Florida's Space Coast:
Posted by: oldengator on Jan-04-13 11:22 AM (EST) Category: Kayaks
Is anyone familiar with Falcon Kayak Sails? They talk a good game on their site, but can't find any reviews to see if the sails perform.
Great Products from the Buyers' Guide:
- kayak sailing - oldengator - Jan-04-13 11:22 AM
Posted by: nickjc on Jan-04-13 3:59 PM (EST)
Those look very similar to the sails the guys in Tasmania make and use. My guess is someone took the do-it-yourself plans on one of the clubs websites and commericalized it. Here's vid of the sails in action in nice southern ocean conditions.
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Go on the WaterTribe site and ask on|
Posted by: JackL on Jan-04-13 4:04 PM (EST)
There are a bunch of kayakers that use sails.
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Posted by: emanoh on Jan-05-13 2:38 PM (EST)
Falcon sails are the real deal. I don't own one, but I've sailed with one a few times and I have at least a half dozen friends who own multiple sails and join us on the water. No question they can sail up and down wind.
It is a newer company and as with any start ups, the owner is making sure the "I's" are dotted and "T's" are crossed. There are some testimonials on their website and tons of video on their youtube channel and website. If you are worried about durability, just watch the video's, Falcon's perform in "conditions." All carbon fiber mast and boom and I think the owner pursuing several patents on this design. Heck you can email or call and the owner will respond directly.
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Posted by: emanoh on Jan-05-13 2:51 PM (EST)
Just from watching both video's you can't drop the Tasmanian sail to the deck of your kayak like the Falcon sails. I've done this my self and you can drop the whole rig to your deck in 2 seconds, clip it down and you're off paddling, or one pull of the mast line up pops the sail and you're off.
I even got dumped on a rough afternoon, I zigged when I should have zagged and I went over. While upside down I loosened the rigging, the mast joint allowed the sail to lay flat and then I rolled back up. I gathered myself, popped the sail and I was off again in seconds.
The mast and boom are not bendable aluminum polls, You fold that aluminum mast and you're finished. Falcon sail masts are carbon and extremely well made, the mast knuckle is a precision tooled fitting and the sails use sailboat technology.
We spent a week at Isle Royale in Lake Superior and one of our members used his Falcon sail all week and did laps around us.
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Falcon Sails Performance|
Posted by: forrester on Jan-05-13 4:52 PM (EST)
I have a Falcon Sail.
You would be surprised with how they perform.
I have no problem sailing up wind.
I sail circles around paddle sailors with other rigs.
As a matter of fact, it is frustrating paddle sailing with people that use different compact sails. They are always down wind and behind me. There are lines I sail on they can not even come close to.
There are other rigs that come close in performance, but they are huge contraptions. The Falcon Sail weighs under 4 pounds.
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Posted by: carldelo on Jan-06-13 5:36 PM (EST)
This sail rig looks like a nice piece of work --- very tempting, as I normally dislike paddling on windy days.
It's hard to judge how tall the mast is, how long the boom is, and how much front deck is needed for mounting. I have a 14' and a 15' boat that would probably work well with it, I think, but dimensions/specs aren't given on the website.
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not Falcon but the original|
Posted by: gnarlydog on Jan-06-13 7:04 PM (EST)
not familiar with the Falcon sails but I sail with Flat Earth, the sail that apparently Falcon copied.
A short video of sailing with the original Flat Earth: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I4eltx0J91A
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Posted by: carldelo on Jan-07-13 4:44 PM (EST)
-- Last Updated: Jan-07-13 5:10 PM EST --
Here you say "apparently copied", in the other kayak-sailing thread it's "allegedly copied". Are you yourself saying the design was copied, or are you repeating someone else's accusation? I have respect for your blog and your writing, so am confused by your wording, which you have to admit seems a little weaselly. Hey, you may be right, but you should justify the statement or remove it - right now it sounds like so much casual internet stone-throwing.
Comparing the two designs, I see that the rigging is similar (not identical) and the sail shape, batten layout and boom arrangements differ. The two designs are about as similar to each other as they are to your own DIY sail design.
From looking at detail photos, the Falcon sail looks to be better engineered and of higher quality than Flat Earth. Plus it's available in North America, while the Flat Earth sail doesn't appear to be - how do you get yours?
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not wanting to publicly|
Posted by: gnarlydog on Jan-07-13 5:16 PM (EST)
not wanting to publicly discredit Falcon sails I wanted to leave it at "allegedly".
Disclaimer: I am sponsored by Flat Earth and I have been informed how the "design development" of Falcon sails occurred.
As for Flat Earth availability: I believe there is a USA distributor.
Now, what is your involvement with Falcon sails to be so keenly defending them?
Just a happy customer?
