View Full Version : Relevance of min. sail size recommendation for formula boards

24th October 2007, 03:30 PM
Hi all

The min. sail size recommendation for formula boards - is it relevant?

F2 FX100 VI: 9.0 - 12.5
Starboard F162: 7.5 - 12.5
Exocet Warp Formula: 8.4 - 12.5

I mean is it more fun to sail with a 7.5sqm sail on a F162 than on a FX100? I guess not - but I don't know really. Since I use my formula board in the "low end" of the sail range this question might be relevant ...

Thanks for any feedback


24th October 2007, 09:30 PM
Hi Andy,
Since true "formula" boards are all designed to perform best on an upwind/downwind formula race course, the sail size minimums are quite relavent if you are racing.
If you are free sailing, at courses nearer a 90 deg. beam reach, you can put in a smaller span fin, slide the mast foot back and do very nicely, but a board without all the "race features" in the same width (like an F-Type or the larger Isonics) will be alot more comfortable to sail and give very nearly the same early planing and speed.
Much of this is the width/shape of the tail of the board and the fin span.
If you use the smaller rigs and fins, do not expect your formula board to sail at the same upwind/downwind speeds and angles as it will with a correctly sized (for the conditions) formula race rig.
Hope this helps,

24th October 2007, 11:35 PM

I have probably had more experince racing a formula board with small sails than anyone. Two reasons - I am 62 years old and have chosen to sacrifice some performance to gain control and confidence while racing.

On three occasions (different events), I have used a 6.5 on my F147 & later on my F160.
All three of these races had winds up to 27-30 knots. Two of the events (US Open) were in very rough conditions (chop to 1m+), and the other in very flat water in Abilene Texas (Roger was at this event last spring).

When my 6.5 is powered in 25 to 30 knots, it feels and performs just like the larger sails. In fact, at Abilene (flat water), the 6.5 out pointed all the other formula sails in the 8.5 to 10.0 range by at least 10 degrees. Although I never won an individual race, I did win the Formula class do to consistency.

I doubt that the FX100 and the F162 would perform any differently in the same conditions with the same size sail (7.5 or 9.0). Pro and top amateurs racing Formula typically have a 9.0 for their small sail, and many can handle them in 25 to 30 knots. But as Roger says, it's up and down wind sailing. Reaching with a 9.0 in 30 knots would take a superman. This is how F2 sets their sail range. I am guessing that Starboard sees that the 162 will handle sails smaller than 9.0 if conditions dictate. I think I am proof that they can.


25th October 2007, 04:12 PM

I have a FE160 and a Sev Overdive 10m. im 82kg. This combo is fantastic, but my body isnt in good shape at all and never wiil be better.....and some times when winds go up, i cant spend too much time with 10m.

When i was with 10m sail i feel this combo is designed to work together.

I used several times a 8,5m freerace sail, and im surprised how well it perform. Is a lot easy and effortles and you can spend more time in water enjoying with a better maniobrability. More control and power than a freeride board, but less upwind/downwind angle than with 10m sail.

It is not ideal for race, but for confortable cruising, is a nice combo.

Some days ago i broke my 490 mast, then i have only 2 choices: 10m or 7.7m (powerful slalom sail) and i rigged yesterday the smallest one to try.

Board feels heavy, lazy to start to plane, but the board plane so fast enough and keep planning on lulls while other guys with similar sails and freeride boards cant and others need 8.5m sails.

In this conditions i only can go confortable upwind/downwind, but as i was on a smaller sail, the angles are quite small.

The problem with FW boards and high winds is the chopy/waves than comes with such winds. The board fly and jump a lot... but it is a challenging issue. isnt it?