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Let's Talk Cammed Sails
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mamero



Joined: 25 Aug 2013
Posts: 352
Location: Vancouver, Canada

PostPosted: Sat Aug 25, 2018 10:58 am    Post subject: Let's Talk Cammed Sails Reply with quote

Let's talk about Cammed Sails.

I'm thinking of adding a cammed sail to the top end of my quiver if I can find a decent one secondhand. I've never sailed one before. What are their pros and cons; strengths and weaknesses? How many cams and when? What sail sizes are best? Tips and quirks? What type of mast should you use? etc.

I'm personally curious about a few things in particular:
1. What sail size is best? My biggest sail now is a 7.5 Sailworks Retro. I'm thinking something like an 7.8 - 8.6 might be good?
2. Are there any differences water starting a cammed sail?
3. Gybing. I'm still learning my carve gybes. A cammed sail is always powered (unless I'm incorrect). How does that affect the gybe transition when a camless sail would usually de-power at down wind? ...or tacks for that matter?

Open for discussion...
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NOVAAN



Joined: 28 Sep 1994
Posts: 1037

PostPosted: Sat Aug 25, 2018 12:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Check archives. Lots of discussion already
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swchandler



Joined: 08 Nov 1993
Posts: 9103

PostPosted: Sat Aug 25, 2018 1:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The question that you need to ask yourself is whether you are interested in a true wide luff race sail with 4+ cams or narrow luff sail with 2-3 cams. The latter is going to be quite a bit cheaper and not prone to water getting into the wide luff sleeve if you're down in the water for a while. Also, if you want to get the most out of race sail, you really need to match it with a 100% carbon SDM.

What I would suggest is giving Bruce Peterson at Sailworks a call. I'm sure that he can highlight the pros and cons of their Sailworks NX race sail. Given the fact that you already have a number of Retros, you've got a good idea how Sailworks sails perform and hold up over time. Also, you might be able to use your existing 460cm Sailworks mast which has the right bend curve. Even if it's not a 100%, it will still offer acceptable performance for a progressing sailor. However, if you move up to a 8.0+ sail, you'll need to buy a 490cm mast too.
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coachg



Joined: 10 Sep 2000
Posts: 2611

PostPosted: Sat Aug 25, 2018 2:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

1. Depends on your weight & wind speed.

2. It's harder.

3. Better to learn to jibe with a camless sail.

Coachg
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nw30



Joined: 21 Dec 2008
Posts: 5073
Location: The eye of the universe, Cen. Cal. coast

PostPosted: Sat Aug 25, 2018 2:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kind of off subject. Back in '97 Ezzy came out with the Transformer sail for waves, it had just one removable cam just above the booms, I had one and loved it (5.2 ?), used it w/ and w/o the cam, depending on the conditions, used it so much I wore it out. Don't think there is anything like that available today.
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dllee



Joined: 03 Jul 2009
Posts: 3940
Location: East Bay

PostPosted: Sat Aug 25, 2018 2:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Used both since '85, flat and wavesailing. They started making fast Noncams in the early 90's.
Cams are more stable, should be used larger by as much as 2 meters, heavier, and like long planing jibes.
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cgoudie1



Joined: 10 Apr 2006
Posts: 2153
Location: Killer Sturgeon Cove

PostPosted: Sat Aug 25, 2018 3:14 pm    Post subject: Re: Let's Talk Cammed Sails Reply with quote

Hey Manero,

I haven't owned a cammed sail since they started building powerful no-cams (like the Retro), but I did own some full on race sails back in the day
including Sailworks XT (predecessor to the NX).

1. If you have a 7.5 then the next logical step up is a 9.0. How big is your
biggest board?

2. As mentioned by SWC, it depends on the sail. Even a sail that wants
an SDM with 4 or more cams, can be a real pain to water start, and full-on race sails can be a real pain. I remember popping all the cams up on a
race sail I once had (it had 5 cams), to get that thing to waterstart. If they
stayed up you were OK, if they folded back it was a wrestling match. There
are a few twin cam modern sails out there, that would be a lot easier, but
once your at the twin cam stage why not just get a big Retro.

3. I'm not a fan of the way cammed sails transition. People tell me they are a lot better these days than when I was riding them. For sure they
won't be as accepting of poor technique in your jibe as a no-cam would be.

So what are cammed sails good for. If you rig them big and slippery, they go really fast. They're great for gliding through lulls and planning out the
other side. They accelerate quick (in fact sheeting out is almost always wrong on a cammed sail). They tend to be better going to weather. And,
they really are stable in variable conditions.

-Craig

p.s. If you're outrunning the wind (both apparent and real) during
your carve on your cammed sail, it'll still depower during your transition.

mamero wrote:
Let's talk about Cammed Sails.

I'm thinking of adding a cammed sail to the top end of my quiver if I can find a decent one secondhand. I've never sailed one before. What are their pros and cons; strengths and weaknesses? How many cams and when? What sail sizes are best? Tips and quirks? What type of mast should you use? etc.

I'm personally curious about a few things in particular:
1. What sail size is best? My biggest sail now is a 7.5 Sailworks Retro. I'm thinking something like an 7.8 - 8.6 might be good?
2. Are there any differences water starting a cammed sail?
3. Gybing. I'm still learning my carve gybes. A cammed sail is always powered (unless I'm incorrect). How does that affect the gybe transition when a camless sail would usually de-power at down wind? ...or tacks for that matter?

Open for discussion...
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skyking1231



Joined: 10 Jul 2000
Posts: 227

PostPosted: Sat Aug 25, 2018 3:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

pros: cam sails hold shape better. designed to be sailed fully powered.: ie: i sail my sailworks 7.8 NX fully powered (but still in control), while everyons ele on non-cambered sails are sailing smaller.

cons: heavy, expensive, waterstarting sucks

If you get a full slalom sail you really should have a slalom board or at least a freerace type of board. otherwise a camless slaom sail is better...or maybe a 2 cam slalom/freerace sail.
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mamero



Joined: 25 Aug 2013
Posts: 352
Location: Vancouver, Canada

PostPosted: Sat Aug 25, 2018 3:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

skyking1231 wrote:
If you get a full slalom sail you really should have a slalom board or at least a freerace type of board. otherwise a camless slaom sail is better...or maybe a 2 cam slalom/freerace sail.


My regular board that I use with the 7.5 Retro is a Futura (freerace) and I may be going to buy an iSonic (slalom) tomorrow. The iSonic seller mentioned he also has some race sails (North WARP). I'm a Sailworks guy but have sailed older North sails and I liked them. If not a North then a secondhand NX would be at the top of my cam list.
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mamero



Joined: 25 Aug 2013
Posts: 352
Location: Vancouver, Canada

PostPosted: Sat Aug 25, 2018 4:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Would a cammed sail of similar size produce more power than a non cammed sail? Example. Sailworks makes the 7.5 Retro and a 7.8 NX. Would the NX be closer to an 8.0 or even 8.5 Retro?
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