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 Post subject: Golf umbrella as a sail
PostPosted: July 28th, 2019, 6:17 pm 
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Joined: October 19th, 2013, 6:30 am
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I seek to use a strong golf umbrella as a sail.The down side is having a 1.5 lb extra weight.Can anyone think of any other uses for around camp to help justify the extra weight?


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PostPosted: July 29th, 2019, 11:04 am 
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Shade and um, protection from rain. Could also be used for self defense if someone else attacks you with an umbrella.


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PostPosted: July 29th, 2019, 1:07 pm 
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Just buy a canoe sail - they have come down in price a lot in the last year or so and you should be able to find one well under 100 bucks


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PostPosted: July 30th, 2019, 1:34 pm 
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D.B Cooper wrote:
I seek to use a strong golf umbrella as a sail.The down side is having a 1.5 lb extra weight.Can anyone think of any other uses for around camp to help justify the extra weight?


Oh gawd, downwind sailing, a well loved way to travel that is dear too my heart.

We used golf unbrelllas to downwind sail in tandem canoes for years. For starters, it only works well in a tandem, where the bowman can manage the umbrella and the stern hang out on a paddle rudder. In that guise it works very well, with the bow doing little work.

It doesn’t work as well in a solo canoe, and not at all bow backwards. A solo paddler needs hands for both the umbrella and for the paddle rudder. And to be effective and directionally controllable a downwind sail need to be at least a couple feet forward of center hull, somewhere in the front third of the hull works best.

Think about the physics of a downwind sail behind center hull. Oh my, that got ugly fast.

In a solo canoe, at least one without a rudder, the “sail” operation needs to be as hands free as possible; you will need both hands to paddle rudder, or oh-shit sailing brace, or simply to hold the paddle as a comfort totem when things get rocking.

Even though I have downwind sails on most of our tripping boats I still bring an umbrella. Nice for rainy trips to the thunderbox or etc. Nice when I’m dry under the tarp and just need to mosey over to get something in the vestibule without putting donning wet raingear. Nice when it’s just drizzling and I’m ducking out from tarp cover attending a sputtering campfire.

Hell, while paddling if it starts to pour buckets and promises to be brief I’ll pull over in an eddy for a few minutes and put the umbrella up, especially if I’m not already raingear clad. First person who joins me can lean in and share the umbrella cover, the rest of you are on your own.

Prospector16 wrote:
Just buy a canoe sail - they have come down in price a lot in the last year or so and you should be able to find one well under 100 bucks


P16, I had an opportunity to test all of the (then) available downwind sails some years ago. Including a hand held Quiver Sail that required post-spinach Popeye arms to hold erect. That one was a huge fail.

Acknowledging the caveat I am not interested in sailing up-wind with a mast, sheets and lines and fair leads, lee board and tiller. I don’t need to be zig-zagging tacks out into the middle of a lake and going 20 miles to make 10. And then find that the wind died and have to pull over somewhere to disassemble it all. Plus those types of “upwind” sails rigs, like Flat Earth or Falcon sail, get pricey.

https://flatearthkayaksails.com.au/

https://www.falconsails.com/

Those deserve their place with adventure racers, but less so with trippers.

I know folks who have DIY’ed their own masted (leeboard, tiller, etc) upwind sails and eventually, repeated-redesigned, kinda sorta still-needs-work got it mostly right. For my simplistic downwind breeze capture, screw all that.

The flexible wand umbrella-ish bowl type “sails” were the least effective of everything we tested; half the sail area was blocked by my body, and they were not exactly hands free. Even the smallest (least expensive) WindPaddle sail runs $115+.

https://www.nrs.com/product/1670/windpa ... gLmavD_BwE

I know there are cheaply made $15 WindPaddle knockoffs:

https://www.walmart.com/ip/Wind-Sail-Fo ... gIMtfD_BwE

P16, have you actually tried one? I’m kinda thinking there’s a reason those are $15. Spend some time even simplistic downwind sailing and let us know what you think.

The smallest (1 sqm) Pacific Action Sail runs $325. While the PA sail was the most easily and effectively angled and controllable of the downwind sails, it required sheets, fairleads and cam cleats, and some hull outfitting.

http://topkayaker.com/index.php?main_pa ... hg7q2p9gg2

The best of the downwind lot, for my downwind tripping purposes, was the hands-free Spirit Sail, now sadly discontinued

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jU2mE83Gi0M

I love the hand free simplicity of the mid-sized Spirit Sail. I did not so much enjoy stupidly erecting the large size Spirit Sail in heavy winds, and having no way to stop-this-ride other than running the speeding boat up on some shallow beach.

