Sailing today

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FrankP

Sailing today

Post by FrankP »

My wife and went out this afternoon on a beautiful 2 mile long 1 mile wide lake 30 min from our house. We are blessed with over 2 dozen lakes plus Lake Michigan. The wind was from the WSW at over 10 MPH building to 14 MPH later in the afternoon. Our rig is the LH MK 2 and the Kayaksailor 1.6 M with Genoa. We had a great time and this was our first experience with better wind. 5th time out in the MK 2 & 3 rd time with the KS.

One question: it seemed that when we tacked on a close haul to port we did not have as much speed as the starboard tack and it was harder to use the rudder to keep our bow into the wind. Is that weather helm? On the starboard tack we had more speed and the bow stayed closer into the wind without as much rudder from me.

We had 1-1.5 inch swells that were so much fun to go through. The MK 2 seems to blow through them easily.

I love the MK 2 and the combination with the KS sail. It adds such a neat dimension to the fun of gettin out on the water and into nature. It still takes me 1 hr 5 min to set it up with the KS but the times are dropping somewhat.

Do most of you that sail out in the middle of lakes provided there is not much boat traffic or do you try to stay close to shore? The lake we like so much is pretty big and the boat traffic is light because unless you live on the lake the only boat dock is 3/4 mile up a shallow river that winds out into the lake. Bigger boats can't get in easily. When we got on the lake there were about 8 small sailboats (each had sails twice or maybe 3 times the size as ours) on a run downwind we kept up with one of the sailboats pretty well.

This leads me to one more question: When I put in hard rudder to tack or gyibe the bow responds but not as quick as I would like. We lose speed in a tack and I many times had to paddle us through the tack. What am I doing wrong in the turn? The sailboat turned on a dime. Perhaps just learning with an unreefed sail it may be goon not to make a sudden gyibe.

Input please! I will try to put up a link of a video tomorrow.

DLee
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Re: Sailing today

Post by DLee »

Hi Frank, glad to see you're having fun with that new boat. Yay!

All things being equally balanced, you should have equal speed for both tacks with equal opposing angles to the wind while maintaining the same sail set. Right? So, maybe your estimate of the winds direction wasn't exactly right on and you were actually angling more windward on your port tack than you were on the starboard tack. That's the only thing I can think of... unless you guys are more comfortable leaning the boat to port while on the starboard tack thus creating less weather helm.

Weather helm is when the boat wants to naturally turn into the wind. Just like you lean the boat to help in a turn, the lean of the boat while sailing will want to turn the boat into the wind. So the less lean you have, the less of that turning moment pushes the hull to windward, and the less you have to counter steer the rudder to maintain course. The counter steer of course causes even more drag.

Theoretically easing the main out a bit and maybe even reefing will cause less weather helm and might even increase speed. I don't know if reefing the KS would help in this situation... I tend to doubt it. Although I must say that I have been more than frustrated on occasion trying to make windward progress with a stiff wind and the KS. Next time I might try reefing and see what happens.

Coming about isn't always easy with the KS either. It almost seems that I've had better luck making more of a smooth rounded turn rather than the quick sharp angle tack we'd all love to do. One thing that will help bring the bow around is leaving the jib set on the previous tack until the bow has completely turned. For example: you are on a port tack and want to come about to starboard. Build up as much speed as you can and then bring her around in a nice smooth arc until you hit the 'irons' and momentum has to do it's thing. Sometimes I paddle the rudder back and forth at this point putting a little more emphasis on the direction I want to go, in this case it would be starboard - use that rudder like a flipper back there. The main will still be waiting to catch the wind; but the jib, still set to port, will hopefully form a bit of a cup, catching the wind rather than passing it through like an airfoil - this cup full of wind will hopefully be enough to push that bow around enough for the main to catch and you're on your way. Now reset the jib. Does that make any sense?

Those sailboats are just better balanced for sailing than we are - they'll just pivot on that center keel, center of effort, and take off. Think about how much boat we have behind our KS lee boards and how much of a turn that little rudder needs to push around... not surprising coming about is a little tougher for us. When conditions aren't great for coming about I tend to jibe more often. If you have a good hold on the main sheet you can pull it in then quickly let it back out quite comfortably without the boom flying, jarring the rig and boat. I wouldn't be surprised if it's even faster to jibe sometimes than it is to battle through a lackadaisical attempt to come-about.

