RE: Which sail type for racing narrow longboards
Thank you, Roger.
I brought up the issue because I have some really old sails I am going to replace. Simply getting newer sails of either variety is likely to give me better results, so if my racing improves I wouldn't have known if I was helped just by better sails or also by more draft. I'm hoping I will be able to adjust to using an adjustable outhaul to flatten the draft when the wind increases enough to overpower my skill level.
You might not have thought before about what I called the "gustier" conditions created by flatter sails because you probably are faster in your physical reactions than I am. Part of what made me think I may be better off with deeper draft sails is I think flatter sails can much more suddenly turn on power. I'm thinking the number of degrees of sheeting angle from 50% power to 100% power is a smaller number for a flat sail than for a deeper draft sail. If that is correct a sailor with a flat sail would often have less time available to react to the power increase than a sailor with a deeper draft sail. As the wind changes direction slightly or as the sailor changes sheeting angle slightly the deeper draft sail will start feeling the power change sooner and will take longer to get to the full effect. It may be only a half-second difference, but that could be enough of a difference to give me enough time to adjust.
What got me thinking about how that time difference could affect me was remembering that timing is one of the reasons wide boards are more stable than narrow boards. Wide boards give a sailor more time to adjust to changes because it takes longer for them to tip enough to dump the sailor. The time difference may be only a split second, but it really helps.