View Full Version : Serenity - the way forward
18th July 2007, 12:58 AM
I recently had a test ride on a Serenity and here's my report:
FYI - The last time I owned a board with more than 90l was 15 years ago, my favourite discipline is speedsailing, my favourite board is my Missile XS 54l. I did however learn to sail on a Bic 250 way back.
So there I was itching for a sail last weekend but there was no wind. Gave the owner of Wind and Wave a call to see if the tester Serenity was available and it was so off I went.
I rigged my largest sail, a 7.7m2 Code Red.
A significant crowd of bored windsurfers (current and retired) were out walking and gathered around this curious machine, as I explained it's target conditions there was a genuine expression of interest.
So I jumped aboard and glided away from a few of the onlookers who were suitably impressed with it's pace in a mere 5kts of wind, as was I.
I say glided, as that is what it felt like. I glided off into Dublin Bay when I'd normally have been sitting around the house praying for wind. For the first time in many years I found myself grinning away from ear to ear at the pure simplicity of windsurfing that is long forgotten.
It took a few minutes to get the hang of sailing the board, initially keeping it on heading was quite difficult. Once I got my feet close together and over the centreboard and found a decent balance point it was plain sailing. I sailed about 2 miles upwind along the coast until I began to run out of water and then played around in the bay for a while.
Tacking it is a bit difficult but made a lot easier by doing heli tacks to push the massive nose off the wind. I didn't try gybing as I was enjoying staying dry.
When the wind picked up to about 8 - 10kts, I adapted a long forgotten long board stance (see sunset photos from the 70's), back leg bent, front leg directing the monster. It powered along, spraying out a wake like a boat, effortless at the same time.
It needs to be sailing on the rail for best stability at low winds.
So in summary: In the lightest breeze this board got a high wind speedsailor out on the water and very happy. In a light breeze this board was great fun to sail.
The only cons I could come up with were size and the fixed centreboard. The size issue comes back to the original windsurfer, we used to store them in clubhouses and then launch and go for a sail around the local lake, that it what this is best for, that said I would most definately say that if you have a long enough garage then transporting this on the roofrack is no big deal, it's easy to put on and take off due to the balanced handle.
Tip: coming in close to shore once you're off the board (if you cant rail ride right in) capsize the board and you can come right into the shallows.
All in all, a big kudos to SB for having the balls to produce this board, I wish you all the best. It reminded me of some of my best days windsurfing back at my local lake and if it takes off it'll be the rebirth of windsurfing.
18th July 2007, 12:34 PM
Yea yea nice review .. but did you buy one or have you ordered one?
18th July 2007, 05:33 PM
I live in a terraced house with on street parking, I store my gear in a 10 foot shed out back or my jeep.
If I had the space I'd have ordered one on the day I sailed it.
I was out by the sea yesterday evening and was wishing I had the Serenity as there was bugger all wind but it was perfect for a cruise around the bay.
The other board I now must try is the Apollo and see which I'd rather when it's light winds, I'd guess the Serenity.
Like I said in the review - one of the few cons is its size, but that's an inevitable price.
18th July 2007, 05:43 PM
My question: is there really a significant difference in sailing (not carrying or looking at it) between Serenity and an old raceboard, such as Fanatic Cat or old Mistrals?
They were also long and had a center board.
18th July 2007, 06:25 PM
Yes, there's a huge difference.
Maybe not so different (other than weight and ease of setup, etc.) than a full Div. 2 board like the Lechner, but compared to an older course race board (Mistral Equipe/IMCO, Fanatic Cat, F2 Lightning, and that genre of board) yes, the Serenity is very different, significanly faster in < around 8 knots.
Try one, and you will see. Cruising along with spray up to your waist in
6-7 knots with a 7.5 m2 rig.
Don't think you'll find that with an older raceboard.
Hope this helps,
19th July 2007, 10:03 AM
I rented a Serenity a few weeks ago in Hatteras (from Sailworld in Avon), and it was awesome!
I was in Avon for a week, and there were 3 pretty marginal days, and the Serenity completely saved me from getting skunked. I sailed for a few hours on the Serenity on those light days, and had a blast. Many times I was the only one on the water, and when I came in people came running over to see what the heck I was sailing so fast on in such light winds.
I am light in weight and get going pretty early on my Formula, but on those really marginal days, the Serenity takes the pressure off. I could see myself getting a Serenity, and rolling the dice and heading to the water on the marginal days, and if not enough wind materializes to plane consistently on the Formula, out comes the Serenity, no big deal (versus the HUGE letdown of getting completely skunked, or schlogging around on a Formula with a big rig!).
