View Full Version : Help with recreational Formula Board choice...

28th April 2007, 07:18 AM
Hey there! I am trying to choose a Formula-style board for light-wind recreational sailing.

I used to have an F-Type 158, loved it, and later went down to an F-Type 148 in hopes to be able to ride it longer as the wind picks up. I have since rebuilt my quiver and have a 142L freeride board I will ride on 8.5 and smaller, and now just want an early-planing light-wind board for use with a 9.5 Retro (and maybe occasionally the 8.5 if that is rigged for the Freeride board and the wind dies off).

Here is what I have it narrowed down to:

1. Starboard Apollo
**Pros: Earliest planing
**Cons: Expensive; more fragile lightweight wood construction; really long fin - tough for shallow water

2. Starboard FE160
**Pros: Inexpensive, durable construction
**Cons: 2006 shape, not as good as 2007 shape? Heavier due to Tufskin
construction and thus not planing as early as comparable wood Formula Board?

3. Go back to F-Type 158 (find used or leftover inventory)
**Pros: Inexpensive, more durable construction than first two; the
easiest and most fun to sail?
**Cons: Maybe the latest planer of the bunch, due to the narrower
tail than the FE160?

Roger has already given some input for me, but I wanted to address the Forum to see if any of you guys had some direct experiences in comparing any of these boards.

Between the Tufskin FE160 (the 2006 design) and F-Type 158 (I would get DRAM), which would plane earlier, with equal fin and sail? Does anyone have direct experience in comparing the two? Any other pros and cons between the two from anyone who has sailed both?

I am tempted to go for the Apollo for earliest possible planing, but it would cost me about twice as much as the other two, and I am a bit worried about the durability of the lightweight wood construction.

Has anyone compared the F-Type 158 or the FE160 to Apollo? I have read here some comparisons of the F160 and F161 to the Apollo, but I am not sure how much the heavier weight of the FE160 affects the early planing performance.

I am 150 pounds or so. Thanks!

Del Carpenter
29th April 2007, 12:52 PM
What is the windspeed range you are talking about when you say "light wind"? Some sailors who have to fight tides, currents or waves think anything under 15 mph is light wind. Some sailors like me think any wind strong enough to get someone planing is a "moderate" wind.

My guess is there is far less difference between an Apollo, an FE160 and an F-type 158 than there is between winds of 8 mph and 12 mph. At a general condition of 12 mph (fluctuating between 10 and 14) maybe they generally all plane with a 9.5 and your weight. At a general condition of 8 mph (fluctuating between 6.5 and 9.5) maybe only the Apollo generally planes with a 9.5 and your weight.

30th April 2007, 03:36 AM
Pete, maybe it's time you tried a real Formula board, since you've done your apprenticeship on the F-type. You shouldn't have too much trouble finding a good used one, and at the right price. I'm around your weight and about a year ago started sailing a Fanatic 2004 Formula TT(7.5kgs), and for me it is the only choice for light wind. Over the whole year, it could be the board I use the most. It gets lonely though, when you're the only one on the water :)

30th April 2007, 08:01 AM

Thanks for the input.

Does anyone have any input on how much the weight of the FE160 affects the early planing ability versus an equivalent lightweight wood alternative?

The price tag of the FE160 plus the durability sure seems attractive as long as I wouldn't be sacrificing much on early planing...



30th April 2007, 07:45 PM
Another way of wording the question... would an FE160 plane as early or earlier than an F-Type 158... ??? I guess that's how I would be thinking of this one. I wouldn't be as concerned about the weight if it will plane as early as or earlier than the F-Type 158.

30th April 2007, 11:20 PM
Yes. The 160 will for sure plane earlier than the F-Type.

I owned a F-type 158 for a year, and it was clear to me, that the formulaboard was the erarliest planing board.

Used the F- type 158 with a Drake 70 fin and a RS3 size 11m2.

In my view the F-type is not a early planing board compared to other "semiformulaboards"
Not as easyplaning as the Bic Techno Formula, but faster. I owned at Bic for severlal years.

1st May 2007, 01:26 AM

Thanks, that is helpful.

Anyone else out there have specific feedback on specifically the heavier Tufskin FE160, and early planing capabilities versus the F-Type 158 and/or a comparable lighter wood Formula board?



2nd May 2007, 07:11 AM
Okay, I think I have it narrowed down to a 2007 F-161 or a 2006/2007 FE-160.

Can anyone provide any direct feedback between to the two of those, with regards to the early planing capabilities?

I would imagine the extra weight (~2 kg) would have more effect than the shape evolution, but I don't know how much.

Thanks in advance!!

4th May 2007, 03:09 AM
Well, Apollo's are backordered for 3 months in North America, so that made my choice easier.

I am going with 2007 Formula 161...

4th May 2007, 10:18 AM
Hi Pete,

Just a bit of a test here to ensure that you're strong in your final resolve. The basic thing that you've noted all along is that you're focused on a recreational formula board, and I've always thought that the FE160 might be a favorable option within that category. While I'm not using formula equipment, I've noticed that that there is a balance between design and construction weight. I sometimes feel that absolute light weight can be a bit overated, especially if one really considers the strengths of a good design.

Let me develop this some, because light weight has always been an arguable point of concern in my mind. If you wanted to be a competitive racer, I wouldn't recommend going with anything less than Starboard's top flight light weight construction. However, for recreational purposes, a little bit of added weight is in the noise level. For my high wind boards, I can say that my boards are quite heavy, at least 2-4 pounds greater than an equivalent production epoxy board. Despite the extra weight, I find that the design shape easily overcomes the seemingly great weight liability.

The 160 formula design was a solid performance winner on the pro circuit, so there's little question of its integrity, at least with a fair degree of experience under your belt. So, does the extra weight (but added strength and durability) really become a liability here? Of course, it's your decision, but I would be remiss if I didn't test your resolve on this point. The cost savings would be probably be enough to buy a new carbon boom or maybe an extra sail. Clearly something to consider seriously.

4th May 2007, 07:13 PM

Thanks for the input. I do agree with your thoughts above.

What through me over the edge towards the F-161 was the praise for the improvements here in the forum for the 2007 shape. Had they been equal in shape I probably would have went for the FE...