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Wondering if mast is too stiff for my sail?
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youngmasterluke



Joined: 13 Aug 2009
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Sat Jun 29, 2013 1:06 pm    Post subject: Wondering if mast is too stiff for my sail? Reply with quote

I have a camless sail (Gaastra Matrix) which feels good on the water except that the battens have a tendency to "bunch up" around the mast and don't go
around the mast freely when tacking, at least not without some good wind. It seems like that should mean more downhaul, but the sail looks to be fairly well powered, and it doesn't seem like it needs any more downhaul, in fact it starts to get an irregular shape if I increase the downhaul. Also, outhaul seems to be pretty tight already as well. I have a fiberspar racing mast, I know it is pretty stiff, but I'm wondering if it's too stiff for this sail. Is this a problem with a stiff mast, downhaul, outhaul, mast base extension, or what? I try to match the luff length with the appropriate amount of base extension.
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zirtaeb



Joined: 03 Jul 2009
Posts: 2147

PostPosted: Sat Jun 29, 2013 1:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Without mentioning luff length and EXACT mast, no way to know.
Sound like you are relatively new to windsurfing. As such, you need to downhaul until the the leech is loose from the tip top to 2.5 battens down.
You need outhaul so when you push on the pocket of the sail at boom height, the sail doesn't NOT touch the other inside of the boom arms.
I'll bet you don't have enough down and out.
It's also possible you have a Fib Race from years 99-01, which are stiffer on the bottom than any other mast of it's generation.
But you didn't state which Fib mast you have, or what size your sail is, and what year.
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 13294

PostPosted: Sat Jun 29, 2013 2:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

zirtaeb wrote:
Without mentioning luff length and EXACT mast, no way to know.

Sure there is. Even before "Never Leave Wind to Find Wind", there's "Anybody who has to ask whether he needs more downhaul or less outhaul ... does."

Your answer is more practical, but it would serve every newby (and some very experienced WSers) well to take the latter rule above to heart. It could even be restated in this case as "A properly tuned sail SHOULD look "irregular" on land." Either way its purpose is to encourage guys like Master Luke to ask, as he did.
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adywind



Joined: 08 Jan 2012
Posts: 201

PostPosted: Sat Jun 29, 2013 2:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's right -too stiff probably/bottom at least/. I had the same problem with a Powerex Speed 100 racing mast on a Retro. No amount of downhaul was able to correct it entirely. Of course it riggs perfectly a 3 cam Switchblade .
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U2U2U2



Joined: 06 Jul 2001
Posts: 2976
Location: Shipsterns Bluff, Tasmania. Colorado

PostPosted: Sat Jun 29, 2013 4:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gaastra sails majority need a stiff top mast to perform at a peak performance.

Its possible that the Fiberspar is ill suited to the Matrix. It could be too stiff overall, or not stiff enough ( more likely in my supposing)

it could be too stiff on just the bottom

It would be helpful to know how old the Matrix is , what size sail. The mast details as well , a RDM, skinny or Standard SDM, and the length.

If you have a sail/mast combo that is wrong ( no way of knowing this without at least some more info) then it can/should still work, but you will lose some performance in either lo end or range when fully powered up.

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slinky



Joined: 24 Aug 2007
Posts: 395
Location: Old Saybrook Ct.

PostPosted: Sat Jun 29, 2013 5:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had an old carbon mast, an Ampro fom the late 80's that was way too stiff in the base, and hence, the lower battens on all my sails were over rotated and would not rotate without a huge pump, and then sometimes that was not enough! No amount of downhaul helped. I even blew out the tophaul on one sail trying to get enough downhaul.These were all camless sails. Sounds to me like the mast may be a bit too stiff for the sails you are using it with. I eventually bought another mast that solved the "problem" with hard rotation. I still have that Ampro carbon mast! It would make a great carbon fiber flagpole.
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swchandler



Joined: 08 Nov 1993
Posts: 5462

PostPosted: Sat Jun 29, 2013 7:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think the best way to discern what's going on would be to provide a few photos. If you can't do that, rig by the sail's specifications so that you know whether you're in the ballpark. If things are still weird, it's very likely the wrong bend curve. In my experience, Fiberspars tend to be a bit stiff in the bottom section. Gaastra sails, on the other hand, work on the principle of a softer bottom and a stiffer top.
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youngmasterluke



Joined: 13 Aug 2009
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Tue Jul 02, 2013 2:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks everyone for the replies. Sorry I hadn't got back sooner. I am depowering the leach down about 2.5 battens, as I stated it gets bent out of shape with further downhaul. The comments you made were helpful. I have an approx. 2008 Gaastra Matrix with an approx. 2000 Fiberspar Quick Tip mast. The mast is a 490 standard diameter mast, 4200 quick tip which means it is 55% carbon and has a reflex response of 4200+ (whatever that means). It seems to me they have (or used to have) a numeric index for matching sails with masts (i.e. xbrand of sail should use a 17 stiffness of mast). I'm pretty sure they used to do this back in the days when they also listed the sail range for every board they sold. I think I will look into that, but it's good to know that stiff masts can cause the battens to improperly rotate. I can't see using anymore downhaul, but I may try cranking a little harder on the outhaul in the time being.
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youngmasterluke



Joined: 13 Aug 2009
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Tue Jul 02, 2013 2:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Additional note: it's an 8.0 Gaastra Matrix and I like to rig it with a healthy amount of power in the sail. Luff and outhaul are as close to factory specs as I can get them.
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swchandler



Joined: 08 Nov 1993
Posts: 5462

PostPosted: Tue Jul 02, 2013 2:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've told this story before, but it just might give you a better picture of your predicament. I have a 430cm Fiberspar Reflex Wave 75% carbon Quicktip SDM that I bought back in 1999. I used it on many different Windwing sails as current as 2003 without a problem. In 2004, I bought a 6.3 Windwing Hammer and attempted to rig it on the Fiberspar. It was a complete no-go, as the 2 battens below the boom wouldn't rotate. I tried everything, but to no avail. To solve my problem I bought the recommended mast, a 430cm Gulftech 100% carbon RDM. Using the Gulftech, all was perfect.

One thing that occurred around 2004 and afterward was the fact that many sail designers began introducing a lot more luft curve in the leading edge of their sails. Older masts like the Fiberspars just didn't have the right bend curve in the bottom of the mast to accommodate the more accentuated curve needed by the sail. As I mentioned before, more current Gaastra sails really want a softer bottom that the Fiberspar just can't deliver.

What I would recommend doing is borrowing a few masts from your friends on a windless day to rig up your sail. I'm willing to bet that you'll find a more acceptable result, especially if you can get your hands on a Gaastra or Maui Sails mast.
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