I haven't bought one yet, as it doesn't fit in my trailer and I haven't 100% figured out how I am going to transport it and store it, but I have a feeling that eventually I will own one...
Kudos to Starboard for being bold enough to make such a revolutionary board!
19th July 2007, 04:47 PM
sell serenity as a 2-piece board (same as masts)?
20th July 2007, 05:32 AM
Although I haven't sailed it yet, it's a completely different ballgame. The differences come from the botttom shape - it's round (like a half barrel) and is optimized for displacement sailing (as opposed to planing). In less than 8-9 knots, I'm sure it will run circles around longboards you mention.
All these positive reports really make me eager to try one (having sailed a lot Div2 long time ago). I've said it before:
1. maybe it could be made shorter (say shorter than 4 metres), without a severe impact on light wind performance. A lot of people simply can't put in their garages / even on their vehicles.
2. A retractable dagger (like on many starboard models). I'm guessing here, but on Div2 boards it was very important on deep downwind runs and in gybing.
any thoughts on these comments?
20th July 2007, 08:16 AM
I just don't understand the point of this board at all. The only reason to have one is so that you can win races in light wind. Try to find a race committee that will actually run a race that is too light for the formula boards (in the US, anyway). In addition, that board must have a very small wind range for the average sailor.
Save yourself the money and storage headache, and buy an old Div. II hull for a couple hundred. As screamer said in the last post, you'll still be the fastest on the water in light wind. Or, you can sacrifice light air speed and ad wind range with a hybrid or old longboard.
20th July 2007, 12:16 PM
Well, I've heard that the '08 Serenity may be even longer (to improve the really light wind (< 6 knots) speed).
I don't like the idea that it may end up longer, but if the "ultimate" in light wind speed is the goal for the Serenity, waterline length may be the only way to achieve this goal.
As far as the retractable centerboard idea, this would add alot of weight and pretty much "lock you in" to one size centerboard.
I like the current Deep Tuttle fin box arrangement becuause I can put in whatever size fin I find works the best.
I do not like the wide blade 70 cm fin that the board comes equipped with and have found the Serenity is simply faster and far easier to sail with a 50-60 cm Deboichet Concept fin plus it allows me to use different weed fins for weedy shallow conditions.
I have not found the upwind speed and angle to diminish much (if at all) with the smaller 60 cm race fin, and the board is so much easier to sail on a reach plus it tacks and jibes far more easily and smoothly with smaller fins.
Who said anything about racing the Serenity in light winds?
I'm not sure anyone has done that (beyond the Starboard Test team racing Serenity against Serenity).
The Serenity could be raced, and I'm hoping to take one to Atlanta for their fall races and see if it's raceable.
And, the serenity has the widest wind range of any aboard I've ever sailed. I've been out in a solid 25 knots (flat water near the shore) with a 4.2 m2 Sailworks Hucker and the Serenity simply rips.
I've sailed Serenity with the 7.5 Severne Glide (almost "made for Serenity") as well as larger Sailworks NX SLM 7.8/8.5 m2 and 7.5 Retro and the board simply rips along in < 7 knots at speeds like nothing I've ever seen or raced. By far the widest range of use board ever made. And it's both fun and challenging throughout the entire spectrum.
You really need to sail one to understand as the Serenity is nothing like an old Div II hull or longboard.
A Div. II hull wasn;t really "fun" to sail in < 7 knots.
The Serenity rips along with sheets of spray (up to your waist) in 7 knots with the right sail. It's so amazing you simply have to sail one to understand.
Hope this helps,
20th July 2007, 11:41 PM
Length seems a concern for anyone having to transport one of these. OTOH, the application (light air sailing in flat water) pretty much makes it a shoe-in as a club board. Putting a fleet of these in yacht clubs on lakes and in protected bays sounds like a good bet. Also, rental centers and schools could have these around for rentals, so sailors who came to sail on their own gear but got skunked would have a fun alternative allowing them to salvage the day for the cost of a rental.
Seems like this concept could be a boon to clubs and rental centers - which are the kinds of organizations we need if we really want to grow the sport. Not sure if that was part of the master plan, but it sure seems like a beneficial effect.
Of course, for anyone living on a lake, these things would be a must-have.
