Monday, July 14, 2014

WindPaddle Sail review Part II

Somewhat cloudy but 'breezy' morning so we went to Lake St. George State Park. A review of the park will be forthcoming. I managed to clip the sail to the ropes that came with the SE 330 and then headed out to the center of the lake where the wind was strongest. Deployed the sail and ... damn, I'd attached it backwards. It's hard to tell when the sail is folded up which side should face front ... and it does make a difference. Went back to the landing and re-positioned the sail and headed back out. Damn ... the sail was too far forward, in front of the spray skirt hump and when the sail went down, it got caught on the nose of the kayak and ended up dragging in the water.

Okay, back to the landing. Managed to dodge a speed boat being launched, and corrected the position of the sail again. Along comes the breeze, I deploy the sail, and, yay, I'm moving under wind power! Probably got to maybe 5-6 mph under sail. It dropped on me a few times when the wind changed direction, but it was no big deal. Used the center tie to adjust the sail right or left and my paddle to steer.

See the white hump at the bottom of the sail? On the 330 you need to keep the bottom of the sail in the position shown. Otherwise, if the wind changes direction, it may collapse over the pointed bow and you'll have to go ashore to adjust it.
 Cruising on Lake St. George under sail!

 Hard to fold

Because there is no hard surface on inflatables, it is hard to fold the sail. Of course, for me it's hard to fold anyway. But it can take all kinds of shapes so short term storage is not a problem.

Here are some short clips sailing.

Deb is taking the videos and you can see that I'm pulling away under sail!


The WindPaddle is fun, lightweight, easy to pack, and appears to be durable. For inflatables you have to do some tweaking and I still haven't mastered packing it down into 3 rings. You need to remember that if you go a long way with the wind, you'll have to paddle back. If you want to play with your kayak and experiment with sailing, I'd recommend the WindPaddle.

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