PDA

View Full Version : camless vs camsails


crazychemical
30th August 2007, 08:28 PM
I saw the 2008 Maui sails a week ago and i finally got to compare camless sails with cam sails by butting one next to the other. I could quickly see why camsails are faster and can get you planning earlier in lighter winds but then i wondered why the hell do camless freerace sails still excist? nowadays rigging camsails has become almost as easy as camless rigging and because of the forced curve of the camsail you don't have to worry about the amount of wind that much any more.
So what are the disadvantages of camsails? Less controle? I never got to try them and i've always used camless sails because they were simply cheaper and up to a few years ago just easier to rig, especially for beginner/intermediate sailors. But now that i've seen the difference i've changed my mind but i just wanne know, what are the main differences between cam and no-cam freerace sails?

Thanks for help

Ola_H
30th August 2007, 10:00 PM
Just a remark: a no cam slalom/freeride (Hot Speed Demon 7.3) sail won the italian slalom championships this year, so differences are maybe not always as significant as one might think.

crazychemical
30th August 2007, 11:10 PM
from what i make up from just the shape of eg the maui sails MS-2 vs the Persuit of simular sizes i thought that a camsail would work better in lightwind but that a no-cam would be more suitable in higher winds...

Unregistered
30th August 2007, 11:12 PM
the reasons i prefer camless sails:
1. despite advances a camless sail is still simpler to rig and tune
2. the cambered sails i've used are heavier than camless
3. the rotation is harder on a cambered sail making turns harder for the progressing sailor
4. cambered sails are harder to manouver in a tight spot e.g. if you slightly mess up a tack
5. cambered sails do not depower as easily
6. water starting is harder with a cambered sail becuase they are harder to rotate, its harder to flip the sail in the water
7. they collect water so are heavier
8. camberless sails are just as fast

these are my personal experiences with the neil pryde V6 7.0 ( a supposedly easy sail ) against a tushingham heckler 6.5. My brother disagrees but hes much heavier than me and a bit of a speed freak but he admits that he severly dislikes water starting the cambed sail.

crazychemical
30th August 2007, 11:25 PM
well, i'm a heavy sailor (90k) and i love speed aswell so would that matter too? I can see how the waterstarting would be a trick with a cambered sail but I would be thinking of an 8.5 so i'd be sailing a 140 board on which i could hoist the sail if i need to. I do worry about the depowering, since i do prefer to keep controle of the situation, but then again, an 8.5 in 12 knots shouldn't be too hard to depower even with cams? Also, since 2007 there's the 'hypercam' system which alegedly makes the rotation a lot smoother, any experiences with that?

Madis
30th August 2007, 11:32 PM
I do agree with you with most of those points but
I disagree with:
the rotation, the waterstart
it also has it plusses:
starts plaining with lower wind, if the wind is gusty, or has windholes u dont even feel the difference, can use them when u are overpowered

steveC
31st August 2007, 01:01 AM
From my experiences, I have to agree with the comments outlined in post #4, although the point made in item 8 is definitely arguable. Cambered sails usually have higher stability in strong winds due to the cambers and the greater structure offered with significantly more battens. For these reasons, a larger sail can be used, thereby offering greater speed potential. In addition, the planform of cambered sails is usually more focused on power and drive, particularly in the shape of the lower portion of the sail below the boom (longer boom lengths and a significantly larger foot for better endplating). It's hard to disagree with the fact that virtually all the pros racing slalom are doing so on cambered sails, and that says a lot.

However, there are some further downsides to cambered sails that I thought were worthy of mention. Cambers can apply a lot of pressure that can wear at the mast, potentially causing the mast to break over time (I had one mast break this way). So, one must be quite careful to avoid getting sand or dirt in the sleeve, as that only exacerbates the wear factor. Also, camber sails don't fare very well in the surf, since all that structure is quite susceptable to damage. For those the launch and return through a surf environment the risks are always there.

Unregistered
31st August 2007, 01:45 AM
Waar heb jij die 2008 Mauisails gezien ?

o2bnme
31st August 2007, 01:52 AM
My only cam sail is a 9.8 V8. The others are all no-cam (Huckers & a Retro). I have never felt that I didn't have the necessary power to get through lulls and the sails are more stable and easier to sail for me than the cam sails I used to use. I'm seriously thinking about replacing my V8 with a Retro when the V8 needs replacing. I find that I use less energy sailing the Huckers because I'm able to take out a smaller sail that also weighs less. So, that's two reasons I get less weight than my old cam sails. And they are easier to rig.