21st July 2007, 07:39 PM
I don't really think the length is that big of an issue. True, some people may not have the storage space or car that is big enough to cartop it. However, there are many kayaks out there as big as the Serenity (and many are much heavier.) My biggest problem so far with the size of the board is that I've banged my head a few times on it walking behind my car! Because the board is so light, it really is by far the easiest longboard I've ever had to carry and get to the water.
23rd July 2007, 05:58 AM
It's great to see someone talking about having a club board. Are you in the US?
We recently went through the selection process for our club board (in the US). The Serenity was eliminated immediately because of its cost, size, and lack of stability. The reviewer in Windsurf Magazine had a polite way of mentioning the instability by saying something like 'it wouldn't be much problem for an advanced intermediate'. Our biggest priority was having a club board that was easy for beginneres to get started on. Our finalists were the Kona, Prodigy, and original windsurfer. The Kona and Prodigy (and RSX) are the only boards that have had one-design races here in the US in the last 12 months.
23rd July 2007, 09:35 AM
Roger, the couple of times I've sailed the Serenity I've felt it was similar in light-wind speed and pace to a Lechner. Years ago, there were some D2 boards of very similar shape to a Serenity with the back cut off, and they were as fast as a "conventional" D2 in light winds but slower in planing winds.
While I understand you feel that a centreboard restricts you, you could always get a different CB made up by any dinghy foilmaker. Secondly, having a centreboard allows you to change depth, rake, effective chord, position of CLR etc with the touch of a foot as wind, waves, mood and point of sail change.
With a fin, you have to go ashore, walk to the car, get a screwdriver, get another fin, unscrew on fin, put inthe new fin, put the old fin and screwdriver back in the car, then re-launch. I think many of us adjust our centreboards many times each leg in some conditions. That's not an option with the fixed fin.
23rd July 2007, 11:01 AM
Well, something else to consider here.
The Serenity only has one fin!
Not like your Div. 2 boards or Lechners with a centerboard and a rear fin.
Moving the centerboard up and down in a Serenity would mean you go from no fin at all, to some huge heavy foil that really just adds weight.
I like the idea it's easy for Serenity sailors to "tailor" the single replaceable fin to the conditions.
Hope this helps,
24th July 2007, 07:13 PM
I think the Serenity is an excellent board and it's great that Starboard launched it. However, I don't think a good centreboard is a huge heavy foil. Just about all of them are positively buoyant, so when they are down any weight they add is more than counteracted (lots of the time) by the extra volume they provide.
To me, the fact that the Serenity hasn't got a fin isn't all that dramatic - you can sail a Lechner etc (or any longboard) without a fin but with a centreboard, up or down. And a small fin isn't a huge drama to fit, per se.
I suppose whether a fin or a centreboard is the best way to tailor a board for the conditions depend on where you are sailing. In a puffy area, sometimes you need full centreboard (or fin) and 5 seconds later you may need much less centreboard (or fin). If you sail in a steady-wind area, there's no such problem.
Then again, basic hydrodynamics and aerodynamics demonstrate that the loadings and vectors and therefore the characteristics of the lateral resistance vary enormously depending on the point of sail. Going upwind you may need a lot of lateral resistance, downwind you need less, square running you need none. A foil that can be changed in area, span, effective chord, sweep, CLR etc (ie a centreboard) is very valuable in that situation.
24th July 2007, 11:10 PM
All longboards DON'T sail well without a fin! We've had them break off or fall off while sailing, and it's not pleasant. Serenity gets away without because of its bottom shape.
25th July 2007, 01:20 AM
I don't think bottom shape has much to do with it. I've sailed conventional longboards w/o a fin and its not a big problem. It actually makes them much more turny. I used to remove the fin for just that reason.
I for one still think a CB might be the best way to go with Serenity. Sure it would add a little weight, but so what? A displacement mode craft seems much less likely to be affected by the extra weight than would be the case for a planning board. You are not trying to pump it onto a plane, or jump it - the kinds of situtaitons where board weight might come into play the most. (I admit, I got the wood version, mostly because I thought it would be easier to get on and off my car.)
I suspect it was not just the weight of the CB that led *board to not use it, but rather the added cost, construction complexity and development costs. Serenity uses a much different foil (much thinner) than most CBs used in prior longboards. Perhaps, it would have been difficult to engineer a totally new system, particularly when they probably weren't sure what the optimal design would prove to be. If the supplied fin was not the best, changing it remains a possibility, as Roger has done. Much harder to do with a complete CB setup - far few options available to the consumer.
