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PostPosted: Wed Jun 18, 2014 7:47 am 
Site Rank - Captain

Joined: Wed Jul 13, 2011 1:18 pm
Posts: 36
Has anyone considered supplementing the Sail kit with a cruising windpaddle ( Although it only works from a broad reach to running, the same can be said for Spinnakers. The "cruising" model is the larger of the two. The Sail Kit is not designed to be used above a certain level of wind (although with the furling kit one can always reduce sail). The cruising model of windpaddle is designed to handle much higher winds. From the literature on their site, it appears that no new holes would be necessary in the kayak and it de-powers by just letting go of the control lines. Thoughts anyone?


PostPosted: Wed Jun 18, 2014 8:58 am 
Site Admin

Joined: Tue May 27, 2003 12:44 pm
Posts: 11994
Location: Oceanside, California
You can furl the sail as noted for the same effect in higher winds. Same controls... release the sheet or furl to reduce sail power. Having both seems a bit redundant and the Hobie sail is far superior on all other headings.

Matt Miller
Director of Parts and Accessory Sales
Warranty and Technical Support
Hobie Cat USA

PostPosted: Thu Jun 19, 2014 1:15 am 
Site Rank - Old Salt

Joined: Sun Aug 12, 2007 5:17 pm
Posts: 670
Location: Auckland NZ
Hey John,

A couple of observations on your question as follows:

1. I have quite a lot of experience of adding more sail on my Adventure. I dunno if you have ever tried doing so but, in my experience, as you add more canvas so the strength of wind that you can handle reduces... very noticeably!! In other words, when you say that the windpaddle can handle much higher winds you leave me wondering why that would be particularly useful because you quite possibly wouldn't be able to cope with higher wind strengths with more sail up.

2. I am not sure how the windpaddle, which looks to me like a large golfing umbrella, depowers instantly but I'll take your word for it. So does the Hobie sail, by the way, if you use low friction blocks for your sheet lead.

3. I suspect that there are reasons why you don't see many full-sized yachts with sails like the windpaddle - lack of performance on all points of saiil springs to mind, as does difficulty in setting, stowing, reefing and generally managing the sail(s) on the water.

The Hobie kayaks might be small but they behave exactly like a conventional marconi-rigged yacht and personally I elected to try to copy the features of a large conventional yacht when I started experimenting with adding sail. I found it was quite easy to find a small off the shelf jib and dead cheap to provide the required rigging (forestay, running backstays, jib sheet and cleats) to enable the stock rig to support it. As I have said: the viable wind band with around twice the sail area aloft is a heck of a lot less than with just the standard mainsail but in the right light-wind conditions it transformed the sailing experience at the expense of a lot of additional complexity and much less ability to stand up to unexpected gusts. One real benefit of staying the mast is much better sail shape and performance, especially noticeable upwind. Downwind you can gull-wing the sails, pole them out etc etc which is great fun.

Each to their own but I suspect that you will make far fewer compromises with conventional sails than a down-wind only affair. But if downwind is what you are looking for, what about trying some sort of power-kite? I have seen people on kayaks being towed downwind very nicely with these and in really really light winds they have the advantage of being able to get right up into faster moving air.

Hope this helps.

PostPosted: Sun Feb 01, 2015 9:26 am 
Site Rank - Deck Hand

Joined: Sat Mar 26, 2011 9:23 am
Posts: 4
Funny because I just bought a wind paddle for my sea kayak and was wondering how well it would work on my AI. It can angle to 45 so I think it will work except that the sail will be a long way in front and hard to reach. Might have to rig a way to keep it up on its own. Looking forward to trying it out! For the price I think it is worth a try! I will post an update once I try it but it will be a few months since I live in Canada.

PostPosted: Sun Feb 01, 2015 12:31 pm 
Site Rank - Admiral

Joined: Sat Aug 09, 2014 12:49 pm
Posts: 267
Location: Bethany, OK
I have a WindPaddle Adventure sail and use it with my Outback. I don't have the Hobie sail kit, but based on my experience...

With the Hobie sail in place it would be impossible to stow the WindPaddle sail in the normal way. To work with a pedal drive boat, they sell a "shuttle kit" which is just a spreader bar that mounts to a Ram ball mount that goes in the sail mast hole and a couple lines that run back to the seat mounting padeyes. You clip the sail to the lines and let it unfold into shape, then push (or the wind drags) it forward past the pedal drives. With the Hobie mast in place you'd have to leave it in front of the mast - or actually climb forward and mount/unmount it up there.

I don't think you'd be able to unmount it while under way anyway (without modifications) since the sheet is a continuous loop tied to either side of the fiberglass batten and would thus be on either side of the Hobie sail. You'd have to untie one side or leave it looped around the Hobie sail when folded up. While under way, I imagine the downwind side of the Windpaddle sheet would also be in the way of the Hobie sail too, I don't think there'd be enough room under the Hobie sail for it.

Yes, it depowers instantly when you let go of the sheet - because the wind flips the top forward so it winds up laying flat on the kayak. That works fine for a standard kayak, but is a real problem on my Outback. Normally the sail is immediately in front of you at the front edge of the cockpit coaming, so there's plenty of kayak for the sail to lay on. With the Outback (and possibly other Hobies) the sail is much farther forward to be out of the way of the pedal drive. When the sail lays down flat there isn't enough kayak left forward. The top of the sail drops over the front of the kayak - and if I'm moving with any speed at all it almost immediately grabs water and becomes a highly effective drogue chute! It's also a real pain getting it back when this happens.

And finally, the reason the Windpaddle sail can handle so much higher winds is because it takes a lot of wind to get it to go anywhere in the first place. When I try using mine in lighter winds it just doesn't do much - a very light pedaling produces more speed. It will finally get my Outback to 4 MPH or so when the wind is up around 25 MPH! It does work on a broad reach, but the speed drops off dramatically the farther off wind I go. It's best straight downwind.

Not to disparage the WindPaddle sail, I quite like it and it's a very compact and convenient way to put a sail up on any of my kayaks on a windy day. I just don't see there being a feasible way to use it with the Hobie mainsail. By the time you've modded things to make it workable and safe, I think you might as well do a standard jib or spinnaker.

(In my opinion. I'm not a sailing expert by any stretch of the imagination. YMMV... :mrgreen: )

One more thought: Unless you mounted it well in front of the Hobie mast, I'd think you would lose a fair portion of its sail area? Since it's centered about the Hobie mast, half of it would be shadowed by the Hobie sail at pretty much any point of sail?

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