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Mistral Malibu?
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walkingman



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

PostPosted: Mon May 06, 2013 2:53 pm    Post subject: Mistral Malibu? Reply with quote

Relative newb here. 4 seasons. Typical sailing: Puget Sound off of Fauntleroy. 15-20mph, 7.0 Retro max, 170 lbs, Fanatic Ultra Cat. FINALLY into straps consistently on full plane, fin only, but water starts still elusive. Anybody have an opinion as to whether a 1985 Mistral Malibu would be a good "transitional" board for sharpening skills as well as working on waterstarting? I have a 125 L Tabou Rocket that sits in storage for the time being, but is getting closer to reality.

Thanks in advance for any sage advice! ~Steve
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roarmoss



Joined: 22 Jun 2010
Posts: 17

PostPosted: Mon May 06, 2013 3:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My experience '85 Malibu is an xcellent transition board for that weight, sail size, and conditions --- if in good condition especially the mast track etc and with a good (U.S. box) fin.
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gregnw44



Joined: 23 Jul 2008
Posts: 246

PostPosted: Mon May 06, 2013 3:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Steve, probably most here would have no idea, where you're talking about. But since I'm in the greater Seattle area... I do.
The '85 Malibu is only a bit smaller than your Ultra-Cat... maybe 187 L compared to the 220 or 210 L of the Fanatic. And it is pretty close in length, width and design (standard old longboard design with adjustable mast-track, retractable centerboard, footstraps and fin). But both are hi-quality, relatively light weight excellent boards.

I don't know where in the Fauntleroy area you're going to learn waterstarts... you should really go down to Hood River and take a lesson. With your current experience, you'll have them wired in 1 weekend. And, back up here in Seattle, be cautious in Puget Sound with tidal currents.

Anyway, the typical board for leaning waterstarts, would be much shorter than a Cat or old Malibu, and would not have a centerboard. This allows you to maneuver it around in the water while your swimming/treading water, much easier. And at your weight, maybe something around 120 - 135 L would be a good size. That way you can uphaul it, if the wind's dying, and still slog back in.

Oh yeah, you already have a 125L shortboard... why not just use that?

Anyway, sure you can learn to waterstart an'85 Malibu... but you can also learn that on a Ultra-Cat. But neither one would be as easy as a big shortboard.
Greg -
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 14163

PostPosted: Mon May 06, 2013 3:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My 1984 Malibu was my first step down in size from longboards, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Getting WAY back there into its back straps was a challenge, and maintaining sufficient rail pressure to carve all the way through a jibe before learning how to jibe was also a challenge, but I really liked its responsiveness after owning 2 or 3 big longboards. It felt much faster and it footsteered. Sure, you could do much better with a newer, wider, more turny board, but for a hundred bucks for a Malibu whose mast track still works or has been modified to accept modern mast feet (a simple rectangular nut will suffice), why not?

OTOH, I suspect there are many boards of its vintage (read: price) and volume which are more user-friendly ... softer rails, more balanced volume distribution, etc. Given your Seattle and Hood River resources, you should have many options. Listen to the guys here who have tried other transitional boards than my limited exposure.

Waterstarting depends on focus and skills and necessity, not volume, at that stage. I.E., anything over 100 liters waterstarts more or less the same: ya keeps the nose off the wind 'til yer standing on the board. 260L, 180 L, 120 L are pretty similar challenges.

Mike \m/
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zirtaeb



Joined: 03 Jul 2009
Posts: 2388

PostPosted: Mon May 06, 2013 4:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

How much do you weigh?
200 lbs is standard weight for needing to uphaul the Tabou. Someone 220 can uphaul it, but it's a balancing act.
Anyone under 200 can easily uphaul it.
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 14163

PostPosted: Mon May 06, 2013 4:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I couldn't uphaul a frickin' Malibu in Oahu chop. That's why, when, and where I abandoned uphauling for waterstarting. With that motivation, I made the switch in a day or three. I haven't carried an uphaul with me since that board.
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walkingman



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

PostPosted: Mon May 06, 2013 4:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the feedback folks. It's really helped that I transitioned to sailing fin only. Greg, I sail between fauntleroy and the north end of Vashon. (btw, I really enjoy your Lake Washington videos!) I've had a great season so far and lucked out one day when the current was going north and the wind was going south, so I didn't have to worry about losing position while I experimented with centerboard, no centerboard. It really did the trick for me. The ultra cat is really sensitive to foot steering when on plane which had me hooting and grinning from ear to ear. I felt like I was finally sailing instead of just tagging along for the ride while close haul beating to weather with the centerboard down.

So, I guess I'll stick with the cat and keep plugging away on the waterstart for the voodoo chop days. My main goal is to improve my skills to the point where I can safely pull the tabou out of storage and make it back to starting point every time. Thanks again everybody!
-Steve
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spennie



Joined: 13 Oct 1995
Posts: 823
Location: Thousand Oaks, CA

PostPosted: Mon May 06, 2013 6:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Waterstarting? Front arm straight! Best tip I ever got.
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gregnw44



Joined: 23 Jul 2008
Posts: 246

PostPosted: Mon May 06, 2013 6:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow, that's great Steve!
If you live on the water at Fauntleroy... then sure, sailing just where you said makes the most sense. If you're loading gear and driving...have you tried Lowman Beach... probably only 5 min away for you. I've sailed there quite a bit. Great parking, grass rigging, short level walk to the beach. And a nice beach for sailing from whether hi or low tide, very user friendly.
Did you know we put together the first official rounding of Blake Island from there last fall. Two of us made it out 6 that were there... was very fun.
You should come down to Des Moines this Wed at 5 for the first City League race of the series. Your Cat would be perfect, we'll sail even if it's only blowing 5mph. It's a great way to get lots of new knowledge and info.

And like Zirt said, at your weight, you can easily uphaul your shortboard. I mean, you'd like to waterstart it... but if the wind dies too low to do that, you can uphaul it.
Bring it over to Newcastle beach, it's the only good pace to practice waterstarts around Seattle. And you could get some helpful tips there. Also, ANY place on LK. Wash. is safer than Puget Sound, cause there's no current... so then, you could safely get some board time on that Tabou.
But don't get rid of that Cat... it'll be your most used board in Seattle.
Greg -
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adywind



Joined: 08 Jan 2012
Posts: 211

PostPosted: Mon May 06, 2013 7:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I figured out waterstarting only after I got my 93 lt board and 5.8 sail/I'm 170lbs/. The combination : strong wind, light sail and not too floaty board made the process way more easy. Clearing a sail bigger then 7.0 is a whole chapter by itself and I figured it later when I was already waterstarting confidently wit the small kit. So find a save realativly shallow and flat spot like a small lake, wait for stronger wind and let that Rocket thake you up...up...up...Smile
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