Blokart

Sailing on land?! Who would have thought?! Join us for this awesome and unique experience!

Grade

Tame

Disabled Friendly

No

Accommodation

No

Team Building Facilities

Yes

Family Friendly

Yes

“Blokart’s are made in New Zealand and distributed all over the world, including South Africa. The blokart was developed in September of 1999. Blokart sales continue to exceed our wildest expectations (well over 10,000 units) and it has realized the dreams of many. For the competitive; a chance for all to compete on a level playing field (legs optional). For the family; our range of accessories means everyone of all ages can experience the thrill of blokart sailing. We welcome you to join this sailing revolution, we know you’ll enjoy the ride. If you ever want to try this exciting sport just give me a call! I am now hiring on Buffelsbaai beach in Knysna – conditions permitting. Dave is a veteran sailor and has been sailing various crafts since his late teens. He has been sailing blokarts since 2008 and now lives in Knysna and regularly sails at various sites along the Garden Route. He also travels regularly to Cape Town and occasionally up to East London. Dave always tries to have at least one blokart in his car at all times and is happy to talk about blokarts and SABSA (South African blokart Sailing Association) anytime. OUR STORY

Blokart was invented in 1999 by New Zealander Paul Beckett. A background in hang gliding and land sailing inspired Paul to build a serious wind-powered toy that was fun, fast and compact.

From small beginnings tinkering in a Papamoa, NZ garage to nearly two decades of watching a backyard passion evolve into a global sport, the Blokart community now extends all over the world.

Blokart continues to exceed our wildest expectations, connecting us with people we never expected who share our love of land sailing. For the recreational rider, Blokart has become a versatile pastime that allows them to sail wherever the wind takes them. For our competitive racers, Blokart provides a chance to meet other sailors and compete on a level playing field under our One Design rules. And for families looking for a weekend thrill, our range of accessories means everyone can get in on the fun.

We feel very fortunate to be part of this sailing revolution, and hope you join us—we know you’ll enjoy the ride.

THE CHASSIS

DURABLE BUILD

We know wind can often bring rough weather, so we made our Blokarts durable and rust resistant. All Blokarts come with a Pro Chassis frame, made from anti-corrosive, 304 stainless steel. Our karts are easy to clean, just give them a hose down after sailing. Each Blokart comes with maintenance tips and a one year manufacturer’s warranty.

INNOVATIVE DESIGN

Blokarts are ideal for new or experienced sailors because they are easy to learn, but challenging to master—they can sail in light winds, yet also reach high-performance sailing speeds of 55 knots, making them on par with even the foiling capabilities of America’s Cup yachts. Nimble and maneuverable, all you need is a firm surface the size of four tennis courts to sail.

COMPACT SIZE

Our karts transport easily and can full pack down, including a mast and sail, into its own carry bag that measures just 0.78 by 1.18 meters. Each Blokart also comes with instructions for assembly in a matter of minutes without any special tools. This means our sailors can fit their karts into a car trunk for weekends away, or as checked airplane baggage for worldwide competitions.

SAILS

Our sails come in four different sizes—2 m, 3 m, 4 m, and 5.5 meters—so you can swap sails according to the wind strength or sailor’s body weight. All sails are made from dacron sailcloth, with reinforced mylar for the clear leach panels, and tapered fiberglass battens.

For new sailors who want to start with a single sail, we recommend our 4-meter sail. This is a great option for most wind speeds and body types. For more flexibility, we recommend having both the 5.5 and 3-meter sails. These two serve as an ideal companion set so you can alternate depending on the sailing conditions.

This chart shows how you can customize your sail depending on body weight and expected wind speeds.

MASTS

Our masts are made up of sections that fit snugly together, making our karts easy to assemble and to add or remove sections to accommodate various sail sizes. The base section of the mast called the “”butt,”” is the largest, followed by subsequently smaller sections called 3rds, 2nds, and a Tip at the top of the mast. We use three types of materials to construct our masts: Fiberglass, Carbon and Ultra Carbon.

Fiberglass: Strong, yet flexible, fiberglass mast sections make it easy to sail in light winds and are forgiving for better control in strong winds. This is why we recommend beginners start with a Fiberglass Combination Mast.

Carbon: These mast sections feature 600 grams of stiff carbon wrapped around a flexible fiberglass core. Carbon sections make the mast stiffer. By adding carbon sections to the base of the mast where most of the bend occurs (especially the “”butt”” and the next “”3rd””), you can increase performance in windy conditions.

Ultra Carbon: Our Ultra carbon is composed of thicker carbon (900 grams), wrapped around a resilient fiberglass core. Using sections of this stiffest mast material can further increase performance, but may also be less forgiving in gusty conditions.