That's my seat of the pants interpretation. Looking forward to hear thoughts from the other sailors out there.

d
Klepper Aerius II
Klepper T9
Long Haul MK1 Expedition 'light'
Klepper S4 sail rig
Kayaksailor 1.6 +genoa
BSD 36HP

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gbellware
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Re: Sailing today

Post by gbellware »

Glad to have another kayak sailer on board, sounds like you had a great day. Dennis has great advice on all points. Just to pile on...leave jib set until you come about, it helps with forward progress which is necessary to allow rudder to act; it is much easier to jibe as long as you keep everything smooth; weather helm is pronounced in kayak sailing because of the shape of the hull, lack of keel board, pronounced heeling and yes, sometimes you can sail faster with reefed main (leave jib flying) because it allows less rudder (and, therefore, less drag). These boats were not designed to sail, it is a wonder they do as well as they do and it is a blast learning new ways to enjoy their versatility.

Best,
Greg
"There is nothing--absolutely nothing--half so much worth doing as simply messing around in boats"

Kleppers, A1 Expedition and carbon Quattro
Easy Riders, 18.6 and 17
Lots of BSD sails
Torqeedo outboard
1938 Sachs-Fichtel seitenbordmotor

FrankP

Re: Sailing today

Post by FrankP »

I put a video on Youtube today and I know it may be nearly 6 minutes you'll never get back but it's placed for for you to help us learn more about kayak sailing. It's not riveting but it was surly a beautiful day.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CV7t68wXPXQ

Any suggestions or tips are very welcome.

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gbellware
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Re: Sailing today

Post by gbellware »

Thanks. Thanks for nothing. Here I am inside working and I have to look at your @%&$ video showing me where I would much rather be!
Nice lake, you are really going to have some fun when the wind gets big.
You also might want to play with the lee board angle. The windward board won't accomplish much, if anything, but the lee side board can be really helpful in steering by helping to balance the crazy forces that cause you to slip and weather helm.

Have fun, wish I was there!

Greg
"There is nothing--absolutely nothing--half so much worth doing as simply messing around in boats"

Kleppers, A1 Expedition and carbon Quattro
Easy Riders, 18.6 and 17
Lots of BSD sails
Torqeedo outboard
1938 Sachs-Fichtel seitenbordmotor

FrankP

Re: Sailing today

Post by FrankP »

Greg are you saying that we should bring up the leeboard that is on the windward side (side the wind is coming from right and leave the other one in the water? I would like to know if that is true why? It would seem if both leeboards are in the water that would help. Please explain. I'm just a beginner at this.

From experience do you think the leeboard angle should be straight down with the Genoa or set different?

Because the sail was luffing slightly does it look like we were a tiny bit too close to the wind? I noticed too that my wife did not keep the Genoa on the port side as we tacked to starboard to help pull us around. We'll work on that next time.

Greg I wish the weather here would be better for kayaking but it has only improved somewhat in the last week. I can't wait to get the MK 2 out on Lake Superior at Pictured Rocks National Seashore. My guess is they won't let us use the sail with the group but the views are spectacular. If the weather is right we will have several days up there to explore. I would love to if the wind was right to circumnavigate Grand Island using the KS off Munising on the upper peninsula of Michigan but that's a tall order in one day.

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gbellware
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Re: Sailing today

Post by gbellware »

I so envy your trip to the Painted Rocks, that is probably one of the most most remarkable paddles/sails in the world.

Not sure if the luff was angle to wind or hauling of sail. Might have had a shorter sheet on the main, hard to tell from the video. No matter, it was a great tack!

As for leeboards, this gets tricky and you will have to figure it out for yourselves as you get a feel for your kayak and rig. The windward board is mostly irrelevant, whether you position it in or out of the water. The leeward board is completely different. Using the control arm you can position the board fore and aft with great effect on the kayak under sail. The center of effort of the sail, combined with the bite of the leeboard, has a bearing on the willingness of the kayak to weather helm or lee helm. You can actually maintain a neutral rudder (and much less drag) with proper orientation of the leeboard. Both Dennis and another sailor from Scandinavia who is very experienced with this might have perspective, I hope they might comment.

g
"There is nothing--absolutely nothing--half so much worth doing as simply messing around in boats"

Kleppers, A1 Expedition and carbon Quattro
Easy Riders, 18.6 and 17
Lots of BSD sails
Torqeedo outboard
1938 Sachs-Fichtel seitenbordmotor

DLee
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Re: Sailing today

Post by DLee »

Hey Frank, that's a neat video. Did you go out and buy yourself a GoPro for sailing? I want one. Contour/GoPro... tough choice.

