Number of Battens in a Sail
I was wondering how having more or less battens in a sail affects the way it sails.
I've noticed that wave sails tend to have 1 or 2 less battens than freeride/flatwater sails.
What are the advantages/disadvantages of having more or less battens?
Generally with more battens it is easier to make a stable sail, but it will also add weight. The battens for a sort of skeleton. Roughly speaking more battens can also give a stiffer sail, but this is not an absolute rule. Maybe you remember the Hot Sails Maui SO sails from a few years back. It was one of the softest wave sails around, yet had six battens ell the way down to the 3.5 size.
Thanks for your reply, the sail I'm actually considering (and therefore why I'm inquiring about this) is the HSM Smack from 2007 in 5.3 as a medium to high wind sail.
I noticed that this sail only had 5 battens compared to a freeride sail I saw which had 7. I figured I would opt for the smack as it is, from what I've understood, virtually indestructible and in the conditions I plan on sailing it in crashes will be imminent.
Also, I'll be jumping with it so having a wave design will probably help.
For mere mortals there is very seldom any reason to have more battens than 5, or even cambers, on sails in the 5.3 range. Control is perfectly sufficient, for most users.
On the other hand, you might compare it to a speed and high end oriented sail, like a slalom/race sail with 3 cambers. Then it may well be that a 6.5 Race sail takes a lot more wind than a 5.3 wave type sail (they could well be overlapping). You seem to already have a 6m2 Slalom sail from HSM, how race-oriented is that one?
A 5.3 wave sail for a 54 kg windsurfer does not sound like a highwind sail. It is something that should take you planing already in about 7-8 m/s.
What is high wind for you? If it is more than 10-12 m/s then a wave sail does not have to be any bigger than 4.5 m2, probably smaller...
Check out "http://videojibe.com/featured/windsurfing-sail-size-calculator/" to learn how different sail sizes fit different weight windsurfers. I think the calculator works well for "Freeride" type sails. Disclaimer: I am not sure how reliably it works with really light sailors like yourself.
PG, my current 6.0 is a camberless racesail with 7 battens. I don't really have enough experience with other sails to make comparisons but for force 4 it is just right for me.
I was sailing the other day in winds of about 10-12m/s with a 5.6 and I was ever so slightly over powered. So a 5.3 would be for 11-13m/s
I have seen that sail calculator before and I think it is inaccurate. I can take my 6.0 out up till about 8 or 9 m/s whereas the calculator says I should only take it out in 6m/s.
As mentioned earlier, I also have a 4.5 and the calculator says I should only take that out in 8m/s ! That's ridiculous! I'll go out with my 4.5 in 12-15 m/s without a seconds hesitation.
So I guess this sail calculator is not good for my weight. Past 15m/s I think I would need something smaller than a 4.5, but winds that strong are not common where I sail.
I think that with a 6.0m for bft 4-5, a 5.3m for bft 5-6 and a 4.5m for bft 6-7 I should be well equipped.
If your on a learning curb, its sometimes best to keep your sail quiver simple with well defined breaks in sizes. Maybe its best to keep a 1m gap between sail sizes. Also, try to stick with the same make model were possible. For instance, one brands 5.3m could be more powerfull/different feel etc than another brands 5.7m. As you get to know what works or doesn't for you, you can start to fill the sail size gaps.
Reading between the lines on your original question, I think your asking, "is the HSM Smack going to work for me" (soz if I read this wrong:)). The Smack is a down the line wave sail. Its also pretty grunty (a heavy weights sail). I noticed your on an AHD F-type 106. This board is a fast freeride and best suited to freerie/freerace/cross-over sails (in that order). Plugging a wave sail in wont compliment each other. Think of putting rally car engine in an F1 race car, it'll work, but the way it should do:)
In the HSM range, the liquid looks to be good for you. Also consider, NP Hell Cat, North X-tpe/Crossride, Mauisails Pursuit, Simmer X-type, Gaastra Remedy/Matrix. All of these will suit your board and will be easy to rig/set and use.
Although its tempting to buy "any old sail" if its cheap, its not always the best thing to do. The wrong sail can hinder progress and generally spoil your fun. Research, research and research the market place. Understand what's on offer and the kit your going to buy. Think about the style of sailing/location/ability before buying anything. Also, try to buy the newest kit you can afford as kit has come on in leaps and bounds.
One of the good things about windsurfing is, the lack of acid rivallary that other sports has, and the willingness of windsurfers to share/give advice etc. So if in doubt, just shout on a WS forum:)
I totally agree with you about taking a wave sail on a freeride board and I am also slightly skeptical. My main attraction to this sail was it's extremely durable construction.
My ideal choice was the NP Tempo 5.2 but it doesn't fit on my mast. Unfortunately I don't really have the budget for a Hellcat or another high performance freeride sail.
I considered at one point a monofilm freeride sail in 5.2 which was good for my mast but I'm not sure it will last.
I'll see if the guy selling me the Smack has any X-over/freeride sails in the size I want. I think that about .8m2 is a good interval for the moment as the conditions here are so gusty that having a bigger range would be stupid for the moment.
Match the sail to the board
mark h has given you excellent advice something we both agree on.
Unfortunately you appear to feel “that having a bigger range would be stupid for the moment”
I believe you are wrong. Think about your 7 batten slalom sail. The foot of the sail is cut very low and deep. This needs two battens below the boom. It generates power in an area of the sail that is easy to control and gives constant drive. Your down the line wave sail has a very high cut foot and only requires one batten below the boom. It does not generate the same usable power for a freeride board.
Without going into a heap of technical detail the actual power gap between your slalom and down the line wave sail in real terms will be greater than 0.7 when compared to two sails of the same design.
Buy the 5.2 monofilm freeride sail you will not regret it. :)
54kg sailors do not need to put durability at the top of their list.
a few years ago owned a 5.8m race sail that was a very full shape.
i replaced all 7 battens with battens from a larger sail.
i cut the larger battens to fit at more flex side[luff side]
the result my 5.8m was know went from the fullest sail on the water to by far the flattest.
keep your old sails and you can change big time the performance of a sail.
just remember cut the battens to fit at more flexible side, giving a stiffer batten.
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