ImageMike M Sailing 01 by Mike McCrea, on Flickr

I got better at sail management, and only did that a couple of times.


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PostPosted: August 1st, 2019, 5:46 am 
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No I have not tried one but those round ones are the style I am talking about.


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PostPosted: August 1st, 2019, 12:51 pm 
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Prospector16 wrote:
No I have not tried one but those round ones are the style I am talking about.


Try one of those $15 flexible wand bowl sails and let us know what you discover.. And try a bowman-held golf umbrella in a tandem as well.

Those inexpensive knock-off flexible wand sails are smaller than a golf umbrella, 108cm/42 inch diameter, vs 60” diameter for a Wally-world golf umbrella.

https://www.walmart.com/ip/60-Double-ca ... /633050014

Whadda ya got to lose, except the need for sheets, clam cleats and fairleads. Or holding the sheets inconveniently in hand the whole time you are sailing.

I’ll save you the outfitting search trouble. Open clam cleats:

https://www.wholesalemarine.com/sea-dog ... gKlHfD_BwE

Fairleads

http://topkayaker.com/index.php?main_pa ... ts_id=1679

That is some sailing sheet frou-frou, that needs to be installed positioned just so.

Seriously, with your family fleet of tandem Prospectors, and selection of young bowman, just buy a couple of golf umbrellas . In any downwind condition you will not regret it. Nor in rainy camp.


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PostPosted: August 1st, 2019, 3:35 pm 
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The only thing you may have to lose by trying golf umbrellas is living with yourself after you decide to jettison the broken-down umbrellas in the wilderness and ceremoniously sink the busted-up junk to the bottom of a lake.

I've heard that could happen.

Pat.

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It's easy to learn the basics, but will you be understood in a strong wind?


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PostPosted: August 2nd, 2019, 10:56 am 
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Thanks Mike for all that info.Lots to digest


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PostPosted: August 2nd, 2019, 10:56 am 
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yarnellboat wrote:
The only thing you may have to lose by trying golf umbrellas is living with yourself after you decide to jettison the broken-down umbrellas in the wilderness and ceremoniously sink the busted-up junk to the bottom of a lake.

I've heard that could happen.


We used golf umbrellas, on trips from Maine to Florida, from the time our sons were 6ish into their early teens when they went into solo canoes on trips. Or actually they used them, each holding one in the bow of tandem canoes, one kid and one adult in each boat. I do not recall that we ever broke one.

Occasionally an umbrella would invert and require popping back into proper shape, but even that was rare. We were generally not out sailing in winds fierce enough to trash a sturdy golf umbrella.

I think it helps that a lot of golf umbrellas have vented canopies, so some trapped air can escape if it gets to be too much, and once the canoe gets moving the windspeed on the canopy is reduced by the downwind speed of the canoe.

Had we busted one it would have come home with the other trash we produced or collected.


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PostPosted: August 3rd, 2019, 12:55 am 
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Joined: July 22nd, 2003, 6:52 pm
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Location: Edmonton Alberta
I carry a golf umbrella. I have puttered with it to use for sailing but putter is all it is.
It just doesn't work for solo paddling. I spend a lot of time on prairie rivers and it can get awful hot
so it really handy for sitting in the shade for a bit on a gravel bar in ankle deep water to cool off, for those
those short cloud burst that roll through and night time piddling in the rain.

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PostPosted: August 4th, 2019, 11:27 am 
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Laura P wrote:
I carry a golf umbrella. I have puttered with it to use for sailing but putter is all it is.
It just doesn't work for solo paddling.


Agreed, a golf umbrella doesn’t work well in a solo boat. With one niche exception; we had the chance to test paddle a bunch of solo decked canoes some years back. Kruger Sea Wind, Sawyer Loon, MRC Monarch, Clipper Sea-1 and Bell Rob Roy.

All except the Rob Roy had rudders and foot controls. All of them sailed admirably feet on the rudder controls and hand on the umbrella handle.

The admiration was largely mine; among the test paddlers I was the only one with a golf umbrella, and would occasionally overhear muttering “There he goes with that damn golf umbrella again”. Fortunately their invective soon faded in the distance as I outpaced them.

Good with a bowman in a tandem, good solo in a ruddered boat, near useless as a sail in most solo canoes.


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