Perhaps a partially retractible daggerboard would the optimal way to go - simplicity and light weight would be retained, but the depth of the foil could be changed to suit conditions. Ijn any case, it will be interesting to see whats in store for Serenity in 2008.:)
25th July 2007, 07:14 AM
You suggest "However, I don't think a good centreboard is a huge heavy foil. Just about all of them are positively buoyant, so when they are down any weight they add is more than counteracted (lots of the time) by the extra volume they provide."
Well, I've seen alot of boards start out their designs with a removable center fin. (Start, Go with side fins, Starsurfer, Kiddie, etc.
And it's veen the same boards 2-4 years later, with a retractable center board (even a very small centerboard) in in every cast the boards have gained a whole lot of weight. It's not the actual foil of the centerboard that's the problem here. Its the cassette the CB operates and stows in, the operating handles, all the stuff that has nothing to do with the weight or design, or buoyancy of the actual CB foil.
And in nearly all cases this has made the board considerably less funtional in a wide range of conditions.
Starts and Rio, with centerboards, weigh as much or more than the huge original Start boards and they don't plane as early.
These designs that used to be really wide range and appeal to alot of sailors, only seem to work at the very entry/beginner level now.
Is this progress...... Not in my opinion.
The 2 Phantoms I have are fairly light in weight, the Phantom race being quite light for it's size. They are both prototypes or at least the 302 Phantom I have is not "Tuff Skin".
Since the board came out in production, in Tufskin it has gained almost 20 lbs. I had a dealer call me the other day wanting to know what happened.
He (and several of his customers) had sailed the Phantom 302 I have, and thought it was wonderful. The Tuff skin Phantom with the production centerboard system weighs so much many of them can hardly lift it. No one wants a board that heavy.
Some of the nicest things about the Serenity are it's light weight and
lack of complexity.
How do you rationalize the drastic movement in CLR with only a centerboard.
Hull induced CLR when the CB is retracted, half the length (span) of the foil behind optimum with the CB half retracted, and in the right place with the CB fully deployed, and no real ability (once it's built into the board) to make any changes. It's either up giving no appreciable lift/stability, it's half way down giving some stability but preventing the board from turning very well and the CLR well behind optimum; or fully depolyed with all the lift and stability (whether you need it or not) plus all the drag and all the added weight of the cassette and operating levers etc.
I think a removable centerboard is far better as it allows the sailor some choices and allows for weed fins for shallow or weedy areas.
Hope this helps,
25th July 2007, 09:24 AM
I won't dispute your expertise on the short boards with centreboards, as it's not an area I know. I'm not sure, however, that comparing protos with production boards, Tuff Skin against non TS, or boards from different years is 100% valid as a way of looking at the weight of CB and cassette. I've taken more than a few out and I'm familiar with the all-up weight.
Having said that, I agree with the earlier post that a CB's weight could be less of a factor in a longboard. And the whole history of the longboard shows that the amount of on-the-water variation in centreboard has gone pretty steadily from zero (in the early days, before people started pulling out their daggers downwind in a breeze) to 100% (ie fully retracting centreboards) and the performance and handling have improved dramatically each time. A classic case would be the improvement when the original Windsurfer went to an (almost) fully retracting CB. I first sailed a D2 with a dagger, then went witht he progression to fully retracting centreboard, and the improvement in handling and speed was enormous - as we notice whenever we're hooning along and the fully-retracted centreboard bounces down a bit and chucks us straight into a vicious fall!
Still, considering the various weight factors involved in the Serenity and the fact that it's even more of a specialist light wind board than the D2s, a fin may be cool.
REgardless, it's great to see the board out there.
25th July 2007, 11:50 AM
Overall, I think that Roger makes a point that's important here, but maybe it's not really front and center in the discussion. In reality, I perceive that the Serenity's advantage is its ability to be a totally all time displacement hull, with an option to be readily customized by the fin to suit the conditions, particularly weedy situtations where a more swept fin is needed. With respect to the latter situation, Roger has been on the leading edge of testing the viability of the Serenity design in tougher conditions (those including weeds). I appreciate his insight and experimentation in this regard. As currently configured, I think that the design is unique and unequalled in concept.
The idea of incorporating a fully retractable centerboard, while it would better suit racing scenarios, is really kind of out of suit with the Serenity's design. One must look to the Phantoms for such concepts, especially since competitive racing under varied conditions (that might even include planing conditions) can be possibly anticipated.
The one thing I find difficult about the Serenity is its length. Admittedly, one of its chief advantages when it comes to light wind performance. I only wish that it could be accomplished successfully as a two part assembly, as I have no where to store such a large hull.
