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Submitted: 11-19-2007 by wizmaster
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Got my new wind paddle Adventure sail last week, and have only had it out for about an hour due to uncooperative weather. Here are my first impressions, comparing it to the homemade variety of the PA sail I have. Here is the link to the PA style sail I am comparing it to....
http://home.clear.net.nz/pages/grantglazer/kayak/Hintssail.htm

First of all, if you are considering the Wind Paddle, get the Adventure, not the Sport. In a decent wind, the sport would get snatched out of your hand. Both sails are attached to my Caper midway on top of the front hatch. I've added padeyes on both sides for attachment points.

  1. Deployment..... my vote goes with the PA style. The wind paddle when folded up requires me to scoot forward in order to deploy it. Also, out of the package, the Wind Paddle does not have front bungees. This makes it more difficult to pop up, and when the sail luffed, it wanted to fall in my lap. I am in the process of adding bungees up front. I am concerned that they will interfere with the WP sail filling fully with air... it sort of fills up like a shallow wind sock, and the front bungees might keep it from filling fully. Probably not enough to matter though.
  2. Storage on board..... goes to the Wind Paddle. It folds up nicely like a sun screen in your car. Takes up very little room when folded, only covers my front hatch. The PA type lays across my legs and makes for a busy deck.
  3. Maneuverability..... slight edge to the Wind Paddle. Seemed more "steerable". Frankly though, I mostly cleat the lines on my PA type sail and paddle/rudder anyway. Both can darn near get a full broad reach.
  4. Dousing the sail..... advantage to the PA type. I simply pull it back and fold it up. The Wind Paddle will pull back into my lap, but folding it up while underway is challenging. Perhaps I will get better over time.
  5. Speed.... to be determined. I need to get my wife out there so we can race them. Both sails are 1 sq meter, and both will move the kayak as fast as I can paddle in a 8-10 mph wind.
  6. Field of vision.... the winner hear goes to the PA type. At eye level. the window goes across my entire field of view, while the Wind Paddle is both wider at eye level, and the clear panel does not go across the entire sail.
  7. Ease of attachment.... goes to the Wind Paddle. It is simple, adjustable, and can be attached just about anywhere foreward there is a padeye or hatch strap. My PA type sail requires a "saddle" ( I made mine from closed cell foam) that allows for the sail to deploy fully open.
  8. Price..... Pacific Action new: $250
    Wind Paddle Adventure: $175
    PA style homemade sail $35 and about 6 man hours
Conclusion... well the jury is still out. I don't think it will replace my PA style sail, but it will make an easily stowable emergency sail if I have hardware failure, and it is also wonderful to have around for guests to use, and I can use it on my OK Malibu XL tandem without any modifications.

The WindPaddle could be moved from boat to boat easily, with no major modification. My PA style sail seems more substantial and rugged. I like the better field of view also. Both are fun !!
You can read more wind paddle info at windpaddle.com

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