High front and "understeer"

AE1006-G(2004-2006), AE1006-Y(2007-Present), AE1014-Y(2007-Present), AE1008-GRN(2005-2007), AE1008-R(2008-Present)

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Martin Joergensen
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Joined: Tue Jul 30, 2013 4:44 am
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark

High front and "understeer"

Post by Martin Joergensen » Tue Jul 30, 2013 10:10 am

I just bought a Straightedge Angler and took a couple of test rides in our local canals.

The Straightedge kayak wasn't quite as good at tracking as my previous sit-on-top: a rigid Ocean Kayaks kayak, which in many ways was similar to the Straightedge Angler being fairly wide and high riding.

I noticed that the stern on the Straightedge was quite high and oftentimes out of the water leading to what I refer to as "understeering" - meaning that the stern sometimes didn't touch the water letting the kayak turn very easily when I paddled or the wind caught it.

My wife who was sailing next to me also noticed that the Straightedge was quite noisy because the bottom front would lift off the water and touch down again leading to a lot of splashing.

Now, just to set one thing straight: I'm not particularly heavy (about 75 kilos or 150 lbs) and I have the seat mounted as described in the manual using the Velcro and straps to position it correctly.
Also, the stern isn't lifting far off the water, but maybe just an inch or so in the front foot or two, but enough to be noticeable and enough for me to feel it.

You can almost see it in this image where I'm testing the kayak on a local beach:
Image

I was wondering if anybody else has experiences something similar and if anybody has tried weighing down the stern to get better tracking and less lifting off the water, which I have to think uses energy and gives worse glide and tracking when paddling.
I was thinking about simply adding some weight to press down the stern, but don't want to drag along extra weight if I can avoid it and if it doesn't help.

Comments and suggestions are very welcome.

Martin

NaturalPath
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Post by NaturalPath » Tue Jul 30, 2013 6:49 pm

While I can't say that I have had any experience with a Strait Edge, I can suggest that, if you want to add weight for ballast, just use water. It's all around you, and you can just pour it out if you don't need it anymore. Bring a collapsible water jug, or two, with you when you go out. Also, that paddle you're using looks a bit on the short side to me.

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Martin Joergensen
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Location: Copenhagen, Denmark

Post by Martin Joergensen » Wed Jul 31, 2013 1:51 am

NaturalPath,

Using water is a brilliant idea! I didn't think of that at all. A collapsible bag or two and I have weight. I will try it on my next trip.

And yes, the paddle we used for testing was way too short. It was what the dealer brought. The one I'm using now is 230 centimeters and much better.

Thanks for your input.

Martin

NaturalPath
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Post by NaturalPath » Wed Jul 31, 2013 6:28 am

Good Stuff Martin :D

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PJohanson
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Location: Vancouver Island, Canada

Post by PJohanson » Sat Aug 03, 2013 6:11 pm

Remember too that both the StraitEdge and the StraitEdge2 have more "rocker" than many styles of sit-on-top kayak. The keel is not flat from bow to stern, but curves up a little toward the bow and toward the stern.
The StraitEdge will turn easily with a sweep stroke or two because of this rocker, and it is inclined to ride up and over waves. An absolutely flat-keeled sit-on-top is more likely to turn slowly like a barge, and to punch through waves instead.

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Martin Joergensen
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Joined: Tue Jul 30, 2013 4:44 am
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark

Post by Martin Joergensen » Sun Aug 04, 2013 2:10 am

PJohansen,

I noticed that the keel tends to "lift" in both ends, which I certainly can see is smart for turning and maneuvering, but I'd like a bit more stability since I fish from the drifting kayak and want it to stay as much in the direction that I point it. I mostly sail short stretches in fairly flat water and straight lines from place to place on the open coast rather than twisting and turning as you would in a stream.

I'll experiment with some weight and see where it gets me. I can do fine as it is now, but a bit less splashing and a bit more stability or even "drag" wouldn't hurt since I actually drift and fish more than I sail.

Martin

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Martin Joergensen
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Joined: Tue Jul 30, 2013 4:44 am
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark

Moving the seat forward

Post by Martin Joergensen » Thu Sep 12, 2013 8:30 am

Just to wrap up this thread: I ended up moving the seat forward. In stead of placing it straight on the Velcro strips, I placed it a couple of inches forward. The straps can easily be adjusted to fit.

This places my weight closer to the bow and gives a much better balance, and I'm also often bringing an anchor and some gear, which also adds weight in the front.

The kayak still splashes a bit and when I sail together with my wife, she says she can always hear where I am, because my kayak "snorts like a French bulldog".

Well, I can live with that as long as the kayak steers better.

Martin

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