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Monday, August 06, 2007

Kayak

You know what it is time for? A photo post. Why the hell not. It is my blog and I can post whatever crap I want! Do not like it? Get your own blog. Then you can post whatever crap you want. See how that works? Pretty slick.

So I will start things off with my kayak. I have posted about it before. It is pretty cool. Here is what it looks like.


Here you can see it in action, so to speak. Only this is not my kayak. Apparently it belongs to some random chick. Chicks like kayaks it seems. Could this be why I bought the thing? Who knows. It is possible. But anyway, this kayak belongs to some random chick. Or maybe not. I stole this photo from the Hobie website. So maybe the kayak belongs to Hobie and they are just letting some random chick borrow it so they can photograph her using it so that people think chicks like kayaks so they buy one. You think? Now if you look closely, you can see she is not paddling the thing. The paddle is stowed off to the starboard side. That is the right side. She is working the foot pedals and using the rudder to steer. Oh yea and my kayak is yellow. Not red. I figured the yellow would be more visible and reduce the odds of my getting run over by some idiot in a Bayliner. NOTE - I do not know if that last link is a photo of an actual Bayliner or not.

The foot pedals are unique to Hobie kayaks. No other kayaks have them. Using the pedals I can get the boat to hull speed. This is about 5 mph or so. Much faster than I can paddle the thing. And I can keep up any given speed for a longer amount of time. The foot things are cool. Click the animated icon of the fins under the kayak to see how the foot pedal things work.


But that is not all! Oh no. Here is another photo of a kayak that is not mine, but is very similar. Remember mine is yellow not white.


A sail! Yes a sail. Now the dude in this photo does not have to row or pedal or anything. You just hang out and use the rudder to steer. The sail kit is a lot of fun, but in this photo the winds had to be light. Or directly behind the boat. Or the photographer was snapping photos like crazy. Because the kayak is tippy with the sail up. The kayak is...well a kayak. It has a narrow beam. That is what makes it a kayak and not a canoe. The sail tends to push the boat over in one direction. This is known as "heeling over". On a real sailboat this is not a big deal. On a kayak, it is. So you have to lean in the opposite direction or flip over. And when you tack (change directions because you can not sail in a straight line due to the direction the wind is blowing so you take a zig-zag path) you have to coordinate your leaning to match the forces on the sail, or else you flip.

Now of course I figured out what the kayak needs. Outriggers! But sadly there is no easy way to add outriggers to my kayak. The boat was not designed for them. So the sail kit is just something fun to use when I am in the kayak and the breeze is very gentle. Hobie makes an inflatable outrigger kit, but I do not know how well it will work. They are not very big.

So what Hobie needed to do was make the same kayak, with a larger sail, and include twin outriggers that are the length of the kayak itself. This will effectively make the beam much wider so the kayak will not be tippy. And the larger sail will make it go faster. So Hobie made this that I saw at the February boat show.


Now we are talking! This is a sailing kayak! By the way, this kayak is the same yellow as mine. Sadly. my kayak can not be upgraded to this model. I lack the metal inserts that have to be there to deal with the stress created by the outriggers. I can put an insert in the front, but not the back. There is no access hatch in the back. The kayak is made of plastic, not fiberglass. So I can not simply cut a hole, put in the inserts, and then re-glass it. The plastic would be tough to repair once cut.

As you can see, the wind is blowing harder here. One outrigger is totally out of the water. The weight of the outrigger is pulling the kayak in the opposite direction the wind is pushing it. And the other outrigger is in the water, pushing up in the opposite direction the wind is pushing the kayak over. The operator does not have to worry about leaning to compensate here. Just relax and let the wind do its thing.

The sail is self furling. Just pull a rope and the sail mast spins around, furling the sail up. Pull the rope in the other direction, and the sail is deployed. So if you have to move right into the wind and can not tack, furl up the sail and there is minimal wind resistance to paddle or pedal against. The outriggers also fold up against the hull. They are hinged. Excellent design. They really thought of everything. I jumped in the game one boat show too soon.

So I have to eventually sell the old kayak, which is in great shape, and buy this one. But I do not really want to sell the old one. I will have to see what I can work out. I will probably keep both, because I do not know how much I can get by selling the other kayak. It is not very old and is not used that much. It will be two years old in Feb 08. So is it worth selling? I do not know. I will have to see what the financial situation is for next year.

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7 Comments:

Blogger Jersey McJones said...

I want a motorized kayak!

JMJ

13:27  
Blogger Emma Sometimes said...

Doesn't that kind of pedaling push the kayak up and not forward? Does it make it lighter in the water, so it's easier to paddle?

I don't get it.

15:51  
Blogger Ba Doozie said...

You've been NAB'D!

16:34  
Blogger AP3 said...

I love kayaks. I would want yellow or orange (safety first!). The foot pedal thing sounds cool, and that sail is awesome! Never saw such a thing.

20:58  
Blogger The Lazy Iguana said...

JMJ - some crazy mofo made a jet drive kayak. It will go in excess of 30 mph. The engine is right under your ass so your ass gets warmed up. If the kayak is not moving, it sinks. You control it with the paddle to create drag on one side or the other. Wild.

Emma - the foot things move the kayak forward. Reverse with the foot things is impossible. They work a lot like fish fins, or penguin wings.

Doozie - NAB'D huh? You think I need more crap in my sidebar?

AP3 - The sail is great. The foot things are also cool. Hobie makes them.

22:19  
Blogger Cheesemeister said...

I would do better with foot power than arm power myself. My shoulders are wimpy in spite of the fact that they look like I'm wearing football pads.

06:32  
Blogger Fuzz said...

You looked better than I expected, until I realized you weren't you. Or something like that.
Don't the flippers get in the way in shallow water ? I like to poke around in the shallows. Sometimes I have to get out and push.

19:11  

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