Using a parachute for tailwind? - Mountain Buzz

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Old 05-18-2015   #1
DIRIGO's Avatar
RED CLIFF, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2012
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Using a parachute for tailwind?

The link below is a pop chute for a parachute, was thinking this could be a awesome way to take advantage of a tail wind, if rigged right that is. Has anyone ever done this before? I've seen people raise tarps for sails before but figured this would be cleaner looking...if it works.

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Old 05-18-2015   #2
Horserump, Colorado
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Ya it would make a great sea anchor. You could even row down stream hard and not get anywhere. Just like the wind was blowing up stream.
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Old 05-18-2015   #3
Cascade, Idaho
Paddling Since: 1997
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At 4.5 feet, it seems kinda small. I bet after 120 river days when you finally get a stiff tailwind on flatwater, you'll spend just enough time rigging it that when you finally get it popped up the wind will be gone. But then again, 60% of the time we devote to rafting is spent in the garage tinkering with shit like this to try something new next time. And sometimes it pays off. I'll just keep a tarp handy myself and save the 15 bucks.
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Old 05-18-2015   #4
cedar city, Utah
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I have considered bringing my kayak sail on river trips but always forget to pack it. I have used it for sea kayaking and it got me up to 10-ish mph according to my GPS. I purchased it when I paddled the length of Lake Powell solo. The drag on a raft would lower that significantly but I have had plenty of tail winds on trips like Deso to make it an intriguing experiment. I bet you could add 2-3 mph to the current's speed. The kayak sails attach and detach easily.

I have one of the Windpaddle sails. I doubt I would buy one solely for this purpose given their cost but they would work a lot better than the parachute you linked. For $13 it can't hurt to try the one you have linked. Either way prepare for a bit of upper body workout using it (you will likely need someone to hold it in place no matter the design) as it takes quite a bit of resistance in any wind worthwhile deploying it in.

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Old 05-19-2015   #5
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Boulder, Colorado
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When do you ever have tail winds? Seems the wind is 95% up canyon.

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Old 05-19-2015   #6
Denver, Colorado
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Seems like a great way to make sure you never get a tailwind again.
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Old 05-19-2015   #7
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Belgrade, Montana
Paddling Since: 1991
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I'm thinking sea anchor use!

We recently hit an upriver wind so sever we could barely row down river with two people. I emptied my trash bucket, put a strap on it and threw it in the river and it made all the difference in the world, boat didn't go back upstream on the back stroke....

As has been said upriver winds are way more common so get a sea anchor for upriver winds and just relax and enjoy if you're lucky enough to get a down river wind. ...or maybe you could use that thing for both a downriver sail and a sea anchor?
"If you dont do it this year, you will be one year older when you do"
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Old 05-19-2015   #8
Steamboat Springs, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1986
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I have dropped my bimini forward on the raft on the rare occasion when we had a downstream wind. It worked very well for the 15 minutes that it lasted.

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Old 05-19-2015   #9
Searching for water....., Idaho
Join Date: Apr 2012
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Why are you in such a hurry to get off the river?
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Old 05-19-2015   #10
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Originally Posted by Pinned View Post
Why are you in such a hurry to get off the river?
That's what I was thinking, don't know why you'd ever need to take advantage of the rare tailwind. Maybe across a lake.

Done the bucket anchor a few times, can help a bit.

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