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w8n4wind 13th May 2008 09:35 AM

Technique ? Rio upwind marginal planing
Hello Team,

Could you please comment on the use of the centreboard on a Rio when going upwind in marginal planing conditions.

Is it better fully extended, extended 1/2 way, or just barely extended?

I understand that when fully planing the CB will be fully retracted, and while slogging it will be fully extended, it's the marginal situations that are of interest to me.

Perhaps you could also comment on the concept of using centreboard lift to help get on the plane. Any technique tips would be greatly appreciated.

Here is the background info which may enable specific comments:

2008 Starboard Rio L to be purchased for use by 2 male sailors, 1 pretty new to the sport, weight 180 lbs, about 10 hours of TOW, able to tack, and keep balance ok, the 2nd (me) 155 lbs, an (almost) intermediate, able to use harness + straps comfortably, water start, and trying to carve gybe on my Go board. Location is southern Ontario Canada on inland (cottage) lakes with summer winds typically 10 - 20 knots, with, as another contributor pointed out, lots of 'holes'. Quiver of sails as appropriate for wind, all 2002 and newer, mostly Sailworks Retros, 4.5 - 10.5.

Thanks in advance, if I can provide any other background, I'd be most happy to do so.


Roger 13th May 2008 10:08 AM

Hi Tony,
Ummmm..... use the centerboard to help get onto a plane in marginal conditions.....very doubtful that this will work.
The CB causes alot of drag, so as soon as you think you have enough wind to pump onto a plane, get that centerboard up out of the water and "go for it".
Now, then, if you think that "railing" the Rio up onto lee rail with the centerboard down is "planing" , there is that aspect, but it's not truly planing using the fin only, and the board doesn't really unwet and plane, it simply gets alot of speed because you are developing alot of lift with the CB by "railing" the board to leeward.
In my opinion, unless you are on a true longboard, the center board needs to be either all the way up or all the way down. There are situations in longboard racing where a partially deployed CB gives a more desireable amount of lift when going fast, but a partially deployed CB makes the board very hard to turn and maneuver.
The Rio should plane nicely on only the rear fin, and if you want to get the most early planing, then I'd suggest a fin in the 58 cm range.
Lots more lift, and it will get the board planing a couple of knots earlier than the stock 41 cm shallow water "cleaver" fin.
I sail the Rio M and it plans quite early and it's resonably fast for an oversized shortboard with a mounted centerboard.
If you use the larger 58-60 cm fin, you will be able to get "up on the fin" and go upwind much better with the lee rail lowered slightly and pushing very hard across the top of the fin.
Hope this helps,

James 13th May 2008 11:03 PM

Do the new 2008 Rio's work well with such big fins? I notice the back footstraps are pretty close the centerline compared to earlier versions.

Roger 14th May 2008 02:33 AM

Hi James,
I'll have to give the larger fin a try.
So far, in fully planing conditions, with a 6.6 m2 NXslm race sail, I found the stock fin (41 cm cleaver type) to be too small.
Maybe a 54 cm is a more reasonable size, but with the highly curved deck in the back I found the footstrap positions pretty good.
I think for the width of the board, even with the footstraps inboard, a 54-60 cm fin will work nicely, especially to get the Rio going early.
Also, the Rio's are significantly narrower that the previous Start based extreme width boards. Last years ('07) Rio's : L=101 cm; M=90 cm; S= 85 cm....... 2008 Rio L= 85 cm; Rio M = 80.5 cm; Rio S= 76 cm.
Hope this helps,

Roger 20th May 2008 07:34 AM

Hi Tony and James,
I had the '08 Rio M out today on freshwater (Cedar Creek Reservoir SE of Dallas, TX)
I used a System B custom 58 cm race fin (this fin was mfg. on Maui in 2000).
It's got a very powerful CNC foiled profile.
I had no trouble getting planing with a 7.2 m2 Sailworks NXslm 4 cam race sail in around
14 -16 knots of wind.
I had no trouble controlling the 58 cm fin even in the gusts.
So, I'm not sure that you need to go all the way to 58 cm, but I'd suggest 52-56 as the
sweet range for fins on the new Rios.
The OEM provided 41 cm cleaver fin is OK, but once you get a rig larger than about 7.0, an improved fin will really help with getting planing and being able to stow the centerboard and really get the best planing performance from the Rio.
Hope this helps,

rod_r 20th May 2008 02:54 PM

Hi Roger

Been a while since I visited :-)

I've been on a Kona for the last year and a half but was always a little frustrated with its early planing capabilities with my largest sail, a 9.0 superfreak, so recently I traded it for a 2006 Go170 and an old F2 Lightning, to try to get the best of both sub-planing and planing worlds.

Looking at the Rio boards, they look quite interesting. How do they stack up against boards like the Go's? Are they like most hybrids, in that they are good at most things but not great at anything?



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