!!!

    On the positive side, a capsize with these windpaddles looks unlikely and they look plenty big enough to move a few people in a tandem canoe.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steamerpoint View Post
    On the positive side, a capsize with these windpaddles looks unlikely and they look plenty big enough to move a few people in a tandem canoe.
    Thanks Chris.

    That was pretty much the major point of making this my first sail rig, the inherent safety of it, and ease of use.

    While the son (9 years old) and I are both very comfortable with paddling, and just riding out any shifts of the canoe on the water, the wife is not... not even a little. When she is with us, she shifts her weight to try and counter balance every little motion of the canoe. I spend a lot of time shifting around to keep her from tipping us. Now picture her in a full mast and boom sailing canoe... Yes, all she needs is more practice, to build up confidence that canoes DON'T tip if you just let them do what they do. It's human error that causes them to tip. But, in the mean time, I want to keep things as safe and simple as possible.

    Once that happens, then we can look into a "full" sailing rig; and probably will, unless the idea I had about adding an off side rudder (Is Leeboard the correct term? Jarhead, not a Sailor.) works out for up wind tacking.

    Mike
    Canoeing and camping are both cheaper than therapy... and generally more productive.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikeundercofler View Post
    Once that happens, then we can look into a "full" sailing rig; and probably will, unless the idea I had about adding an off side rudder (Is Leeboard the correct term? Jarhead, not a Sailor.) works out for up wind tacking.

    Mike
    Hi Mike, easily confused, but a leeboard is often a plank of wood that is attached to the side of a canoe (Somewhere around the mid point alongside the carrying yoke) that hangs in the water and stops the canoe from being pushed sideways by the wind and a rudder, normally mounted near the rear of a canoe (Side mounted or mounted right at the very back) is similar, but twists using some form of tiller handle and allows the direction of the canoe to be altered.

    I don't think you would need a leeboard with the Windpaddle as I can't see it working across the wind, so the canoe is unlikely to drift sidewards under sail.

    Mabe it's my lack of paddling skills, but my canoe has quite a lot of freeboard and when paddling solo on a breezy day, I have found it difficult to paddle across the wind, but last month I hung my small clip-on leeboard over the leeward edge of the canoe and this really helped me paddle in a straight line without any noticable drifting downwind, so leeboards are useful at times, even when only paddling.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steamerpoint View Post
    Hi Mike, easily confused, but a leeboard is often a plank of wood that is attached to the side of a canoe (Somewhere around the mid point alongside the carrying yoke) that hangs in the water and stops the canoe from being pushed sideways by the wind and a rudder, normally mounted near the rear of a canoe (Side mounted or mounted right at the very back) is similar, but twists using some form of tiller handle and allows the direction of the canoe to be altered.

    I don't think you would need a leeboard with the Windpaddle as I can't see it working across the wind, so the canoe is unlikely to drift sidewards under sail.

    Mabe it's my lack of paddling skills, but my canoe has quite a lot of freeboard and when paddling solo on a breezy day, I have found it difficult to paddle across the wind, but last month I hung my small clip-on leeboard over the leeward edge of the canoe and this really helped me paddle in a straight line without any noticable drifting downwind, so leeboards are useful at times, even when only paddling.
    That's pretty much what I'm thinking. According to the manufacture info, the windpaddle can rotate a full 180 degrees for catching wind. If I had a leeboard, in theory I should be able to tack across the wind, much like a "real" sail boat. Even if I have to take a wider tack, I'm good with that. I'm not so much interested in getting there, as I am in the going.

    As to the fighting the cross wind when you are solo, are you in a tandem canoe? Your list will have a LOT to do with wind issues. Get your weight as close to center as you can. You may need to sit the "bow" seat, but backwards, so it becomes the stern seat. That will get your weight a little closer to center. In a strong cross wind, you may need to kneel in the center, near the portage bar.

    But, since you are familiar with sailing, there is another option. Let your canoe have a little bow list. Use your hull as a sail, and tack the wind. Lean (slightly now, or you WILL get wet) to the downwind side. Let the wind pick you, and straight paddle only on the down wind side. When you reach your cross point, lean to the wind, one quick back stroke to the up wind side, then haul away in straight strokes to the new down wind side. This works very well in a short, fat, flat girl like mine. The wind adds to your paddle strokes. Cutting the wind just shy of 10 and 2 (10:30 and 1:30 ish) works best for me. Your mileage may vary, depending on the shape of your craft.

    Mike
    Canoeing and camping are both cheaper than therapy... and generally more productive.

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by mikeundercofler View Post
    That's pretty much what I'm thinking. According to the manufacture info, the windpaddle can rotate a full 180 degrees for catching wind. If I had a leeboard, in theory I should be able to tack across the wind, much like a "real" sail boat. Even if I have to take a wider tack, I'm good with that. I'm not so much interested in getting there, as I am in the going.
    I must inform you that that sail is made for going downwind. You may be able to get on a good broad reach, especially with a leeboard, but it will never be tacking against the wind, and will not be like a real sail boat.
    Also remember, that as soon as you start using a leeboard, your boat will start heeling more when not going downwind, so your wife wont like that much.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by marcel View Post
    Also remember, that as soon as you start using a leeboard, your boat will start heeling more when not going downwind, so your wife wont like that much.
    Hmm... good point. Perhaps I'll stick with it as is, and just use it for it's intended use. Though I probably will experiment some with a leeboard when I'm out by myself, just for the fun of it. I love playing with stuff that "Just shouldn't work that way". And living where I do, it's not a major issue to be on the water, any time I want, so lots of ability to play.
    Canoeing and camping are both cheaper than therapy... and generally more productive.

