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Old 8th December 2008, 10:11 PM   #1
Roly Gardner
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Default Right Fin For Sail Size

Hi All,

I wonder if I might have a definitive view from you all on the right fin choice for my set up please?

I am not exactly sure what info you need so i will set out as much as possible. I weigh 165 pounds and am 5' 6'' tall. My board is a Carve 145 which came with a stock 52 cm fin, Drake I think. I bought a 44 cm Drake fin as I found the larger fin difficult in choppy conditions.

I have a range of sails from an old 5m Tush, a new 5.7m Gaastra Manic, a new 6.5 Gaastra Pilot and a Tush 7.8 Lightning. I have a smaller Pryde carbon boom and Tush 75% mast for the smaller sails and a larger Maui Magic Tsunami alloy boom with 60% carbon Powerex mast for the larger sails.

I sail off the south coast of England near Eastbourne in choppy open water conditions. The wind range varies a lot but I tend to go out between 15/25 mph.

My problems seem to revolve around the way the board performs with the bigger fin in rougher water. It seems sort of unstable as if the chop is rocking the board because the fin is long and a little out of control once I get going. I do not know much about the effects of changing the fin and whether indeed this is as important as I might think, so would be very grateful to hear what you all have to say.

Cheers

Roly
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Old 8th December 2008, 11:02 PM   #2
crazychemical
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my view is that in rougher water the board poses the main problem. The C145 is fairly wide and any form of chop will besicly undermine it's performance no matter what fin you stick under it. I always try to use the smallest board possible in rough conditions with an apporpriate fin. If however i find myself in a situation where this isn't possible, say i didn't bring the right board or whatnot then i switch to smaller fins. Also, when overpowered i underfin the board, this way i have more controle and more speed though i hold back on early planning (nooooot such a problem when you're overpowered).

My experience with larger boards in rough water it to go in sligtly underpowered with the right fin. See, if you go in overpowered with a smaller fin you'll eighter get a spinnout when you try to get planning or once you are planning and you hit bigger chop (the fin comes out of the water and bang goodbye tail! i had this several times in Leucate and even here in Holland where i sail now and trust me it takes a lot of muscle power to get your board back aligned).

What might help is to use an antiweed fin. My dad had the spin out problem i mentioned a lot in Leucate (he only sails a 220 L freeride board and refuses to step away from it because he lvoes the early planning too much). So we went to one of the shops and they adviced an antiweed and my dad said it did work although his jibes went from 100% to 20 because these fins take a lot of backfoot power to turn.

I'm sure Roger has something to add but as far as this goes i hope it worth something. Though personally, i'd encourage you, if you're going in on rough conditions, to replace the 145 because, especially with your weight, it's too big. I'm at 100 K and i use my 139L only in chilled conditions up to about 18-20 knots if the chop is managable and if the wind isn't too steady (a steady 18 knots mean a deffinate change of board for me, sometimes even at 15).

cheers
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Old 9th December 2008, 08:42 AM   #3
Roger
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Hi Roly,
OK, let's evalute your "balances" here.
I'm going to paste in your post and try to deal with each section "difinitevly"
" I am not exactly sure what info you need so i will set out as much as possible.
I weigh 165 pounds and am 5' 6'' tall.
OK, this makes you a relatively "light weight" sailor. 165Lb. = 74.8 Kg.
For a sailor of your weight, in 15 knots to 25 knots, your Carve 145 is very much
too large (as CC suggests).
For this wind range, on the open sea, a board right around 95-100 liters would seem much more appropriate.

My board is a Carve 145 which came with a stock 52 cm fin, Drake I think. I bought a 44 cm Drake fin as I found the larger fin difficult in choppy conditions.
As CC suggests, it's more likely the board is too big, not necessarily the fin.
The Carve 145 really is at it's best in the 12-16 knot (14-18.5 mph) range, with an 80-90 Kg. sailor.
It's just too wide for someone of your weight to handle easily in much more than 16 knots (18.5 mph).
At more than 16 knots (18.5 mph) up to 25 mph (21.7 knots) a 100 liter or smaller board won't have any trouble getting planing, with your 6.5 m2 rig, you can easily uphaul a 100 liter board at your weight, and the smaller narrower board will go over the chop much more smoothly.

