Saturday, June 21, 2014


I have discovered the secret of always having great winds when I go sailing…

A few weeks ago I received an email about a product called PaddleHand. It's essentially a very small paddle for very small sailboats that you can Velcro to the deck or tuck inside a bag under an inspection hatch. Then when the wind dies and you can't sail back to the place from which you launched, you just use the PaddleHand to paddle yourself home.

As it says on the website...
PaddleHand is the original folding hand paddle designed specifically for dinghy sailors and racers.
All Laser, Sunfish and Butterfly sailors should have a paddle on board when the wind dies. 
PaddleHand easily stores on your aft deck under the tiller ( waterproof Velcro included), in a deck port, on the mast, or anywhere you choose.
Designed to be held and paddled with one hand with an elastic finger band that can be used with or without racing gloves!
Increase your paddling speed back to the wind/shore by 3 times!
Made from unbreakable 1-piece plastic with a fatigueproof "living" hinge. 

It sounded like a handy thing to have (no pun intended) so I asked to have one to review on the blog. It arrived at the end of April and since then I have been sailing on my Laser 15 times - hoping that one day the winds would die so that I could test out my Paddlehand and write a review of it.

Every single one of those 15 days the winds stubbornly refused to die. (Actually that's not quite true. They did get very light for a while in the middle of the afternoon I raced at Lake Massapoag but they picked up again after a few minutes for some more races and the sail back to the club.)

So the question I am asking myself is, "Could the PaddleHand have secret magic wind generation powers?  Is it actually a perfect insurance policy against no wind?"

To be continued...


Anonymous said...

The Praddle has worked well for me. Same idea, but bigger.


Tillerman said...

The Praddle is great for Optimists and Sunfish but I've never found an easy way to stow it on a Laser.

O Docker said...

I can see only two problems with this miraculous product.

It is made from 'unbreakable' plastic and attached with 'waterproof' Velcro. Nothing on a boat is unbreakable or waterproof. It's only a matter of time.

The day that the plastic breaks or the Velcro succumbs to water is the day that the wind will die.

Pandabonium said...

On lake Hinuma we enlist the aid of striped mullet to tow us home. Paddle? Sounds too much like work! As Maynard G Krebs used to say.

Tillerman said...

Good points O Docker. My boat isn't unbreakable or entirely waterproof any more either. But it has lasted me for almost 20 years so far. If the PaddleHand is half as durable that will be good enough for me.

Panda - I will try your mullet trick one day too and, if it works, write a blog post about it. Who is Maynard G. Krebs? Is he a Laser sailor?

Sam Chapin said...

Stand on the foredeck and roll the boat.

Tillerman said...

Easy for you to say Sam. That's a young man's way. Actually I never could do that without falling off or going round in circles.

Tillerman said...

And even that method is pretty much impossible if your bottom mast section breaks off at the vang fitting. Then you really do need to paddle home.

Post a Comment