Sunday, 27 September 2015

Another great day kayak sailing at Exmouth

Launching from Orcombe Point, it was a bit of a hard slog against wind and tide, but eventually I made it into the protection of the estuary. Here is a picture of the new mainsail, you can also see the oversize rudder which has been a great improvement for sailing performance.

Later on returning to the sea front the wind piped up which lead to some exciting sailing:

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Improvements on my Trimaran Kayak setup

Recently I have built a slightly larger rudder for my Scupper Pro for kayak sailing. The rudder is slightly balanced by having some of the area forward of the rudder pintle. This reduces significantly the pressure required on the foot peddles.

I have also recently added a new mainsail. I went out for a sail this weekend to test both the rudder and new sail and was very pleased with the results

I am having alot of fun with my trimaran setup for the Scupper Pro at the moment and have decided to carry out the following improvements over the coming winter:

  • Work out furler reefing system for main and mizzen
  • Build new improved amas with a little more buoyancy and longer akas
  • Rebuild my mizzen mast step as the original is showing signs of wear after 6 years
  • Renew the mizzen sail, 
Happy kayak sailing!

Sunday, 20 September 2015

Kayaking on the South Devon Coast

I have been doing a little more Kayaking with my good friend John Holden recently. We had a good trip on the water today:

Here is a pic of John on a training paddle. The headland behind is called Straight Point, and is best known as the location of one of the Royal Marines firing ranges. John informed me that he spent many a day on that range getting up to mischief when he was in the Marines!

Monday, 6 April 2015

A little more about my trimaran

I received a very nice email from someone asking a little about the skinny trimaran I am developing, so I thought I would give some more detail around my design goals and how the boat is put together.

Design Goals
  • Ultra narrow centre hull with a high beam / length ratio
  • Very light
  • To be able to fit everything except the hull in my car. This meant the max length of the amas and akas needed to be 8 feet and I would need collapsible masts.
  • Modest sail area, Ketch rigged to keep centre of effort fairly low
  • Intended to only be used in a sheltered estuary
  • To be able to sail in skinny water when necessary, so kick up foils needed, or perhaps skegs
  • In order to build a 20 foot trimaran in a 17 foot garage I would make one 16 foot section and a 4 foot section
  • Reasonable upwind performance
  • My goal was not to make really a high speed craft as this would mean going into a whole design spiral of bigger and stronger components. That being said I do hope to achieve reasonable performance for such a modest sail area.

The hull is made from 4mm ply on the sides and closed cell foam underneath sheathed in fibre glass. The idea of the foam was to enable me to develop the underside into a u shape to help reduce wetted surface. In hind sight this is a very time consuming process and probably for very little gain. If I were to do this again I would have a ply underside.
The four foot stern section
The amas are made using 4mm ply and a fairly standard stitch and glue technique. Although this gives a fairly nice shape and was easy to make, without another chine they will not have enough buoyancy when I start using the full 45 square feet of sail.

The akas I made from 8 strips of pine glued and held in a jig. It was not necessary to steam them and was quite a quick method of creating nicer amas than aluminium tube.

Results to date
Well, it certainly is a skinny trimaran! When I first went out I just shifted my weight and with a little stern rudder from my paddle I could steer.....just. I then made a quarter rudder which was not successful, too flimsy and 6 foot from the stern. One particular thing I was really pleased with was the absolute minimum of wake from the hull, as can be seen from the video I have already posted on this blog here

I also found it a bit fiddly bolting on the stern section and akas. This weekend I decided to try adding a shorter permanent stern making it 17 foot instead of 20 feet. This will fit in my garage and there will be no messing with bolting it together. I have also started building a foot controlled rudder which I am hoping will work much better. If the shorter stern section does not work out I may just permanently attach the longer stern but that would mean keeping the boat outside from that point.

Next to do
  • Complete rudder and stern section.
  • Lower amas and at the same time make a simpler connector rather than the current system of using bolts
  • Work out positioning of leeboard, or maybe just use skegs on the amas - I am undecided on this at the moment
  • Make a seat with sides so I don't fall off!
  • I realise that my initial design goal of getting everything except the hull in my car too limiting on the design. I have therefore decided that if this design proves promising I might make longer, more buoyant amas.
Happy sailing!

Monday, 30 March 2015

Trying out my kayak trimaran

I tried out the  new curved akas I have been making on my kayak trimaran today. The pictures show only one sail but I have another mast step behind the seat for a mizzen I hope to use once I have the rudder sorted out.

The akas worked well although using wing nuts to secure the akas and amas  takes more
time to setup than I would like and is a little too fiddly for my liking.

As I need to drop the height of the amas a few inches I might look at making a simpler connecter to save setup time. Here is a short video I managed to take today:

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Trying out a spinnaker on my kayak

I have finally uploaded a short video taken when I was trying out a spinnaker on my sailing kayak. This footage was shot off Teignmouth about a month ago.

Sunday, 15 March 2015

8 inch wide 20 foot long Trimaran

Since last autumn I have been working on the concept of a trimaran with a very high beam / length ratio. Like all my projects it is a bit of an experiment that doesn't follow usual design parameters.  I came up with a maximum beam of 8 inches on a 20 foot trimaran, giving a length beam ratio of 30/1. Due to the size of my garage I am having to build it in two sections.

Here  is a picture of the basic concept I came up with. I put a temporary polytarp sail and akas on just to test the buoyancy. I am hoping to get on the water for some proper testing in the next 6 weeks or so. Of course if the weekends are good for sailing it might take longer to get ready as I'll be out on the water with my kayak.

Happy Kayak Sailing!

Kayak Sailing in force 4-5 winds

Although it was a bit chilly I had a fantastic day out on the water with some fast sailing

Sunday, 15 February 2015

First Kayak sail of 2015

I tried out an asymmetric spinnaker setup today. Launching from Teignmouth:
The weather was lovely, and it was probably a good thing there was not too much wind. I soon worked out the best system of launching and dowsing the spinnaker. There was some predictable lee helm but nothing that prevented easy sailing.
I am of two minds whether to keep with this configuration or revert to my tried and tested ketch setup using a slightly smaller mizzen sail. Being able to deploy a spinnaker was fun but I can see things easily getting out of hand in gusty conditions.

I found I could successfully goose wing down wind, although more fun is to be had broad reaching. Using a reference point from land I found I could happily do a beam reach.
Taking all things into consideration I will probably revert to the ketch rig, it gives me a similar sail area but with the advantage of being able to use both sails on all points of sail, easier rigging and more importantly less running rigging to manage on a small kayak.
Next outing I'll try out a more powerful main and use my trusty yellow sail as the mizzen.

Happy Kayak Sailing!