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Beginner Sail Recommendation
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lunchbox



Joined: 13 Jul 2011
Posts: 22

PostPosted: Thu Jul 25, 2013 11:50 pm    Post subject: Beginner Sail Recommendation Reply with quote

I apologize if this topic has been discussed a million times already...but here goes...

This is my 3rd time windsurfing. I have a JP Funster 205 which I really like. I am about 210lbs and 6'4" tall. I windsurf on a lake and the average wind speeds are 5-15mph and very gusty...long lulls as well. Usually windspeed is about 5-7mph. I can't jibe and I'm not in the straps yet but can tack back and forth and stay upwind. I don't fall down that much anymore. I currently have 2 older sails, one that is a 5.4 and a 6.4. Both have cams and are a pain to rig. I bet they are at least 10-15 years old.

I am looking for a sail that is easy to rig, light weight, easy to control, powerful (i.e can get me going in lightwind) and has a large wind range.

I thought something in the 6.5-7.0 range would work for my level and riding conditions but would prefer an expert opinion.

Also, I only go a few times a year so I don't want to spend a lot of money. So maybe a used sail, last years model, etc.

And finally, my mast is 460cm and imcs is 25. Average diameter is 41mm. Looks like the model is a CK95 PRO Racing.

So far I thought these sails might work:

Sailworks Retro 6.5/7.0
Gaastra Pilot 6.5m
Naish Ralley 6.4

Any help would be greatly appreciated.
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joethewindsufa



Joined: 10 Oct 2010
Posts: 182
Location: Montréal

PostPosted: Fri Jul 26, 2013 6:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

i weigh about the same and sail on a small lake regularily
for our weight with light winds in such conditions i prefer an 8.x sail
that mast is an older NP/Neil Pryde mast
they are apparently compatible with sails like Maui Sails which are hard top
the sail brands you have chosen are all good and i know the Retro for sail range
what is important is the sail fit the mast - or the mast fit the sail - depending how you look at it
not that many 8.x sails fit on a 460 and so , perhaps go for a 7.5
make sure you try the mast in the sail before buying
if there is a trusted windsurf shop in your area maybe they can help you decide which sails will work and may have some used in stock
good winds
joe windsurfer
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adywind



Joined: 08 Jan 2012
Posts: 207

PostPosted: Fri Jul 26, 2013 7:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Get the biggest no cam sail you can fit on a 460-7.5 and up . You are big guy on a big board on a lake with light wind-you need as much power as you can get. With power comes speed and gybes, waterstarting etc. and most of all fun.
Don't stop here aswell-as soon as you get comfortable with the sail you get start planning for the next bigger one .
Start collecting modern 7 batten sails , preferably same brand and model with the recommended masts /slowly , one of a time budget depending, 2 will suffice/. Lets say 8.0 and 9.5 or something like that.
I'm a fan of the big Retros personally .



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Sailboarder



Joined: 10 Apr 2011
Posts: 414

PostPosted: Fri Jul 26, 2013 7:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You are asking a tricky question with no easy solution. I am about your weight, use a longboard, sail on lake and was at your level not so long ago so I feel qualified to risk an answer anyway.

You have first to realize that buying a sail by itself is not possible. You have to consider your boom and mast too. To add to the complexity, you also have to consider the rest potential sail quiver. You want nice spacing between your sails. This can be detailed and discussed ad nauseam. To help you, consult James Douglass sail calculator on the web. With this tool, and actual on water experience, I decided that a good theoretical quiver of 9.5, 7.5, 6, 5 and 4.2 sails would be great for me. This can be a base for you too.

You will see that I use larger sails. This is required to get on the plane in reasonable winds. People will tell you that a 9.5 is too big: these people are normally lighter, not as strong and/or have access to nicer winds on a regular basis. Based on this, your next sail could be a 7.5 or 8.0, provided you keep your 6.4. My 7.5 is an Ezzy Freeride that rigs on a 460. You will have to research your mast to figure out what sail brands will be compatible with it's bend curve( constant, hard or soft-tip)

You are also asking for a one-sail solution. In that case, I advise you to consider a Kona One or Aerotech Zenith sail in 9.0 size (your weight class). These sails are light, have a huge tuning range and can be sailed by rec racers between 0 and 25 kts. Their draw-back is that they are tricky and non-conventional to tune, and are also less stable than other sails. I have one and I like it. I will however eventually indulge myself and get a 9.5 twin-cam freerace sail in order to have more stability when the conditions require it.

Finally, for really light non-planing winds, an old 6.0 or 6.5 Dacron sail without the full battens is hard to beat. They are really light and catch the smallest breezes. They are just not fun in stronger winds. You can find one for free, and it will fit most 460 mast.

Thinking about what I wrote, and because of the wind conditions you describe, I think you should skip the 7.5 and buy a 9.0. They can be found used, at least at Sandy Point.

