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kiwiben
2nd July 2010, 05:31 PM
I would estimate that in my first 100 windsurfing sessions, about 95 of them I didn't have enough downhaul. It seems obvious now, but at the time I just didn't know.

What do you all think would be the top 5 mistakes for a person in their first 100 riggings, presuming they are sailing unsupervised like I did...

My guess for me would be:

1, Not enough downhaul
2. sail too small
3. board too big (after becoming good at waterstarts)
4. sail too big
5. ???

After the first 4 I get a bit vague. Would it be line placement? Mast track placement? outhaul wrong?
This is a cry for help to get me focussed on what next, now that I know how to prevent the first 4 from happening... please answer my desperate call...

Unregistered
2nd July 2010, 06:33 PM
Mast base in the wrong position.

leysenkr
2nd July 2010, 09:27 PM
it seems like you don't need the advice

Unregistered
3rd July 2010, 04:44 PM
Taking notice of crap advice !!!!

vikingsail
4th July 2010, 01:42 AM
I'd make sure your battens are tight enough, if they're loose your center of effort is going to shift all over the place. If your sail came with instructions make sure you understand them so you can change your sail tuning as the wind changes.

Farlo
5th July 2010, 09:44 PM
Hi Vikingsail, I've heard diverse opinions about sail battens. I used to tighten them a lot to remove all wrinkles. My shophandler advised once to keep them rather slightly loose, even on high end sails. This would ease rotation and only marginally affect performance (I haven't tried yet).

Hi Kiwiben, I guess you spotted the first two most common mistakes, the third may be incompatible mast/sail. You still see summer sailors with mast too long/stiff and 10" clearance between sail and board. Board too big? Hmm... given your 100 Kg it must be huge.

kiwiben
6th July 2010, 06:32 AM
thanks farlo, yep, I have a 205litre Bic Techno :)

But I don't hardly use it anymore, my biggest board is my 121l carve. But I think maybe I use it when a smaller board would be faster, or more in control. When I do trust the wind to be strong enough I get out my little 80litre wave board and it's fantastic.

I guess I was also referring to something I saw in UK WS mag: Some pro was saying the most common mistake he saw was the big board/small sail combo.

The other comments are interesting and useful too. For example, I always just put my mastbase in the track in some random position. If I do happen to think about it I shove it forward for no particular reason. I will pay more attention from now on. The point is to get the board just skimming on its tail without getting too loose, correct?

Farlo
6th July 2010, 11:01 PM
Hi Kiwiben, there have been a few posts here about mast track tuning recently. I believe the most forward position can accomodate many sail sizes and sailor weights & skills. Moving it backward leads progressively to a more sensitive area where the board's behaviour can vary a lot and ultimately +/- 1 cm will matter. Big board/small sail is common mistake for sure, but different than big board/proper sail for the conditions (and probably better than small board/big sail). You can always regain control by tuning your sail or reducing fin size, within certain limits of course. If the sail is too small, well... it's too small.

agrelon
7th July 2010, 01:31 AM
Sometimes I feel a big board/small sail combo can be quite nice, makes planing jibes and duck jibes super easy.

Definitely used to under downhaul my RAM 5.8m, the one time I downhauled it as far as my back could go the thing was fast as hell. Better to sail big sail with loads of downhaul than small sail with too little.

Farlo
7th July 2010, 05:47 PM
Fully agree. What I mean is that before going down in size you can always try extra haul and smaller fin. It worked for me in many occasions, moreover these days where the wind is quite unsteady. Adversely there's little you can do with too small a board or sail, except waiting for gusts.

vikingsail
8th July 2010, 05:14 AM
I'll correct my statement, on camless sails make sure the battens are tight enough.

joe_windsurfer
9th July 2010, 08:55 AM
my biggest rigging mistake so far ...
not checking my gear more and at the same time trying to take a short-cut

rigged the boom a bit high and rather than going in - since water is low and a big walk out , rocks, etc, I tried to move it on the water. this worked with some force. took off , planing et al and suddenly flat on my face on the deck

the knot on the boom head came off - was tied too close to the end
swam it in and put it on and thought all was okay
nope - harness hook had punched a hole on the deck

lesson learned - take time to check and double check and no short-cuts
only $60 repair and done within one week - no loss of w/s days except the one where it broke.
was also on-call and had the pager in a double baggie. pager was wet, butt still worked :-) damn :-)

Unregistered
11th July 2010, 04:27 AM
Glad your butt still worked !!!

k.lauman
11th July 2010, 02:07 PM
Neil Pryde.

Ba dum bum bum...

;)

Dan
16th July 2010, 12:54 PM
Most modern cammed sails will rotate fine no matter how much or little batten tension is applied b/c cam pressure and batten tension are not tied together when cams are of the non-compression variety. This assumes the ideal mast. Any variation in mast flex can change the outcome, of course.

Batten tension is necessary to achieve enough skin tension that will allow the leech tension to work as intended. Much of a sail's feel is a combination of skin tension and leech tension. Insufficient batten tension will cause the draft to move up the sail as well as aft. High batten tension often will highlight an asymmetric feel to the sail -especially where the batten tension system isn't compressing from the center of the batten.

basher
17th July 2010, 05:27 AM
I would estimate that in my first 100 windsurfing sessions, about 95 of them I didn't have enough downhaul. It seems obvious now, but at the time I just didn't know.