PGVirtual
31st August 2007, 02:35 AM
Statements like "I could quickly from the static shape on the beach see why cam sails are faster and plane earlier" is absolute bullshit. A camless sail the does not reveal its true shape before it is loaded, while a sail with cams looks powerful already on the beach. Full on race sails are faster than any other sails when massivly overpowered. Cam sails should have a slight performance advantage, which maybe is most noticiable as windrange on one setting. But often this advantage is just theoretical. Often it is a question of taste, rock solid versus slightly flexible.

The camless freerace sails with seven battens, like Point-7 AC-0, Sailworks Retro and Simmer X-Type II, offer decent grunt, lots of stability, and lots of speed as well. Because they are more flexible than cam sails they are often more effectiv for pumping. Where cam sails do have the advantage is in gliding through extended lulls, then the cams more effectively generate power out of the boardspeed.

The German Surf Magazine had an interesting 7 m2 freeride test this spring. They compared cam and camless freeride sails head to head and the winner was ... the camless Severne NCX! In the summary they wrote
- Why have cambers when sails without cams even for professional testers show the same performance as cam-sails and offer a lot more fun in manouvers?
- Why cambers then? Cambers do give an advantage in light winds for gliding through lulls,
- Camless sails often provide more top speed thanks top their better and lighter handling.

The German Surf is relevant because thay probably have the most systematic performance testing of all the magazines, with repeated head to head tests for all sails.

I do believe that in 7.5 m2 sizes and bigger it is important to have 7 battens in camless sail to achieve sufficient stability! And teh design of course has to be good. The camless freerace sail will be with us for a long time, for good reasons :-)

Unregistered
31st August 2007, 05:16 AM
Agree Cammed sails are ultimately faster but as for stability in higher winds not sure that holds anymore.
Modern sails breathe far more. Dont think a cammed sail twists off any batter than a no cammed and as for cams in real rough water/waves? No thanks.
Cams hold shape in rig in both extreme winds and no winds.Both these qualities can be faults. (Depowering been obvious issue)
Dont think its a case of one better than other. Cammed sails offer different characteristics.
Comparing a modern wave sail with a cammed race sail is impossible.
Its like comparing a Moto GP bike with a motocross. Each in its own environment is king.
Personally have no cams under 7metre and cams above. Personally dont think feel in modern rigs (like Alpha`s) can be improved.

Philip
31st August 2007, 09:45 AM
The smaller the sail the more cams I want cause it is likely to be used in strong wind and chop when stability is king. Have found cam sails easier to tune than camless as they give good feedback. In 7.5m plus sizings I like no cam for ease of use and cost and because they are used for fun on medium days; that said a good race sail in that size can be held in quite respectable winds.

Unregistered
31st August 2007, 04:31 PM
i would disagree with that, in high winds i would prefer a no cammed sail becuase i llike bump and jump sailing so i will want the sail to instanly depower and be very manouverable, i guess its more of a personal prefence whether you like them or not.

crazychemical
31st August 2007, 04:54 PM
Waar heb jij die 2008 Mauisails gezien ?

The Mission bij Brouwersdam 25 en 26 augustus. Naast de nieuwe spullen van fanatic en F2 (de speedboardjes van F2 zijn echt fucking klein geworden man!)


As for the rest, from what i'm reading i think we can agree on this: in lighter winds a cambered sail would be smoother in the ride then a camless sail (in lightwinds my camless sail really doesn't get me by like i want it to) but when the wind is more consistent there is no noticable difference and most of us seem to prefer camless sailing. Am i far off?

steveC
1st September 2007, 12:49 AM
Hi crazychemical,

It might seem that cambered sails are smoother in light winds because they maintain their shape through the holes in gusty winds, but when it gets time to jibe, the sail flip can be quite cumbersome and heavy, particularly if you're jibing in a hole. Also, it's important to remember that all cambered sails aren't created equal, since the 4-5 cambered race sails differ greatly from 1-3 cambered freeride sails. With race sails, sticky cambers can be a real pain. Go to any of the sail brand forums, and you will always find a wealth of folks having complications with cams and battens, to often include mast compatibility issues.

From my perspective, I prefer sails without cambers. Many above have rightfully pointed out that modern camless sails are very tunable and stable allowing them to perform very well in both light and heavy winds, and they depower and rotate so much easier. I also find that they rig and derig so much easier. I find far more pluses then minuses overall.