The ideal mast composition varies per person and depends on sailing conditions, sailing style, and preference; no one set-up guarantees better performance than another.

Pre-Sailing check

Ensure a helmet is worn, and we recommend gloves, stout shoes, eye protection and suitable clothing
Check all equipment is safe for use
Assess the conditions to ensure the sails selected are suitable (see sail selection chart).

Sail selection chart

Use this chart as a guide to calculate the correct sail for your weight & wind conditions.

Before getting in, there are four main rules to follow when sailing a blokart to ensure it is an enjoyable experience.

Rule 1: Let the rope go to let the wheel come back down

While sailing, one of the rear wheels can lift off the ground due to the wind pressure in the sail. If this happens LET THE ROPE GO or allow it to slide through your hand to drop the wind pressure out of the sail. This will bring the wheel back down to the ground.

Important: the rope should run below the handlebar to avoid interference with steering. Avoid wrapping the rope around your hand, to ensure you can release the rope.

Rule 2:  Let the rope go so as not to capsize

If the rear wheel is kept off the ground while the sail is full of pressure there is a strong possibility that the blokart will capsize. As soon as you realize you are tipping over LET THE ROPE GO. Hold on to the handlebar with both hands and allow the blokart to take the fall.

Important: keep your hands on the handlebar and feet inside the blokart until the kart comes to a stop.

Once the blokart has stopped, support yourself, release the safety belt, climb out and right the kart.

Rule 3:  Let the rope go to the corner

When approaching a corner at speed it is recommended that you LET THE ROPE GO and focus only on steering around the corner. Do not change your course when this happens, just concentrate on steering around the corner. Once your heart rate gets back to normal re-gather the rope and fill your sail with more wind pressure to keep your momentum.

Rule 4:  Let the rope go to stop

To slow down gradually LET THE ROPE GO and focus on pointing the Kart directly into the wind until it stops. The sail can be pushed out against the wind with your hand to act as a brake. If you need to stop quickly, let the rope go (letting the rope run through the hand) and either turn the blokart hard in either direction sliding the rear wheels to end-up pointing into the wind or by turning the kart into as many tight circles or 360’s as is necessary to stop.

Important:

Keep your hands and feet inside the blokart until the kart rolls to a stop. DO NOT use your hands or feet to stop the Kart.
Learn how to slow down and stop before trying to break the speed record!

Wind Direction

Ensure you are familiar with the wind direction and note that blokart’s cannot sail directly into the wind.

A basic explanation for first-timers: If the wind is coming from 12 o’clock then you cannot sail when pointing in the 11 am to 1 pm zone. The more you turn away from the wind the easier/faster you will sail.

Time to get in, buckle up, and go sailing!

First turn the blokart slightly away from the wind so that the sail moves to the downwind side to allow easy access.
Standing at the upwind side of the blokart, push the handlebar down and away from you to create more space. To get in, step over the side strut and place your foot onto the floor pan, then sit down in the seat. Keeping the handlebar to one side, bring your other leg over the side strut into the blokart. Now slide right down so your butt almost touches the bar at the front of the seat, lie back and get comfortable.

NB If your legs feel cramped, you might like to try a blokart foot bar extension that is available from your blokart dealer. It can accommodate people with heights of up to 2.2 meters (7 feet). The foot bar extension attaches to the keel tube in front of the existing foot bar and is easily fitted with the use of a quick-release clamp.

Secure the safety belt and adjust so it is comfortable across your

chest.

When you’re ready to go, put your feet inside the leg restraining straps and rest them on the front foot bar. Tuck your knees inside the side.
Turn the blokart across the wind, pull the sheet rope into power-up the sail and hold with one hand while steering the handlebar with the other!

N.B. Always use the safety belt, leg restraining straps, helmet, gloves, stout shoes and eye protection at all times.

blokart road rules

The blokart road rules have been put together to help minimize the risk of accidents and injury.

Make sure you understand and use the following rules.

Always use the safety belt, leg restraining straps, helmet,           gloves, stout shoes and eye protection at all times.
If you are traveling head-on towards another person, always steer to the right.
In general, always give way to your right.
Keep well clear when overtaking or overlapping others.
Do not make any sudden moves or turns when you are being overtaken.
Check behind you before making any changes in direction.
Use a hand signal if you intend to turn or stop.
When turning around a marker or flag, do not pass others on the inside or ‘cut them off’.
Do not force others on to ground that is unsafe, into obstacles or other blokart’s.
If you need a push start, be aware of and don’t get in the way of others that are moving.
Secure your blokart safely when you’re not using it by turning it over on its side.