25th July 2007, 09:56 PM
I guess I'd like to know if this board is really any better than an old Div !! board. (Non-SB employees only, please.) Old Div II boards seem to be so much more tunable on the water with their retractable centerboards. They're easier to store and WAY cheaper.
Of course, the X-factor is that Div II boards have been at swap meets for years, cheap, and it hasn't had the effect of getting people back out sailng in light wind. If it takes buying an expensive board to get more folks back out on the water, I'm all for it. As long as its not my money.
25th July 2007, 11:34 PM
I think you are right here, at least partially.
The Phantom Race I have is definitely a "custom shop" prototype (made to be exhibited at the USA rade show in Orlando last September) and in this particular board the centerboard does not add that much weight as they simply cut a long slot in the board, glassed the slot internally, and put the rubber seal on the bottom of the board.
To attach the centerboard (via it's pivot pins) to the board they made up 2 aluminum angle brackets with a hole to engage the pivot pins and 3 holes in the deck to hold the whole thing in the board.
It works really nicely, and didn't add much weight to the board.
The Phantom 302 I have has a big plastic cassette with fluted plastic side plates, large heavy seals on the bottom, etc. and I'm sure all this adds quite a bit of weight to the board.
I just like the Serenity the way it is, as in my opinion, the stock 70 cm wide blade fin makes the Serenity verymuch harder to sail than necessary.
I've found better speed, equal upwind angle, and the board is a whole lot easier to sail with smaller fins.
Sailors who only use the stock Serenity 70 cm wide are missing alot in both light wind performance and higher (much higher than most can imagine the Serenity out on the water in)winds. How about a 4.2 m2 Sailworks Hucker on the Serenity in 25 knots (very flat water here). The board absolutely rages along.
Also, a correction to the post above.
The 302 Phantom board the dealer questioned the weight on was finally weighed in accordance with the specifications and the spec. is(per the catalogue and website) 14.95 Kg. (32.95 lbs).
The board in question actually weighed 15.8 Kg (35 lbs.).
The +- 6% weight tolerance on 14.95 Kg. would be .897 Kg. so the board in question is right at the top of the overall tolerance.
Hope this helps,
26th July 2007, 01:18 AM
Well, tried Serenity once in very light wind, moved around good. But in 25 knots, i have better gear. Good if some gear has very big range, if nothing else is available, but most people, i bet choose "spot on" over " huge range". I liked Serenity, but in it's best range i'm building sandcastles with my kids. It's not possible to be on water all the time anyway, so everybody chooses, when and on what gear they will be on. Serenity is very good to widen windrange of windsurfing, but for me maybe in near?longer future?
27th July 2007, 05:17 AM
I like Serenity up to the point I can get planning on a 7.4 on my hypersonic, or another wide board. I've sailed it in more wind than that, and it can be fun, but you aren't nearly as fast as a shortboard, and its a little taxing and tricky. In truth, its just unecessary to sail a big board like that in that much wind.
There does seem to be different schools of thought on Serenity. Roger would use a smaller sail (7.5) and smaller fin combo, while I believe Jean-Marc uses a very big sail (10.6) and big fin combo. I'm mostly using a 7.4 and big fin combo. I'd like to try some smaller fins, but don't have any that really seem right for the job. I've got a 58 cm blade fin, and a 48 cm weed fin, but don't think either provide any benefit, though its very hard to tell anything when sailing by yourself. I've sailed it also with the small (40 cm) fin and an even smaller weed fin (36 cm.)
Given how much I spent on it, I'm staying off of it in 25 kt for sure!
27th July 2007, 07:41 AM
When is your club's fall race this year?
I might come down and you and I can race a bit or maybe go out
and show the longboards/IMCO the way around if it's really light.
Try the 58 cm blade fin. It will amaze you how much easier the
Serenity is to sail, tack and jibe with a fin that doesn't "bite" so much as the stock 70 cm wide.
If it's weedy, the 48 cm weed fin will work nicely as well, but it's a little big in reality.
27th July 2007, 07:55 PM
The Fall race is usually the 3rd weekend in October, but I don't think the date is set yet. I'll post it when it is. It would be interesting to compare notes and have another Serenity to race!
I'll try the blade fin. I have tried a cut down (about 56 cm) Mongo fin, but nothing definitive for performance, though it probably did make turning a little easier.
27th July 2007, 09:21 PM
I'm familiar with the Mongo design and mine is cut down as well.
Way to much lift and drag for the Serenity.
