Go Back   Starboard Forums > Windsurfing School

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 11th April 2007, 02:32 AM   #1
filipl
New Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 14
Default Roger - Masts for Retros, Retro 4.5 or Hucker 4.8?

Hi,

This is my first post on this forum. I´ve been reading the threads today and find the adwice given very insightful and helpful. I sail nearby Stockholm in Sweden and have been sailing since 1984, and with Sailworks Retros since 2000.

I´ve got some questions about mast selection for the Sailworks Retros, and some more questions about the choice between the Retro and the Hucker in the smaller sizes. I´ve read some threads and have got the impression that the performance of the Retros can be altered quite much by mast choice.

My current sail and mast quivers are:

Retro 7.5 from 2007 (with Sailworks XR 460 (80% carbon) from 2001 or Speedstick 460 (100% carbon) from 2007)
Retro 6.5 from 2006 (with Sailworks XR 460 from 2001 or Speedstick 460 from 2007)
Retro 5.5 from 2007 (with Sailworks Speedstick 430 from 2007)

and (at a different location, therefor the small gap to the 7.5)

Retro 8.0 (with Sailworks XR 490 (80% carbon) from 2000)

I have ordered the Retros 7.5 and 5.5 and both the Speedstick masts this year, and I will soon get them, so I haven´t tried them yet.

- My weight is 80 kg
- My ability level is: intermediate/advanced
- My sailing style is: Most of the time I blast back and forth, try to go as fast as possible, I like to practise planing carve gybes, to do some jumping from chop, and try to do a few tricks, mostly old-schol, like bodydrags, helitacks etc... I sail in flat water to choppy conditions

My questions are:

1) How do You think that the choice of either the XR 460 mast or the Speedstick 460 mast will affect the performance of the Retros 7.5 and 6.5?

2) Which of the masts would suit each sail best?

3) I have some very basic knowledge about sail design and know how much the quality, range etc of sails has improved in the last 5-7 years, but I don´t know much about masts. Has the overall quality and performance of masts improved much over the last 5-7 years, so that - if You compared two masts from the same manufacturer with the same carbon content - would experince any gain in performance if You compared a mast from 2007, with a mast from 2000?

4) I have thought about replacing both the "older" XR masts with newer Speedstick masts, so that I would have two Speedstick 460 masts (one for each of the 7.5 and 6.5 Retros (instead of one XR 460 and one Speedstick 460), and one Speedstick 490 mast for the 8.0 Retro (instead of the XR 490). I have been assuming that since the Speedstick masts are newer, more expensive and has a higher carbon content, they would give better performance to the sails than the older XR masts. But I´m not sure that I will gain any noticable performance from that upgrade. What do You think?

5) My smallest sail will be the Retro 5.5. I will use it on my (also newly bought and not yet tested) smallest board, a Fanatic Hawk 108 (62 cm wide fast freeride or freeraceboard). I will use the adjustable outhall, and also an adjustable downhall system (the North Power XTR II). What wind range do You think I could expect from that combination? Maybe 18-26 knots?

6) The Hawk 108 will be my smallest board, and it´s "recomended"-sail range is 5.0-8.0, but since it will be my smallest board I guess I could go smaller than 5.0. If I were to buy a smaller sail than the Retro 5.5 what sail would You suggest? The Retro 4.5? or maybe the Hucker 4.2 or 4.8? What will be the (estimated) upper wind range of each of those sails?

7) If I bought the Hucker 4.8, do You think its windrange will overlap much with the windrange of the Retro 5.5?

8) What windrange could I expect from the Hucker 4.8 (in knots, both up and down)?

9) How is the "feel" of the Hucker 4.8? Does it feel small, compact and manouverable (like an "ordinary" 4.8-sail), or does it feel "bigger" than its size, due to its great power?

10) I have heard that the Huckers are really powerful sails. Are they, in spite of that, tuneable and controllable in lots of wind? The reason I ask is beacause if I go for the Hucker 4.8 I will need it to give me good control in really high winds (24-26 knots+).

11) Do You (Roger) ore anyone else, have any experince of how the Retro 4.5 feels like? Does it feel like a smaller version of the 5.5, or is it in some way, different in feel and performance?

That´s a lot of questions!, but I really appreciate Your opinions!

Thanks

Filip
filipl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11th April 2007, 10:14 PM   #2
Roger
Dream Team - School Guru
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 2,109
Default RE: Roger - Masts for Retros, Retro 4.5 or Hucker 4.8?

Hi Filip:
Here are your questions:
1) How do You think that the choice of either the XR 460 mast or the Speedstick 460 mast will affect the performance of the Retros 7.5 and 6.5?
The Sailworks XR masts are really close to spec, but slightly heavier than the Speedsticks.
So, both will work nicely in youir Retros. Youi may find there are little differences in the bend characteristics (very minor differences to be sure) and that you can use one or the other for different conditions to give your sails a little more less twist or more or less power overall,
If you want more twist, use the mast that's the softest in the tip to take a bit of tension out of the upper panels and allow more twist.
If you need max power, look for the mast with the softest bottom and the stiffest top to put more tension in the top and more draft in the bottom of your sails.

