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Gusty conditions
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bates



Joined: 25 May 2004
Posts: 299

PostPosted: Wed May 26, 2004 12:30 pm    Post subject: Gusty conditions Reply with quote

Hey, I sail off a beach that is almost surrounded by islands and land. The wind is spotty and shifty even when it is blowing. I have a Hifly 274 and a 5.5, 7.5, and 8.5 sails. I find myself getting frustrated not planing in lulls and waiting for puffs. I feel like it is not wind velocity that is holding me back, but rather my rig setup and trim. Im wondering if anyone knows what the best setup is for like 12-18kts. I think my sail feels depowered. What is the best way to get all the power out of a sail. Downhaul? outhaul? mast base? Any suggestions would help. I have basically tought myself windsurfing, can waterstart and jibe, but my rigging needs help.
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gemoore



Joined: 14 May 2001
Posts: 492

PostPosted: Wed May 26, 2004 2:28 pm    Post subject: RE: Gusty conditions Reply with quote

Where are you?

Your questions are so fundamental and the issues so broad that my main recommendation is to find the windsurfing school nearest you.

GEM
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steve1



Joined: 30 Apr 1998
Posts: 236
Location: Alameda, CA

PostPosted: Wed May 26, 2004 3:17 pm    Post subject: RE: Gusty conditions Reply with quote

Hi, getting planing in lower wind conditions is as much about fin size as rigging. You need more fin at lower speeds to generate the same lateral resistance (lift). So with lighter wind and bigger sails you need more fin to get up and planing (a bigger fin helps low wind waterstarting as well). More is better up to the point that you cannot balance the fin and hold the board flat (tail walk). This is based on your weight and the leverage it gets from the width of the board at the back. Thats why Formula boards can carry huge fins and point like crazy.

Im not familiar with the HiFly 275 and dont know how much fin you have. One starting point is to assume that whatever fin you have works for the 5.5 and scale up what you could need in proportion to the sail area.

Hope this helps.
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dirt



Joined: 17 Aug 2001
Posts: 55

PostPosted: Wed May 26, 2004 5:12 pm    Post subject: RE: Gusty conditions Reply with quote

If youre feeling underpowered, try easing off on the outhaul and perhaps downhaul to power up your sail better during the lighter wind/lulls. Just dont let the sail hit the boom on the opposite side of the sail when powered up. If that happens, crank up the outhaul to pull it off the boom a touch.
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carl



Joined: 25 Feb 1997
Posts: 2487
Location: SF bay area

PostPosted: Wed May 26, 2004 6:13 pm    Post subject: RE: Gusty conditions Reply with quote

I agree with GEM about lessons.
Something to try for gusty winds though:
Rig a bigger sail than you normally would and downhaul the sail much more than you normally would. The leach should be falling off loose down to the third or forth batton. This will only work with sails newer than about year 1999, unless its a race sail, then newer than about 1996. Basicly youre rigging big for the lulls and the sail spills wind in the gusts. This will only work if your planing in the straps and sheeting-in to go faster in the gusts. (You didnt say what your skills were).
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Rube



Joined: 21 Jun 2000
Posts: 78

PostPosted: Wed May 26, 2004 6:35 pm    Post subject: RE: Gusty conditions Reply with quote

First off - gusty is always tricky, even for expert sailors, so dont despair!

If your sails are fairly modern, they are designed to be rigged with a fair ammount of downhaul. Using the correct mast will help alot, too stiff or too bendy will make the sail underperform. If you have the correct length and stiffness mast (IMCS) as printed on your sail then rig the sail so that the mast length + the base extension length is equal to the luff length printed on your sail. This should give you a loose leech (trailing edge of the sail away from the mast) between the second and third battens. If you dont understand, keep downhauling until you see the sail going floppy near the top. This will give your sail the ability to spill the wind in gusts. The looser the sail top the more wind shedding ability. Downside is that it also will have less power too, its a trade-off for gusty conditions.

Next rig the outhaul fairly loose, so that the foot of the sail has some pocket but make sure the sail doesnt touch the windward side of your boom when it is powered up. This should give you some low-end power for the lulls. Try experimenting with it and you should get a feel for how your sails like to be rigged. It does vary by sail type. Main thing is to have fun!!

If youre getting nowhere take a lesson and ask lots of questions
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kuryllos1



Joined: 06 Jun 2001
Posts: 31

PostPosted: Wed May 26, 2004 7:18 pm    Post subject: RE: Gusty conditions Reply with quote

I often sail in gusty and spotty wind that many people consider un-sailable and my answer to it is to rig big but with tons of downhaul and outhaul. Actually I have an adjustable outhaul, which I use a lot in such wind conditions. In these conditions, I also use a weed fin to calm the board down. Moreover for early planing and increased stability, I use a bigger board than yours (HiFly 279) with my 9.0 and 7.8 cambered sails. Iím 180 lbs for your reference.
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coachg



Joined: 10 Sep 2000
Posts: 2011

PostPosted: Thu May 27, 2004 12:01 am    Post subject: RE: Gusty conditions Reply with quote

Try an adjustable outhaul. It should work great for the conditions you are describing.

CoachG
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gemoore



Joined: 14 May 2001
Posts: 492

PostPosted: Thu May 27, 2004 4:16 pm    Post subject: RE: Gusty conditions Reply with quote

Yeah. Pretty much you have to rig for the lulls or for the gusts, and the best choice depends on how much time is powered and how much depowered.

If its windy with holes, then Id rig for the wind and schlogg when lulls happen. In this situation I typically like a small sail rigged deep (low wind setting).

If its light with big gusts, I like the sail big and flat (to handle the gusts). This setting will coast nicely, and I like a race sail because of its stability.

But all of this and enjoying it takes a LOT of practice. Nowadays I often pick the small sail and freestyle the lulls. Sometimes that means LOTS of freestyle. Sad

GEM
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pacspeed



Joined: 14 Sep 2000
Posts: 612

PostPosted: Fri May 28, 2004 11:07 am    Post subject: RE: Gusty conditions Reply with quote

NO NO NO NO NO!!!!

<ALWAYS RIG FOR THE HOLES>

This is one of the fundamental rules of the sport, Id say. Its much easier to sail with the barn door open (aka sheeted out) than it is to exert psychic powers and make the wind come back up.

When in doubt, go bigger.

If you spend your session on the hairy edge of a catapult, and all you have to do is twitch that back arm in to start ripping along like a skipping stone, youll come in with a much bigger smile on your face than if you safely and prudently schlogged and pumped your way across the reach and back.

For my money, and what you describe, the 8.5 is the only sail going, and I wouldnt bother in 12 kts. either. Cheers dudes!
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