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In the background of my existence I am researching ways and means by which I can advance my paddleski in a forward direction  through an energy resource other than  paddle sweat and strain.

It is a quest as old as time.

I feel very Captain Cookish.

The complication of my current hardware is that I captain  a short beamy boat with a crew of one made out of plastic.

(A crew made out of plastic?)

Shortness means that I don't have much control over lateral forces. Beamy means that I may not run an easy straight course. The one-oarship means that since I have no other galley slave other than moi I must do all the work myself. And plastic means than any refit is complicated...

So the conundrum comes down to the challenge of: if I wanted a sail I need a mast .. and if I had a mast how do I prevent the boat turning this way and that ( such as over).

I've considered umbrellas as an option and umbrellas have been deployed as a template for a few kayak sail designs. But you need a really strong framed umbrella that won't turn inside out  and can be folded easily.

The associated complication is that many sailing options come with a price tag. Kayak sail rigs especially. So my hip pocket nerve has ruled that your customised kayak sail rig is too expensive given that my boat has a few issues. We're looking at $450 plus at least.

And to make my own has the challenge of working out how to attach a rig under pressure of massive structural forces to a piece of floating plastic. A sail rig is also so much extra paraphernalia you need to transit to and from the water's edge.

But then there is the kite option: kitesailing . I was into kites many winds ago and love them so. But flying a  kite from a boat...? Fortunately  kites that do just that are being designed and the engineering is up to the mark such that there is a new frontier that is trying to harness  the wind even for large ocean going vessels. For the eXtreme sportz honcho kites are a source of a massive adrenaline rush: kiteboarding, kitesurfing and kitesailing with large parafoils.


So many experiences before the wind are being notched up. Since I'm not seeking to wet my pants I'm not wanting to jump about on the water while a massive parafoil pulls me toward the sun.  Thats' where I don't want to go.

So kites for kayaking and canoeing  is still a work in progress and among the 'canoe sailing' community there is a large  bulk of sailors who would not have a bar of  them.  The opposition comes down to two objections: they  harness energy  forces that may get out of hand and the kite is not easily navigated so that the craft can tack --
Tacking or coming about is a sailing maneuver by which a sailing vessel (which is sailing approximately into the wind) turns its bow through the wind so that the direction from which the wind blows changes from one side to the other.
Nonetheless, a kite, specifically a single string kite,  can be used to jibe --
A jibe or gybe is a sailing maneuver where a sailing vessel (which is sailing in the same direction as the wind) turns its stern through the wind, such that the wind direction changes from one side of the boat to the other.
The business of jibery comes down to how you fly your kite and harness its power zones.

So obviously kitesailing is a skill. The problem with such a skill is that you are exercising it from a floating platform alone in an open ocean while the wind huffs... and maybe not puffs.

Nonetheless, I'm interested. I'm thinking kitesailing may be worth a try and maybe with the fresh faced kayakite. I'll keep you posted.

Among my collected references/bookmarks on kitesailing  was a very interesting observations that makes a lot of sense in regard to my beamy paddleski:
So either use you kites on heavy deplacement boats, or on outrigger/catamaran type of vessels, and you still can live dangerously!The ideal vessel would have been Kon-Ti-Ki - a draggy and heavy balsa raft ...
The irony being that maybe with kites as sail resource, the more drag a craft has through the water, and the more 'stable' the platform it is flown from, the better -- and safer or more manageable-- the kitesailing experience despite the trade off in speed.


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