SeaDog Commander kayak sail

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gnarlydog
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SeaDog Commander kayak sail

Post by gnarlydog » Tue Jun 16, 2015 2:18 pm

I have a new sail on my kayak: a SeaDog Commander.
I realize that SOT are well suited to take a sprit type sail as well: http://seadogsails.blogspot.com.au/2015 ... s-and.html
I like the new Commander better than my other similar sail because it allows me to see through at the bottom of the sail and is way more quiet.

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The sail seems to catch light breezes more efficiently as the sail has a great shape (the twin battens tension the fabric and keep the shape).

Image

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jbone
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Re: SeaDog Commander kayak sail

Post by jbone » Tue Jun 16, 2015 2:22 pm

looks good mate!

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dru
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Re: SeaDog Commander kayak sail

Post by dru » Tue Jun 16, 2015 4:16 pm

Gnarly, how does navigating with a sail go? Your SIK is a skeg design afterall.
cheers,
Dru.

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Re: SeaDog Commander kayak sail

Post by gnarlydog » Tue Jun 16, 2015 4:38 pm

Years ago when I mounted my first sail on a kayak without a rudder (skeg only) I had some fears that the whole system would be unmanageable but to my surprise it all worked out great.
The sail up front seems to exert just enough down pressure on the bow to equalize for lateral pressure from a beam wind.
As the bow is anchored a little bit more than the stern the force that wants to bring the bow downwind is counteracted by the firm-in-the-water bow and prevents drift there while allowing a bit more drift in the stern.
WOW, that sound like a rather complicated explanation but it's the best I can come up with to explain the fact that I notice no difference with sail or no sail, as far as direction goes.
If I want to sail with side-on wind (beam) I have a little bit of skeg deployed, if I need to go downwind I pull out the full skeg and if I want to turn up wind I bring it all inside the kayak (no skeg). The only thing I notice is some even later drift, a few degrees, that I correct for when heading in a given direction.
Of course things are much easier with a rudder.
On kayaks that are well balanced I can simply use the sail and forget the skeg, just use the paddle for change of direction.

One thing I do notice: a more stable ride WITH the sail up instead of down. In bumpy waters somehow the sail and speed seems to firm up my tippy kayaks. Go figure...
Last but not least: anybody considering sailing with kayak should be very careful. Once you try sailing there is no going back :-)
So far anybody that borrowed my kayak with a sail wants one, bad.
I have friends that have them now as far away as Sweden and Finland.
Last edited by gnarlydog on Tue Jun 16, 2015 5:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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mehi
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Re: SeaDog Commander kayak sail

Post by mehi » Tue Jun 16, 2015 5:27 pm

Nice. Looks like awesome fun
Number one thing guys Enjoy yourself at all costs

Cheers Dave

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Re: SeaDog Commander kayak sail

Post by Indiedog » Tue Jun 16, 2015 9:41 pm

So Gnarly, with the lower height vs width, do you find it any less efficient than previous designs where the boom is shorter compared to mast height? What's the details on cost and availability etc? And what's the total mast height?

Cracking photos btw. ;)
I caught a hairtail. Weird looking phucker.

http://www.arcoeco.com.au

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Re: SeaDog Commander kayak sail

Post by dru » Tue Jun 16, 2015 9:51 pm

Yep, the pics are super. I guess you need to be familiar with Moreton Bay to have an inkling of what it means sailing in a broad sea with decent white caps. The rainbow is gorgeous, but my fav is the disappearing sand bank with a gnarly (pun not intended) sky. Shows the missing rudder nicely too.

Mate your explanation of the yak balance under sail works for me.

What you do need though, is a lure. I'm thinking a hand line with 40-50lb nylon and big soft plastic. Hell that would be fun.
cheers,
Dru.

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Re: SeaDog Commander kayak sail

Post by Gbc » Wed Jun 17, 2015 8:12 am

Many displacement boats and long range trawler hulls use a steadying sail whilst underway. It provides little or no forward power, but keeps the boat heeling to one side and hardens it up on the chine to give a much more forgiving ride. This is what you are describing here - single force on the hull cancelling out a few others.
If we were talking about real sized sails, the cut of that one has the centre of effort low and wide which is not good. The leech will be loaded up like hell and unable to twist off in a gust - hence your 'quiet' comment. It won't be foiling. Lucky we are only talking about sails the size of pillow slips I suppose.
Kayak sail mounting being what it is, I think you'd see plenty of benefit from being able to trim the mast angle rather than keeping it vertical. Sweep the mast back a few degrees and the boat will want to head up. Cant it forward a bit and she'll want to head downwind. You could theoretically trim it for neutral helm at any heading, but you'd need the sail driving through the mast rather than the sheet rope which that one will be trying to do due to its cut. The creation of a dagger board would of course complicate things, but will increase your speed and efficiency upwind as well.
I hear you about being able to see. I borrowed a mate's v sail in the Noosa river once. Not so much fun when you can't see ahead. It's good to 'see' people trying to evolve bits of kit, it will end well I am sure.

