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Old 20th July 2007, 10:41 PM   #11
G-42
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Default RE: Serenity - the way forward

Length seems a concern for anyone having to transport one of these. OTOH, the application (light air sailing in flat water) pretty much makes it a shoe-in as a club board. Putting a fleet of these in yacht clubs on lakes and in protected bays sounds like a good bet. Also, rental centers and schools could have these around for rentals, so sailors who came to sail on their own gear but got skunked would have a fun alternative allowing them to salvage the day for the cost of a rental.

Seems like this concept could be a boon to clubs and rental centers - which are the kinds of organizations we need if we really want to grow the sport. Not sure if that was part of the master plan, but it sure seems like a beneficial effect.

Of course, for anyone living on a lake, these things would be a must-have.

Andreas
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Old 21st July 2007, 06:39 PM   #12
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Default RE: Serenity - the way forward

I don't really think the length is that big of an issue. True, some people may not have the storage space or car that is big enough to cartop it. However, there are many kayaks out there as big as the Serenity (and many are much heavier.) My biggest problem so far with the size of the board is that I've banged my head a few times on it walking behind my car! Because the board is so light, it really is by far the easiest longboard I've ever had to carry and get to the water.
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Old 23rd July 2007, 04:58 AM   #13
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Default RE: Serenity - the way forward

Hey Andreas!

It's great to see someone talking about having a club board. Are you in the US?

We recently went through the selection process for our club board (in the US). The Serenity was eliminated immediately because of its cost, size, and lack of stability. The reviewer in Windsurf Magazine had a polite way of mentioning the instability by saying something like 'it wouldn't be much problem for an advanced intermediate'. Our biggest priority was having a club board that was easy for beginneres to get started on. Our finalists were the Kona, Prodigy, and original windsurfer. The Kona and Prodigy (and RSX) are the only boards that have had one-design races here in the US in the last 12 months.
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Old 23rd July 2007, 08:35 AM   #14
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Default RE: Serenity - the way forward

Roger, the couple of times I've sailed the Serenity I've felt it was similar in light-wind speed and pace to a Lechner. Years ago, there were some D2 boards of very similar shape to a Serenity with the back cut off, and they were as fast as a "conventional" D2 in light winds but slower in planing winds.

While I understand you feel that a centreboard restricts you, you could always get a different CB made up by any dinghy foilmaker. Secondly, having a centreboard allows you to change depth, rake, effective chord, position of CLR etc with the touch of a foot as wind, waves, mood and point of sail change.

With a fin, you have to go ashore, walk to the car, get a screwdriver, get another fin, unscrew on fin, put inthe new fin, put the old fin and screwdriver back in the car, then re-launch. I think many of us adjust our centreboards many times each leg in some conditions. That's not an option with the fixed fin.
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Old 23rd July 2007, 10:01 AM   #15
Roger
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Default RE: Serenity - the way forward

Hi guest,
Well, something else to consider here.
The Serenity only has one fin!
Not like your Div. 2 boards or Lechners with a centerboard and a rear fin.
Moving the centerboard up and down in a Serenity would mean you go from no fin at all, to some huge heavy foil that really just adds weight.
I like the idea it's easy for Serenity sailors to "tailor" the single replaceable fin to the conditions.
Hope this helps,
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Old 24th July 2007, 06:13 PM   #16
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Default RE: Serenity - the way forward

I think the Serenity is an excellent board and it's great that Starboard launched it. However, I don't think a good centreboard is a huge heavy foil. Just about all of them are positively buoyant, so when they are down any weight they add is more than counteracted (lots of the time) by the extra volume they provide.

To me, the fact that the Serenity hasn't got a fin isn't all that dramatic - you can sail a Lechner etc (or any longboard) without a fin but with a centreboard, up or down. And a small fin isn't a huge drama to fit, per se.

I suppose whether a fin or a centreboard is the best way to tailor a board for the conditions depend on where you are sailing. In a puffy area, sometimes you need full centreboard (or fin) and 5 seconds later you may need much less centreboard (or fin). If you sail in a steady-wind area, there's no such problem.

Then again, basic hydrodynamics and aerodynamics demonstrate that the loadings and vectors and therefore the characteristics of the lateral resistance vary enormously depending on the point of sail. Going upwind you may need a lot of lateral resistance, downwind you need less, square running you need none. A foil that can be changed in area, span, effective chord, sweep, CLR etc (ie a centreboard) is very valuable in that situation.
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Old 24th July 2007, 10:10 PM   #17
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Default RE: Serenity - the way forward

All longboards DON'T sail well without a fin! We've had them break off or fall off while sailing, and it's not pleasant. Serenity gets away without because of its bottom shape.
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Old 25th July 2007, 12:20 AM   #18
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Default RE: Serenity - the way forward

I don't think bottom shape has much to do with it. I've sailed conventional longboards w/o a fin and its not a big problem. It actually makes them much more turny. I used to remove the fin for just that reason.

