Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Ideal Sail Quiver - 2


I will start with the biggest size and move down the range by size.  The first sail therefore, is the 9m.

What we don't want in this sail is some budget model which is not capable of performance sailing.  What we also don't want is a modern race sail with a huge wide sleeve, many battens and 4 or 5 cams.  These sails in the bigger sizes are a complete nightmare.  They are extremely heavy and really awkward to use.  These qualities  mean that they put huge strain on the body when they are sailed as they should be, and sailing them is nightmarish.  No fun at all!

What we do want is a fairly technical sail which is light, fast, easy to use and with plenty of bottom end power.  It should have a narrow sleeve and, as I said in the last post, may have cams to support the shape in light wind.

Cammed models to consider are Severne's Turbo, Gaastra's Cosmic and the Maui Sails Blaze.  Of these 3, I would choose the Blaze.  It has 7 battens and 3 cams, and weighs only 5.6kg.  They recommend a 520 mast but I'm pretty sure that their 490, 100% race mast would work beautifully and would result in a softer sail.

The Cosmic may be a bit too recreational for this application.  It only has 6 battens and 2 cams so maybe not quite man enough for the job.

Camless models to consider are the Severne NCX and the Sailworks Retro.  Both of these sails have huge bottom end power and are extremely fast.  Gaastra's Savage is simply too heavy in this size, weighing at a full kg more than the other two.

2012 Retro 10.0

In this size, I personally use an old Gaastra Nitro5 which I share with Andy (he bought the sail and I supply all the rig components).  The rig comprises my old Gulftech 100% carbon race mast and Fiberspar carbon boom.  The result is a feather light power source, beautifully balanced and as fast as most other sails on the water.  The sail has 4 cams but rotates so easily that one forgets they are there.  All in all a great option in this lineup.

A wildcard to consider if you live and sail in the UK, is the C4 from Demon Sails (I think their big size is 9.2m).  These are the lightest sails on the planet and are designed by two pretty serious engineers who between them possess a vast understanding of aerodynamics, sails and sailing at speed.  These are quirky sails and look like they were designed in 1985 but they are proper high tech machines.


OK, that's all for now.  Talk to you soon. 

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