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Old 11th August 2011, 06:29 AM   #6
Dream Team - School Guru
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 2,177

Hi Marisa,
Nearly all sails have recommended "best mast" and often a suggested "compatible" mast.
This is normally written on the foot of the sail near the tack (where the downhaul connects).
Sometimes it's written on the sail bag as well.
It will list the luff length in centimeters. Often the luff length will be longer than the suggested
"best mast". When the luff length is longer than the mast, you are supposed to use a mast
base extension to make up the additional length.
Here's a "for instance".
If the sail says the luff length is 470 cm, then the recommended best mast will be a 460 cm
IMCS 25 (maybe 24-26). This is the most common mast size and this size mast fits sails in the
6.0-7.5 m2 range most often.
If you go to the sailmakers websites, they will give you the sail size, the recommended best mast,
perhaps a compatible mast, and the luff length.
Check this link:
Since you may be looking for smaller sails, in the 5.0 m2-6.0 m2 range, check the Retro 5.5 m2.
It suggests the sail was designed to rig on a 430 cm IMCS 22.5 mast.
The "best" mast for the Retro 5.5 is the 75% carbon Joystick 430 cm with an IMCS of 21-25.
The IMCS number is the "stiffness". The lower the number, the less stiff and more easily bent a mast
will be.
Smaller sails use shorter, softer bend, masts as they don't need the high stiffness and longer length of a
longer stiffer mast.
The shorter the mast the less force Marisa will have to exert to pull it out of the water when uphauling.
Same for the carbon content..... the higher the carbon content, the lighter the mast.... easier for Marisa
to uphaul.
My suggestions to women of all sizes is to purchase the lightest mast their budget will stand.
Women tend to take better care of their WS equipment so even a slightly more fragile, but lighter mast
suits them better.
Women often have suggested that they have less upper body strength than a guy of the same size, so this is another reason to get the shortest, lightest mast that works with the sail you choose.
Hope this helps,
Roger is offline   Reply With Quote