Try your 58 cm race fin. I think you will see that the "transitions" from upwind loading to downwind loading (by simply railing the board slightly) are much more gentle and you won;t get the big "kick"when the fin grabs just after it goes through neutral on your jibes.
Upwind angle on the Serenity is all about "engaging" the front of the board and railing to get good fin lift. With a smaller fin, you ge the same dynamics, but you need to roll the board slightly more wihich increases the "bite" of the nose as well and giving you optimum fin lift.
Hope this helps,
28th July 2007, 07:36 PM
The Atlatna Fall Classic is Oct 20-21 this year. Its the week before the "Fall into Liquid" race at Ft. Walton in Fl. I hope to race in both events this year. I'll have to try your suggestions.
29th July 2007, 04:58 AM
Nice discussion going on here !
After 2 months sailing the Serenity, I really don't think a fully retractable daggerboard is necessary for the 1-9 knots of wind range as primarily designed for that board. Remember, it's been designed as a gliding ultimate machine for ultra light wind and I do believe it does quite a superb job at it, especially with the big 70 cm fin and big sail (in my case : NP RX2 10.6 or Severne Code Red 2 11.0). In winds below planing conditions (7 knots for my 65 kg), it does beat anything including a Div2 board + RX2 9.0 sail combo, no question. Absolute key is to trim the sail according to the conditions (baggy sail with tight leech in the lower wind range; flatter sail trim with loose leech in the higher wind range). Small venue do appear with time to be too small, long distance crusing all over the places is very easy to do and you'll end up doing a lot of mileage without much effort sooner or later !
I see no point sailing the Serenity in 25 knots of wind with a 4.0 sail unless it's your only single board quiver. Reason for that is that the board speed will top up at no more than 12 knots, i.e., when half of the board is rising above its own bow wave just below the carry handle. A true planing board will be much more fun to sail in these kind of conditions IMHO...
If you want to cover a wider wind range than 1-9 knots, I guess your best bet is to combine both the gliding and true planing performance and better get a Phantom 380 board with full on adjustable mast track and fully retractable daggerboard. This will sort of combine the best of both world IMHO, i.e., gliding and planing. I bet its board speed will not top up at 12 knots and it might be a better match to a true Div2 board, not the Serenity IMHO.
29th July 2007, 06:00 AM
I think I had the ultimate Serenity day yesterday. South winds 5-12. Started on a 2000 5.5 retro so I could practice some freestyle (Sail 180'a and clew first jibs) while the wind was coming up. Sailed for awhile and then got teased by some upwind white caps and my friend planing with his 10.0 and formula board. So I switched to the 6.6 Hucker and my Madd board and slogged except for some pumping planing. did not have much fun. Switched back to the Serenity with the Hucker and had the craft at terminal velocity and loved it.
This is why I bought the Serenity, to go out on low wind July and August days and zip around on lighter gear while my friends wrestle with their formula gear. The tangent reaper 42 seems to be working well, but would appreciate any new comments Roger or anyone else may have about this fin since I tried the 66 in Plattsburgh. Unfortunately weeds are a big issue on my lake.
I don't know about the D2's but I know this board is way more fun then my Equippe and I do plan to carefully race it this fall.
29th July 2007, 08:59 AM
Have you tried the Serenity with a smaller fin and smaller rig?
Do you have GPS....?
Give it a try and I think you'll find the Serenity goes way faster than 12 knots.
The trick is to keep your weight forward and keep the tail from sinking.
I discussed this with Jim Drake when he was here in Hatteras earlier this year and if you can keep the tip of the tail from going under the board will continue to accelerate. Move the mast foot all the way forward and stay as far forward on the board as you can. Maybe you can't do this with the big sails.... ??
I only sailed the Serenity with the 4.2 Hucker in 25 knots to see what it would do. It was still a blast, and the small short boards were not that much faster.
So, you really kind of have to go outside the box with the Serenity (it's pretty far outside the box already) to try to find it's limits.
I've tried really small sails (5.0 m2 Retro Ripper 3), and larger sails up to 8.5m2 Sailworks NX slm and the board is a blast in all the conditions I've sailed it in.
I think the 42 cm Tangent Reaper is a little big, but if it's working for ya, keep using it.
I've used a 35 cm Reaper and the 32 cm Wolfgang Lessacher Duo the most and with slight adaptations in techniqe they all work.
If you keep the nose down low (keep your weight forward per Jim Drake) it's the nose bite that really takes you upwind, so with a smaller fin, you simply rail the board slightly more which gives better nose bite AND better fin lift.
