17 January 2012

VIDEO: sailing with Flat Earth Code ZERO kayak sail


After some initial testing in November with Flat Earth Code ZERO sea kayak sail, over the Xmas break the weather presented some good opportunities for sailing in winds of max 20-25 knots.
I mounted the Code Zero onto a skegged kayak of British style design and despite finding that the kayak does lee cock at low speeds it was easy to sail because the hull has a fair amount of initial stability.
In saying that, any kayak of mine once is underway with a sail I find that she increases its stability: the sail seems to prevent the port to starboard wobbles in a textured sea.
The slightly increased surface area of the Code ZERO was noticeable and the kayak picked up more speed over wind waves in lighter breezes (10 knots).
In higher winds there were moments when the kayak really started to hum and the deployed skeg was “singing” when surfed down the waves.

VIDEO: select 720p if you have fast Internet connection
Eventually, on the second day of sailing, the wind became a bit too strong for me to handle the full sized sail; it was time to try the reefing feature (in the video at 2:25).
Again, I had no opportunity this time to test the kayak’s speed with hard facts, but I didn’t think that the kayak was travelling through the water any slower than with the full sail.
Not sure why this perceived speed but could it be that I was reaching hull speed with either size sail?  I understand that a kayak can only travel so fast at a given range of propulsion; to go any faster much more energy is needed and maybe the sail at full size could not bring the hull on a plane?
I would like to hear if my rationale makes sense.

Disclaimer: Flat Earth Sails has supplied me with this test Code ZERO sail. Gnarlydog News product review policy can be viewed here



  1. Amazing to see. Winter is really bad here this year and hope the weather gets better soon:) Great to stop by your blog to get some summer feeling to the sea.

    Thanks for the inspiration:)
    Take care!

  2. Jill, I have seen from your blog that winter is harsh indeed in your part of the world. Your pictures thou make it look fantastic nevertheless. If you really get the winter blues you could come an visit Queensland where paddling never requires much more than a little jacket, even in winter! Let me know if you are interested :-)


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