I think Greg pretty much nailed the description of the lee boards use. There's a lot of information on this subject in canoe sailing sites. A lot of canoe sailors don't even have a rudder. They use the set of the sail in conjunction with the position of the lee board to set a tack and then just cruise. Heading into or out of the wind can generally be accomplished with a little adjustment of the lee board and shifting the weight of the pilot. For coming about they generally use a few strokes of the paddle to help get them around.

I went to the Wooden Heritage Canoe Association's annual meeting last year in the Adirondacks and it was a blast. I plan on going again this year with my son and two sailing folding boats. There are a lot of canoe sailors there and the event takes place right on a beautiful lake. In general the lee boards these guys use are considerably bigger than what we have on the Kayaksailor. Same design with an airfoil shape but longer and wider, sometimes a lot wider, like a teardrop almost, and usually just one. I'll have to pay closer attention this year. Check online though.

John Allsop has been spending some time perfecting a bigger lee board for the KS. He should chime in here... I hope he's finally out sailing.

I see the lee board as kind of the pivot point in the water for everything that's going on above it. In a perfectly balanced rig (I think) the lee board would sit just below the center of effort (CEO) of the sail. On an even keel with the lee board straight down the boat would theoretically track perfectly straight. Nudging the lee board forward would move the pivot point in the same direction allowing the sails CEO to push the stern around the pivot pointing the nose into the wind. Pulling the lee board back would do the reverse allowing the sail to push the nose of the boat downwind. With that simple description you can see how sailors could adjust their angle of attack on the wind and probably hold a steady course.

The problem is that every boat has a ton of variables right? On the KS, the first thing we notice is that the lee boards and the sail are already way forward on the boat, plus they are small and with the peaky bow deck, not too much of the board is actually in the water. Weight distribution in the boat will make a difference. The canoe guys shift their weight forward and aft while sailing.

The hull can make a difference as well. Remember talking about weather helm? My Ute almost has a negative rocker, it doesn't turn on a dime. I could sail the KS all day in that boat with just the lee boards and the occasional paddle stroke for steerage. No rudder. A lot of fun too. Then I tried sailing the T9, which has a lot of rocker, and I gave up thoroughly frustrated after about twenty minutes. I couldn't make the thing go straight for more than ten feet! And it didn't turn a little, it turned a lot! The lee boards were almost totally ineffective on that boat until I added the rudder.

So, experiment. You've got a big boat with two people on board... my guess is you won't see a lot of affect from these small lee boards. I used the Klepper lee boards with the KS once and it seemed a really good fit. I didn't have a lot of wind but something felt right about it. I'm definitely going to try it again. If you find a set of used Klepper lee boards grab them and give it a go. Or, like both John and I have done, build your own larger lee board for the KS. Mine came out wimpy as a sheet of balsa so I haven't even tried it yet. Maybe I'd start with a one inch board next time.

Not sure if that helped at all. But that's how I perceive and try to use the lee board.

d
Klepper Aerius II
Klepper T9
Long Haul MK1 Expedition 'light'
Klepper S4 sail rig
Kayaksailor 1.6 +genoa
BSD 36HP

DLee
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Re: Sailing today

Post by DLee »

I was just reading about leeboards on the wooden boat forum and one guy mentioned that the area of a leeboard should be about 4% of the area of the sail. So I figured out what that area would be for the KS and it comes out to about 640 sq. centimeters or 99.2 sq. inches. I rounded that to 100 sq. in. and come up with a 4" X 25" leeboard for the Kayaksailor which is probably about the size that it actually is. On my Klepper though, probably only half of that is in the water, 50 sq. in. - interesting to think about. I'll have to do some measuring if the rain ever stops out there. With the low profile Pakboats that David and Patti sail much more of that leeboard is in the water, at least 75% I'd guess.

There was also a bit of talk about the airfoil design which John and I have discussed before, one side curved and the other relatively flat. The curved side is mounted inward toward the hull. The flimsy whimsy I made is about the right size to put 50 sq. inches in the water. I might have to try it out after all. If it bends enough under the hull maybe I'll hydroplane! ha.

d
Klepper Aerius II
Klepper T9
Long Haul MK1 Expedition 'light'
Klepper S4 sail rig
Kayaksailor 1.6 +genoa
BSD 36HP

FrankP

Re: Sailing today

Post by FrankP »

Dennis I did buy a GoPro Hero 3 Black. It is fun to use although is has a learning curve. The software that comes with it is poor at best. I downloaded a free program online and it is better but limited. I plan to buy a good editor soon. Any suggestions?