However, some folks really find synergy in cambered sails, especially those bigger and heavier folks like yourself. You might want to take a look at the FreeRace line at Hansen Sails because of their built in convertability. They are designed to be used with 1, 2 or 3 cambers, or simply camless. The beauty of the FreeRace line is that they are basically the same design as the full on Slalom Race line, less the wide sleeve and a camber or two, so they offer the more powerful planform shaping low in the sail. Overall, they offer a person the opportunity to effectively test and evaluate performance with the ability to camber up to personal preferences. I could be wrong, but they are the only brand offering so much inherent designed-in flexibility. Neal Pryde offers the option of removing the bottom camber in their RS Slalom, but that's no where near the customizing potential offered in the Hansen Sails FreeRace.

crazychemical
1st September 2007, 01:02 AM
well, i was thinking of a Gaastra GTX sail which has 3 cams and my dealer said it's just a blast sailing it. Then i saw the maui sails MS-2 rigged, which has 3 cams aswell on the 8.5 model and i saw the appeal in that one aswell but it is harder to get cuz my local dealer doesn't do maui sails but a half an hour further there's a maui sails dealer so i can get both but i can't compare them.
The biggest problem i worry about it mastcompatabilety and the wearing out of my mast. I mean, for any 490 mast i find you need at least 75 % carbon because a 35% 460 mast already weighs quite a bit so i should immagine a 490 would be a ton to haul out of the water especially with a sail whith a weight of 6 kilo's out of water. So if a cambered sail is gonne fuck my mast up after two years and i spend 350 euro's o,n a good mast i find that a waste.
As for the rotation aspect: Northsails, Naish and Neilpryde use a hypercam which uses a sort of wheel to help the rotation without causing too much friction. So i think, with the new sails that wearing of the mast should be less and the rotation should be more smooth. Has anyone tried had any experience with say the new NS Prima's, or the 2008 NP camsails?

Philip
1st September 2007, 09:56 AM
All valid points. Depends on what you are doing and where. Does anyone know what kind of sails are doing well at speed events e.g. wave versus full on cambered?

Unregistered
2nd September 2007, 05:31 AM
http://www.gps-speedsurfing.com/gps.asp?mnu=user&val=21808&uid=2323

Not bad for a 61 year old.

geo
2nd September 2007, 03:07 PM
Just a few ideas.
My cammed sails (MS TR-3) don't wear the mast.
All true, but things have to be put in perspective. A good hint is nobody at top level uses camless sails for speed/slalom. In fact it seems to me cammed sails show their advantages in an unmistaken way when used up to their fullest potential. Ease up things just a little bit, sail just not totally committed to the highest performances, and maybe someone with a camless sail will chase you. But when you ask everything from your sail, then the fully cambered ones will point higher tanks to the higher efficiency of the rigid entry and will be more stable and therefore faster and easier thanks to their perfectly controlled twist.
Cammed competition sails are 100% thoroughbred products. Camless sails are not 100% and one can not exactly know in advance what the design is aimed at. Maybe low end to the detriment of stability, maybe ease of use to the detriment of top end, maybe else... some camless sails can be designed with top speed in mind, as an instance; as for the SpeedDemons, it seems to me they compensate the camless entry with larger surfaces (considering boom and mast lengths); this could prove a good choice for downwind sailing but probably at the cost of effective upwind performances.

Roger
2nd September 2007, 05:58 PM
http://www.gps-speedsurfing.com/gps.asp?mnu=user&val=21808&uid=2323

Not bad for a 61 year old.

Also not bad for a camless sail.
Wonder how many of the sailors here that suggest cambered sails are better have
ever sailed faster than 36.4- 39.9 knots in 20-25 knots of wind.
Not many!

sailquik
2nd September 2007, 08:20 PM
Also not bad for a camless sail.
Wonder how many of the sailors here that suggest cambered sails are better have
ever sailed faster than 36.4- 39.9 knots in 20-25 knots of wind.
Not many!

Yep, Many,many times. And yes cambered sails are better for speed and stability

I have tried it (speed) with no cam sails many times as well and been off the pace.

Show me a speed sailor who goes fast on a good camless sail and I will show you one who will go even faster on a good cammed sail.

I have gone 40 knots on an Acid 73 wave board and 3.7 Kaos wave sail, but I have gone much faster on a IS50 speed board and Cambered Race/speed sail.

Horses for courses..............

For speed and racing, just look what the racers are using. It is obvious!

Now, that is not to say that there may be very legitimate reasons why one may prefer a camless sail to a cammed. But ultimate top speed and stability are not two of them.