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Re: SeaDog Commander kayak sail

Post by gnarlydog » Wed Jun 17, 2015 8:32 am

So Gnarly, with the lower height vs width, do you find it any less efficient than previous designs where the boom is shorter compared to mast height?
I don't.
I think it would be very hard to work that out as the sea/wind state is not a constant but so variable that I can not really say: Oh yeah, I feel the difference. I wish my body would be that attuned that I could take in consideration all the external variable factors (wind, tidal flow, waves, kayak) and determine that the Commander is more efficient. I think that such small variations in sail shape could hardly translate in a faster sail (if that is the goal), on a sea kayak. I am sure that theoretical calculations will probably tell me that is less efficient; I just can't feel that while using it.
It would be interesting to do a side-to-side comparison with two identical kayaks and same weight paddlers with different sails, but trimmed for perfect wind catch. Only then some conclusions could be drawn. However I feel that it's more important to have an easy rigged sail taking up less cockpit room than the finer points of efficiency of the lower aspect rig.

Of course not all sail are the same and one can feel a big difference from a sail like this
Image
What I do notice however that since the twin battens keep the shape of the sail (at no stage I see the Commander cloth "droop") I feel that it catches a light breeze better than a sail with a more loose cloth. The documentable substantial difference is the flapping of the leech (trailing edge of the sail) where I hear absolutely no noise. The Commander is silent like no other sail I have used. No flapping, no vibrations, no buzzing.
I like that.

What's the details on cost and availability etc?
Richard puts a bit more work in the Commander than in his other SeaDog sails but still charges the same $290 for it.
I think he is not making much money and I think he might increase the price on it soon to justify his efforts. A simpler sail from Flat Earth costs much more.

And what's the total mast height?
Total length of the Commander mast is 1460mm, as supplied by SeaDog
I use carbon fibre masts that are tuned (cut) to the exact length of my kayak deck. I like to have my sail not come too close to where I paddle and impede good paddling form. With the battens and boom of similar length I can have the sail further away from me and still reach it and bundle it tightly for when I stow it on deck and prevent waves filling it.

Image

I have written a bit more about the Commander here: http://gnarlydognews.blogspot.com.au/20 ... ander.html


.
Last edited by gnarlydog on Wed Jun 17, 2015 9:22 am, edited 2 times in total.

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gnarlydog
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Re: SeaDog Commander kayak sail

Post by gnarlydog » Wed Jun 17, 2015 9:01 am

I think you'd see plenty of benefit from being able to trim the mast angle rather than keeping it vertical. Sweep the mast back a few degrees and the boat will want to head up. Cant it forward a bit and she'll want to head downwind
Oh yes, like on a windsurfer. I remember that.
Well, a Flat Earth sail that was purchased in UK through Kari-Tek came with a mounting kit where the side stays were cleated and adjustable.
I believe one could theoretically adjust the mast from vertical by shortening or lengthening the side stays.
I envisioned a lot of futzing for too little gain and never bothered with those plastic weak cleats that let the rope slip; ended up with a simple knot to keep the stays from slipping and keep the mast vertical. I am sure that better hardware could keep the stays in place but somehow I find the adjustment of my skeg easier and faster to operate.

I borrowed a mate's v sail in the Noosa river once. Not so much fun when you can't see ahead
The V sail presents a total block of forward view since it goes all the way to the deck. Even my Flat Earth sail block a bit of view and I have to rubber neck to see ahead. The SeaDog sails with Clear-View bottom panel are however pretty good, and much better than my vinyl window in the other sail I have.

Image
The leech will be loaded up like hell and unable to twist off in a gust - hence your 'quiet' comment
Well, the noise has been described as "motoring".
I agree with the twist but has a lot to do with the accuracy of cut for the leech.
I modified a Flat Earth sail that was bugging me just too much: gave the leech a bit of a concave edge and added a little mini batten. Things suddenly went quiet. The twin battens on the Commander create shorter "spans" of leech that can create flapping.
The sail cloth is high tech and laminated to prevent stretching resulting in a very even and smooth sail shape, no puckering.
Side by side, the Commander and my other sails display very visible differences in the shape.
But thank you for bringing things into perspective: we are indeed dealing with sails the size of pillow slips :-)
A dagger board would increase upwind sailing efficiency tremendously but I am just NOT prepared to futz with such contraptions on my kayaks...

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Re: SeaDog Commander kayak sail

Post by Booza » Thu Jun 18, 2015 9:12 am

Hi there,
I found this site whilst trawling the web http://kayaksails.com.au
May be worth a look.

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Re: SeaDog Commander kayak sail

Post by gnarlydog » Thu Jun 18, 2015 2:26 pm

I love the idea of furling, but is the mast fixed?
Can it be lowered on stowed on deck if I am going through some rough waters (like surf)?
I could not find that out on their website...

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