What do you all think would be the top 5 mistakes for a person in their first 100 riggings, presuming they are sailing unsupervised like I did...

My guess for me would be:

1, Not enough downhaul
2. sail too small
3. board too big (after becoming good at waterstarts)
4. sail too big
5. ???

After the first 4 I get a bit vague. Would it be line placement? Mast track placement? outhaul wrong?
This is a cry for help to get me focussed on what next, now that I know how to prevent the first 4 from happening... please answer my desperate call...


I don't post on here much but as someone who used to work for a sailmaker, I'm a bit horrified by some of the answers to this thread.

The batten thing, for a start.
Battens are there to hold the leech away from the luff and to stabilise the panels of the sail. The top battens support the head (roach) of the sail. The stiffness of the battens helps with the stability of the sail.

But the batten tensioner on rotational sails is just there to take the wrinkles out of the sail panels and no more. Extra tension tries to overstretch the batten pocket and wrongly pre-tensions the batten with compressional load which only encourages the batten to bend which you don't usually want. So set your battens just lightly tensioned to minimise creases in the sail. The batten tensioner is not a tuning device.

Camber-induced sails are slightly different in that the batten tensioner can push the batten end onto the mast. So extra tension here can change the front shape of the sail by pushing in more fullness in the luff via a hingeing cam. Over-tightening these cam battens can in turn make the sail difficult to 'tack' or rotate.
Having said all that, most cams are now sewn into the sail or else pushed snuggly onto the forward end of a fixed length batten pocket so again, batten tension doesn't do much more than try to stretch this batten pocket, usually with no good outcome.
On the cam'd sails I use, I can increase the cam pressure on the mast by fitting a plastic 'spacer' between the cam and forward batten pocket end. This spacer is the tuning device, not the batten tensioner.


As far a downhaul goes, it is true that most people still learning don't go far enough with downhaul tension when rigging their sails.
However, I also see a whole generation of sailors on some beaches who are so frightened of not having enough downhaul on their sails that they downhaul them far too much. And then they wonder why the sail has no power in lighter winds.
If you want to get to the truth about downhaul it's simply that this tension bends the mast to release or twist the leech on the beach. When you sail however, your body weight hanging of the rig bends the mast further to one side and the leech tightens under this sailing load. Heavier sailors load their masts more, often using larger sails, and so they need more downhaul tension than lighter sailors.

The key to good rigging is feel. Learn to feel if your sail is not working properly. If rigged well it should feel light in the hands but still powerful in the wind lulls. The drive should be constant, with your harness lines staying on one place opposite a stable centre of pull.
So downhaul and outhaul ARE your sail tuning devices.


One other issue here: I see many sailors on boards way to small for them.
Unless you are riding big waves or sailing in strong winds there is no need for you to be on a sinking board. Make sure your board floats you when the wind drops, with plenty of buoyancy under the straps.
The key, even for a wave board, is to be honest about your body weight and make sure you have 'positive float' by sailing a board with a volume in litres that is at least equal to your body weight in kilos. Add 5 or 10litres volume to float the weight of the rig too.
Modern designs handle wind and water conditions well without sinking in the water. And just because you loved your 70 litre waveboad when you were 18, doesn't mean you can sail the same small size board when you are 35 (and usually a lot heavier). Float is your friend.

The worst thing we see all the time is big people on sinky boards not planing. They then fit over-size fins to their boards in the hope of planing or staying upwind. In fact a board that planes early does so through positive buoyancy, and it is you planing easily that will get you upwind, not an oversize fin on a sinky board that won't plane in the first place.

I'm lecturing now, so I'll shut up.

kiwiben
17th July 2010, 01:42 PM
Don't shut up Basher, that is brilliantly written and all very useful stuff for me, and hopefully others. Keep it coming...

So, at 104kg should I throw away my little wave board? I only ever use it in like 40 knots...
Should I throw away my hypersonic 105 too? I use that in 25+ knots.
By your advice my Carve 121 should be my smallest board, correct? In actual fact it is my biggest. Bugger!

This is very useful news to me if it is true. I thought being awesome meant using a board many litres less than your kilos. But don't get me wrong, I only use my smaller ones when the wind gets me planing straight away... maybe there is no problem in that case.

Thanks again though for that reply, Ben

Farlo
17th July 2010, 06:21 PM
Hi Kiwiben, if you have 25+ and 40+ days quite often you should not worry too much of riding small boards - though I agree with all Basher says. Too small board is common mistake for us poor inland/summer sailors fighting regularily with unsteady 12 Kts. This been said an extra float of ~30 liters is large enough to face most situations and remains controllable when the wind picks up.

Duracell
18th July 2010, 12:37 AM
- way too little downhaul (usually 5cm or more)
- way too wide harness lines (2-3 handwidths, due to point above)
- mast too low (or even better : 3cm change won't make a difference anyway...)
- almost 0 MPF -> "oh there's too much wind", or "I can't plane through my gybes"...

Duracell
30th July 2010, 12:34 AM
I think it might be more helpful to explain how to notice/recognize the worst rigging mistakes...
about rigging the sail here's a nice one: http://www.guycribb.com/userfiles/documents/Downhaul%20and%20Outhaul.pdf