Baja 2006, MK-1 and other things

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Alm

Baja 2006, MK-1 and other things

Post by Alm »

Here is the link to October 2006 Journal:
http://www.geocities.com/alexm221100/baja2006-journal . It is looong.... But there are some photos (click for larger photos, stored on another free webhost). This camera is probably older than me. May be needs some cleaning. It works, anyway. 35mm waterproof Pentax WR, images recorded on CD when developing and printing (they add this for $3 or so).

Slow connection, faulty browser Firefox-2 (a lot of bugs), and overly simplified web-design tools of Yahoo free host (doesn't have Undo button - fatal mistakes can't be reversed) have resulted in so much time spent, that I wouldn't have even started if knew this before.

Thanks to "Sasha" from Greece for pointing me out Googlepages hosting - I've used their 100 MB free storage to upload large photos (linked to smaller pictures on the website above). Trip Itinerary is also stored at Google.

Hopefully everything will work. Let me know if it doesn't - I will try and and fix later.

Image

Paul
knight of the folding kayak realm
Posts: 362
Joined: Sat Apr 16, 2005 1:06 pm
Location: Spruce Head, Maine

Post by Paul »

Alex,

Sounds like it was a great trip. Was this your first solo expedition with the outriggers? Do you prefer using the trimaran to a paddling/downwind sail combo?

I had the same problem with one of my sponsons. LH replaced it for free. They had some problems with with sponsons from a particular mfr. I believe they're using different ones now. Since I still have one of the old ones in the kayak, I bring an extra sponson with me when I go on trips.

Paul
knight of the folding kayak realm
Posts: 362
Joined: Sat Apr 16, 2005 1:06 pm
Location: Spruce Head, Maine

Post by Paul »

Alex,

Sounds like it was a great trip. Was this your first solo expedition with the outriggers? Do you prefer using the trimaran to a paddling/downwind sail combo?

I had the same problem with one of my sponsons. LH replaced it for free. They had some problems with with sponsons from a particular mfr. I believe they're using different ones now. Since I still have one of the old ones in the kayak, I bring an extra sponson with me when I go on trips.

Alm

Post by Alm »

I think it was great. Baja is one of very few true wilderness areas with warm waters, that are relatively easily accessible from USA and Canada. Next time I will take a morning flight from Vancouver, board the long-distance bus in Tijuana the same day, and next morning will be already in BDLA or Mulege.

No, this wasn't my first multiday solo trip, but probably, - yes, this was the first one that could be called "expedition". If you press the button "Home", there is one easy trip in 2004 (and there was one in 2003). I believe, it was about 60 miles from Sta Rosalia to Mulege via San Marcos island. The shores were somewhat populated, but not too much.

Trimaran VS monohull downwind rig?... I don't know. With the trimaran it is a hard work in dead calm weather, much more confidence in heavy winds, and very relaxing in light and moderate winds. I had a mix of all 3 in proportion 30%/10%/60% may be. In winter (say, November - still warm enough) there would've been more moderate and heavy winds, and less calm days. The Sea of Cortez can be nastier than open ocean - more currents and winds are unpredictable with all those islands and mountains. With a roll-able boat like FC Kahuna (and skills) I might feel better in monohull with downwind sail. And the question is - which downwind rig could be considered roll-able or at least user-friendly in wet exit and self-recovery. Hardly Spirit or PA, and definitely not a jib or spinnaker. Spirit you will either lose when upside down, or it will become a scoop. PA will become a scoop (if not lowered before you capsize), and with jib/spinnaker you might have both a scoop and loss of the mast. I don't mind swimming in warm waters, but with the boat full of food, freshwater and expensive gear - not sure.

OTH, I felt a lot of control over my speed in Kahuna aft trimaran. May be this is the way to go. Almost normal paddling strokes with outrigger, and the paddling speed is faster than in MK1. But in Kahuna I can only make a 5-day trip, if I have to carry full supply of fresh water.
Image.

Another option could be getting some refurbished desalinator PUR35, and pumping one hour everyday (beginning from the 2nd or 3rd day), but using lighter and faster Kahuna, having more time to waste after covering the same daily mileage.

The sponson failure was in the red elbow - it cracked at the base. It has nothing to do with Longhaul workmanship (in case if anybody reading this would misinterpret). This is a standard elbow, identical to those on many-many floatation bags , and probably you're right - this supplier had some quality control issues. Ironically, this was a new sponson, bought from LH about a year ago, - I broke the original one while assembling the boat (tearing the elbow out of its base, when the hose got caught in the frame while inserting the stern half-frame). I think LH really should hide the elbows under the sleeves, like in Feathercraft. Then it would be less incidents caused by the hose caught or elbow twisted.

Paul
knight of the folding kayak realm
Posts: 362
Joined: Sat Apr 16, 2005 1:06 pm
Location: Spruce Head, Maine

Post by Paul »

Trimaran VS monohull downwind rig?... I don't know.
I was wondering if you prefer sailing your kayak to paddling it. By sailing I mean a rig that requires outriggers. By paddling I mean no outriggers but possibly a downwind sail. As you know, these are two totally different experiences. The outriggers do give more inherent stability but do limit you to mostly sailing, atleast in a single. I haven't used mine much yet, but am pretty sure I prefer the simplicity of paddling with some downwind action over trimaran sailing with some limited but difficult paddling. Perhaps as I become a more experienced sailor or use the outriggers on a double my view will change.

