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Random gear question - masts

 
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rangerider



Joined: 19 Jul 2009
Posts: 157

PostPosted: Mon Jun 24, 2013 9:56 pm    Post subject: Random gear question - masts Reply with quote

I have my gear pretty well sorted for the year, a few boards and sails from 6.6 to 9.5. My larger sails (8.1 and 9.5) rig on a 490 mast. I have a 30% Powerex 490 mast weighing 3.0 KG that I have been using for about 5 years and I think I am ready to upgrade. I am wondering if there is going to be a noticeable difference (to me) between a 75-80% carbon mast compared to a 100% mast. The cost difference I can handle if there is going to be a noticeable difference to me. I'm not racing but I would like to be able to carve gybe the 9.5 and I am hoping the lower mast weight will help.

Besides weight what are the advantages of higher carbon masts? Saying "it's more responsive" doesn't make sense to me. It's more responsive to what - the wind, me pushing it around with the boom? Does it make the rig more forgiving in gusts, more powerful? Obviously an 80% mast is cheaper and "more durable" than a 100% mast and weight difference is minimal (sometimes non-existent).

Second, what weed fin should I get for early planing performance with my Utrasonic 147 to pair with the 9.5?
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coachg



Joined: 10 Sep 2000
Posts: 2001

PostPosted: Mon Jun 24, 2013 11:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Are you going to take that 9.5 out in 20+ winds? If so, you would quickly find out what “more responsive” truly means. Higher carbons masts retain their shape quicker after a gust which makes the sail smoother. You may not notice the responsiveness difference of your 9.5 at 12 mph but as you hit 15 & above it should start to become apparent.

Coachg
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rangerider



Joined: 19 Jul 2009
Posts: 157

PostPosted: Tue Jun 25, 2013 7:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks coach. The answer is yes I suppose. Sometimes I go out on the lake in the morning and the winds are 0-15 but by the time I come in they are 15-25. I have found myself trying to control the 9.5 in winds much higher than I would intentionally go out in with the sail. So the question remains - is there enough difference between an 80% and 100% mast that an intermediate in those conditions would benefit and is the durability difference significant? Thanks again
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U2U2U2



Joined: 06 Jul 2001
Posts: 3056
Location: Shipsterns Bluff, Tasmania. Colorado

PostPosted: Tue Jun 25, 2013 8:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mast: IMO a 75 + % carbon will be noticeable in every respect over 50% /lower.

The 100% mast may do like wise over the 75% +. The $$ difference justification is something for you to figure out. Seems like you keep your gear for awhile, and in larger sizes the higher carbon does improve response

Some sailors will notice a 100% vs 75....not so many

but if the $$ means little then go for it.

FIN: Write the guys at MUF and Black Project

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4Boards....May the fours be with you

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sl55



Joined: 03 Aug 2007
Posts: 73

PostPosted: Tue Jun 25, 2013 9:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My two cents:
1. I am in a process of comparing 100% mast vs. 75% on a 9.5m sail and I do not feel any difference. I am on the lake with winds in 15-20mph range and the gusts are rather smooth. I had some issues with 75% masts retaining the bend just above the ferrule even with derigging the sail after 3-day weekends. I am hoping the 100% mast will not retain the bend. So far so good.

2. In my opinion nothing beats Lessacher weed fins. I use a 40cm weeder on my JP SuperlightWind. I compared it to 57 cm Select Slalom fin and several others. Lessacher gives me way better acceleration, top speed, and comfort in chop than Select; and it does not compromise the upwind ability in any significant way. I take smaller weed Lessachers (24 and 28 cm) to Bonaire to zip around in shallow waters, and as an additional bonus they do not spin-out.
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coachg



Joined: 10 Sep 2000
Posts: 2001

PostPosted: Tue Jun 25, 2013 11:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rangerider,

The benefit is in reducing fatigue in 15-25 mph winds with a 9.5. Only you know how long you sail in 15-25 mph winds & how long you want to stay out in 15-25 mph winds. 15-20 minutes of sailing at the end of the day, probably not. 2-4 hours of sailing, probably.

Unless you are constantly pushing the edge of the limits of your sail, then an 80% mast will be fine. It sounds like you are not sailing that often or that long in 15-25 mph winds so the benefit would not be significant.

Durability? I've had my 100% 520 mast for the better part of 7 years and it is going strong, but then the only thing my mast has impacted is the water.

Coachg
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 14164

PostPosted: Tue Jun 25, 2013 1:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The mast question is being covered just fine, but I want to add a compliment and encouragement on this comment:
rangerider wrote:
I have found myself trying to control the 9.5 in winds much higher than I would intentionally go out in with the sail.

G00D ON YA! That mindset has SO many good things going for it I don't know where to begin. It develops skills that will serve us well for decades in many aspects of WSing.
Getting caught out in a sudden hard blow.
Rigging big to overcome lulls, whether in racing, BAFfing, or B&J sailing.
Avoiding the habit of or dependency on rigging down at every little gust when going ashore is a logistical PITA due to rocks, wind shadow, time, current, etc..
Rigging big for that sunset session so you can pane back in even after the wind backs way off at dark.
As you do, heading out early before the wind picks up.
Rigging big to traverse a huge wind shadow.

My biggest sail is smaller than your smallest, and my only 100% is my 3.2 mast. Regardless, my comfort with oversize sails serves me VERY well almost every day on the water by boosting my fun, saving my butt, and avoiding the masses' rush to re-rig just because the wind changed. If a 100% mast will boost that skill, I'd say it's worth it.

Mike \m/
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swchandler



Joined: 08 Nov 1993
Posts: 5816

PostPosted: Tue Jun 25, 2013 1:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have to agree with sl55 about Lessacher weed fins. They clearly stand out in many ways by offering stellar performance that many weed fins don't, particularly when it comes down to upwind drive and lack of spinout. I believe that their excellent performance is attributable to their asymmetrical foiling and stiffness. There's no other fin designer/builder really doing what Wolfgang is doing.

Another great feature is their extraordinary light weight. They weigh a tiny fraction of what a G10 fin weighs. I have to say though, Lessacher's molded carbon fins are fragile. You definitely don't want to snag a rock when launching or coming in. However, Wolfgang does manufacture his designs in G10 too, so you can go for durability if you want to.
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rangerider



Joined: 19 Jul 2009
Posts: 157

PostPosted: Tue Jun 25, 2013 2:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks guys. Well the difference in price for the 100% carbon mast is like $80 more than the 75% mast so if there is some possible benefit without me having to worry about breaking it then I will probably go for the 100% mast.

I have heard of the Lessacher fins but was curious about the shorter length for my application, sounds like that isn't a problem.

Mike, thanks. If I can control the bigger sail then that is what I use. Speed is my drug. But I still can't carve gybe so I'm hoping to nail some gybes this summer with my 7.5. My lake has a lot of wind shadows between my cabin and the windy part of the lake so it can be a long slog out and back on smaller gear.


Last edited by rangerider on Tue Jun 25, 2013 2:19 pm; edited 1 time in total
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boardsurfr



Joined: 23 Aug 2001
Posts: 552

PostPosted: Tue Jun 25, 2013 2:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In a weed fin test by a German magazine, both Lessacher and MUF got very good grades. Severall fins failed, including the Select weedie. Matches my experience. I have several MUF weedies and love them. They may be easier to get in the US than Lessacher. Ask MUF for advice on size, too small won't work. Had a big Select and am glad I got rid of it. I also have some Black Project weedies that I love, but their biggest may be small for your gear. Note that BPF sizes are not actual length!
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