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PostPosted: Mon Jun 09, 2008 1:08 pm 
I took my Kahuna out on Portalnd harbour which is a large expanse of flat water, with a mild offshore breeze F2-3, at the weekend. It was the first time I had paddled it on anything but inland water. AT first it weathercocked madly and was quite irritating. I edged but found it hard to keep sufficient edge to offset the up wind movement. I am 140lbs carried no extra gear. As i am quite short I had the seat well forward. After a stop I had udone the rear seat straps and forgot to do them up again, so found myself sitting further back. I also experimented a bit and found that if I leaned back against the coaming to one side and stuck my knee out sideways against the skin, it handled much better and with little effort. Not a good position for proper forward paddling technique perhpas, but for gentle cruising with a beam wind, far more relaxing and effective.

I would be interested to hear other views


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 09, 2008 8:26 pm 
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Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2005 12:34 pm
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One thing about Feathercrafts- they respond very well to leans by carving a turn. Shift your weight to the right, and it turns left, and vice versa.

When I first got my K-1, it drove me crazy as I thought it was weathercocking bizarrely. Once I paid attention to the position of the boat under me, I discovered that small weight shifts could be used to keep it tracking straight or make it carve a turn.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 10, 2008 2:37 am 
Note the keelsen alignment after you've expanded the frame and before inlfated the sponsons. It is sometimes shifted or arched sideways. I understand this happens not only in my Kahuna. Inflated sponsons correct this TAD, but I'm paranoid as far as flatwater tracking is concerned (unless I'm sailing it), and always try to achieve the keelsen position 1) strictly in the middle of the inside reinforcing strip, and 2) with as little arch as possible. Though, I suspect that with so much tension in the frame this arc, if it can't be seen from the above, i.e. is not to one or another side, - then it transforms into a rocker. But this is still better than arched to the side. Being lazy, I'm paddling Kahuna mostly with rudder down, trying not to steer it a lot - it just hangs down like a skeg.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 10, 2008 6:07 am 
knight of the folding kayak realm
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Location: Ireland
Funny, I've never found any weathercocking in the Kahuna under any conditions - at least nothing that was not easily corrected. My Khats is another story. Here are the conclusions I've come to based on my experience.

Assuming the frame alignment is right, weight is the key to weathercocking. While it feels like the nose is turning into the wind, it's actually the stern that is slipping downwind. Putting weight in the stern means that it is less at liberty to slip downwind. You can accomplish this with dead weight - I used water bags for a while - or with your own weight by leaning back. As you've noticed, that's not an ideal paddling posture, although I've found it works better with a Greenland paddle than a Euro paddle.

It's tempting to edge to correct the problem, but that can make things worse. It works best when I edge only on the sweep part of the upwind stroke. Getting a really good sweep stroke is also important. With a poor sweep you end up doing a sweep on every stroke, and this quickly becomes tiring. With a good sweep you only need to do it occasionally. You need to concentrate on the timing of the edging. You need to really think about pushing the water under the stern with the last part of the stroke. And you need to take the paddle out promptly at the end of the stroke - a dragging paddle will turn you back upwind.

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Nohoval

2003 - Feathercraft Kahuna
2004 - Klepper Alu-lite (guest boat)
2005 - Feathercraft Khatsalano


Last edited by nohoval_turrets on Tue Jun 10, 2008 10:35 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 10, 2008 8:14 am 
lord high faltbotmeister
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Location: Stone Mountain, Ga. U.S.A.
I had some trouble with this this past weekend. I concluded it was one or both of two problems. I was fully loaded with gear and believe the weight was not balanced well ( which is hard to balance anyhow since you are dealing with odd sized ( and weighted ) dry bags. Second, I have had a similar problem as Alex with the stern end keel shifting slightly when put together. Since there wasn't much wind, one of these must have been it, Everytime I rest the paddle, I would drift to the left. I also found myself adding strokes on the left to compensate. Finally, at one point, I dropped the rudder to let my feet fight it.

Chris

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Wilderness Systems Cape Horn 150


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 10, 2008 10:29 am 
knight of the folding kayak realm

Joined: Wed Apr 20, 2005 1:26 am
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Location: Republic of V.I.
I do not use Kahuna for paddling, but K-I. I too, have a very noticeable weather helm, empty or loaded. Sweeping stroke works, but I still swing my nose left and right and have hard time keeping close to my partner for conversation. Rudder is the answer. It really adds directional stability. I always paddle my K-I with the rudder engaged. I feel that that kayak was designed with the rudder as an integral part of the whole system.

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Klondike, Nimbus Telkwa


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 10, 2008 10:33 am 
I had thes same "issue" when paddling with my otherwise empty Kahuna and found out, that the problem was me being too light :D.
If I put some weight (cart, water bottle etc.) behind my seat into the stern the weathercocking lessens/stops, so that is my personal solution.
Btw. a friend told me that (at least a bit) of weathercocking (bow turns into the wind) is in fact a desired feature in a kajak...

