Posted by: forrester on Nov-01-12 11:05 PM (EST)
I am not independent. I am the designer and head tester of Falcon Sails. I can tell you quite a bit.
Our sails are a very good upwind capable compact sail rig.
Our rig does circles around any other compact rig I am aware of. I have been obsessing over kayak sailing for years. After many hundreds of hours of looking and talking I have yet to find an alternative.
If you go to our website, you can contact me. I will be happy to answer your questions.
We never use lee boards or dagger boards. The only provide nominal benefit and which is greatly outweighed by the complexity, bulk, and weight of lee boards or other lateral resistance devices.
I go up wind all the time with my falcon sail.
Here is a testimonial I received a few weeks ago from a customer with some basic sailing experience.
It needs some editing, but you get the idea if you read it. There are no close seconds in the compact sail market.
Here is a review/testimonial for you.Â Feel free to use all or any part of it as you see fit.Â I have included several photos of my kayak with the sail installed. Â I will send you a separate e-mail regarding the mast extension and include several photos regarding it.
My wife, Tami, and I took the Falcon 1.0 to the Wisconsin River in early October.Â It was chilly out but I dressed for it because I was excited to spend some time testing the capabilities of my new sail.Â The wind in the trees was enough to put the nearby U.S. flag out straight but the riverbanks are sloped, creating a bit of a valley in the river itself.Â The wind on the water was only 5 â€“ 8 mph, in my estimation, and sometimes less than that.Â Both our kayaks are recreational kayaks - Old Town Dirigo 106, which means they are only 10â€™6â€ť long.Â They are also 28â€ť wide which is a plus for stability but they are definitely not made for great speed.Â At one point, though, the Falcon sail had me up to hull speed and that was plenty!Â But Iâ€™m getting ahead of myself.Â
We had set up my kayak for the rigging a couple weeks before.Â The instructions that came with the kit were good, labeling of the separate parts was excellent, and Patrick was only a phone call away for a quick question I had during the installation. Â Now, Tami and I had the sail set on the kayak and ready to go in less than two minutes.Â Then, because I wanted to show her some sailing basics, she went in my kayak and I in hers and we used a bungee cord to connect our kayaks side by side once we were out in the river a bit.Â Since the wind was low and we only had on the 1.0 Falcon, we did not expect to do any thrill sailing at this point while hooked together.Â We did have enough wind and the sail performed well enough that I was able to make her comfortable with the basics of how to position the boom for proper angle of attack and use the mainsheet cleat when she wanted to free her hands.Â After a short time, I set her out on a solo run and she loved it!Â She was easily able to adjust the boom according to the wind conditions and quickly grasped the idea of letting it out for reaching and running as well as pulling it in for upwind sailing. Â Tami enjoys paddling, too, and she was happy to find that the sail did not interfere with her stroke at all.Â She did, however, have a bit of trouble going upwind.Â I believe it was because she was a bit ambitious in that light wind and was pointing too close to it so she tended to stall.Â I found out later that 45 degrees upwind was pretty easy to do and I believe I could get even tighter with ideal conditions.
After some time, Tami decided she should let me have some fun, too, so we switched kayaks and I got to sail.Â Because I had been doing some reading on sailing techniques, I didnâ€™t have the same trouble she did going upwind.Â I chose the proper angles and the Falcon took me upriver, downriver, and crossriver at will.Â I should point out that this was my second time out and that I had been able to sail upwind with my Falcon even Â the first time.Â I was ecstatic about that because it was one of my main reasons for choosing it.Â I had been using a Windpaddle sail for two years and, while it did ok running downwind and even on a downwind reach, I quickly realized that the Falcon outclassed it by a long shot and that my Windpaddle wasnâ€™t going to be seeing any more lake activity.Â Incidentally, Patrick had told me I would likely have to paddle quite a bit when going upwind in order to keep the kayak pointed correctly.Â I did not find this to be the case.Â Possibly in a stronger wind I would have to do that but I kept my course by just tapping my paddle on either side in a slight drag.Â Iâ€™m sure I compromised my speed a bit by using that technique but I was out for a relaxing sail so speed wasnâ€™t the main concern.Â Still though, at one point, while on a broad reach, there was a wind burst and thatâ€™s when I achieved the hull speed I mentioned earlier.Â I felt like I was in terrific control of the sail and rig at all times so the burst was pretty exciting as the bow rose up onto the bow wave and the sound of the bubbling water rushing past got my adrenaline going.
When I finally, and reluctantly, headed back to shore, I found a group of local teens waiting for me at the landing and one asked if she could photograph my sailing kayak for a photo journal school project.Â Of course I said yes and, while she was taking her pictures, my wife informed me that she wanted a Falcon sail of her own.Â So, now Iâ€™m seriously considering a 1.3 so we can both go out together and Iâ€™ll have the option, when going solo, to change sails according to the wind conditions.Â The Falcon sail is well-designed, well-constructed, and does all it is advertised to do.Â I couldnâ€™t be happier with it!Â Oh, one more thing.Â I had been considering making a future purchase of the Hobie Adventure Island for several thousand dollars but I canâ€™t see doing that when the Falcon gives me everything I want in a kayak sail.Â Thanks Patrick and Falcon Sails!
Here are some pictures of our rig also.
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