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Old 30th August 2007, 09:28 PM   #1
crazychemical
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Default camless vs camsails

I saw the 2008 Maui sails a week ago and i finally got to compare camless sails with cam sails by butting one next to the other. I could quickly see why camsails are faster and can get you planning earlier in lighter winds but then i wondered why the hell do camless freerace sails still excist? nowadays rigging camsails has become almost as easy as camless rigging and because of the forced curve of the camsail you don't have to worry about the amount of wind that much any more.
So what are the disadvantages of camsails? Less controle? I never got to try them and i've always used camless sails because they were simply cheaper and up to a few years ago just easier to rig, especially for beginner/intermediate sailors. But now that i've seen the difference i've changed my mind but i just wanne know, what are the main differences between cam and no-cam freerace sails?

Thanks for help
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Old 30th August 2007, 11:00 PM   #2
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Just a remark: a no cam slalom/freeride (Hot Speed Demon 7.3) sail won the italian slalom championships this year, so differences are maybe not always as significant as one might think.
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Old 31st August 2007, 12:10 AM   #3
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from what i make up from just the shape of eg the maui sails MS-2 vs the Persuit of simular sizes i thought that a camsail would work better in lightwind but that a no-cam would be more suitable in higher winds...
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Old 31st August 2007, 12:12 AM   #4
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the reasons i prefer camless sails:
1. despite advances a camless sail is still simpler to rig and tune
2. the cambered sails i've used are heavier than camless
3. the rotation is harder on a cambered sail making turns harder for the progressing sailor
4. cambered sails are harder to manouver in a tight spot e.g. if you slightly mess up a tack
5. cambered sails do not depower as easily
6. water starting is harder with a cambered sail becuase they are harder to rotate, its harder to flip the sail in the water
7. they collect water so are heavier
8. camberless sails are just as fast

these are my personal experiences with the neil pryde V6 7.0 ( a supposedly easy sail ) against a tushingham heckler 6.5. My brother disagrees but hes much heavier than me and a bit of a speed freak but he admits that he severly dislikes water starting the cambed sail.
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Old 31st August 2007, 12:25 AM   #5
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well, i'm a heavy sailor (90k) and i love speed aswell so would that matter too? I can see how the waterstarting would be a trick with a cambered sail but I would be thinking of an 8.5 so i'd be sailing a 140 board on which i could hoist the sail if i need to. I do worry about the depowering, since i do prefer to keep controle of the situation, but then again, an 8.5 in 12 knots shouldn't be too hard to depower even with cams? Also, since 2007 there's the 'hypercam' system which alegedly makes the rotation a lot smoother, any experiences with that?
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Old 31st August 2007, 12:32 AM   #6
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I do agree with you with most of those points but
I disagree with:
the rotation, the waterstart
it also has it plusses:
starts plaining with lower wind, if the wind is gusty, or has windholes u dont even feel the difference, can use them when u are overpowered
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Old 31st August 2007, 02:01 AM   #7
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From my experiences, I have to agree with the comments outlined in post #4, although the point made in item 8 is definitely arguable. Cambered sails usually have higher stability in strong winds due to the cambers and the greater structure offered with significantly more battens. For these reasons, a larger sail can be used, thereby offering greater speed potential. In addition, the planform of cambered sails is usually more focused on power and drive, particularly in the shape of the lower portion of the sail below the boom (longer boom lengths and a significantly larger foot for better endplating). It's hard to disagree with the fact that virtually all the pros racing slalom are doing so on cambered sails, and that says a lot.

However, there are some further downsides to cambered sails that I thought were worthy of mention. Cambers can apply a lot of pressure that can wear at the mast, potentially causing the mast to break over time (I had one mast break this way). So, one must be quite careful to avoid getting sand or dirt in the sleeve, as that only exacerbates the wear factor. Also, camber sails don't fare very well in the surf, since all that structure is quite susceptable to damage. For those the launch and return through a surf environment the risks are always there.
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Old 31st August 2007, 02:45 AM   #8
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Waar heb jij die 2008 Mauisails gezien ?
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Old 31st August 2007, 02:52 AM   #9
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My only cam sail is a 9.8 V8. The others are all no-cam (Huckers & a Retro). I have never felt that I didn't have the necessary power to get through lulls and the sails are more stable and easier to sail for me than the cam sails I used to use. I'm seriously thinking about replacing my V8 with a Retro when the V8 needs replacing. I find that I use less energy sailing the Huckers because I'm able to take out a smaller sail that also weighs less. So, that's two reasons I get less weight than my old cam sails. And they are easier to rig.
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Old 31st August 2007, 03:35 AM   #10
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Statements like "I could quickly from the static shape on the beach see why cam sails are faster and plane earlier" is absolute bullshit. A camless sail the does not reveal its true shape before it is loaded, while a sail with cams looks powerful already on the beach. Full on race sails are faster than any other sails when massivly overpowered. Cam sails should have a slight performance advantage, which maybe is most noticiable as windrange on one setting. But often this advantage is just theoretical. Often it is a question of taste, rock solid versus slightly flexible.

The camless freerace sails with seven battens, like Point-7 AC-0, Sailworks Retro and Simmer X-Type II, offer decent grunt, lots of stability, and lots of speed as well. Because they are more flexible than cam sails they are often more effectiv for pumping. Where cam sails do have the advantage is in gliding through extended lulls, then the cams more effectively generate power out of the boardspeed.

The German Surf Magazine had an interesting 7 m2 freeride test this spring. They compared cam and camless freeride sails head to head and the winner was ... the camless Severne NCX! In the summary they wrote
- Why have cambers when sails without cams even for professional testers show the same performance as cam-sails and offer a lot more fun in manouvers?
- Why cambers then? Cambers do give an advantage in light winds for gliding through lulls,
- Camless sails often provide more top speed thanks top their better and lighter handling.

The German Surf is relevant because thay probably have the most systematic performance testing of all the magazines, with repeated head to head tests for all sails.

I do believe that in 7.5 m2 sizes and bigger it is important to have 7 battens in camless sail to achieve sufficient stability! And teh design of course has to be good. The camless freerace sail will be with us for a long time, for good reasons :-)
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