  17. #17
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    I guess sails on canoes is not that new an idea.LOL Using polytarp for sail material,it's also too cheap.There are plenty of websites dedicated to sailing canoes.And many "drop in "rigs for canoes and "those closed in one man things"You will need a leeboard or two to tack into wind tho.Use your paddle as rudder.By the way,,,as a part joke,i fitted a "bush mast and sail" to my canoe at Teddington reservoir.Used sappling as mast and 6x8polytarp for sail.Did it work??? LOL NO! i had no lee board and sat too far back,But it was fun trying.Sorry no pics Uploader still telling me wrong URL.Yet its the same as i've alway used to upload.I hate this new system.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikeundercofler View Post
    That's pretty much what I'm thinking. According to the manufacture info, the windpaddle can rotate a full 180 degrees for catching wind. If I had a leeboard, in theory I should be able to tack across the wind, much like a "real" sail boat. Even if I have to take a wider tack, I'm good with that. I'm not so much interested in getting there, as I am in the going.

    As to the fighting the cross wind when you are solo, are you in a tandem canoe? Your list will have a LOT to do with wind issues. Get your weight as close to center as you can. You may need to sit the "bow" seat, but backwards, so it becomes the stern seat. That will get your weight a little closer to center. In a strong cross wind, you may need to kneel in the center, near the portage bar.

    But, since you are familiar with sailing, there is another option. Let your canoe have a little bow list. Use your hull as a sail, and tack the wind. Lean (slightly now, or you WILL get wet) to the downwind side. Let the wind pick you, and straight paddle only on the down wind side. When you reach your cross point, lean to the wind, one quick back stroke to the up wind side, then haul away in straight strokes to the new down wind side. This works very well in a short, fat, flat girl like mine. The wind adds to your paddle strokes. Cutting the wind just shy of 10 and 2 (10:30 and 1:30 ish) works best for me. Your mileage may vary, depending on the shape of your craft.

    Mike
    Lee board(s) are fitted in line with the centre of effort of sail.and parallel to keel.Having boards too far foreward will make boat turn up into wind and stall.too far back and she'll always turn downwind..

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by marcel View Post
    I must inform you that that sail is made for going downwind. You may be able to get on a good broad reach, especially with a leeboard, but it will never be tacking against the wind, and will not be like a real sail boat.
    Also remember, that as soon as you start using a leeboard, your boat will start heeling more when not going downwind, so your wife wont like that much.
    Hi Mike,
    I've used a windpaddle and you're quite right - you can sail a broad reach (sail at 90 degrees to the wind) by angling the sail and using your paddle as a leeboard. Also, I found you can control the heel quite effectively by using your body. Any gusts are spilled from the sail so boat stability in my opinion is better than with a sail on a more traditional mast.

    Have fun with it!

    Very best regards,
    Kim
    www.kimbull.co.uk - 'Excellence in Canoe and Kayak Coaching'

  20. #20
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    Default Reaching the parts...

    - you can sail a broad reach (sail at 90 degrees to the wind)
    Sorry to have to correct you Kim, but 90 degrees to the wind is known as a beam reach whereas a broad reach is 135 ish degrees away from the wind (45 from dead downwind)


  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by windorpaddle View Post
    Sorry to have to correct you Kim, but 90 degrees to the wind is known as a beam reach whereas a broad reach is 135 ish degrees away from the wind (45 from dead downwind)
    Whoops - thanks Keith, slip of the keyboard! Yes, you can achieve a beam reach with a windpaddle.
    Very best regards,
    Kim
    www.kimbull.co.uk - 'Excellence in Canoe and Kayak Coaching'

  22. #22
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    Hmm, so you can sail directly across (beam reach?) the wind, with just a paddle?

    Oh, I can see me getting wet a LOT this summer playing with this. Already started carving a leeboard.

    Great thing about my lake; warm air, warm water, if I go splash, the very very WORST that will happen is I spend some time swimming a few hundred yards, dragging my canoe to shore. That's never happened before. If I take the time to tie in the air bags first, I shouldn't even need to do that; just spend a few minutes bailing out.

    But then, a good swim is good for the cardio-vascular system. Kyle and I have swam the lake widthwise several times. We have not tried lengthwise yet. He burns out too fast.
    Canoeing and camping are both cheaper than therapy... and generally more productive.

  23. #23
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    Mike, there was one thing I needed to be careful of in a kayak, although it might not be an issue in a canoe. If I let the sail fall forward on the deck (preparatory to folding it up) I had to make sure it was central on the deck. If it slid off to one side, it would scoop up a lot of water and become a one-sided sea anchor - a bit disconcerting if you're gliding forward at the time.

    Mary

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by maryinoxford View Post
    Mike, there was one thing I needed to be careful of in a kayak, although it might not be an issue in a canoe. If I let the sail fall forward on the deck (preparatory to folding it up) I had to make sure it was central on the deck. If it slid off to one side, it would scoop up a lot of water and become a one-sided sea anchor - a bit disconcerting if you're gliding forward at the time.

    Mary
    That is actually a very useful comment; something I had not given thought to.

    I paddle a tandem, with a midship add on seat. Was planning to fasten the windpaddle to the bow seat, when I am solo, but to the bow carry bar when it is my son and me, or wife, son and me. When Kyle is in the bow seat, he will handle the sail. With it being that close to the bow, we would never want to let it drop forward. I may need to be prepared to help him draw it back, or at least teach him to draw the sail into irons before he pulls it down.

    Thank you Mary. Good tip. I'll look at proper precautions.

    Mike
    Canoeing and camping are both cheaper than therapy... and generally more productive.

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