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PostPosted: Mon Mar 30, 2015 8:33 am 
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That is a very nice looking sail!
Is it just me or is there a bit too much bend to the mast though?


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 03, 2015 2:51 am 
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It appears from their website that thay make a 3.5 m2 sail that fits the standard hobir kayak mast. If the mast sleeve is the same internal diameter as the stock Hobie kayak sail then a 25 mm mast does just fit, should you want a stiffer mast, although you'd still need to furl it in anything near 10knots in my opinion with such a thin mast. You'd need to use a diiferent lower mast sleeve/base from the standard Hobie one if fitting this to your Hobie Kayak, but from using my own 3m2 sail as well as the 5m2 Hobie AI sail on my Adventure hull I know it can easily handle a much bigger sail in light winds

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 08, 2015 9:14 am 
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Yes I am struggling badly with the existing Hobie sail. It is annoyingly wimpy in light winds on the adventure. Just underpowered in my opinion. There was some talk about a bigger sail from Hobie on one of the forums with Hobie stressing that they are first and foremost sailors by nature and that had prompted them to keep the daggerboard on the new Revolution 16 for example. The Adventure badly needs a bigger sail to give a little more speed. I too am looking at the 'Star' sail from Australia. The video does show more boat speed from the Outback which has a less Hydrodynamic hull. This and the increase in sail size from Hobie's 1.9 metres to 2.5 metres would be perfect. The larger 'Giant Star' sail might be a step too far in size. But I am also looking at adding a jib along with a foredeck by the mast to attach cam cleats and shrouds. Its a visual thing for me. A small jib would look pretty and add just under a metre of sail.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 08, 2015 1:21 pm 
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No larger sail is planned. They quickly become too much sail when the wind increases, so we decided on a smaller version. Not to mention the stress on the accessory mount. A larger sail may damage the boat more easily.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 08, 2015 2:08 pm 
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One of the problems in adding a sail to what for all intents and purposes are recreational, multi-purpose boats, is figuring out what size and type will provide the best all around performance under the widest range of conditions without getting people into trouble.

The same sail that would carry you along in low wind in a spirited manner would put you in the water when the wind comes up heavier. Unless, of course, you're willing to pay for a traveler, cunningham/downhaul controls, etc., etc., and then spend time learning how to use them. The boat would have to be beefed up as well.

Everybody wants to go faster, particularly when the wind is light. But doing so without incurring much greater expense and difficulty is an almost impossibly compromise.

I'd encourage everyone that wants bigger sails on the Hobie kayak line, including the AI and TI to go take a ride on an H16. Maybe that's what you really want, and if not, at least you'd get a taste of what larger sails can do both in lighter winds, and what they doubly do in stronger winds. If you've not sailed a boat with a large sail area, you will likely be in for a big and very wet surprise.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 08, 2015 4:10 pm 
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Tom, what if sidekicks or amas are employed, wouldn't the 2.5M^2 sail be manageable?


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 08, 2015 5:34 pm 
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Even then you're putting a tremendous amount of stress on the rest of the boat, primarily on the mast support structure and the aka attachment points.

Remember, this is a boat with an unstayed mast. The forces that occur are translated directly to the mast support and hull in that area.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 13, 2015 11:47 pm 
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I don't see an issue with adding a larger sail ...as long as it can be furled.

The standard Hobie sail is a good compromise between performance and reliability. It works well in around 10 knots of wind but becomes unmanageable if it is not furled at around 15 knots. The unstayed mast wobbles around all over the place.

i'm often out in around 20 knot winds and have it furled to the telltales, or the "H" in Hobie at around 25 knots. At these windspeeds with the sail furled the mast behaves the same as it does with all sail out at 10 knots or so.

So as long as you are not trying to get a performance gain in strong winds then having a larger sail to handle lighter winds makes sense.

In winds below 10 knots a larger sail would of course be better. That 3.5 sq/m sail should work fine as long as you are prepared to furl it so that the mast forces aren't excessive when the winds pick up.

I added the 90 sq/ft TI mast and sail to my AI. I was very careful to overlay the sails and mark where the AI sail area was on the TI sail. That way I could furl it so that I didn't over stress the V-Brace etc.
It made a big difference in lighter winds and worked well furled. I had no issues with parts damage.


