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Old 17th July 2007, 11:58 PM   #1
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Default Serenity - the way forward

I recently had a test ride on a Serenity and here's my report:

FYI - The last time I owned a board with more than 90l was 15 years ago, my favourite discipline is speedsailing, my favourite board is my Missile XS 54l. I did however learn to sail on a Bic 250 way back.

So there I was itching for a sail last weekend but there was no wind. Gave the owner of Wind and Wave a call to see if the tester Serenity was available and it was so off I went.

I rigged my largest sail, a 7.7m2 Code Red.

A significant crowd of bored windsurfers (current and retired) were out walking and gathered around this curious machine, as I explained it's target conditions there was a genuine expression of interest.

So I jumped aboard and glided away from a few of the onlookers who were suitably impressed with it's pace in a mere 5kts of wind, as was I.

I say glided, as that is what it felt like. I glided off into Dublin Bay when I'd normally have been sitting around the house praying for wind. For the first time in many years I found myself grinning away from ear to ear at the pure simplicity of windsurfing that is long forgotten.

It took a few minutes to get the hang of sailing the board, initially keeping it on heading was quite difficult. Once I got my feet close together and over the centreboard and found a decent balance point it was plain sailing. I sailed about 2 miles upwind along the coast until I began to run out of water and then played around in the bay for a while.

Tacking it is a bit difficult but made a lot easier by doing heli tacks to push the massive nose off the wind. I didn't try gybing as I was enjoying staying dry.

When the wind picked up to about 8 - 10kts, I adapted a long forgotten long board stance (see sunset photos from the 70's), back leg bent, front leg directing the monster. It powered along, spraying out a wake like a boat, effortless at the same time.

It needs to be sailing on the rail for best stability at low winds.

So in summary: In the lightest breeze this board got a high wind speedsailor out on the water and very happy. In a light breeze this board was great fun to sail.

The only cons I could come up with were size and the fixed centreboard. The size issue comes back to the original windsurfer, we used to store them in clubhouses and then launch and go for a sail around the local lake, that it what this is best for, that said I would most definately say that if you have a long enough garage then transporting this on the roofrack is no big deal, it's easy to put on and take off due to the balanced handle.

Tip: coming in close to shore once you're off the board (if you cant rail ride right in) capsize the board and you can come right into the shallows.

All in all, a big kudos to SB for having the balls to produce this board, I wish you all the best. It reminded me of some of my best days windsurfing back at my local lake and if it takes off it'll be the rebirth of windsurfing.


Martin Waldron
IRL 190
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Old 18th July 2007, 11:34 AM   #2
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Default RE: Serenity - the way forward

Yea yea nice review .. but did you buy one or have you ordered one?
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Old 18th July 2007, 04:33 PM   #3
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Default RE: Terraced house

I live in a terraced house with on street parking, I store my gear in a 10 foot shed out back or my jeep.

If I had the space I'd have ordered one on the day I sailed it.

I was out by the sea yesterday evening and was wishing I had the Serenity as there was bugger all wind but it was perfect for a cruise around the bay.

The other board I now must try is the Apollo and see which I'd rather when it's light winds, I'd guess the Serenity.

Like I said in the review - one of the few cons is its size, but that's an inevitable price.
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Old 18th July 2007, 04:43 PM   #4
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Default RE: Serenity - the way forward

My question: is there really a significant difference in sailing (not carrying or looking at it) between Serenity and an old raceboard, such as Fanatic Cat or old Mistrals?
They were also long and had a center board.

-marek
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Old 18th July 2007, 05:25 PM   #5
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Default RE: Serenity - the way forward

Hi Marek,
Yes, there's a huge difference.
Maybe not so different (other than weight and ease of setup, etc.) than a full Div. 2 board like the Lechner, but compared to an older course race board (Mistral Equipe/IMCO, Fanatic Cat, F2 Lightning, and that genre of board) yes, the Serenity is very different, significanly faster in < around 8 knots.
Try one, and you will see. Cruising along with spray up to your waist in
6-7 knots with a 7.5 m2 rig.
Don&#39;t think you&#39;ll find that with an older raceboard.
Hope this helps,
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Old 19th July 2007, 09:03 AM   #6
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Default RE: Serenity - the way forward

I rented a Serenity a few weeks ago in Hatteras (from Sailworld in Avon), and it was awesome!

I was in Avon for a week, and there were 3 pretty marginal days, and the Serenity completely saved me from getting skunked. I sailed for a few hours on the Serenity on those light days, and had a blast. Many times I was the only one on the water, and when I came in people came running over to see what the heck I was sailing so fast on in such light winds.

