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Planing 101 question.
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walkingman



Joined: 17 Nov 2009
Posts: 26
Location: West Seattle

PostPosted: Sat May 11, 2013 9:58 pm    Post subject: Planing 101 question. Reply with quote

Hi folks, was out a couple of weeks ago on my Ultra Cat with a retro 7.0 here on Puget Sound in Seattle. Winds were at the top of my wind and comfort range at about 20mph (I weigh about 170 lbs, & 5'8 hgt). I mentioned in an earlier post that I'm just getting into the swing of sailing centerboard up on fin only (thanks, btw for all the input on waterstarting!). On my last planing run back to the beach, I had centerboard up with mast all the way back on the track and was sailing somewhere between a close and beam reach. I then get a big uptick in the wind and it feels like the board wants to jump into hyperspace. I laid back in the harness as far as I could until my butt was just skimming the water at what feels like 20 mph+, and I started thinking "this could be really cool!" At that point, I was stuck with my feet out of position in what I call my aft reaching straps, still towards the middle of the board and I could tell that the board was just begging to keep falling off because every degree of turn away from the wind brought more speed. It felt like the board wanted to just fly out from under my feet. Just then another big puff pulls me off of the board and gives me the all too familiar free ride around the mast. "Go directly to water, do not pass go."
My question is this: I totally get that apparent wind clocks around toward the nose as board velocity increases, allowing you to sheet in tight(er) even as you sail in a beam reach relative to real wind direction. Is it at this time that I should be or could be in the back straps? It doesn't seem physically possible to sheet in tight at the same time as shifting all of my weight and leverage to the back of the board. It's a long way to the back straps on the cat - about 5 feet from the last strap to the mast step when it's in the furthest back position on the track so it doesn't even seem like my harness lines will reach. Is it more about mast rake? Thanks in advance for your thoughts! ~Steve

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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 13274

PostPosted: Sat May 11, 2013 10:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It sounds like you had sufficient power to move back to the back straps. When you do, expect yet another quantum leap in speed, ride comfort, adrenaline, and obsession. You didn't really think tens of thousands of us rearranged our personal, family, and professional lives for putzing around in displacement mode, did you? Wink

Once planing, you walk/inch back to the aft straps, taking your mast with you. The instant you get there, planing, step into the strap, and hang some weight into the harness, you'll discover a whole 'nuther gear or two in your transmission.

Mike \m/
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walkingman



Joined: 17 Nov 2009
Posts: 26
Location: West Seattle

PostPosted: Sat May 11, 2013 10:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice! I do remember feeling a disturbance in the force, that perhaps I was looking into the dark side.
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Fanatic Ultra Cat, Tabou Rocket 125, Retro 7.0 & 5.0, NX 6.0, 4 seasons sailing, always learning.
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westender



Joined: 02 Aug 2007
Posts: 583
Location: Portland / Gorge

PostPosted: Sat May 11, 2013 10:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think you need to feel force disturbances for hundreds of days and miles before you figure it out. Takes a while to get the feel for it.
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gregnw44



Joined: 23 Jul 2008
Posts: 189

PostPosted: Sun May 12, 2013 1:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

westender wrote:
I think you need to feel force disturbances for hundreds of days and miles before you figure it out. Takes a while to get the feel for it.


Yes, I agree lots of hours and miles Smile

Other thoughts (although your description is very good, it's still kinda hard to know exactly what to say)... maybe try...

Raising your boom a couple inches, because when you rake the sail way back, the boom will be much lower that you normally use it.

And, just thought of this - You're on a raceboard, with lots of strap options. But I'd say, if and when you're getting into the very rear straps, you have thee centerboard retracted, and YOU ARE going on a beam to broad reach (mostly broad reach). THEREFORE, the sail will be raked back, but you won't have it sheeted way in. I would have it sheeted out a bit.
Now, if you're going uowind... then you slide that mast-track forward a ways... you use the more forward straps (even in pretty windy conditions)... you have the CB mostly down...and you have the sail more sheeted in.

Greg -
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jingebritsen



Joined: 21 Aug 2002
Posts: 2292

PostPosted: Sun May 12, 2013 5:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

this board should have only been improved upon, not eliminated. raise your boom is the typical answer when people say the back straps feel as though they are too far aft. when doing so, you'll need to move your harness lines aft as well. that board is a keeper.
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adywind



Joined: 08 Jan 2012
Posts: 201

PostPosted: Sun May 12, 2013 4:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think you are at a stage where you might need a crossover board to get you to short boarding. It seems you are not going anywhere right now. You have a too big and a too small boards for your level. I'll give myself as an example, because IMO my transitions went gradually, stress free I may say. As far as I remember it was something like a 250 lt board and a 6.5 sail I started with then I went to a 160lt Bic Core and 7.5 sail the next season and learned to hook in and get in the straps, then the next one I sold the Bic and got a 3 smaller boards / different sizes and types/ and 2 more sails and got the carve jibe and the waterstarting. And here I am in my season 4 with a 5.0 sail trying to launch with increasing success out of the grisly Lake Michigan waves in 30 +mph winds.
I know it will cost you and whatever , but if you are serious about windsurfing get yourself a modern 150 ish freerider /it doesn't have to be brand new/ and start making progress. Here is a pic of me during my first attempts at planing with the BIC.



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beaglebuddy



Joined: 10 Feb 2012
Posts: 502

PostPosted: Sun May 12, 2013 5:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Could it be that because the board id so old the footstraps are placed too far back?
Rigs from that era ran a much longer boom because the heads of the sails were not large and square like today.
What is the distance from the center of the mast to the center of the front footstrap?
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jingebritsen



Joined: 21 Aug 2002
Posts: 2292

PostPosted: Sun May 12, 2013 5:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

no short board need apply to help in this situation. all one has to do is raise the boom, and move back the lines. i've sailed those boards. i've sailed their modern counterparts. simply try what i and one other suggested, and we'll see. modern sails blend well with the old era race boards. the mast base issue was never as much an issue as older short boards as far as their mast track locations were concerned.
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gregnw44



Joined: 23 Jul 2008
Posts: 189

PostPosted: Sun May 12, 2013 7:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes. What jingeB and I said Smile

And Steve, despite what some will say... don't dump the Ultra Cat for a shortboard. You're in lightwind Seattle... that hi-performance raceboard is the sh!t... especially at your weight. It will get you more TOW, time on the water, than anything else.
HOWEVER, yes, as your skill progresses...and if you want to sail more, in higher winds... and you want to also start making some summer Gorge weekend trips... than YES, absolutely add a shortboard to your gear.

But, if you want to sail a lot... and really travel places.. and have a huge wind range, from 2 to 30 mph.. than keep that Ultra-Cat.

Greg Smile
PS - And it's perfect for you to do the City League local race series with us. And it's perfect to do the Winduro with us in Oct !!!
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