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stefan 21st September 2006 08:10 AM

Hucker and mast
Hi Roger,
I'd like to buy the Sailworks Hucker 6.6 and was wondering if you could recommend me a mast and a boom for this sail.
I recently trashed my Retro 8.0 on lake Michigan. The conditions were cross-shore about 12 knots and increasing to maybe 18. I was ready to go home and close to the shore when a larger wave came, swept me off the board and rolled over the sail. The result is 3 broken battens and ripped sail between the bottom 2 battens about 5 inches from leach. Unfortunetly, the broken battens also punched a hole through the batten pocket:( I'm not sure if the sail is worth the repair anymore. I'll make some pictures and post them online so you could see the damage and give me your opinion.

I know I shouldn't have used the Retro there. It's a perfect sail for flatwater but I guess not so good when it gets a little rough. Would Hucker be more suitable and take the beating without damage? Should I get a wave mast, RDM mast or standard mast for the Hucker?

Roger 23rd September 2006 01:47 PM

RE: Hucker and mast
Hi Stefan,
I've not had the new 6.6 Hucker proto long enough to test it with several different masts, but I think the mast selection is going to depend on which of the Hucker's features you want to bring out the most.
If you want top speed and excellent range, then probably the best mast is the Speedstick 460 or Powerex Z-Speed 460.
If you are wanting more bump and jump performance (with the emphasis on jumping) then the Backbone 460 RDM will give you the tightest upper leech and the most "airtime".
Any 175-210 cm boom will work nicely. A smaller boom (HPL Freeride) will work nicely as well. Just make sure you don't get a boom that needs to be extended to it's full range to fit the 6.6 m2 Hucker's recommended boom length of 199 cm.

On your Retro, you might want to send the photos to the Sailworks loft as well. If you aren't in a hurry to get it back, they can restore it to like new condition for not an exorbitant amount of $$.
If you "got rolled" in the Lake Michigan surf, it seems very lucky that you didn't break your mast as well.
The 6.6 Hucker will be a little better, in extreme conditions, but if you have breaking surf, any sail with carbon tube battens is going to be subject to some damage if it gets rolled in the surf.
Hope this helps,

Paulc 28th September 2006 09:30 PM

RE: Hucker and mast
Hi Roger,

do you think a hucker 6.6 could be a replacement for a retro 8.0 as far as planing and overall use is concerned? What sized retro would you consider replacing with a hucker 6.6 for early planing purposes?



Roger 1st October 2006 11:05 PM

RE: Hucker and mast
Hi Paul C,
No, I don't think the Huckers "super power" extends quite this far.
The 6.6 m2 Hucker easily replaces a 7.0 m2 Retro, and probably gets close to a 7.5 m2 Retro, but you won't get the low end and early planing power of an 8.0 m2 Retro with the 6.6 m2 Hucker.
The loft is working on some more powerful 6.6 m2 Hucker designs, but the prototype sail I have is a little less powerful.
I'll let you know when I get one of the next evolution 6.6 m2 Huckers as to what the low end power is going to be.
However, I cannot stress enough how much you can "tune" the characteristics of all the Huckers with different masts.
If you want lot's of power and a really tight upper leech, use a Backbone.
If you want a looser leech, and a little less low end, use a std. dia. mast. And, if you have other masts with slightly different bend characteristics, tyr them.
The Hucker 5.6 has in incredible range with the following 5 masts I've tried.
Powerex 430 cm Z-Speed 100% Carbon
Sailworks 430 cm Joystick 75% Carbon
Sailworks 430 cm Backbone RDM 90% Carbon
Powerex 430 cm Wave Prepreg RDM 90% Carbon
Sailworks Backbone 460 cm Backbone 90% carbon
Each mast is slightly different in bend characteristics, and you can use this small difference to "tune" the Hucker toward the type of sailing you want to do an any given day.
Want "speed", use the 460 cm Backbone.
Want lots of "air time" use the 430 Joystick
Want lots of "low end" with a tight leech, use the 430
Getting a little over powered and want more top twist, use the
Powerex Wave Prepreg 430.
Each mast gives the 5.6 m2 Hucker a little different shape and
If I ever get back on the water (been working on aircraft carriers for the last week and a half) I'll try to focus on the 6.6 Hucker and pass along anything new I discover about this particular sail.
I'm looking at the new "more powerful" Hucker 6.6 m2 as the "best" sail for the new Starboard Serenity. Sailed it last week in very light winds with a 7.5 m2 Retro and it was awesome.
Hope this helps,