I am light in weight and get going pretty early on my Formula, but on those really marginal days, the Serenity takes the pressure off. I could see myself getting a Serenity, and rolling the dice and heading to the water on the marginal days, and if not enough wind materializes to plane consistently on the Formula, out comes the Serenity, no big deal (versus the HUGE letdown of getting completely skunked, or schlogging around on a Formula with a big rig!).

I haven&#39;t bought one yet, as it doesn&#39;t fit in my trailer and I haven&#39;t 100% figured out how I am going to transport it and store it, but I have a feeling that eventually I will own one...

Kudos to Starboard for being bold enough to make such a revolutionary board!
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Old 19th July 2007, 03:47 PM   #7
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Default RE: Serenity - the way forward

sell serenity as a 2-piece board (same as masts)?
n.
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Old 20th July 2007, 04:32 AM   #8
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Default RE: Serenity - the way forward

Poster #4
Although I haven&#39;t sailed it yet, it&#39;s a completely different ballgame. The differences come from the botttom shape - it&#39;s round (like a half barrel) and is optimized for displacement sailing (as opposed to planing). In less than 8-9 knots, I&#39;m sure it will run circles around longboards you mention.

All these positive reports really make me eager to try one (having sailed a lot Div2 long time ago). I&#39;ve said it before:
1. maybe it could be made shorter (say shorter than 4 metres), without a severe impact on light wind performance. A lot of people simply can&#39;t put in their garages / even on their vehicles.
2. A retractable dagger (like on many starboard models). I&#39;m guessing here, but on Div2 boards it was very important on deep downwind runs and in gybing.

Roger
any thoughts on these comments?

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Old 20th July 2007, 07:16 AM   #9
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Default RE: Serenity - the way forward

I just don&#39;t understand the point of this board at all. The only reason to have one is so that you can win races in light wind. Try to find a race committee that will actually run a race that is too light for the formula boards (in the US, anyway). In addition, that board must have a very small wind range for the average sailor.

Save yourself the money and storage headache, and buy an old Div. II hull for a couple hundred. As screamer said in the last post, you&#39;ll still be the fastest on the water in light wind. Or, you can sacrifice light air speed and ad wind range with a hybrid or old longboard.
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Old 20th July 2007, 11:16 AM   #10
Roger
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Default RE: Serenity - the way forward

Hi Screamer,
Well, I&#39;ve heard that the &#39;08 Serenity may be even longer (to improve the really light wind (< 6 knots) speed).
I don&#39;t like the idea that it may end up longer, but if the "ultimate" in light wind speed is the goal for the Serenity, waterline length may be the only way to achieve this goal.
As far as the retractable centerboard idea, this would add alot of weight and pretty much "lock you in" to one size centerboard.
I like the current Deep Tuttle fin box arrangement becuause I can put in whatever size fin I find works the best.
I do not like the wide blade 70 cm fin that the board comes equipped with and have found the Serenity is simply faster and far easier to sail with a 50-60 cm Deboichet Concept fin plus it allows me to use different weed fins for weedy shallow conditions.
I have not found the upwind speed and angle to diminish much (if at all) with the smaller 60 cm race fin, and the board is so much easier to sail on a reach plus it tacks and jibes far more easily and smoothly with smaller fins.

For Guest:
Who said anything about racing the Serenity in light winds?
I&#39;m not sure anyone has done that (beyond the Starboard Test team racing Serenity against Serenity).
The Serenity could be raced, and I&#39;m hoping to take one to Atlanta for their fall races and see if it&#39;s raceable.
And, the serenity has the widest wind range of any aboard I&#39;ve ever sailed. I&#39;ve been out in a solid 25 knots (flat water near the shore) with a 4.2 m2 Sailworks Hucker and the Serenity simply rips.
I&#39;ve sailed Serenity with the 7.5 Severne Glide (almost "made for Serenity") as well as larger Sailworks NX SLM 7.8/8.5 m2 and 7.5 Retro and the board simply rips along in < 7 knots at speeds like nothing I&#39;ve ever seen or raced. By far the widest range of use board ever made. And it&#39;s both fun and challenging throughout the entire spectrum.
You really need to sail one to understand as the Serenity is nothing like an old Div II hull or longboard.
A Div. II hull wasn;t really "fun" to sail in < 7 knots.
The Serenity rips along with sheets of spray (up to your waist) in 7 knots with the right sail. It&#39;s so amazing you simply have to sail one to understand.
Hope this helps,
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