I have a range of sails from an old 5m Tush, a new 5.7m Gaastra Manic, a new 6.5 Gaastra Pilot and a Tush 7.8 Lightning. I have a smaller Pryde carbon boom and Tush 75% mast for the smaller sails and a larger Maui Magic Tsunami alloy boom with 60% carbon Powerex mast for the larger sails.
The Carve 145 really is at it's best with 7.0-8.5 m2 rigs.
Your 5.0/5.7/6.5 rigs really belong on a Carve 99-101 or smaller.
If you want to keep your Carve for when the wind is < 15 mph (13 knots), that's fine, but I'd suggest you add another board to your quiver to work better in your stated conditions with the smaller rigs that you have.
Look for a good used Carve 99 or 101 (maybe a Carve 111, but they sail a bit larger than their volume for lightweight sailors).
Yes, you will have some period of "getting used to the smaller board", but that should take just a few sessions. then you will be on your way on a much more comfortable board.
Changing fins, on a board that's simply too large/wide for the conditions and sailor size is not going to fix things and make them real comfortable.

I sail off the south coast of England near Eastbourne in choppy open water conditions. The wind range varies a lot but I tend to go out between 15/25 mph. (13 knots/21.7 knots).

My problems seem to revolve around the way the board performs with the bigger fin in rougher water. It seems sort of unstable as if the chop is rocking the board because the fin is long and a little out of control once I get going.
You might be right on the verge of "tailwalking" with the larger fin, and your 44 cm will settle the board down a bit, but the board is still simply too big and wide.
Where to you place your mast foot on the Carve 145 (front/middle/back of the mast slot)?

I do not know much about the effects of changing the fin and whether indeed this is as important as I might think, so would be very grateful to hear what you all have to say.
Unfortunately, my answer is not the one you wanted to hear, but your board is simply too big for you (at your weight) in open sea conditions.
In really flat water, you could change the fin size and maybe get a better result, but my experience tells me (I've owned several Carve 145's over the years) that your board is simply not suited to the condtions you are trying to sail it in.
I know you've been struggling with this for quite along time, but this is the first time (that I'm currently aware of) that you've give us "the rest of the picture".
You might have had a much better (easier) time getting through the learning stages on something like a Carve 122 or 111.
Now that you have most of the "basics" mastered, there is no logical reason to stay with the Carve 145 at your weight in your conditions.
Hope this helps,
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Old 11th December 2008, 09:47 PM   #4
Roly Gardner
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Hi Roger Hi CC,

Thank you both for your comprehensive replies. This is not exactly what I wanted to hear Roger, you are right! Still, best get the correct advice and move forward rather than bashing my head against a brick wall. I am lucky I suppose that I have the smaller rigs for the smaller board.

I am a little surprised that I would be able to uphaul a 111/122 Carve. I had felt that I would have had to have mastered water starts before going this low ( for me that is, not generally. Almost had a fit when one of you mentioned 95/100 litres!). Thanks to your help earlier in the year I have progressed to deep water beach starts and actually managed a couple of water starts where I had just got out of my depth. I am getting a bit better at being able to manipulate the rig and board in open water which means I am getting in better positions. I think that the "feel" is almost there so fingers crossed for next season.

In relation to the mast foot position Roger, I have tried experimenting a little. I have tended to default to the middle of the track. I have then moved it back a few cms when the wind is low to try to get the board up on the plane more easily. This seems to work, but makes the board a bit "slippery" if you know what I mean? When the wind blows a bit I have pushed the MF forward a few cms to give me a bit more control. This has also helped me when I was having trouble rounding up into wind all the time, but I discovered that this was compensating for another technique fault I had developed so went back to a central position.

I think that I will try to borrow/hire a smaller board for a few sessions next year to see how I get on. I will let you know. As ever thank you for your help.

Roly
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Old 11th December 2008, 10:18 PM   #5
Roger
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Hi Roly,
When I say you can uphaul a 100-110 liter board, I mean in reasonably flat water.
Out in big swells and chop, in the ocean, I agree, you need something like the Carve 145 or a GO/Start that's really wide a stable to do a simple uphaul and get underway.
What I meant by you can uphaul the smaller board is that the board has adequate volume to float you with the deck only slightly awash.
95 liters, at your weight would be tricky, but still possible in the right conditions.
Keep working on your waterstarts, as that's what's going to get you out in higher winds and rougher conditions on smaller, more comfotable boards.
Roger
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