Hope this helps,
31st July 2007, 10:38 AM
Hey JM !
Tell us more about the comparison with the DivII. Which DivII did you use? Did you use the same rig for both? What were the wind and water conditions? Were they sailed together, or one after the other? Did you compare them at different points of sail? Do you work for SB?
1st August 2007, 05:52 AM
Hi Roger or others,
I'm a bit curious how the Serenity performs in open ocean conditions.
To qualify my concerns a bit here, I would say that winds would be in the 10 knots and under range, yet the water might reflect swell or windswell coming from a significant distance. Also, it could be that swell direction might be different than the wind direction, bringing the chance possibility of board roll into the picture. Also, I would be using a weedfin (34cm Lessacher Duo Weed) due to heavy kelp and eel grass, and I would most likely never use the stock fins.
Lastly, the sails would be confined to 6.3, 7.1 or 8.3 sails, which I intend to use camberless, but could elect to add up to 2 or 3 cambers depending on the sail.
1st August 2007, 08:31 AM
The Serenity is almost always "rolling" to some degree.
Use of different fins can change the roll rate a bit.
There's also a significant "bite" (esp. with the big 70 cm wide blade fin that comes with the board) as the board "rolls" from fin loading in one direction, through a neutral (unloaded completely state) then bites again after it loads from the other side.
You get this alot in jibes, but it's pretty easy to learn to deal with.
I've sailed in very cose spaced rolling/breaking chop about knee high in a big lake down in Texas (Cedar Creek Res.) and the Serenity had a propensity to follow the chop a bit. surfing down the faces and running into the backs of the wave ahead which "steered it" a bit, but after a few minutes I was able to get used to the rythym of the waves and sail along quite nicely in about 12-14 knots out in the middle of the lake.
Any sail will do. Camless is good, cambered is also good, just take a bit more of a tug to get the cammed sails to rotate coming out of tacks and jibes.
Hope this helps,
2nd August 2007, 01:05 AM
Thanks for your response. However, I guessing from your comments that you normally don't sail the Serenity in the open ocean. Yet, I presume that Serenity with its displacement hull will go to windward or downwind at higher angles than most planing boards that lack a centerboard, so even chop that would be coming from the wind direction could be approached more directly to imitate ocean like conditions.
Please indulge me a bit further by answering another question. Are there any protective bags available here in the US that are designed to contain the Serenity?
2nd August 2007, 01:44 AM
Hi Steve C,
The Serenity does go quite high(much higher than a regular or wide board in slogging mode) but you have to do it with railing and use the nose bite by staying forward on the board.
Off the wind, the Serenity gildes right along, but when you get way off the wind, you have to deal with alot of fin loads/unloads that tend to turn the board and make holding a course a little harder.
If you change your stance to "face forward" with the rig well across so it balances and you are steering with the rig, it's hard to keep the board perfectly flat with the fin vertical. Every time the board rolls slightly, the board wants to head off in the opposite direction (i.e. if you roll the upwind rail down slightly, the board heads more off wind and if the board rolls lee rail down, the board wants to head upwind more.
All of this is not meant to discourage anyone from buying/sailing the Serenity, it's just a realistic part of learning to sail this particular board.
All boards have "quirks" and the Serenity has a few extra quirks that
make it more challenging to sail.
I can sail it for hours and never get wet, so all of the quirks can be mastered, but the board constantly keeps you on your toes, technique wise, unless you are sailing upwind at a fairly high angle.
Changing to a smaller fin/weedfin helps alot here, but the board will always be a bit of a challenge because it's long and narrow and responds very quickly and directly to any change in the roll trim.
On your other question, I do not know of anyone making protective bags for the Serenity.
Hope this helps,
2nd August 2007, 02:08 AM
Thanks Roger for your prompt response and added input regarding Serenity's pecularities.
Too bad about the lack of any source for protective bags. I've seen product for true paddleboards and rowing hulls, so there may be some possible alternatives available, although they probably must be custom made. Since I don't have any inside storage capability, some kind of bag becomes much more crucial to preclude damage and protect your investment.
2nd August 2007, 03:05 AM
I see at this link that Starboard already makes a Serenity bag.
"Serenity 455 61 Size Serenity"
I've got several genuine Starboard bags and they are probably the most durable and protective bags I've ever found.
I'm fairly sure that Trident Sports does not import them, but I'll bet they could special order one for you through your local dealer.