I will have my wife play with the leeboards tomorrow and report our findings. She is taking me out on Fathers Day after the grand kids go home after spending the night today. Somewhere I thought I read that Dave from Kuvia said the leeboards should be straight down when the Genoa is in use so I have never tried anything else.

I wonder if you could make a leeboard extension for the KS. It's too bad Dave couldn't design a longer leeboard as an option. They have 2 sizes of sails after all and most kayaks don't get to use as much of the leeboards at they could. Dave if you're reading this can you chime in on this possibility? I asked Dave and Patti if they could design a cross bar that has a double bend to go around the peek of the deck and dip much lower to the water. That would put more leeboard in the water too but he said they couldn't because all kayaks don't have the same peeked deck. Too many options I guess.

Thanks for your answers so far. It is fun to learn a new sport.

DLee
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Re: Sailing today

Post by DLee »

It is fun to learn a new sport.
and the learning just never ends with sailing - probably boating in general... I'm obsessed.

I've been debating for a while about the GoPro... having a hard time pulling the trigger though. I wish it had just a little bit of zoom from wide. A 'normal' angle would be fine with me. But for sailing the ultra wide, like your video, looks great.

There's a PC based editing suite who's name I can't remember... begins with a P I think. Don't bother with Final Cut Pro unless you need another career. Final Cut Express might be Ok, not sure, I spent a few years with big brother and now I don't remember a single key stroke for FCP. iMovie or the PC equivalent are probably just fine. I love to shoot video but really don't care for the editing. I spend too much time editing stills as it is.

Maybe DoiNomazi will chime in. They've produced and edited some pretty fine video. Excellent shooting as well.

d
Klepper Aerius II
Klepper T9
Long Haul MK1 Expedition 'light'
Klepper S4 sail rig
Kayaksailor 1.6 +genoa
BSD 36HP

FrankP

Re: Sailing today

Post by FrankP »

Dennis and all, I tried having my wife move the leeboards forward and back to great effect. I was able to use less rudder input so less drag. Great tip you guys. We went on Sunday for over 4 hours in light wind so we didn't get going very fast. I think unaided we only got 3.4 MPH but we could easily do a close haul at 2.4 MPH. We had a great time on Fathers Day. I would like to have a video editing program that does not have such a high learning curve as I don't plan on doing this for profit. Any other suggestions are cheerfully and gratefully accepted.

Thanks again for the leeward leeboard tips guys.

FrankP

Re: Sailing today

Post by FrankP »

Dennis I bought the GoPro Hero 3 Black for mainly one reason, well 3 reasons, 1. My daughter has my waterproof Olympus camera and that's become her only camera except the cell phone & 2. I had over $100 in rebates from REI membership & 3. they had it 25% off for their anniversary sale in May so I got it for about $100. Not too bad. I need a spare battery and a bigger memory card or two for our trip and I'll be set. I have several small attachment pieces too. I will use another camera or my cell for more pictures too.

I had the GoPro on my head for nearly 4 hours Sunday and didn't know it was there it is so light. I have always preferred the wide angle rather than zoom so I'm set. There are things you can do with software to zoom & crop but I think quality suffers a bit. When you start out with 12 Megapixels you can blow things up somewhat.

DLee
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Re: Sailing today

Post by DLee »

That's a great deal Frank, I'm surprised I missed that sale... May was a busy month for me but I would have run town to REI to save $100!

I think I'll go for the black edition as well next sale or rebate that comes along.

So were you able to come about a little easier with the leeboards as well?

Have you tried iMovie yet? Pretty simple program.

d
Klepper Aerius II
Klepper T9
Long Haul MK1 Expedition 'light'
Klepper S4 sail rig
Kayaksailor 1.6 +genoa
BSD 36HP

FrankP

Re: Sailing today

Post by FrankP »

Dennis what I noticed most was with the leeward, leeboard forward in a close haul I didn't have to use the rudder as much and when they were rear of center we could back off if we were getting to high into the wind without using the rudder. It was fun to experience the change in performance. Thanks to you and gbellware for the advice.

It still seems like we "come about" like a battleship but I understand the limitations of the design of a 17.5 ft kayak with a sail that close to the bow. I did see a video of several BSD equipped kayaks including one with 3 sails and they turned sharply. So we will keep trying and keep having lots of great fun.

BTW, I just saw an email from REI last week and I am pretty sure the GoPro was in it. I forget what the sale was and I deleted it so I can't check it for you. Sorry but call them.

As far as kayak sailing goes, it just may be the most fun you can have out of bed but it lasts longer.

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