Alex


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 10, 2008 11:16 am 
lord high faltbotmeister

Joined: Fri Apr 15, 2005 8:44 am
Posts: 553
Location: Colorado
I found that my three FC's ( Kahuna / K-Light) all weathercocked a bit. My conclusion was that the coaming's were simply too far forward. I recall an explanation given by FC that on the Khats they did this on purpose, by assuming that paddlers when touring would be rear loading their boats, and that in turn would correct the situation. A weak excuse at best in my
opinion.

Weathercocking is caused when the back of the boat is blown away from the wind, leaving the bow to serve as the pivot
point. Most weathercocking can be corrected by simply sitting farther aft...though that isn't so simple when the coaming
back is several inches forward of where it should be. Rear loading can help, as can a rudder , but a rudder , or even a skeg
being needed to correct weathercocking is a "Red Flag" masking the real problem.

On my boats, when I went with the common wisdom that the paddler's back should be 10 - 12 inches aft of the
LCB ( center of balance) I encountered weathercocking. I continued to move back and inch at a time over the
years, until I arrived at a coaming back that was 18" aft of the LCB on adult size boats. I've also found that the
more flexible the kayak, the less it tends to weathercock relative to paddler sitting position.

You can always move forward if the coaming is too far aft, but you can never move aft if the coaming is too far forward.

And as Forrest Gump once said... "That's all I have to say about that " :)

Regards,

Tom


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 10, 2008 4:15 pm 
lord high faltbotmeister
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Joined: Sat Mar 24, 2007 6:30 pm
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Location: Stone Mountain, Ga. U.S.A.
kahunafan wrote:
I had thes same "issue" when paddling with my otherwise empty Kahuna and found out, that the problem was me being too light :D.
If I put some weight (cart, water bottle etc.) behind my seat into the stern the weathercocking lessens/stops, so that is my personal solution.
Btw. a friend told me that (at least a bit) of weathercocking (bow turns into the wind) is in fact a desired feature in a kajak...

Alex


Alex, I wish I could use the excuse of being 'too light' for my kayak, but.......
As Tom Yost put it: "Weathercocking is caused when the back of the boat is blown away from the wind, leaving the bow to serve as the pivot point."

But that does not answer my problem of paddling in a dead calm and having to adjust my stroke slightly, loaded or empty.

I am convinced that a slight twist in the boat will cause this, a slight breeze will do it and posture will do it as well. Now, I think I can ad the importance of packing a kayak and weight distribution as well to the list.

Chris

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"No matter where you go, there you are."

Wilderness Systems Cape Horn 150


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 11, 2008 12:20 am 
Quote:
"Weathercocking is caused when the back of the boat is blown away from the wind, leaving the bow to serve as the pivot point."

But that does not answer my problem of paddling in a dead calm and having to adjust my stroke slightly, loaded or empty.

I am convinced that a slight twist in the boat will cause this, a slight breeze will do it and posture will do it as well. Now, I think I can ad the importance of packing a kayak and weight distribution as well to the list.

These are 2 different things - tracking without any wind and weathercocking, and I apologise for introducing the tracking into discussion. But these 2 things often work at the same time, and can be confused with one another.
Re: tracking. Yes, weight distribution can be another culprit - but only when the symmetry is disturbed laterally, i.e. one side is heavier than another (and then shifting the body to one side must help).

As Tom noted, FC cockpit placed too far forward can't be correced when there is no gear in the boat - but Khats is more an expedition boat than a day paddle boat. I wouldn't imagine somebody assembling Khats or K1 for a day paddle (if K1 has the cockpit placed too far forward as well). Greg is using K1 as a day paddle boat, but this isn't a typical or intended use of K1.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2008 1:41 pm 
Thanks for all the very interesting replies. It is good to know that it wasn't my imagination that sitting further back helped. Next time I will take some water bottles to put behind the seat. I will probably buy the strap on skeg some time too.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 07, 2010 11:36 am 
Just thought I'd dredge up this long-dead thread with my recent experience. I've had a Big Kahuna for a little over a year, and have always had pretty serious weathercocking issues. I tried putting more weight in the rear but it didn't help much. In even gentle breezes, I would be pointed upwind within seconds if I stopped paddling. Travelling on a beam reach pretty much meant I'd be paddling on the upwind side only, or 2 strokes upwind - 1 stroke downwind. I finally ordered the Feathercraft strap-on skeg and have taken the boat out for a couple paddles in significant winds of 15-25 mph. From what I've seen so far, the skeg has absolutely solved the weathercocking problems. I'm now able to stop paddling for a minute to look through my binos without the boat turning completely off course, and it's much easier to hold course in the wind. My paddling technique is admittedly pretty amateur, but I thought this info might be of help to anyone else dealing with the same issue. For what it's worth, I'm about 6' 1" and weigh around 210 lbs.


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