Unregistered
4th September 2007, 10:56 AM
Also not bad for a camless sail.
Wonder how many of the sailors here that suggest cambered sails are better have
ever sailed faster than 36.4- 39.9 knots in 20-25 knots of wind.
Not many!

Same day , same location http://www.gps-speedsurfing.com/gps.asp?mnu=user&val=21743&uid=433 The cam sail was nearly 3 knots faster in all categories, end of story.

Unregistered
5th September 2007, 02:03 AM
ok so a cam sail maybe faster at the all out speed events but when just free sailing i wouldnt cry about losing 3kts of speed

Floyd
5th September 2007, 05:14 AM
Ok so Cammed sails are faster ? (sort of) but not sure they are in real rough water.We dont all sail on the mirror flat speed strips needed to do 40 knots +.
When did you last see a cammed sail being looped ? Riding waves ? even 360`s ?

A good no cam design can give a good account of itself on speed and then still be used for ducking and gybing. (Eg Saber; Thunderbird; Rock etc)

For 90% of sailors no cammed are not ok they are better; lighter ; easier to rig (and derig) easier to uphaul; easier to depower;easier to handle ; can be as fast in rough water(if not faster) ; oh but probably 2% slower at very top end ! (And then only if board; sailor and conditions can exploit that 2%) They are also cheaper; and dont wear grooves in your mast or stick in the thing when derigging.

I doubt very much wether limiting factor in most of us is the sail when it comes to Vmax.
(My best on a no cam is 42.6 mph and it was a Gun (and on open sea)!) My knees were crying enough before the sail was ! Dont think I would have gone any quicker with a cammed sail but ???

I have Yet to use a cammed sail that I like the feel of in gybes/ handling when compared to NP Alphas. NP Sabers or Tush Storms/ Thunderbird.
Cambered sails are only ok in handling. Never good.

Unregistered
5th September 2007, 01:40 PM
Same day , same location http://www.gps-speedsurfing.com/gps.asp?mnu=user&val=21743&uid=433 The cam sail was nearly 3 knots faster in all categories, end of story.

3 knots faster yes, Kean 44 years old trains hard and spends alot of time tunning his equipment on the other hand Richard is 61 years old i think he may have lost 3 knots in the 17 year age difference.

Floyd
5th September 2007, 05:47 PM
Its not end of story at all; because 99% of sailors are not speedsailors on a speed course.
The sport is about having fun in the real world sailing conditions we are given.
Ok if you are turning up at West Kirby waiting for wind or driving/flying half way around world to find "speed courses" yes they are faster.(If you get good conditions)
We all also know speed needles ; missiles ; Sonic 50`s and the likes are another 3 knots faster. Never seen one launched at our venue !
The trick is choosing the kit that best suits your conditions.
No cam are just more fun.End of story.
I have a fully Cammed 5.8 North.Also have a 6.2 Saber. Been out loads of times to compare the two.The one on the flattest bit of water always wins (ie the one you dare bear away the most with)(Max speed both sails(at sea) 39MPH.

geo
5th September 2007, 09:04 PM
Maybe I am not that qualified to talk here, as I struggle to make 30 knots at my (heavily choppy) home spot.
Since years I only have been seeing kiters, freestylers, people on freerace kit or very rare buddies with slalom kit at best; I just had to pay some attention to my stance to fly past them. Lately I had a few good sessions with a French guy that seemed pretty well trained with his slalom kit; meaning that I was surprised by his speed in all conditions, underpowered and in strong gusts, upwind and downwind... at last I had to fight to keep someone's pace (in my home spot, I mean!). After some sessions, I was able to be roughly as fast as him, and even noticeably faster in gusts (probably due to better sail and slightly smaller board), when sailing our 7.0s fully powered. Both cammed sails, me on TR-3, him on GTX. When the wind picked up, I rigged my 6.3 TR-3, he his 6.2 Saber; but then there was no more fun as I was easily and noticeably faster.
What I want to mean is: I am no champion class, just like to go fast; that buddy is the same; cammed sails seem to be of great help when trying to squeeze all the performance one's kit is capable of; non cammed sails, even if aimed at speed, don't seem to be adequate even at our level. Period.
What I get out of this experience is: until I will try to go as fast as I can, I will stay on race cammed sails.
And, by the way: 17 years is quite an age difference, but every speed sailor will probably agree that 3 knots more top speed is huge.

