Raptor UK canoe sailing

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Further comments received from RobertB in July 2008. Raptors now use brass fittings on the end of the rudder cables, in place of the aluminium fittings that corroded on his boat.


I sailed with the group (OCSG) in 1998 with a folding canoe rigged with a kite, in 1999 with the same canoe rigged with a stabilising foil and Chinese junk sail, and in 2000 with a borrowed outrigger canoe.


My Raptor hull was damaged in transit, but I had that repaired. The daggerboard was damaged on a rocky beach, and the tip came off. I am not impressed with the leading edges of the foils. That ridge has to mess up flow. So when I repaired the tip, I put some Kevlar over it, sanded down the whole board, and put a thin layer of glass fibre over the whole thing. Now the leading edge looks a lot better, as far as shape is concerned. I didn't bother to paint it, so the colour looks really messy. I haven't had a problem with strength yet. I capsized only one, and then the boat went over all the way, so I had to rig a line to the cross beam and pull on that anyway.

The close up of the rudder illustrates a modification I made after the original fittings that hold the steering wires broke because corrosion had weakened them. Stainless steel wire in an aluminium fitting is not a good idea in a saltwater environment. I laminated on that piece of wood (left over from another project, which is the reason for the carbon fibre on the left) so that I would not only have some material into which I could screw some stainless steel fittings, but so that I would also have the option of fitting external steering lines while on the water, in case I ever again had trouble with the wires. I decided to use that option only if needed, because if I always used external lines, there is the risk that in a capsize I might get caught in those lines and either put excessive load on them or have trouble getting out. But it's nice to have that backup. When the steering wire fitting broke on the water, I couldn't sail the boat upwind, because I couldn't handle foil, sheet and a paddle for steering at the same time. I couldn't paddle upwind either (too much wind) so ended up taking the boat out in the next bay downwind and walking it back.

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