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Hello and intro. from US blokart/iceboat sailor...

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Created by GeoffSobering > 9 months ago, 12 Nov 2015
GeoffSobering
58 posts
12 Nov 2015 6:52AM
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Hello! I'm a blokart and iceboat sailor from the US midwest (Madison, Wisconsin).

Locally we landsail on parking lots, but our group makes regular trips to other locations (Ivanpah dry lake in California and Bader Field in NJ).

I also sail a DN iceboat around the country, and I'm the North-American Secretary of the International DN Ice Yacht Racing Association (IDNIYRA).
There's a group of us who get together and build/restore/repair iceboats (and sometimes our blokarts...).

Cheers,

Geoff S.
blokart: US-56-BB - DN US-5156


GeoffSobering
58 posts
12 Nov 2015 6:54AM
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Here are a couple of videos of mine.

The first is from blokart sailing in NJ a few weeks ago, and the second is iceboat racing last December.




searunner
64 posts
12 Nov 2015 7:49AM
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Hi Geof. That blowcarting looks like a lot of fun. I'm surprised that the tacks are that fast. It seems like you don't slow down at all. Good stuff.

Chook2
WA, 1195 posts
12 Nov 2015 12:02PM
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Wow Geoff, you get the best of both worlds. Nice disused airfield gives a fantastic surface.

I would love to get a run on ice.

Great videos too I really enjoyed them.

Saltylips
NSW, 49 posts
12 Nov 2015 4:55PM
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What a great spot to landsail , thanks for the vid

GeoffSobering
58 posts
12 Nov 2015 11:33PM
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Thanks for the warm welcome!

The airport is a great venue, unfortunately it's about a 15 hour drive from where I live.
I guess it's better than the 30+ hours it takes to get to Ivanpah...

Locally we sail in pretty small car parks.
We can still have a great time:

beachball57
SA, 518 posts
13 Nov 2015 4:53AM
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Select to expand quote
Saltylips said..
What a great spot to landsail , thanks for the vid


Hi guys, hows everyone,, saltylips, you guys still coming to kingston ?

Saltylips
NSW, 49 posts
13 Nov 2015 6:18PM
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Hi BB,
I'm planning on being there. Have some new fat land kite wheels to try out, if there is moisture on the claypan.
After watching GeofSobering's blowkart video, I'm slowly sinking into a future with a blowkart.

GeoffSobering
58 posts
13 Nov 2015 11:32PM
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Select to expand quote
Saltylips said..
After watching GeofSobering's blowkart video, I'm slowly sinking into a future with a blowkart.


It's really hard to beat the blokart's fun-per-minute.
I keep my frame assembled in the back of my Subaru so it only takes me 7 1/2 minutes to go from parking to sailing.
Occasionally, I'll stop somewhere and sail for a half hour on my way home from work, or even go sailing over lunch.

The course in the car park video was only 90 m (300 feet) long so you don't need a lot of space to have good fun.

Big spaces do have their attractions...

GeoffSobering
58 posts
17 Nov 2015 12:29AM
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Here's a video from yesterday sailing around a 415' (126m) parking lot course.

I'm following the fellow who let me sail (and flip) his blokart many years ago.
This was his first time out in quite a while, and the first time he's ever sailed a 5.5m (thankfully he's a very good sailor, so my loaner sail survived the day without any luff tears!).

Sorry for the length. Right at the end there are a couple of "full speed" laps around the course to give an idea of what it was like:

searunner
64 posts
17 Nov 2015 7:26AM
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Thats really cool Geoff. It seems that you are able to sail very close to the wind. I presume closer than what a water sailor could do. 5.5 meter sail!!?? That sounds big. I guess that for my sand sailing I should not be shy about the larger sails.


GeoffSobering
58 posts
17 Nov 2015 8:37AM
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searunner said..
Thats really cool Geoff. It seems that you are able to sail very close to the wind. I presume closer than what a water sailor could do. 5.5 meter sail!!?? That sounds big. I guess that for my sand sailing I should not be shy about the larger sails.


The blokart points about the same as any sailboat (~45 degrees to the true wind).
I'll attach a GPS graph of a race last spring to give you an idea of the kind of angles the blokart can sail on a big(ish) open course.

The 5.5m is the largest sail blokart makes. The others are: 2.0m, 3.0m, and 4.0m.
The 4.0m points substantially better than the 5.5m (maybe 5+ degrees higher).
I'm a big guy, so I tend to use the 5.5m more than most people.

The wind yesterday was around 7-9 knots, so fairly light.
The car park we were sailing in has a small but significant incline, so even though we were sail a bit off the wind the 5.5m really helped keep us moving.

Interactive map: geoff-s.net/blokart/misc/One_Lap_Ivanpah_2015.html




GeoffSobering
58 posts
1 Dec 2015 1:17AM
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What a difference 12 days make!
Last time I got out in my blokart it was 63°F (17°C) and sunny.
Last Friday the temperature was just below freezing and the sun was nowhere to be seen...
I forgot my iceboat facemask and goggles, so my face got a bit cold in the 10-16kn wind (nice rosy cheeks...).

