Thread: hucker rigging
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Old 25th November 2006, 09:21 PM   #6
Dream Team - School Guru
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 2,177
Default RE: hucker rigging

Hi Peterk,
I've talked with Bruce Peterson (the Sailworks designer) and since I just got the new 6.6 Hucker in the mail yesterday (thanks FedEx!) and took it for a sail on the Starboard Serenity I'm kinda "charged up" to provide answers to your questions.
The reason there is not currently a Hucker specific rigging guide is twofold.
First, the Huckers rig very similar to the Retro, with a few minor variations in "what to look for" so if you rig the Hucker according to the Retro manual, you will have it very close to perfect.
Secondly, Bruce P. has been so busy with the designs for the new '07 Huckers, NX Formula and NX slalom sails that he simply has not found the time to write up a Hucker specific rigging guide.
Let's go through some of the fine points of rigging the Hucker and I'll put in some comments regarding the differences I've found with the Huckers vs the Retros.
First, set your mast extension to the number on the sailbag and the foot of the sail. If your Hucker did not come with numbers on the bag and on the foot of the sail (I have several prototypes and prodiction samples that do not have numbers on them) you can rig it the first time and then take a permanent marker and put the correct extension number on the foot of the sail after a little "experimenting".
I took the new 6.6 "juiced up" Hucker out of it's bag yesterday and it had no number as I believe it's a "production sample".
So, I set the extension for about 15 cm (this is what I was using on the previous Hucker 6.6 prototype) and downhauled the sail until the batten above the boom was indeed at the middle of the mast (front to back) and the scallop (looseness) in the 3rd panel extended in from the leech to the little "half a gear" tuning inidcator.
I was using a Sailworks "Lite Stick" 460 mast for the first time and I'm not sure this is precisely the right mast, but I'll try the new Hucker on a regular 100% Speedstik today.
I noticed that (compared to a 6.5 Retro) that the tuning indicator is significantly closer to the leech on the Hucker vs Retro.
So, while the Hucker does indeed have a little "twist in the top" (like virtually all modern sails to give good airflow off the top of the sail when the sail is raked back and you have a significant "spanwise flow" up the sail) the twist is not as deep into the top of the sail and only really shows up in the 3rd panel (at least extending into the panel beyond the anti-flutter "mini" battens.
Also, if you look at the top panels of the Hucker you will notice quite a bit more (Bruce P. suggests 3 x more) draft depth (from broad seam shaping) than on the Retro. This manifests itself as the upper battens lead off the back side of the mast more where on the Retro the batten leads off the middle of the back of the mast so there in virually no power (from draft) being created up at the top of the Retro where on the Huckers you are getting both power and a cleaned up leech.
The generation of power up in the top of the sail can make the Huckers feel a bit "top heavy" if you don't get enough downhaul on them to really get the top both powered up and cleaned up at the same time.
Further down in the new Hucker 6.6 you have an immense amount of draft (again from broadseaming) and this balances the power developed by the top of the sail to give you a significant power increase, overall, for the size of the sail, but Bruce has balanced this out so you get terrific control as well.
In fact, the new '07 6.6 Hucker has more draft depth (down low in the sail) than any sail Sailworks has ever designed.
So, rig your Hucker (using the right mast) until you get the scallop in the 3rd panel to the tuning indicator, put on your boom and set the outhaul to just put a little tension on the clew.
Your Hucker is now rigged for max. power and big air.
If you have more power than you want, you can reduce the power with an adjustable outhaul, add more downhaul to induce a bit more twist in the top, or change to a Sailworks Backbone RDM which has slightly different (stiffer near the top compared to other RDM's) bend characteristics, to flatten out the top of the sail and give a bit more downhaul induced twist and loosen the upper panels more and earlier (similar to adding downhaul on a Retro.
So, the rigging (Hucker vs Retro) is quite similar, but you are actually after creating your own "perfect balance" of power low in the sail (influenced greatly by an adjustable outhaul) vs higher in the sail with the Hucker, using both downhaul (affects the entire sail top to bottom) and outhaul ( flattens the lower panels in the sail without taking significant power away from the top of the sail.
Balancing the power (upper vs lower) is about achieving maximum control. When you've got the power balanced in a way that best suits your personal sailing style, you will have the best control.
Good control makes you "FAST".
I'm going down and try the new "juiced up 6.6 Hucker in Pine Island Sound in a few minutes to "feel" the power on a small slalom board
(Isonic 101 or S-Type 115). I'll let you know my impressions of this new sail later this evening.
Hope this helps,

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