2) Which of the masts would suit each sail best?
Without putting them on a test bench and finding the differences (which will be quite small I'm sure) you will just have to try them and look for the differences and then use these little differences to your advantage to tune your sail.

3) I have some very basic knowledge about sail design and know how much the quality, range etc of sails has improved in the last 5-7 years, but I don´t know much about masts. Has the overall quality and performance of masts improved much over the last 5-7 years, so that - if You compared two masts from the same manufacturer with the same carbon content - would experince any gain in performance if You compared a mast from 2007, with a mast from 2000?
The quality has pretty much always been there. The bend characteristics, and how close they are to a true 12% constant curve have improved over the last 7 years, but it's still best to have the manufacturer's "best" in your quiver to use as a starting point before doing any further tuning.

4) I have thought about replacing both the "older" XR masts with newer Speedstick masts, so that I would have two Speedstick 460 masts (one for each of the 7.5 and 6.5 Retros (instead of one XR 460 and one Speedstick 460), and one Speedstick 490 mast for the 8.0 Retro (instead of the XR 490). I have been assuming that since the Speedstick masts are newer, more expensive and has a higher carbon content, they would give better performance to the sails than the older XR masts. But I´m not sure that I will gain any noticable performance from that upgrade. What do You think?
Since the XR 460 is going to be a little heavier, I would suggest using it in the 6.5 Retro for 2 reasons.
First, the 6.5 will require much less maxt base extension so the additional weight will be at the shortest possible distance and won't feel additionally "heavy".
Also, you will be using the 6.5 in much rougher conditions, and the older XR mast can withstand significantly more abuse due to a lower carbon content.
Don't worry, the Speedstick can handle quite a lot of abuse, but not the extreme amount that the more heavily built and reinforced XR can take.

5) My smallest sail will be the Retro 5.5. I will use it on my (also newly bought and not yet tested) smallest board, a Fanatic Hawk 108 (62 cm wide fast freeride or freeraceboard). I will use the adjustable outhall, and also an adjustable downhall system (the North Power XTR II). What wind range do You think I could expect from that combination? Maybe 18-26 knots?
I'd think more like 16-22 knots. The 5.5 will overlap with the 6.5 and a smaller sail here. so depending on if the winds are steady or gusty and the "range" of the winds, the each sail size may be a better choice on a particular day.

6) The Hawk 108 will be my smallest board, and it´s "recomended"-sail range is 5.0-8.0, but since it will be my smallest board I guess I could go smaller than 5.0. If I were to buy a smaller sail than the Retro 5.5 what sail would You suggest? The Retro 4.5? or maybe the Hucker 4.2 or 4.8? What will be the (estimated) upper wind range of each of those sails?
Hucker 4.8 16-17 knots- 22-24 knots, but it will take some "retuning" and perhaps some mast tuning (use a different mast) to acheive the entire range.
Hucker 4.2 20 knots- 16-26 knots.

7) If I bought the Hucker 4.8, do You think its windrange will overlap much with the windrange of the Retro 5.5?
Yes, there would be a significant overlap between the 4.8 Hucker and the 5.5 Retro, but for true 5.5 m2 conditions, the Retro will be better and in 5.2-4.5 conditions the Hucker 4.8 will be better.

8) What windrange could I expect from the Hucker 4.8 (in knots, both up and down)?
17-18 knots thru 25 knots

9) How is the "feel" of the Hucker 4.8? Does it feel small, compact and manouverable (like an "ordinary" 4.8-sail), or does it feel "bigger" than its size, due to its great power?
It feels smaller, but pulls like a tugboat, but it can be tuned quite a bit to reduce or enhance the additional power.

10) I have heard that the Huckers are really powerful sails. Are they, in spite of that, tuneable and controllable in lots of wind? The reason I ask is beacause if I go for the Hucker 4.8 I will need it to give me good control in really high winds (24-26 knots+).
Just downhaul the Hucker until the battens are all behind the mast, (perhaps try it on a RDM mast like the Sailworks Backbone 430) and add a little more outhaul. I've had several days where I was on the brink of underpowered to the brink of overpowered on the Hucker 4.8 and with a little downhaul/outhaul tuning, I manage to be nicely powered all day.

11) Do You (Roger) ore anyone else, have any experince of how the Retro 4.5 feels like? Does it feel like a smaller version of the 5.5, or is it in some way, different in feel and performance?
I have not had a 4.5 m2 Retro in several years, but last one I sailed, rigged and sailed just like the larger Retro's.
It's smaller, and needs a smaller mast,and boom, but if you get the right rig components it works just like the other Retro's, but with a proportionate reduction in the overall draft due to it's small size.
Still has almost a wide a tuning range as the larger Retro's.
Want lot's of power, use less downhaul and keep the batten above the boom at mid mast or a little behind.
Getting overpowered, add downhaul until the top of the sail loosens up and twists off.
Hope this helps,

Roger is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT +7. The time now is 07:33 AM.