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Cam Vs. No-Cam (Again)
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konajoe



Joined: 28 Feb 2010
Posts: 100

PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2012 10:03 pm    Post subject: Cam Vs. No-Cam (Again) Reply with quote

This article was referenced on another thread: http://www.point-7.com/downloads/tests/Boards-June2011.pdf

I sail at a fairly flat water location with lots of people. Very few of us will even consider using cam sails. I'm one of the few who does. My experience has been that, even though we would never be considered particularly good sailors, those of us using cam sails just blast by everyone on marginal or up and down days. I mean, there are lots of folks, with lots of different equipment that varies from day to day. But the only thing that is consistent is that the few with the cam sails are the fastest on those days.

It seems simple to me, I thought. When a no-cam rig is laying on the ground with no pressure on it, it is pretty flat. The cam rig sitting next to it maintains its shape. When I mimic wind pressure on a no-cam sail by pushing on the sail a foot behind the mast, it then takes it's shape.

Doesn't it make sense that no-cam sails lose their shape and power in lulls and slightly underpowered conditions? Also, that transition from the flat shape to the full powered shape makes pumping onto a plane a waste of time and energy.
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manuel



Joined: 08 Oct 2007
Posts: 96

PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2012 11:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There could be a good pocket on raf sails although freestylers seem to be rig very flat.

The curve in the cammed sails makes them gain in stability. It's more important with bigger sails, more comfortable but also more hassle to rig.
They won't twitch as much, even more relevant on Formula gear.

Most slalom guys use only cammed sail otherwise they'd lose power in the lulls and would get distanced.

PS: I'm a recretional formula guy, and I hate cams, I rig my big sails with lots of downhaul and little outhaul, it gives me a good pocket and is plenty stable for me, no problem there. But I don't go for speed.
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beaglebuddy



Joined: 10 Feb 2012
Posts: 502

PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2012 11:33 pm    Post subject: Re: Cam Vs. No-Cam (Again) Reply with quote

[quote

Doesn't it make sense that no-cam sails lose their shape and power in lulls and slightly underpowered conditions? .[/quote]
Well yes but in a lull there wouldn't seem to be any wind to propel the cammed sail either.
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zirtaeb



Joined: 03 Jul 2009
Posts: 2145

PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2012 12:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I also mostly use no cams. Have 3 6.5' with cams, 2 without. I use the two much more often.
I find little difference on slalom boards, more difference on course boards, and noticeable advantage to cam in Formula boards going for upwind and especially downwind.
Both seem to plane up exactly the same, but requiring different tactics. Top speeds seem about the same. Lightness and jibing favor no cams while cams are more stable, and give the feeling of steady pull, whereas the no cams need rider input to perform. I windsurf for fun and exercise, and can imput enough.
Use whatever, it won't make any difference, especially not in reaching speeds.
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slinky



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

PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2012 5:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for that link koanjoe, a few of their observations surprised me. One reason I don't like cambered sails is that if you sail in a location with a sandy beach and shore break, once sand finds it's way inside the luff sleeve, the cambers wear away the mast. Makes me nervous. I also like having a sail that depowers in the turns and in very rough conditions.
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coachg



Joined: 10 Sep 2000
Posts: 1934

PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2012 8:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A very good article & spot on. I have both cam & RAF sails in the 6.0-7.5 range & for basic freeriding I use RAF. I pull out the cam sails for race training, racing or just when I have the need for speed. I noticed that when I do use my cam sails I rig .5 to 1 meter bigger than RAF. Above 7.5 I only use cam sails because I only use them in way powered to overpowered conditions. I prefer to rig a smaller sail & do light wind freestyle in marginal 8.0+ conditions, but that is just me.

Coachg
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U2U2U2



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

PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2012 9:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Having gone through this in August and using a cammed sail for early planing as the primary objective ( not control when overpowered)
I find that the cammed sail only offered a plus for control in the upper wind range. Size sail and size board and of course sailor ability all need to be considered in the equation
Vg = (1/ρf)k∇H(p)

this a joke Wink

my conclusion on a 135L Freeride board was that a 8.5 cammed sail made little difference in earlier planing than a 7.5 RAF, nor on a Formula board, but my feeling is that a larger ...ummmm 9.5 would have on the F board.

The negatives on the cammed sail to me do not offset the positive aspects, like comfort in the upper wind range smoother more stable when well powered up VS the RAF which is a lot easier to handle both in lighter winds and transitions.

At sizes 8.5 and above the relative merits of the cammed sails tend to take over from the RAF, and in the smaller sizes the RAF remain more appealing, the extra flex of the RAF foil and the way this molds to the pull of the wind before the very rigid foil of the cammed sail.

if early planing were my prime consideration the early planing sails like the Neil Pryde Hellcat or Helium would be a serious possibility

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4Boards....May the fours be with you

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cgoudie1



Joined: 10 Apr 2006
Posts: 1124
Location: Killer Sturgeon Cove

PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2012 10:20 am    Post subject: Re: Cam Vs. No-Cam (Again) Reply with quote

My own experience is that no-cams pump much better, but that might just
be me. Also I typically am not looking for speed when I rig my no-cam
9.5 retro, but people on cammed sails don't typically pass me when
I'm rigged on it. I suspect that if I were trying to ride it into a 20MPH
wind that a similar cammed sail would pass me, but then I'd rig a 5.5.

-Craig

konajoe wrote:
Doesn't it make sense that no-cam sails lose their shape and power in lulls and slightly underpowered conditions? Also, that transition from the flat shape to the full powered shape makes pumping onto a plane a waste of time and energy.
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techno900



Joined: 28 Mar 2001
Posts: 1354

PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2012 10:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have 4, 4.5, 5,2, 6 no cam sails and 6.6, 7.6, 8.4, 9.2, 11 cammed sails.

Unless you are trying to set speed records, there is little reason to have cammed sails under 7.0. The newer no cam sails do pretty well in the larger sizes, with more low end power, but a little less stability and less range (less leach twist).

I think most recreational sailors will be the happiest with no cam sails below 8.5 and if they go big, then maybe a two or three cam or none at all.

There is a reason that pro and amateur racers almost all use cammed sails, but they are not for everyone. I do believe that the cammed sails are faster, but only in well or overpowered conditions.

Gybing & tacking no cam sails is a little easier, no matter the size.

Regardless of wind, I am always looking for speed, even with my 9.2 or 11.0, but I am also a little cautious and try to avoid getting hammered in the first 15 minutes with the big sails.
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PeconicPuffin



Joined: 07 Jun 2004
Posts: 1138

PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2012 10:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If your priority is straight line speed, cams work. The compromises are weight, rigging time, cost, jibing, feel, pumpability, ease of waterstarting.

It should be noted that unless you're substantially overpowered, a good sailor on a speedy camless sail will usually match speed with the cammed sailor.

I'm a fast camless sailor. I pass about 2/3 of the cammed population when I'm sailing with them. I've also had my doors blown off by some good racers on tuned gear!

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Michael
http://www.peconicpuffin.com
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