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mac33 12th September 2009 02:11 AM

sail size
i weigh 67kg and sail 5m race sail[vapor] in winds from 13 to 30 knots. in lighter winds 13/18 i use a little less downhaul and heaps/max of negative outhaul to get me planning quickly and through lulls. i find this combo works better for my weight than say using a 6.5 and having to sheet out in gusts. other advantages smaller sail is less tiring to use,can use smaller fin, has way better feel,has less drag resulting in higher top end speed. i feel there is a some peer/macho thing in w/surf to use a bigger sail than is needed. most people 70kg and under have no need to use anything bigger its just a macho thing . a 5metre with less downhaul will also point upwind better than a 6.5 with loose leech i believe. anyone share my opinion.

Floyd 12th September 2009 03:10 AM

But Mac
You are the one posting about sails you can use !!!! (Irony is a wonderfull thing)
I would love to be able to use a 5 metre when (70kg) mates are on 5`s. I have to "cope" with a 6.5 for anything like similar performance to them.
There`s nothing macho about it ; its all about weight !!!!! (My not inconsiderable 105k of it)

PS thats a hell of a range for one sail/board combo !!!! 13 to 30 knots.!!! I would need 3 sails and 2 boards to cover that !!!! (Guess 7 ; 6 and 5 ) (A true 30 knots and I`d easily be on a 5 ????)

Reckon you need a new anerometer !!!!

Or I need a 5 metre and board like yours ?????

Screamer 12th September 2009 04:49 AM

Can you organize a clinic where we can attend and hopefully learn something?

Ken 12th September 2009 11:08 PM


What board(s) do you have that cover 13 to 30 knots? Hard to believe that at 67 kg, you can hang on to a 5.0 in 30 knots. Occasional gusts - yes. Steady 30 - no way without luffing all the time.

I guess I am one of those "macho" guys since I would use a 11.0 in 13 knots and a 4.0 in 30 knots. I weigh 78 kg.

In between I have - 9.2, 8.4, 7.6, 6.6, 5.7, 5.0, 4.5. Some of these (smaller ones) are quite old and don't get much use so they last a long time.

Also, at 13 knots of wind, I am traveling at 24-26 knots of board speed (gps speeds) on my formula board and 11.0. I doubt you can match that performance with a 5.0.

I do have a light weight buddy about your size that covers a very broad range of wind (10 - 30 knots) with a 6.5, 5.7, 4.5 & 3.8. He also uses three board in this range. One sail simply won't provide the appropriate power in 13 - 30 knots. You have to sacrafice too much at both ends of the range.

mac33 13th September 2009 04:19 AM

sail size
i use 52 wide kinetic slalom in 16/30 knots and 58 wide[5.5kg] in around 12/16 knots both with 5.0 vapor. i have 5.8rs6 but prefer light feel of 5m. i do plane in this light wind with 5m perhaps not as much as with 5.8. i also own 7.7 severne cr2 which i use with fanatic falcon 75 wide,8kg and 41fin . i just bought this sail last week and to my surprise it starts to plane in around 7 /8 knots, fully powered up in 10knots.checked these wind speeds on seabreeze. so i think what i am saying is correct.can hold 5m in 20/25 and just survive [max downhaul] in 25/30.lightweight equip boards, base, mast is one secret along with heaps negative outhaul.i was planning the other day not quite as early as guy on 11.0m. he had a good bit more downhaul than me. he could not believe i was planning with 7.7m.

Screamer 13th September 2009 04:59 AM


Farlo 14th September 2009 04:12 PM

Lightweight does help a lot for sure. Girls and kids often plane in almost no wind with amazingly small sails. However you must be very skilled/well tuned to cover 12/18 Knts with 5 sqm. At similar weight (68 Kgs) I would most probably pick a 6.6 (admittedly I may also use a 7.3 or an old cambered 5.5). This is not so much a macho thing, but I prefer to sail a bit over- than underpowered. This been said, there is certainly a tendancy to use bigger sails than required. A friend of mine (62 Kgs) is almost always on 8.4 in this range, while ladies just a bit lighter are on 5.8 or so.

Ken 14th September 2009 10:11 PM


I am happy to see that mac33 does have a quiver of boards and sails. We have all gone through the minimalist frame of mind, but over time, if finances allow, many of us expand our quivers to cover just about every situation.

Don't forget that some of us on larger sails can handle them over a broad range of winds because we have adjustable outhauls. Now that I said that, one might wonder why I have so many sails. Choosing which one to use is always a bit subjective, but I would not give any of them up. I am always striving for the perfect set up to match the conditions. If I lived where steady winds were the norm, sail selection would be much more objective. However, inland lakes in Texas offer highly variable winds, so whatever rig is selected, it's never perfect all of the time. This is where the adjustable outhauls comes in handy.

Farlo 15th September 2009 06:17 PM

Hi Ken, this is the point: there's rarely a perfect match so you tend to use the biggest workable sail. At my spot I see sailors with around 8 sqm in 15 Knts, when a 6.5 would suit most of them better. But they compare each other's gear and get convinced that they need a big sail or nothing. There has been inflation in sail size over the past 15 years and it's difficult to reverse the trend.

Floyd 15th September 2009 08:06 PM

Think that is a bit of a generalisation. At my spot sailors (especially heavier ones) watch what others are using and think he`s now going with a 5 (or something); that means I can probably change down. We`d all much rather use smallest sail we can comfortably plane with especially in gnarly/rough conditions.If theirs a choice I`m pretty sure we`d all much rather use a 5 than say a 7 ???
Suspect its very venue related. My local UK spot average sail carried (in van) is perhaps 6 or 6.5. Down at Leucate biggest sail many sailors own is 5.4.
Think Mac33`s comments have changed slightly over course of thread. I was very sceptical about his first post; his later ones are more the norm but I do think its very presumtious to say that because you can use a particular sail (big or small) why cant others.(or that perhaps their choice is somehow wrong ?) Most sailors nowadays have years of experience and know very well themselves whats best for them and conditions they sail in. Besides sailing overpowered is better exercise; probably faster; probably more exciting and modern sails do cope great overpowered .(within reason) But I would`t presume to infer others should do so ???!!!!

If I use a 7 its because its best to use FOR ME !!!!

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