Wednesday, November 6, 2013

VMax 2, Reader Feedback and Some Sail Thoughts


You will recall that we recently collected our new VMax fins and I wrote about my first experience with the 39cm one on my Falcon.  You may also recall that our fins are the old model and that Select has now introduced the VMax 2.  

Stephane Mocher from Select informs us that the flex diagram for the new model is completely different from that of the VMax 1.  Only the tip of this fin flexes which he claims, enables it to generate large amounts of lift. He adds that both speed and control have been improved making the latest model better in every way.  Well done guys.  Maintain a continuous improvement in these blades and you are likely to reach my (invented) A grade rating.

Back to the old VMax fin - I wrote that I seemed to be spinning out on this fin more than I would have expected.  Well, following that post, Caspar Verhaagen e-mailed me and mentioned the need to wash one's new fins properly to remove any release agent which may be on the fin surface.  Fins are shaped in a mould and so release agents are an integral part of the production process.  Anything oily or slippery on the surface of a fin will impede it's performance by causing a loss of grip.  This all makes perfect sense to me.  The most puzzling thing to me is why I have not thought of this before.  I know all about release agents, I know that they are used on moulded products and I also know that a slippery surface is the enemy of the windsurfing fin - Why could I not make the connection?  Anyway that is the value of communicating with a wide range of sailors from all over the planet - you will get a wise head from time to time guiding you back to the path and that is what Caspar has done for us in this matter.  Thanks Caspar!
Please wash your new fins guys, before you take them anywhere near the water.  I suppose that any detergent will do but I would recommend a trusted general purpose cleaner with a strong de-greasing component.  A good sponge and some clean, warm water and you are in business.  From now on I wash my fins!

Lars from Norway has been changing and refining his equipment for some time.  We explored some slalom board options and Lars settled on a Starboard iSonic 110 and an iSonic 127.  Two awesome boards for his conditions, which comprise mostly light to medium winds.  Lars completed this ideal board line-up with two stunning Boss fins. Nice!  He had been struggling with Gaastra Vapor sails which he found hard and difficult to rotate.  My strong recommendation would have been to change to the new Phantoms but Lars bought a quiver of second hand TR Race sails (Maui Sails) with correct 100% carbon masts.  My problem with any pure race sail, as you know, is that they are just too hard and punishing for the normal sailor.  My problem with the TR has always been that it is heavy and has 9 battens.  My further problem with Maui sails is that their masts are so unlike any other masts that they can only be used on their sails. If you are left with Maui masts, you are forced to replace your sails with other Maui sails.  Brands like North, Avanti, Ezzy, Gun, Hot Sails Maui, Simmer etc all have similar masts so you are not restricted to one brand when the time comes to replace sails.

Despite my negative thoughts, Lars tells me that he absolutely stoked with his new sails.  They are soft, easy and light in the hand. They accelerate rapidly to a fast top speed and rotate like a dream.  He is replacing one of his existing sizes with the new 2014 TRX and would consider nothing else.  I realized from his findings, that I may need to re-visit  my opinion of the TR.  Given his comments I am now quite keen to give the new TR a try.

 Here is the 2014 TR-X and I have to say that I am a fan of this sail structure.  You have the sleeve, a triangular power section in a non-stretch material and then a soft, light outer section to spill the wind.  Remember that Hansen sail I featured a few months ago - same concept.  Food for thought

Talk to you soon          

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