I agree with what Tom said about sail design and I can see why Hobie won't bring out a larger sail. Too many people wouldn't be bothered furling it and the mast tube would be damaged.
But as long as you are careful and furl when necessary then a larger sail sail shouldn't be a problem ...but you will have to source it elsewhere.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 15, 2015 3:26 am 
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A couple of observations:

1. There is no point in criticizing the standard sail for being 'wimpy' - its power is totally dependent upon the amount of wind filling it and you could argue that it is in fact the wind that is being 'wimpy' not the sail. Either way though, you can't expect too much: these are tiny boats with a restricted wind range and I see very little point, let alone a market for a suit of carbon kevlar racing sails for them. What Hobie provides is an off the shelf middle-of-the-road sailing system designed for them that works pretty well for most people - and hats off to them for that I say! If you want more than that then there are many 'tweaking' options available to you.
2. Staying the stock Hobe mast works wonders on sail shape in stronger winds. The lightest spectra line is more than up to the task.
3. You can easily add a jib and again it is a great addition in light airs but you will need to stay the mast - my jib is a Topper sailboat jib of 1.8sqm - it is set 'flying' with a circular sheet and I use a system of running backstays to allow the main to tack.
4. If you add outriggers you run the risk of significantly increasing the stresses on the mast base because you prevent the boat from heeling to spill wind from the sail - this is an important facility on monohulled sailboats in that increased heeling means that less sail area is presented to the wind so the force of wind on the sail is reduced. Of course an unstayed mast will tend to bend when pressed which also spills wind - and the Hobe mast bends - but this comes at the expense of sail shape and sailing performance so it is not an ideal solution. And the sailor can spill wind by releasing the sheet or turning upwind. My personal preference in heavier winds is to stay the mast (though latterly I have taken to using a stiffer carbon fiber mast) to preserve sail shape but to sail as a monohull so that the boat will heel to spill wind if pressed - I have to be a bit faster in my reactions to gusts but so far so good. In lighter winds my solution is to rig my jib or, if I can't be bothered, to just put my feet up and ghost along.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2016 6:58 pm 
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I went ahead and purchased the Falcon kayak sail system that was mentioned in one of my earlier posts in this topic.

Because the Falcon sail has the same foot length as the standard Hobie kayak sail and the Falcon and Hobie masts are the same diameter, I was able to pretty neatly fit Falcon's carbon fibre boom to my Hobie Sport (2013 model), as shown in the following photo. (I still intend to also install the full Falcon sail system because I like the idea a very robust storm sail system that easily folds down to deck level when the going gets too rough.)

Image

The Falcon boom came with a clam cleat outhaul and two padeyes (I think that is what they are called) as guides for the mainsheet and for the boom vang control line. I added a third padeye towards the end of boom and two small blocks that were attached to the boom through the padeyes using Dyneema loops. This configuration enables the rigging of the mainsheet to a ratcheting main block (unfortunately obscured in the photograph) that is attached along the centre line of the cockpit, around an arm’s length and a half in front of the seated sailor. This is a much better arrangement in my opinion than attaching the main block to the side wall of the cockpit that seemed to be the only feasible approach with a boom-less sail.

A mini v-jam block was also added to the boom vang control line, rather than taking the Falcon approach of attaching a clam cleat to the hull, because I hate drilling holes in my ‘yak. If you look carefully at the base of the mast, you can see a 7/8” (22mm) stainless steel boat bimini top hinged jaw slide attached to the mast that provides the bottom ‘tying’ point for the boom vang.

How does the boomed Hobie kayak sail system perform? Beautifully! I thoroughly tested all points of sail yesterday (12 January 2016) in wind conditions that at one point averaged 19 knots and gusted to 25 knots according to the Bureau of Meteorology website. The diagram below shows the sail path of the kayak and a summary of wind conditions over the 85 minutes of sailing (no pedalling). It was sublimely easy to keep both telltales streaming backwards; I revelled in my ability to make those little suckers seemingly dance to the slightest adjustments of the main sheet. I didn’t feel the need to furl the sail and I don’t think I was ever particularly close to capsizing. Gone were the leeward telltale seemingly stuck permanently at the 10 past 12 position and the ludicrously inefficient taco shape of the sail downwind. There were also far fewer undignified scrambles for the high side of the boat because the kayak’s responses to wind gusts are now much more predictable.

Image

Maybe the same results can be achieved at a lower cost than I incurred. Perhaps Falcon will sell just the boom alone. But I will eventually make use of the complete Falcon sail system as a strong wind alternative. And I like pushing a little money the way of innovative companies like Falcon.

In summary, while the Hobie kayak sail works well enough straight out of the box, its performance can be improved markedly by adding a boom.


Last edited by Lead Belly on Sun Jan 17, 2016 9:50 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 15, 2016 2:41 am 
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daft wrote:
Is a downwind jibe more violent? Did you intentionally gear down the uptake/release of the mainsheet, and is that quickly responsive enough? Does the mainsheet or boom tend to snatch off your hat when coming about? tks


I don't remember any violent jibes. The sail path shows there were only three jibes in the whole session. I usually look to jibe in the dying stages of a wind gust, when apparent wind is least.