My sponson cracked in exactly the same spot. Contact LH and see what they can do.
Last edited by Paul on Thu Nov 23, 2006 5:01 am, edited 1 time in total.

Alm

Post by Alm »

Yes, Paul, I understood that your sponson failure was identical to mine. Just was clarifying in case if anybody else would read it.

>I was wondering if you prefer sailing your kayak to paddling it. By sailing I mean a rig that requires outriggers. By paddling I mean no outriggers but possibly a downwind sail.

Hard to tell, really... Would be fair to say that in expeditions I prefer sailing any kayak (i.e. in trimaran configuration) to paddling it for more than 2-3 hours (in monohull), - if there is enough wind to sail faster than 2 knots and the air is warm enough. I'm getting old and lazy :-) ... Paddling in calm water for more than 3 hours in row (even with short breaks), I would enjoy it more in something with less beam width than MK1. Paddling in rough waters, I would feel well in MK1, relying on its enormous primary stability, rather than on my non-existent rolling skills. As I understand, roll-ability is rather poor in all folders that can be considered expedition ones.

Paul
knight of the folding kayak realm
Posts: 362
Joined: Sat Apr 16, 2005 1:06 pm
Location: Spruce Head, Maine

Post by Paul »

Paddling in calm water for more than 3 hours in row (even with short breaks), I would enjoy it more in something with less beam width than MK1. Paddling in rough waters, I would feel well in MK1, relying on its enormous primary stability, rather than on my non-existent rolling skills. As I understand, roll-ability is rather poor in all folders that can be considered expedition ones.
And that's the trade-off...enormous stability of MK1 makes it feel more sluggish than many standard, narrower sea kayaks. Depending on how you see things, this is a positive or a negative. For now, I'm content with the trade-offs. I'm doubtful that even if I could roll a standard sea kayak that I'd be able to do so when it was fully loaded and under the conditions that would likely cause me to roll over in the first place. Thus, a kayak that is less likely to go over has a big advantage in my books. And I wonder how much of a speed penalty I'm really sacrificing by this wider beam. Perhaps when I get GPS savvy I will be able to better quantify this. I do wonder about the K1, though. It's 25" beam is probably as narrow as I'd ever need to go, and this may give that little extra speed and nimbleness that I desire....but how much less stable would it be?? I think it would be very interesting to see the stability curves and resistance figures on the MK1 and compare that to the K1. The MK1 being more versatile than the K1 is a factor as well.

Alm

Post by Alm »

>I'm doubtful that even if I could roll a standard sea kayak that I'd be able to do so when it was fully loaded and under the conditions that would likely cause me to roll over in the first place. Thus, a kayak that is less likely to go over has a big advantage in my books.

Same here - loaded high-volume expedition kayak will be difficult to roll under the conditions that would cause the roll. (Not to mention 25" wide foldable expedition kayak). The choice of narrow beam VS wide eventually depends on the area, type of the trip and prevailing conditions. In CASKE-2000 journals (K1) they mentioned another guy that joined them for part of the route in a narrow hardshell sea kayak. In rough weather the hardshell guy was lagging behind, as too much efforts were needed for bracing and corrective strokes. If I will ever try those regions of Baja in windy season in a monohull (may be I never will), I will bring a downwind sail along. It will be a huge help in light and moderate winds. You only need to make sure that it is lowered before it gets too scary. "Reef early", as the saying goes...

>I do wonder about the K1, though. It's 25" beam is probably as narrow as I'd ever need to go, and this may give that little extra speed and nimbleness that I desire....but how much less stable would it be?? I think it would be very interesting to see the stability curves and resistance figures on the MK1 and compare that to the K1. The MK1 being more versatile than the K1 is a factor as well.

I wonder if such numbers exist. You may ask at the Paddlewise - some people there love playing with calculations. But I doubt that there are published curves or calculations for MK1 - it is too new. K1 must be notably less stabile than MK1. And notably more stabile than 23"-24" sea kayaks, - even Kahuna is notably more stabile than 24" kayak. K1 is longer than Kahuna, so has more volume in the middle part. As to the versatility... Tony Niilus used to sail K1 with an aft Balogh rig. This rig allows almost normal paddling with outrigger. Slower than in a monohull K1, but faster than in MK1 with outrigger. I did the same with Kahuna, and sailing was less satisfying than in MK1, but on Kahuna the leeboard and rudder were from Folbot, both parts not good enough - leeboard much smaller than Balogh's, and rudder too wide.

PS: one of major differences between K1 and MK1 in long trips would be payload. I had about 380 lbs including fresh water, sail rig and me. 25-30 lbs sail rig should be counted in, at least partially, I think. I still could load a bit more, may be up to 450-480 lbs, before it would sit too low in water. (LH rates this boat at 600 lbs, but this would immerse it too deep - looks scary for sailing in choppy seas, though could be okay for calm waters).

K1's payload is specified as 375 lbs, which is a realistic number - it can't carry more than 380-400 lbs without sitting dangerously low in water - way less payload than MK1. Of course, there is a trade-off here too - large boat is heavier to handle when landing and launching.

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