Curtis Mongo or Drake fin for Form 160?
I've been riding a Starboard Formula 160 with a 70cm Curtis Mongo Wide Fin and a large (12 to 12.5) sail for low wind, early planing. And it works fairly well, but:
The fin tends to "wash out" if that's the correct word... feels like the fin fell off, when I apply much pressure to it. And it's more pronounced at higher speeds. Makes it a bit harder to sail up wind.
Should I be using the original 70cm Drake fin that came with it?
Goal is for light wind early planing, but be able to still handle it if the wind picks up. I'm 200lbs.
The Curtis Mongo was designed to help advancing young sailors (USA Juniors Team and others) stay upwind in sub planing conditions.
It achieved this goal (upwind in planing conditions) to some degree.
It was never intended for use in fully planing conditions when the board works best with a 65-70 cm carbon formula racing fin (Curtis/Deboichet/Drake/Kashy/ etc.).
So, you may be asking the Mongo to do something it was never intended to do.
The principle reason for the Mongo design was for the kids who will race regardless of if the wind is below the planing minimums.
Without the Mongo, they tended to get so far downwind in < 7-8 knots of wind that they could not finish races within the time limit.
Yes, if you are planing (even planing some of the time) the 70 cm Drake is going to be much faster, take you upwind far higher, and will not "wash out" (I suspect this is regular old "spin out") like the Mongo.
At 200 lbs., if you get your technique right, you should be able to handle the 70 cm Drake up to around 25 knots of wind.
When you get a new sail, you might want to get something a little smaller and try out some big free Race sails (Sailworks Retro, Severne Overdrive, NP V8, etc. as these sails probably have better early planing characteristics than 12-12.5 m2 formula race sails.
Also, look for some 66-68 cm formula race fins for when the wind gets stronger and the 70 cm Drake is a bit too much.
Even though you are a big guy, you need to "rig down" when the wind gets beyond the comfortable range for your early planing gear.
Hope this helps,
Thx, I'm going to put the 70 Drake back on an sail with it a bit. I had a 12.5 Sailworks NX2 that worked fairly well, but a handful when the wind picked up a bit....just didn't last long, perhaps some bad monofilm. Have a 12 Aerotech VMG which is a very comfortable sail and seems to have a pretty good wind range, but have a 12.5 on order for just a bit lighter winds.
I usually rig down when the wind gets much over 12kts or so.... I have yet to put a smaller fin on, but a great idea. I usually switch to my Prodegy which seems to work better in higher winds... but still not a "great" hi wind board. But we rarely get good winds much over 20kts or so.
OK, now I have a little more info.
Do your use an adjustable outhaul with your big sails?
That could be a real key to extending the range.
If you get to about 14-15 knots, more downhaul and an outhaul adjustment
will get you back to being alot more comfortable.
I think if you use the stock 70 cm fin you will be much faster and be able to get upwind much higher/faster.
You will need to "rail" your formula board slightly to leeward, lift a bit with your front foot in the footstrap and push across the rear of the board in a nearly horizontal (level with the surface of the water) direction and you will find youself flying upwind "on the fin".
I do not think this was possible on the Mongo as much of the lift was up near the board and what you need is lift all the way down to the tip of the fin.
Hope this helps,
Thx much for the tips.
I have an adjustable out haul, which I use a lot. I don't have an adjustable downhaul, should I consider one, and it there one that really works on the water?
I usually crank the downhaul pretty tight, but not overly... and don't use any special tools, so I could crank more.
I'd LOVE to have a range of up to 15kts with a 12.5 sail! While I can muster thru that wind, it's a real challenge, especially when the gusts launch me....
Sounds like you need alot more downhaul when the wind gets over 12 knots to me.
There are some adj. downhaul systems, but they are complicated and
worked best on race longboards back in the day.
What's you next size smaller sail?
Maybe the 12.5 is just too big for your skill level, and you would only need to use it
when the wind is < 10 knots.
Something around 9.0-10.0 should work well from about 11 knots to 15 or 16 knots for sailors over 165 lbs.
Are you good at pumping?
If you work on your pumping skills you can get by with about 1-2 m2 smaller and still get going in the over 10 knots wind range. Below 10 knots, you need the bigger sails and pumping as well.
Have you learned to "pump the fin"?
A few quick thrusts with your back leg/foot can really loosen your board up on the water and launch it onto a plane.
Hope this helps,
Thx again for the tips... yes I pump, and pump the fin...just not a lot of fun, and often in light wind, I'll pump onto a plane and get a lull and be back in the same spot, so, for me, I'd rather be overpowered than underpowered.
Yes, when the wind hits ~14 and gusting, I really have my hands full with a big sail. But worth it as the wind dies down a bit later in the day.
Now, you have me thinking about a downhaul. My shop (Watersports West, in Largo, FL) has this down haul rig, attached to the mast extension that really cranks the downhaul.... while out on the water... but not on the fly. I'd have to stop to crank, but way better than rigging a smaller sail. Thoughts?
BTW, I was out yesterday 12kts + with gusts to 18 and had a ball with a 12.0. Put the Drake fin back on. Gut feeling, it would not plane as fast as the Mongo, but handled better once I got speed up. However, I did get it to wash out a few times trying to aggressively go upwind.
Heading out again today.....
That would be the North Power XT extension.
I've never tried one, so I can"t give you an opinion.
Ith should work to allow you to crank the downhaul a bit more, but
I've always just stopped at the beach and used my Chinook Downhaul
Crank to change the downhaul setting.
You need to reset the outhaul if you change the downhaul, but with the
adj. outhual setup, you can just slck it off, adjust the donhaul, and reset the outhaul.
I'm surprised the stock 70 cm didn't plane up faster than the Mongo.
Maybe look for a little more powerful profile in a 70 cm fin.
Hope this helps,
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