Saturday, July 12, 2014

Review of WindPaddle Sail: PART I

For some reason I really want a small sail for kayaking. The one we got for the SE 330, the QuikSail, is not good (a review of it is on this blog and also on Searching the internet for other options, I came across the WindPaddle sail ( ), particularly, the Scout.

Here's the official description:

WindPaddle Scout Sail
The WindPaddle Scout sail has been re-tooled for this year (in the USA and will be debuting next year internationally). This is our "entry-level" sail intended for the solo kayak paddler. The Scout is the same size sail as our popular Adventure sail, offering a sail intended for 4-18 knot wind conditions.
Built for the casual or recreational paddler in mind, the “Scout” is the lightest, most affordable and easiest to use sail currently on the market.

For an entry level sail that will pull you quickly downwind yet easy enough for kids 8-80 to handle, the “Scout” is the sail to own.

 WindPaddle Scout sail

I called the company to see if they thought the sail would work on inflatable kayaks. The representative was easy to talk to and quite helpful. After the conversation I decided to give it a try. The sail was sent two day delivery, insured. Of course, this was July 3rd so the post office was closed Friday. It came Monday.

Now, if you watch this short video, you'll see that the sail folds into 3 rings for transport.

This is the YouTube link in case the clip doesn't show:

Okay, I'm challenged; I've only managed to get it to 3 rings once, two rings are easy, but then it's too big to fit into the provided strap. I'll have to work on this.

Come Tuesday morning, there's a light breeze and it looks promising to use the sail. I've attached 2 lines, right and left side, from bow to stern to attach the sail.

The water had some nice, albeit small, waves, indicative of a breeze, so out we go. I clipped the sail to the kayak and rested it on the front of the boat. It was not at all in my way. Paddled out a bit, felt a breeze, grabbed the cord at the top of the sail and pulled it up to deploy. The sail did puff open but I wasn't moving.

The breeze was just not strong enough. Every time it would kick up I'd deploy her again, then the wind would stop.

I'm still very optimistic about the WindPaddle. It weighs next to nothing, is easy to attach to the boat (not sure if I really needed to add the lines; the ropes on the boat might work just fine), deploys quickly, and, even if you can't get it folded down while on the water, it's not in the way.

Hopefully when I post Part II I'll be sharing more of a success story. I did find another video on folding the sail, so I'll practice a bit:

P.S. Making progress on the fold.

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