Disabled sailors

There is no need to make changes to accommodate different users, and that includes many people with physical disabilities or limited mobility. The ingenious design of a blokart makes it accessible even directly from a wheelchair.

With the blokart fully assembled, simply disconnect one of the side struts from the mast base and lower it down flat. This allows people to maneuver themselves into position in the seat. The side strut can then be easily raised and secured into position.

Additional tailored straps can be used to help secure the user in place while sailing. Contact your local dealer for further information.

Where to sail

With a little bit of wind, your blokart can be used on just about any firm, flat surface that is free of obstacles. As blokart’s are very maneuverable you only need a small area to have a lot of fun. Ideal locations include the beach, empty car parks and sports and recreation fields. These areas are often public places so it is very important to consider the safety of others.

blokart’s can be fast but quiet at the same time. With this in mind keep a look out for people, especially children who might be unaware of your presence. Always allow plenty of space when passing as blokart axles and wheels are wide apart.

Do not use a blokart within 10 meters (33 feet) of other people, trees, obstacles, recreational equipment, power lines, structures or cars.

Beaches blokart’s are a lot of fun on the beach – a blokart has been clocked at over 90 kph (56 mph)!   Most beaches and dunes, however, are important habitats for unique plant and animal life, so as a general rule, always sail below the high tide mark to ensure as little damage as possible is done. In any case, sand above the high water mark is usually too soft for good blokart sailing.

Empty car parks

Empty car parks are ideal for sailing especially if the wind is light. It is important to always obtain permission to use these areas. Sealed surfaces demand concentration and skill due to the number of obstacles often found in them. The lack of friction in these areas can result in high speeds so take care and make sure you master the techniques of sailing, particularly how to slow down or stop on sealed surfaces.

Sport and recreation fields

Large grassy grounds are great in stronger winds, but once again, obtain permission. Remember that sport and recreation fields are generally aimed at team sports or passive recreation. Using sports and recreation fields for blokart sailing should be considered a privilege, and not a right.

blokart tyres will generally not harm turf with occasional use but repeated turning and sliding in the same area may scuff the surface and leave marks. When using a marker or flag as a turning point it is important to regularly move them around to prevent damage to the turf.

blokart sailing with friends will probably cause less damage to the turf than a game of football.

tips and terms

Beam Reach (across the wind): Travelling at 90 degrees to the wind direction. This is generally the fastest sailing angle.

Broad Reach: Travelling at up to 45degrees downwind off a beam reach. This too is a fast angle in which to sail.

Close Reach (traveling upwind): Travelling at up to 45degrees toward the wind direction.

Close Haul (on the wind): Travelling even higher upwind than a close reach. The blokart can point up to 25degrees toward the wind before it stalls.

Traveling Downwind: Usually, the slowest direction to travel in as you can only go as fast as the wind is blowing. Let the sail out far to one side to catch as much wind as possible.

Tacking: Turning into the wind direction during a turn. Tacking is the best way to turn when learning as the blokart slows down through the turn. Letting the sail out as you start to tack also helps to keep the blokart stable in strong winds by reducing the wind pressure in the sail.

Gybing: Turning away from the wind direction during a turn. Gybing is generally faster than tacking, as the sail remains powered up through the turn. Learn to gybe in light winds as a proper gybe takes practice.

It is important to always pull the sail in as you turn away and when the wind is directly behind you. Then ease it out so that the sail does not move with excessive force from one side to the other.

Flipping: Using the correct sail to match the wind conditions can help ensure you remain on three wheels. If you find yourself with one wheel in the air, let out the sail quickly to ease off the wind pressure in the sail and to return all three wheels to the ground.

If you flip the blokart over, make sure you let go of the sheet rope, hold on to the handlebar with both hands and keep your feet inside the leg restraining straps until you come to a halt. Never put your hands or feet out of the blokart until it has come to a complete stop.

Stopping: Always learn to sail in light winds. Only venture into stronger winds when you are able to control your speed and can stop in an emergency. To slow down gradually, turn directly into the wind then push the sail out to one side with one hand to act as an air brake.

Turning in very tight circles can also be used to burn off speed and eventually slow down. If you need to stop quickly, turn the blokart hard in either direction to spin it around and stop.

Tuning: In strong winds the increased force of the wind on the sail causes the mast to bend and flex considerably which can result in a reduction in sail efficiency and speed.

Increasing the downhaul tension can counteract this. Experience and practice will enable you to judge the best downhaul tension. In general, more downhaul tension is required when sailing in strong winds and less in light winds.”

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