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No, not a customer|
Posted by: carldelo on Jan-07-13 5:53 PM (EST)
-- Last Updated: Jan-07-13 6:03 PM EST --
No, I am a fully unbiased observer - I have neither sail, nor have I ever kayak sailed. Your comment struck me as a little disingenuous, particularly when I saw your video linked by Flat Earth, and the extensive reviews of the product on your blog. I really dislike baseless sniping on discussion forums - pretending that a coy remark about copying does not discredit a company is not really logical.
I read the thread and checked out the Falcon sail and like the looks of it. Based on your comment, I checked out Flat Earth and was not as impressed. This is based on how the rigs are engineered (I am a mechanical engineer).
I have no way to judge their relative performance, but it sounds like people really like the Flat Earth, including you. People also appear to like the Falcon sail. Maybe you should try the Falcon, compare the two, and see what's up.
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and that is what I would like |
Posted by: gnarlydog on Jan-08-13 6:04 AM (EST)
“Maybe you should try the Falcon, compare the two, and see what's up.”
I have some sample sails from Flat Earth that I was given to try when I was already happy with my own design.
Flat Earth has so far been a better sail then any other one I have tried (V sail, Tasmanian style, Lateen style_own design). I would be interested in trying Flacon sails of course, but since GnarlyDog News is non profit I am not in the position of purchasing yet another sail when I have a product that currently meets my needs. But just as I was happy at the time with my own design maybe Falcon sails are better than Flat Earth. I would be happy to try one and see how it compares. Report would follow.
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Posted by: falconsails on Jan-07-13 5:39 PM (EST)
My name is Patrick
I am the owner of Falcon Sails.
Please feel free to call me any time with the contact info on our website.
Our rigs are superior to the Flat Earth rigs in all ways. It sounds a bit conceded or over stated, but its just the facts.
Starting with the proper sail shape, high quality sail cloth, very stiff carbon fiber mast, custom designed precision mast base parts, along with 7 patent pending newly developed elements. We rethought everything from top to bottom with the goal of making the best sail kit possible.
One of the best things about us is you can call or email us about any reasonable time and get a response right away. We are based in the US, but still ship factory direct prices to all over the world. Including just $35 to Australia and $15 for anywhere in the US.
We offer a money back guarantee, so if buy a rig and do not agree just send it back.
Thank you very much.
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flat earth kayak sails|
Posted by: flatearthsails on Jan-08-13 3:35 AM (EST)
Flat earth sails have been around for about 13 years,
the history of modern kayak sailing started with the Tasmanians, who still have a good folowing thear early indevors made it posabel for them to push ferther along thear wildernes coast line than paddling alone.
then thear was Norm Sanders from New South Whails who I directly atribute the pop up mast to, and the youse of a sprit sail. over the years theas pop up sails have developed into what we see nowdays , yoused on such adventures as the North reaf expodition, countlas Bass strait crosings and meny hours of shear fun!
things have mooved a long way from the home made sails of Tasmania , sume of the best made from shower curtans with mermades or naked ladies on them ! to the curent crop of cad designd sails and newer formes of cloth.
all in all thers a lot of choice out ther , take your time to deside on whos product you go with , make shore it sutes your stile of traveling, and dont forget the Kayak sailor rigs as well, ther a diferant breed again,
If your an aved gear maker , why not give making your own a go , the tasy designs are still good, the norm sanders rig still works , modern oferings are designd on Cad programs and perform beter but the old almost flat designs still are in survice today, I replased a sail befor Christmas that was four years old and still yousabel , if your going to give it a go , try and youse good quolity cloth a good 150 poliester Spinica cloth is grate, not to heavy for small boats
flat earth kayak sails
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Posted by: emanoh on Jan-08-13 11:02 AM (EST)
I side with carldelo, I can understand if you’re sponsored by a certain product or company and obviously you want to support your brand, but alleging someone copied a design are strong words, “dem’s fighting words in some parts of the world.”
I would expect LeBron James to tout Nike over Adidas, but it loses luster if he goes off and bashes Adidas to make his product look better. Yes, there are similarities in the single mast design, but I’m guessing there are numerous design features that the creators can trumpet on both accounts. I believe you can improve on designs and nobody truly owns a design that is publicly accepted like a single mast sail. No one company owns the rights to hull shapes that are designed as fish form vs. swede form, or hard vs. soft chine, Brit vs. North America, etc. Yes there is intellectual property at all levels and if Chevy starts making a pick-up that looks exactly like a F-150, then there are issues.
There are also encyclopedia length court cases on who really owns what? I remember a few years ago the professional wrestling organization WWF had to change their name to WWE, because another company fought in court for the rights to those initials, etc.