Hopefully we'll be iceboating next weekend! (maybe up in Canada, though...)

searunner
64 posts
1 Dec 2015 7:53AM
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Very cool Geoff, the rigging is interesting. Surprised to see the downhaul going slack as you sheet in. I think I would do well to copy it.

I'm glad that you mentioned doing ice boating. First, that must be awesome. Second, I've been thinking about how cold my beach is going to be this winter. I must remember that you ice boaters have been doing this cold sailing for a long time.

GeoffSobering
58 posts
1 Dec 2015 8:57AM
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searunner said..
Very cool Geoff, the rigging is interesting. Surprised to see the downhaul going slack as you sheet in. I think I would do well to copy it.



You should be careful about extrapolating the blokart setup to your boat.
The geometry of the blokart gives the downhaul a kind of strange combination of vang and downhaul characteristics.
Much of its effect is to keep the sail flat when the sheet is eased (ex. "vang sheeting") rather than the more "pure" downhaul effect of shifting the draft forward on the sail.

It's not unusual to see the downhaul go slack on the downwind leg of a race because it's eased at the windward mark to let the draft increase for acceleration.
Then as the kart accelerated to "cruising speed" the extra power isn't needed so the sheet is used to flatten the sail and take the load off the downhaul.

In the video above, I was essentially always accelerating out of a corner, so I just left the downhaul off all the time.

You can see a really good example of "big course" blokart downhaul use in many of Scott Young's videos.
He will release the downhaul completely rounding the windward mark, and pull it back on sometime just before or after rounding the leeward mark as he heads back upwind.

In this video Scott is rounding the windward mark (and heading downwind) at the 2:30 point.
At 2:39 you'll see him quickly release the downhaul.
At 2:46 he's heading into the leeward mark and pulls the downhaul on (again very quickly).
You can see the slack in his downhaul before he pulls it back on.
?t=2m30s

I've even gone so far as to rig my kart so I can preset how loose the downhaul gets when I uncleat the primary control line:
forum.blokartworlds.com/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=79



Select to expand quote
searunner said..
I'm glad that you mentioned doing ice boating. First, that must be awesome. Second, I've been thinking about how cold my beach is going to be this winter. I must remember that you ice boaters have doing this cold sailing for a long time.



With the right clothing you can comfortably sail down to 10°F (-12°C).
Below that the wind-chill get's pretty brutal and it's possible to get frostbite on accidentally exposed skin very quickly.
One of the hardest things to keep warm are your hands (esp. when you're gripping a sheet).
I really love these gloves that come from ice-fishing:
www.farmandfleet.com/products/474137-hi-tech-fishing-polar-eskimo-mitts.html

Cheers,

Geoff S.

GeoffSobering
58 posts
8 Jan 2016 6:36AM
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Some more cold-weather sailing:



GPS tracks for a couple of laps: geoff-s.net/blokart/misc/2015-12-27DMV.html


GeoffSobering
58 posts
26 Jan 2016 6:25AM
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My first local sailing of 2016!

I'm still amazed by this sport!
From my GPS track (geoff-s.net/tracks/2016-01-23_Monona.html) I was sailing upwind at about 45 km/h (28 mph) and downwind at well over 60 km/hr.
All this with about $3500 USD worth of kit...
Who needs an AC 45 catamaran when you can sail as fast on ice or land?


GeoffSobering
58 posts
23 Feb 2016 12:40AM
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No wind so far for the first day of the DN North American Championships.

Practice Satuday was great, though:

GeoffSobering
58 posts
29 Feb 2016 1:09PM
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Today I got to sail a friend's Renegade iceboat. It's a bit larger than my DN and was a real hoot to sail in the 19 kn (gusting to 25 kn) breeze:

GeoffSobering
58 posts
29 Feb 2016 1:10PM
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The strong wind shifted the ice unexpectedly and we had to scramble to put together something to get the five boats and trailers onto dry land:

GeoffSobering
58 posts
28 Mar 2016 10:00PM
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I'm looking forward to the northern hemisphere summer sailing season so I edited some video I shot last September...

GeoffSobering
58 posts
20 Apr 2016 1:18AM
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A couple of videos from the blokart North American and World Championship races at Ivanpah early in April.
The second one has some commentary about how the race went.


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Hiko
1180 posts
20 Apr 2016 8:36AM
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Good videos thanks for posting !

GeoffSobering
58 posts
13 Jan 2017 12:45AM
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Iceboat season is getting underway here in the northern hemisphere.

I'm battling an elbow/shoulder injury so I haven't been out yet, but here are a couple of videos from last weekend:



Sylk
WA, 206 posts
13 Jan 2017 7:54AM
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Nice video, especially the second one with the drone shots.

God dam I wish we had some ice lakes over here in Aus.

Arjay
VIC, 267 posts
13 Jan 2017 6:23PM
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Hi roomie!!

Russell.

Test pilot 1
WA, 1425 posts
14 Jan 2017 4:02PM
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We did but they all evaporated a few eons ago

GeoffSobering
58 posts
19 Apr 2017 2:21AM
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Hi,

Here's a short video that shows how beautiful Ivanpah can be at sunset.



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"Hello and intro. from US blokart/iceboat sailor..." started by GeoffSobering