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Old 20th April 2010, 04:24 PM   #1
Tom Aylott
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 20
Default Mast foot pressure?


I was out sailing for the first time this year on saturday. Using a carve 144 and 7.5m thunderbird 3 it was enough to get planing quite nicely, however I was really struggling to get into the footstraps once planing or keep the board flat to get on the plane in the first place as I was sinking the back of the board.

Is this down to not having enough power or not enough mast foot pressure? I'm quite a tall sailor (6'7" & 100kg's) and it always seems that my weight is being transfered horizontally through the harness lines rather than vertically, especially if with the smaller sails.

Any suggestions how I can do something differently or change my setup?


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Old 20th April 2010, 09:00 PM   #2
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Dallas, Texas USA
Posts: 799

Roger can give you a more detailed response, but here are my thoughts.

Where is your mast base? I believe it should be in the front half of the track which will help keep the nose flat.

Raising your boom to at least shoulder to neck level, which will also help put more pressure on the mast foot (at 6'7", I hope the sail cut out will allow you to go this high).

Moving the base forward always requires raising the boom.

A seat harness will also help with "hanging in the harness" to add pressure to the mast foot.

With your weight, I would guess that you need at least 12-15 knots to get planing with a 7.5, so you should be seeing plenty of white caps.

Also, make sure that you are heading off a bit, 100+ degrees which will help keep the board speed up before you go for the straps. Get in the front strap first and keep the back food centered in front of the back strap(s) until you are comfortable and have sufficient speed, then go for the back strap.

Foot stap location may also help. Inboard and forward may help keep the board moving and flat in lighter winds, but outboard and back will help improve top speed and control in stronger winds. Were are your straps?

Good luck.
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Old 21st April 2010, 02:38 AM   #3
Tom Aylott
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 20

Ken, thanks for that.

My mast base is roughly in the middle of the track, boom is on its highest setting and foot straps as far forward/inboard as they go.

I had wondered about a seat harness but wasn't sure whether it would have any effect?

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Old 21st April 2010, 05:38 AM   #4
Dream Team - School Guru
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 2,177

Hi Tom,
I agree pretty much with what Ken has suggested.
It may be that you are so tall that getting "under" the sail (your long arms put you quite a ways out away from the boom and sail) is preventing you from developing the necessary amount of Mast Foot Pressure (MFP).
Also, since you were on your first sesh for the season, you may have been moving back on the board a little too quickly, or perhaps placing your rear foot a little to far back before the board gets fully planing.
Try moving back a little more slowly and progressively, try the seat harness with the lower hook height, shorten your lines as much as you can (long arms again here), and try to stay a little more over the board until you are fully lit.
Hope this helps,
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Old 22nd April 2010, 06:53 PM   #5
Tom Aylott
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 20

Thanks Roger, will have a go with a seat harness over the next few weeks and see how I get on.

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