Grant
6th September 2007, 04:21 AM
This discussion is sounding just like the video format "war" between Blu-Ray and HD DVD. Whenever a bunch of males get together it's always my team (insert cam sails or whatever) is better than your team (camless sails) or the other way around. Bottom line is try both and then stick with what works for you. IMO, good camless sails (Retro are nice) offer great performance without all the frustration of many cam sales. If you're a pro then that few percentage points of increased performance is a must have so cams all the way. In the real world camless probably offers all the performance the vast majority will ever need. BTW, try waterstarting a large cambered sail in rough water in Lake Ontario! Not a lot of fun.

Cheers,

Grant

Philip
6th September 2007, 05:23 AM
Slalom board + cam sail + slalom fin = efficient blasting.

FreeRide board + no cam sail + swept fin = fun of another kind

Screamer
6th September 2007, 07:54 PM
A lot of valid points (from both sides) so far.

Floyd "The sport is about having fun in the real world sailing conditions we are given.
The trick is choosing the kit that best suits your conditions.
No cam are just more fun.End of story."
I don't agree with the last part, and with your argument that cams are only for dedicated speed/slalom junkies on mirror flat venues. Where I sail, when the wind is 10-15 knots or holey (but not necessarily flat), I get a lot more fun from cammed sails 7.5-9m and slalom gear, tried and tested. Maybe that's just me.
I agree with the mentioned drawbacks though, the main (imho) being manoeuvers/gybing/etc.
A couple of years ago, Bruce Petersen sailed a Retro (i think) in a competition to prove its speed and versatility. Kudos for that (and he proved his outstanding sailing abilities), but I think most sailors (not just hardcore pros) will be faster with a cammed sail, IF that's your thing: more grunt through lulls, and more stability in the gusts.
All that said, I'd much rather use a Tush Storm 5.0 than a North Daytona 9.0, no surprise there ;) All my sails are camless below 7m.

Floyd
9th September 2007, 10:18 PM
Hi Screamer
If you dont agree no cam are more fun why dont you have them under 7 metre ???
The fun with cammed sails is not in their use; its in the speed they can give.On the other hand a good no cam actually feels "fun" and throwabout. (My NP Alpha`s on RDM mast feels alive/ flexing and breathing in gusts.It actually encourages you to gybe/jump or whatever.Never had that feeling (or anything like it) in a cammed sail.) But ???
Horses for courses.
Good sailing.

If you had one rig to choose for all rest of your sailing what would it be ???

We all know it would not be a cammed sail.? (Mine wouldn`t anyway)

Only the racrers / speedsailors would choose a cammed ! (Me thinks)

Screamer
10th September 2007, 01:06 AM
If you had one rig to choose for all rest of your sailing what would it be ???

We all know it would not be a cammed sail.? (Mine wouldn`t anyway)


Well it depends heavily on:
1. WHERE would you spend the rest of your sailing?
2. in what windstrength?

Doesn't it? ;)

Happy sailing

fullmoon
10th September 2007, 08:46 AM
Philip has hit the nail on the head in post #29. Different types of FUN.

davide
11th September 2007, 06:23 AM
From my experiences, I have to agree with the comments outlined in post #4, although the point made in item 8 is definitely arguable. Cambered sails usually have higher stability in strong winds due to the cambers and the greater structure offered with significantly more battens. For these reasons, a larger sail can be used, thereby offering greater speed potential. In addition, the planform of cambered sails is usually more focused on power and drive, particularly in the shape of the lower portion of the sail below the boom (longer boom lengths and a significantly larger foot for better endplating). It's hard to disagree with the fact that virtually all the pros racing slalom are doing so on cambered sails, and that says a lot.

I had 2 years on Sailworks Retros 5.5/6.5 (6 battens), followed by 4 on Hot Sails Speed Demon 5.5/6.5 (7 battens) and this year I switched to Naish Red Line 5.6/6.5 (7 battens 2 cams).

I weight 150 pounds (68/69Kg) and for me there is no doubt that the cambered sails work better. The Retros were just mediocre so they are out of the comparison. The Hot are great sails but still the Naish are more stable in overpowered conditions and more powerful when underpowered. It is hard to say if they are faster then the Hot, especially the 5.5 vs 5.6 would need some objective testing: my Sonic W52 seems to suffer a bit with the 5.6 (too much side load?) and the impression is that it was a bit more loose and fast with the Hot. But for "slalom" sailing in moderate conditions (6-8 square meters) I will probably never go back to battened ever, unless I get a Hot Sails SuperSpeed that is ...