I appreciate the owners joining in and supporting their products, but I’d rather follow the comments and reviews of independent owners. Just like the kayak reviews on this site, I bet 90% or more rank their boats 10 out of 10 and you have to take their comments with a grain of salt. It is easy to say one product is the best when you haven’t tried others. Nobody wants to admit they bought a dog boat or crappy gear. You can comment and say I tried these “five or six” kayaks and this one fit me the best for my needs. All over this site people will say a particular boat is tippy, weathercocks, is uncomfortable, etc, and then you’ll have just as many posts spouting the opposite, “that was the best boat I’ve ever owned!”
I’ve seen, touched and tried a falcon sail and comment on the quality and its use, but haven’t tried a flat earth sail. You can make some assumptions by comparing photos reading descriptions on the websites, but in the end I wouldn’t knock or allege unless a side-by-side comparison was available, even then I’d have a hard time knocking one product over another. One man’s junk is another man’s treasure, right?
Mick, wow, what kind of dictionary do you use in Tasmania?
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copy, shmopy: semantics|
Posted by: gnarlydog on Jan-08-13 6:01 PM (EST)
Emanoh, thank you for a sensible and well articulated reply making some very valid points when it comes to “reviews” from owners of gear :-)
Just before you guys go further bashing Mick’s spelling, can I let you know that he is dyslexic and does not have somebody else do the writing for him.
I can’t recall saying anywhere that Flat Earth is holding a patent on their sails, I just said that they area copies.
I came to this conclusion after I was informed (both parties) that Falcon sails acquired a couple of Flat Earth just prior to launching their design. I also said allegedly.
Copy does not mean, as some seem to interpret as bad, or stolen design.
Unless there is a patent on a design there is no infringement (but let’s stay away from copyright as it would open a totally new can of worms).
I don’t believe Mick’s sail are totally innovative as he adopted designs from existing sails and then modified to his taste/knowledge.
Heck, he even approached me early on and “copied” my mast base. Just as I am happy to share my knowledge on sails and other kayak related findings, Mick is happy to help people with their own creations. He will sell fabric and components alone if one wishes to make his/her own sail. He often advises individuals on how to make their rigs, something that I don’t know any other manufacturer willing to share.
I simply say copy when I see too strong a similarity between the two products.
No patents, no copyright.
And for the readers bored with these semantics here is yet another fun sailing video instead: http://youtu.be/mqVFzn63x34
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Posted by: peter on Jan-08-13 4:00 PM (EST)
I can see why these are called "flat earth" sails...
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Posted by: carldelo on Jan-08-13 1:16 PM (EST)
Those sure look like fun, but a fully rigged weight of 115 pounds? If I was going that big, I'd go whole-hog and get a Thai-fighter, er, I mean a Triak:
At least it could go on the roof of my Mini...
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I don't see how they are a copy|
Posted by: FrankNC on Jan-08-13 2:30 PM (EST)
The Falcon rig is a standard Marconi rig that most recreational sailboats use. The FlatEarth rig is is a variation of the old sprit rig with a modern flexible sprit. Another way to think of the FE rig is to compare it to the most modern square head rigs used on windsurfers and catamarans.
I'd like to see a Gnarlydog review of the Falcon rig. I dare you to ship him one!
In my experience the FlatEarth rig is the best I've used that can be bought in the one meter size, but I personally prefer to use lug rigs with free standing masts.
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I'm glad to hear that the Triac|
Posted by: redmond on Jan-08-13 8:23 PM (EST)
is alive and well. It was touch and go there for a while.
Also, the Hobie Adventure Island is a Hobie Adventure with outriggers and a sail. The Adventure, even though it's a kayak, was originally designed to eventually be a sailboat. It was also designed by Hobie, a company with a lot of experience with sailboats.
I've had no problems with the "plastic joystick that controls the plastic rudder".
Haven't had any problem with beaching ability. The Mirage drive is really handy.
I've traveled with our Adventure Island on top of our Subaru and had no problems.
You do have to pedal through a tack, but only in low wind situations.
Dry storage is not virtually zero. There is a large hatch in the bow that will handle a lot of stuff. Plus, there's a very large tankwell, which I realize is not considered "dry storage", but to not mention it is misleading.
Their other points are valid.
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triying a hoby|
Posted by: flatearthsails on Jan-08-13 10:14 PM (EST)
Im going to try a hoby adventure island this sumer, I think ther beter than a conventional sail boat becos ther so manuvarabel, but I woldent put them in the same catagory of my beloved sea kayak, at 15kg fited with a small sail rig and all safty gear its a no contest as to which one is the easiest to youse for most kayaking. But the fun of a TI in a about 15 knots might be fun for an hour or two.
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I have two AI's|
Posted by: redmond on Jan-09-13 1:40 PM (EST)
and I really like them as sailboats. I really don't like them as kayaks. A bit of a barge. I've used them as loaners as kayaks and most folks get really frustrated with them since it's hard to keep up with the others.
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