o2bnme 2nd October 2006 10:24 AM

RE: Hucker and mast
I look forward to hearing your impressions of the next version of the Hucker. I recently purchased a 4.8 Hucker. I am 65kg and was out sailing at Canadian Hole and Friscowoods when others were using 3.7 - 6.3. I just kept changing the downhaul to match the conditions. I love this concept!

I've recently ripped the foot (pulley and about three inches of sail cloth) off my 7.7 V8. I am starting to think about how to either fix it or replace it. The 6.6 sounds like a good option especially if they are improving on its wind range. Then, with that in my quiver, I'll probably replace my other small V8's (6.0 & 6.6) with a 5.6 Hucker. To cover the gap above the 6.6 Hucker, I'd probably get an 8.0 Retro (my next sail is a 9.8 V8). This should give me a good range of sails for my boards. I really want to see how an 8.0 Retro would work on the iS 105. I loved how the 7.7 V8 felt on this board when it was fully powered up.

I really like the idea of having less gear to carry around.

Oh, I used the Powerex Z_Free 430 with my 4.8 Hucker. It seemed like a great match for the sail. I loved how the sail felt when I wanted it to act like a 5.5. The amount of pull was amazing!

o2bnme 11th October 2006 07:17 PM

RE: Hucker and mast
Roger, per my prior post, I'm starting to think that if I get the 5.6 Hucker to join my 4.8, I'll miss having both of them rigged without another mast. In Maine, I leave my gear hanging on the wall in the shade. All I have to do it downhaul, throw a boom on and go. With this in mind, I'll be one mast short since both the 4.8 & 5.6 Huckers fit on my Z-Free 430 mast.

So, what is your suggestion for a 2nd mast? I love flatwater blasting and bump & jump, but I never go out in ocean swell/waves, so real jumping isn't in my bag of tricks. I loved how the 4.8 felt on my current 430.

Should I get another Z-Free 430 or would another mast complement the 5.6 or 4.8 better? I have a Z-Free 460, but that will go with a 6.6 Hucker if and when I get that in 2007.

Roger 12th October 2006 01:34 PM

RE: Hucker and mast
Hi o2bnme,
To really extend the range of the 5.6 m2 Hucker I'd suggest the Sailworks
460 Backbone mast.
With this mast and a little head cap extension on the sail you get a very fast and easy to handle slalom sail.
The upper leech is tighter than a Retro for sure, but not as tight as the 5.6 Hucker on a 430 cm mast.
I sail my 5.6 Hucker this way about half the time.
Hope this helps,

o2bnme 12th October 2006 09:02 PM

RE: Hucker and mast
So, with the 460 Backbone, I would be getting more lightwind or highwind range out of the 5.6?

Roger 13th October 2006 08:44 AM

RE: Hucker and mast
Hi o2bnme,
The SW Backbone 460 gives a tighter profile top to bottom in the Hucker 5.6.
Turns a fast bump n jump sail with a tight leech for big air and a full lower profile for great low end power into an incredibly fast and stable
slalom race sail.
Dale Cook has been well over 40 knots on a 5.6 Hucker (if I've heard correctly) and Bruce P. has used then sucessfully in Gorge Cup slalom races.
Very fast, very stable.
Hope this helps,

o2bnme 13th October 2006 09:20 AM

RE: Hucker and mast
That's what I needed to know! Thanks. Now to decide whether to spend MORE money on a mast when I get the sail. ;-)

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