Hope this helps,
2nd August 2007, 07:08 PM
There seems to be a split here, between those who want boards that perform best in one condition, and those who enjoy getting the best out of a board even in the conditions that are not optimum for it.
They're both equally good approaches.....just different ways of enjoying the same equipment. I am fascinated by getting the best out of boards across a wide range of conditions, which is why I'm one of the guests who wishes the Serenity had a centreboard. I love sailing a D2/Serenity style board at the top of its range because it becomes challenging to handle. A shortboard may be faster in those conditions but it's easier to sail and whether you prefer that just depends on your personal taste. I can see the other point of view; it's different but just as valid.
2nd August 2007, 08:12 PM
My impression has been that Serenity is fun to sail on beam reaches whereas my old Div2 only really feels good railing upwind. Roger's thoughts alos give me plenty of things to try out.
another thing Roger mentioned
a "custom shop" prototype .... board the centerboard does not add that much weight
now that might just might make a Hybrid formula really work, shame they can't produce 'em like that.
5th August 2007, 06:59 PM
My impression has been that Serenity is fun to sail on beam reaches whereas my old Div2 only really feels good railing upwind.
I don't agree at all. Railing the Serenity upwind is absolute great fun, especially when chasing Div2, Hobby Cats 14-16-18, 420-470-505 dinghies, Soling, Surprise or even larger sailboats such as a Toucan. In light winds < 7 knots, the Serenity + 10.6/11 m2 sail + 70 cm fin combo beats them all : same upwind angle but higher speed or more upwind angle but same speed.
The only thing that can beat a Serenity since 3 months so far on all points of sail is a Ventilo cat : faster upwind (20 m2 main sail) and faster downwind (20 m2 geenaker + 20 m2 main sail).
5th August 2007, 08:09 PM
I beleive that this is really a funciton of choice for the fin. With a smaller fin it is probably easier to sail on a beam reach, while the bigger fin increases pointing.
6th August 2007, 02:01 AM
I'm curious about pumping on the serenity - do you pump your 10.6 to beat the cat's or are you just gliding?
Great reports - especially with the speed/other boat references.
Gets me thinking - a serenity, an isonic 111(or 122) and a 7.5 sail would cover a range of 0-25 knots pretty well (86kg's).
6th August 2007, 03:40 AM
No sail pumping unless to pop the cam after tacking and recover faster toping up speed. Pure gliding in displacement mode with the rig standing quite upright of course. Hanging on the harness with both feet nicely resting over the round windward rail to go upwind. Pay attention not to go too much upwind, it's very easy to stall. Don't overdo the banking/rolling of the hull while going upwind, it's easy to flip it over.
Bear in mind it does take time and distance to catch and pass those boat references, it's not done over 50 m obviously, but requires more like 300-500 m. No comparison made so far with a smaller sail (8.2 or 6.9 m2) yet, so I really can't comment how the Serenity would fare in <7 knots of wind against those references.
In almost 0 wind (anemometer not rotating), it's easy to reach a speed of 5-6 knots while pumping the big sail by ample and slow motion. Absolute key is correct trimming the sail according to conditions : very baggy with a tight leech in 1-5 knots, more flatter leading edge and a loosier leech in 6/7 knots of wind. Too much baggy a sail and it acts as a brake : cannot accelerate further, excessive backhand presure and the hull is almost tailwalking over her big 70 cm fin. The trick is to find the correct sail trim and hull pitch to go fast while foil riding the big fin and not let the hull tailwalk (the speed drops dramatically). This is why it can become a real challenge and be pretty exciting/rewarding to ride at the upper range of use IMHO.
The more lighter the wind, the faster with a larger sail obviously : Serenity + 10.6 sail + 65 kg rider beats another Serenity + 9.5 sail + 105 kg rider. A rematch will be planned later with both sailing a Code Red 2 11 m2 sail, stay tuned.
9th August 2007, 04:50 AM
No new Serenity for 2008:
Or will it be launched later?
9th August 2007, 06:54 AM
You had me worried a bit, as the Serenity is a board that I'm seriously contemplating. Chances are that physical design changes could not improve the existing shape, or maybe the desire for a yearly design update wasn't on the front shelf as a business/engineering priority. Nevertheless, I would expect a graphic update to bring it in line with this year's design concepts.
9th August 2007, 06:36 PM
Aug 15 : unveiling day for 2008 products and phantasy/speculation will end...
See ya next week !
16th August 2007, 08:00 PM
Serenity Tuning tips by Tiesda : http://www.star-board.com/2008/pages/products/tune_serenity.htm
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