Here is my reasoning on the mainsheet arrangements; please correct me if I am wrong. I rejected sheeting straight down from the boom to the main block because I wanted to distribute forces across two padeyes on the boom, not just one. The only choices were then between (1) tied on at the stern, up to the rear boom block, on through the front boom block, then down to the ratchetting main block or (2) tied through the becket on the rear boom block, down to the block at the stern, back up through the rear boom block, on through the front boom block, then down to the main block. I chose arrangement (2) because it takes less effort to sheet in the main and makes high tech whirring sounds for longer. On a pretty gusty day, responsiveness was not an issue. I will certainly try out arrangement (1) sometime.

I don’t have to duck under the boom but the mainsheet can brush against the back of my head. When sailing, I wear a baseball hat with a headsock pulled over the top (to protect my ears and neck from the sun), rather than a broad brimmed hat, so my head is probably more likely to come off than the hat.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 01, 2016 1:15 pm 
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A gybe shouldn't be violent; you need to control the sail through the gybe - if you are not doing so you are risking a capsize and on a larger boat damage to the rigging. Fortunately controlling the sail through a gybe is easy on a Hobie sailing kayak. All you do is haul the sail in as you turn through the eye of the wind and then let it out rapidly as it falls to the other side - because of the small scale of the sails on these boats it really is just a single swift pull in/let out motion on the sheet whereas on a larger yacht you will probably need to haul in metres of rope (and a heavy sail and boom) to get the sail flat and then let out the same amount as the sail falls onto the other tack, which can be more time consuming and potentially more problematic as you coordinate with the timing of the turn.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 02, 2016 4:13 pm 
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I think Daft and Stobbo are pretty astute to hone in on jibing characteristics….

There is certainly the potential for more violent jibing because the boom has to swing through 180 degrees, whereas without a boom the sail that is taco-shaped on one side of the mast is simply re-folded taco-shaped on to the other side with a sort of s-shaped shimmy – I hope that sounds as funny as it looks. What had concerned me from the jibing point of view was whether adding the boom introduced the sort of unnerving roll behaviour that Laser and other sailing dinghies can exhibit going straight down wind in heavy weather. If you go into a jibe out of control it doesn’t usually end well. Fortunately, this was not the case: one of the strongest impressions of the whole sailing session was how beautifully stable the Sport was going down wind.

On another performance note, the plot of speed data collected using my Fitbit Surge suggests the Sport maintained speeds of around 8.2 kilometres per hour (kph) or 5.1 miles per hour (mph) on beam reaches for sustained periods of time. This is faster than the displacement hull speed of 7.7 kph (4.8 mph) implied by the Sport’s 2.97 metre (9’7”) length. I can sort of confirm the accuracy of the Fitbit data because I noticed what I thought was unusual behaviour of the bow wave at the time though I didn’t know then what it meant.

There is a highly readable little article on the topic of speed of displacement, semi displacement and planing hulls at this link http://potter-yachters.org/manyways/hullspeed/. The Hobie Sport, when powered by the standard Hobie sail with a boom, has the properties of a semi-displacement hull and was definitely not planing. If you are out on the water and you see a Sport begin to plane, it’s time to go in.

I have been itching to get out on the water again to do some more tests but unfortunately I sprained my elbow last week (falling backwards over a vacuum cleaner, not sailing). Lake Ginninderra is a good place to do speed tests because strong winds don’t mean big waves. But next time I will go to nearby Lake Burley Griffin because it is a larger lake that has more challenging waves when wind speeds get up.

I should add that my experimentation with a boom is not about speed – I leave the exhilaration of speed sailing to the windsurfers, kitesurfers and multihulls. Rather it is about enhancing enjoyment of the gentle art of kayak sailing.


Last edited by Lead Belly on Thu Feb 04, 2016 12:56 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 02, 2016 5:40 pm 
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The addition of a boom batten (in my case a section of fibreglass rod from a domestic window blind - cost $0.00) significantly reduces the rolling effect experienced when sailing downwind on a Hobie kayak with an unboomed sail.

The rolling is caused by the sail alternately filling and then collapsing - having the sail held out by the boom batten prevents the sail from collapsing and thus reduces the rolling.

A 'proper' boom would have the same effect but I am not convinced that a boom would improve much over a batten.

Like you I find it is not about speed but more about the gentle art of sailing a tiny craft with next to nothing between one's a** and the water 8)


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2016 10:35 pm 
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daft wrote:
Is a downwind jibe more violent?


A jibe in about 10 knots of wind... The boom comes over with a wooden click but that is not the sound of carbon fibre on head - there is no need for head ducking and the boom keeps the mainsheet nicely out of the way. Could have made the video shorter but I wanted to show how beautifully the Hobie Sport with boom goes down wind (as I previously reported with 15-25 knot winds).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OxJAYzuA5g8


Last edited by Lead Belly on Wed Aug 24, 2016 4:12 am, edited 1 time in total.

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