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Discussion Starter #1
Anybody ever mess with water sails, say on a windy, flat lake situation between rapids?
 

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A Bimini makes a pretty good sail if you lower one-half to the bow tubes, then support the aft portion with an oar and lines running back. Go for a big crescent-shaped pocket. This of course only works straight downwind, or nearly so. I've sailed away and around the bend from my party several times using this and other improvised sails like a tarp and an oar. But then you have to wait up. I'm a professional sailor, and I've often thought about jury rigs. Physics work against you. Mast made of oar(s) first. It gets forced forward and down. You practically need some sort of base. Lash all you want, strap, brace, it's hard. Get that dialed in, then you have a mast that is too small to move 1500# You need more like 20'. A kite would be good, but hard to rig, and expensive to crash into the brush. Windsurfer masts are light, but hardly taller than an oar. I gave up on sailing rafts. Here in Utah, you get a six-horse outboard, and it lasts as long as you take care of it. It's heavy, but they give you versatility.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
clarification...

water sail= sail down in the water, using the flow of the current to pull the boat against a headwind...

not using the sail in the traditional wind aspect. and i am running a cat
 

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I'll sometimes biner my bucket to a D-ring to try this. It works... just kinda okay. Biggest problem is it prevents you from turning around and rowing with the other stroke.
 

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I'll sometimes biner my bucket to a D-ring to try this. It works... just kinda okay. Biggest problem is it prevents you from turning around and rowing with the other stroke.
oars in the water also work and you can actually steer with them that way.
 

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Water Sail Grand Canyon

The most common method for river sailing is a bucket system. Typically, one ties a chain of buckets to a bow line and drop them into the river current. If it is dark and the rafter is night floating then attaching glow sticks to the buckets helps the sailer monitor there location is within to the current.

The effectiveness of a water sail depends on the flow and river corridor you plan to sail in.

The flat water sections of the grand canyon at flows between 10-20k in cfs usually work well.

However, a bucket system would be dangerous in sections of the Colorado river such as gore canyon where utilizing a sailing system of this nature could be deadly.

In lakes there is typically no water current and thus water sailing on them is not effective for boat movement.
 

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I use one on flat windy days (think west water after the rapids). I have a kat that will run upriver in a good breeze. The drift sock does like to find eddy's so I just have it on a short rope, then I can pull it in if needed. It can really help in the right situation, you will need a little current to really notice the gain, but it will aid in not letting you lose so much ground. Not sure of the size I have, its something in the medium range. I would likely get a larger one next time.
 

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The most common method for river sailing is a bucket system. Typically, one ties a chain of buckets to a bow line and drop them into the river current.
I did this on the Missouri a couple of years ago. Worked Great. Made a steady 2.5 MPH into a brutal headwind that had the canoers pulling over. I just sat with my feet up holding a PBR in one hand and my hat in the other and shouted HEADWINDS A BITCH at all the grumpy people on shore.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thank you all for your input so far.

I think I am going to make one to test out, play with it on the upperC before testing on the GC.

probably out of some cordura and webbing, to be attached to bow or stern, with a pull rope to rower bay to get it out of the water when i need to, since i'll be solo'ing. also prob play with a bucket.

Man, i can't wait for all this snow to really start melting,
 
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