Good luck!
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adywind



Joined: 08 Jan 2012
Posts: 207

PostPosted: Fri Jul 26, 2013 7:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Don't base your sail choice on the old mast you currently have-you'll get rid of it eventually . Just take the size into account to be able to use it until you get the recommended one for the new sail.
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coachg



Joined: 10 Sep 2000
Posts: 1995

PostPosted: Fri Jul 26, 2013 9:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As already said, mast should match sail if possible. If mast/sail bend is close you can get away with it with non-cam (RAF) sails. Many modern 6.5 sails rig on 430's today so figure on needing a low 7 meter sail.

I would tell you to find a super inexpensive 10 year old sail without cams in the mid 6's to continue practicing on & take your time looking for an 8.0+ meter sail that fits your mast if you want to keep the budget low. Also consider for the conditions you are describing a Kona and one large RAF sail is all you would need in the long run.

Coachg
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cgoudie1



Joined: 10 Apr 2006
Posts: 1228
Location: Killer Sturgeon Cove

PostPosted: Fri Jul 26, 2013 9:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

+1 for the big Retros. I have a 9.5 (it rigs on a 490 mast), and requires a
big boom. My recollection is that you can get an 8.0 to rig on a 460 with
a lot of extension. You're still gonna need a big boom though. At your
weight and conditions, you'll be wanting all the sail you can get.

-Craig

p.s. I am not a heavy weight (180lbs) but I am 6'3".
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dhmark



Joined: 04 Sep 2007
Posts: 214

PostPosted: Fri Jul 26, 2013 10:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

OP says he is on a budget, which means getting the largest sail that will fit with his current mast, which means 7.5-8.0 for a 460 mast. Easier to handle than a 9.0-9.5. As I recall NP CK95 was more a flex-top bend (but I could be mistaken), which is the opposite of what works for Mauisails Gaastra. Sails have not changed much the past 10 years, could go back that far and get something suitable. dhmark
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thombiz



Joined: 25 Jun 2007
Posts: 552
Location: Corpus Christi

PostPosted: Fri Jul 26, 2013 12:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My suggestion is to start with a fabric sail, like a Hot Sails Superfreak somewhere in the range from 6.3 meters to 8.0 meters. Beginners are very hard on equipment until they get their sea legs, and the Superfreaks can take most of the falling and banging that comes with learning how to windsurf on a lake. Small tears in the fabric can be repaired using a home sewing maching, and should you have a big tear, you can pull the battens out, fold up the sail and send it off to be repaired. As you grow to intermediate status, you can build a quiver of sails around the type of sailing you enjoy most and your budget.

I checked Craigslist using www.zoomthelist.com which does a nationwide search of Craigslist sites and found an 8.0 Superfreak in Portland, Or. for $175. That listing had expired, but you might be able to search other classifieds in Portland and the Gorge to see if the owner placed other ads for the sail. Also, you might put a "want to buy" ad on Craigslist or other windsurf equip. classifieds in the Portland area.

There's a 6.3 Superfreak on Ebay right now: http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_odkw=&_sop=10&_osacat=2920&_mdo=Sporting-Goods&LH_PrefLoc=3&_dmd=1&_pcats=159136%2C382&_armrs=1&_trksid=p2045573.m570.l1313.TR2.TRC0.A0.XSuperfreak&_nkw=Superfreak&_sacat=2920&_from=R40

There are a number of new Superfreaks for sale on the Hot Sails website: http://www.hotsailsmauishop.com/superfreakcenter.aspx

I'm in no way associated with Hot Sails Maui, but I do think their Superfreaks are excellent choices for beginners and make a durable sail as your skills improve and the dacron cloth holds up very well to UV exposure.


Last edited by thombiz on Fri Jul 26, 2013 4:03 pm; edited 2 times in total
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d0uglass



Joined: 28 May 2004
Posts: 1070
Location: Bonita Springs, Florida

PostPosted: Fri Jul 26, 2013 1:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lunchbox-

Modern no-cam sails actually have a bit LESS power for their size than old cammed sails. So if you buy a modern 7.0, it probably won't give you any more power than your old 6.4. It WILL be easier to rig and easier to handle... but if you were hoping for more power you'll be disappointed.

To get significantly more power you will need to make a bigger jump up in size, to something in the "as big as will fit on a 460 mast" category. Sails are shorter and wider nowadays, so most 7.5 sails and some 8.0 sails will fit on a 460. You might want to measure your boom, though, to make sure that the new sail won't be too big.

Others have suggested some good sail brands, like Ezzy, Sailworks, and Hot Sails Maui, but I wouldn't stress too much about the particular brand. As long as its the right price, the right size, no cams, and less than 10 years old, you'll be happy.

Good luck! Smile

-James

_________________
James' Blog: Windsurfing Equipment Size Calculator
http://jimbodouglass.blogspot.com/2010/11/updated-windsurf-calculator-online.html
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