RE: iSonic 105, high winds, lightweight sailor
Hi o2bnme and Roger,
One of the first opportunities I had to check out Lessacher's fins was through Niehaus' (G331) website.
It has been updated significantly to include his present quiver of stuff, but it still has an awesome collection of Lessacher's fins depicited. Some are quite esoteric and very specialized, yet the site offers a great opportunity to get a better look at asymmetric foiling in both the Duo Weed and Chamaleon concepts. These two different concepts of integrating asymmetrical foils are clearly different and most fasinating. Without a doubt, very unique in the business. In any case, I believe it still depicits the same Duo Weed 28S that I have. In fact, it was through Niehaus' site that I saw the fin and had to have it, as the planform shape was so sweet and perfect to my eye. It is my understanding that a regular Duo Weed 28 has significantly more area, especially down towards the tip. Despite the fact that 28S lacks the added area, it's surprisingly stout and powerful. I regularly use it with a 7.0 sail and it's hard to believe that such a svelte shape can track so well, without any spinout.
I should also point out that I have a 24cm Chamaleon too, but I have only used it once. I tried it with the 7.0, and while it tracked very well and was notably quick, I found that when I pushed it real hard into a jibe, it tended to stall (the Duo Weed 28S didn't). In fairness, I think the sail was a little too big for the fin. Yet, if compared with a standard fin with similar area, I couldn't have dreamed of using it with a 7.0 sail. Really, I need to spend some time with this fin with a sail in the 5.5 to 5.7 range, because I feel that the match up would be more balanced. One thing that it hard to see in pictures is how thick and stiff the fin is. Much much thicker than any fin I've ever seen, with absolutely no flex, even at the tip. It is very apparent looking at the Chamaleon that Lessacher is an out-of-the-box thinker and quite a master of shape and form. I find his uniqueness really outstanding and impressive.
Roger, it's interesting that you note that Lessacher is now working on some designs with a forward positioned leading edge. I remember some time ago in a thread with Wardog that they were discussing this, and it appeared that Lessacher clearly showed some curiousity and interest. The fact that Lessacher's weedfins weren't designed to be positioned forward of the finbox initially worried me, but there is something about the asymmetrical foiling and inherent stiffness in his designs that overcomes their overhang. When I got the Duo Weed 34cm fin, I have to admit to being a bit concerned about the significant overhang. However, in use, the fin worked beautifully. In fact, this fin had the lift and drive equivalent to a 20" (50.8cm) True Ames SB Weed, which is truly amazing. But frankly, I really have to be careful with the overhang, as the fairly sharp trailing edge is very exposed off the back of the board.
When you responded recently to my question concerning a match up of a weedfin with the Serenity, I took a look at the 32 or 34cm (I can't remember the exact size) Tangent Reaper you mentioned on their website. The planform appeared very similar in shape and concept to True Ames' weedfins. Do you find that the Tangent Reapers are stronger performers than the True Ames blade-like weedfins? I always felt that the True Ames weedfins didn't drive to windward that well, unless you went huge sizewise to overcome the problem.
Before I signoff for now, I did want to highlight one of True Ames' weedfins that I feel is a real standout. It is the Wave Ramp 9.5" (24.1cm). Actually, it is an older wave fin design that includes super small ramp that is set about 1" forward of the finbox. I find this rather diminutive fin easily outperforms the True Ames blade designs in windward performance, and it offers the great maneuverability of a wave fin. A low aspect planform with a shallow draft gives this fin a lot of versatility in environments where water depth is a notable concern. Also, I find that it cuts through heavy kelp beds with ease, and that's no small feat. Although blade type weedfins tend to shed most weeds pretty well, they do not perform as well through really thick kelp beds, especially at slower speeds. The Wave Ramp is definitely a fin to have in one's quiver. The only thing to watch out for is that real pointy ramp section when storing the fin. Unknowingly kicking it or brushing up against it hard would be a real nasty encounter.
I guess I got carried away with this post. My apologies for its length.