I for one still think a CB might be the best way to go with Serenity. Sure it would add a little weight, but so what? A displacement mode craft seems much less likely to be affected by the extra weight than would be the case for a planning board. You are not trying to pump it onto a plane, or jump it - the kinds of situtaitons where board weight might come into play the most. (I admit, I got the wood version, mostly because I thought it would be easier to get on and off my car.)

I suspect it was not just the weight of the CB that led *board to not use it, but rather the added cost, construction complexity and development costs. Serenity uses a much different foil (much thinner) than most CBs used in prior longboards. Perhaps, it would have been difficult to engineer a totally new system, particularly when they probably weren't sure what the optimal design would prove to be. If the supplied fin was not the best, changing it remains a possibility, as Roger has done. Much harder to do with a complete CB setup - far few options available to the consumer.

Perhaps a partially retractible daggerboard would the optimal way to go - simplicity and light weight would be retained, but the depth of the foil could be changed to suit conditions. Ijn any case, it will be interesting to see whats in store for Serenity in 2008.
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Old 25th July 2007, 06:14 AM   #19
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Default RE: Serenity - the way forward

Hi Guest,
You suggest "However, I don't think a good centreboard is a huge heavy foil. Just about all of them are positively buoyant, so when they are down any weight they add is more than counteracted (lots of the time) by the extra volume they provide."
Well, I've seen alot of boards start out their designs with a removable center fin. (Start, Go with side fins, Starsurfer, Kiddie, etc.
And it's veen the same boards 2-4 years later, with a retractable center board (even a very small centerboard) in in every cast the boards have gained a whole lot of weight. It's not the actual foil of the centerboard that's the problem here. Its the cassette the CB operates and stows in, the operating handles, all the stuff that has nothing to do with the weight or design, or buoyancy of the actual CB foil.
And in nearly all cases this has made the board considerably less funtional in a wide range of conditions.
Starts and Rio, with centerboards, weigh as much or more than the huge original Start boards and they don't plane as early.
These designs that used to be really wide range and appeal to alot of sailors, only seem to work at the very entry/beginner level now.
Is this progress...... Not in my opinion.
The 2 Phantoms I have are fairly light in weight, the Phantom race being quite light for it's size. They are both prototypes or at least the 302 Phantom I have is not "Tuff Skin".
Since the board came out in production, in Tufskin it has gained almost 20 lbs. I had a dealer call me the other day wanting to know what happened.
He (and several of his customers) had sailed the Phantom 302 I have, and thought it was wonderful. The Tuff skin Phantom with the production centerboard system weighs so much many of them can hardly lift it. No one wants a board that heavy.
Some of the nicest things about the Serenity are it's light weight and
lack of complexity.
How do you rationalize the drastic movement in CLR with only a centerboard.
Hull induced CLR when the CB is retracted, half the length (span) of the foil behind optimum with the CB half retracted, and in the right place with the CB fully deployed, and no real ability (once it's built into the board) to make any changes. It's either up giving no appreciable lift/stability, it's half way down giving some stability but preventing the board from turning very well and the CLR well behind optimum; or fully depolyed with all the lift and stability (whether you need it or not) plus all the drag and all the added weight of the cassette and operating levers etc.
I think a removable centerboard is far better as it allows the sailor some choices and allows for weed fins for shallow or weedy areas.
Hope this helps,
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Old 25th July 2007, 08:24 AM   #20
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Default RE: Serenity - the way forward

Hi Roger;

I won't dispute your expertise on the short boards with centreboards, as it's not an area I know. I'm not sure, however, that comparing protos with production boards, Tuff Skin against non TS, or boards from different years is 100% valid as a way of looking at the weight of CB and cassette. I've taken more than a few out and I'm familiar with the all-up weight.

Having said that, I agree with the earlier post that a CB's weight could be less of a factor in a longboard. And the whole history of the longboard shows that the amount of on-the-water variation in centreboard has gone pretty steadily from zero (in the early days, before people started pulling out their daggers downwind in a breeze) to 100% (ie fully retracting centreboards) and the performance and handling have improved dramatically each time. A classic case would be the improvement when the original Windsurfer went to an (almost) fully retracting CB. I first sailed a D2 with a dagger, then went witht he progression to fully retracting centreboard, and the improvement in handling and speed was enormous - as we notice whenever we're hooning along and the fully-retracted centreboard bounces down a bit and chucks us straight into a vicious fall!

Still, considering the various weight factors involved in the Serenity and the fact that it's even more of a specialist light wind board than the D2s, a fin may be cool.

REgardless, it's great to see the board out there.

Interesting discussion.
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