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Old 18th November 2006, 02:44 AM   #11
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Default RE: 6.5 sail for gusty lake sailing

Hello PB,
This is a pretty "tough to answer" question.
If I was going to buy a "next size smaller" than the 5.5 Retro, it would be the 4.8 Hucker.
I can't really give you "first hand" advice on the Hucker 4.2m2 as I haven't sailed the one I have yet.
The 6.6, 5.6, and 4.8 Huckers have been my "go to" sails for the last several months. There were a couple of days (before I had the Hucker 4.2 m2) where I used a 4.2 Revo as the 4.8 Hucker was just a bit too much.
I do not have a 4.5 Retro (been using Revos and Huckers below 5.0 m2) for the last couple of years so I'm not able to make a "first hand" comparison.
If you have any smaller rigs (in the 3.8-4.2 m2 range) then I'd suggest the 4.8 Hucker.
If the 4.5 Retro was going to be your smallest sail, then either the 4.5 Retro or the 4.2 Hucker would pretty much cover the same range.
If you have a selection of 400-430 std. and RDM masts, you can tune the 4.2 Hucker through a huge range. If you want power and a tight leech use a 400 std. dia. mast. If you want power with a little looser leech, use an RDM 400.
The 4.5 Retro needs a 400 Std. dia. mast. Not sure how the little Retro would work on an RDM.
I think you can easily "juice up" the 4.2 Hucker to give you about the same power as the 4.5 Retro, and you can probably tune the Hucker down almost to 3.8-4.0 with an RDM and lots of downhaul.
So, the sales guy is not very far off the mark, but I would agree with you that 5.5 m2 Retro to 4.2m2 Hucker is too large a gap.
I'd suggest the 4.8 Hucker first, and if you really like it (I'm reasonably sure you will as it suits your B&J Freeride sailing almost better than the 4.5 Retro) then look at the 4.2 m2 Hucker.
Hope this helps,
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Old 19th November 2006, 10:19 AM   #12
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Default RE: 6.5 sail for gusty lake sailing

Hey Roger... I was using my 4.8 Hucker this week when those crazy winds blew through. I used my 5.6 Hucker until the winds filled in. People were out with 7.0 & 8.0's while I was on the 5.6. I think I was ITFS 50% of the time while they were ITFS at least 80% of the time. I was about to get in the car to head home when the winds picked up more. In 5 minutes, (I timed myself) I rigged up the 4.8 and pulled out my 91L board.

The winds were perfect for the 4.8. I'd never felt that powered up with the sail.

I'd have trouble telling Palmer what sail to get too. I've been so happy with the high wind capabilities of the 4.8 Hucker, I can't picture myself needing a 4.2 very much.

The thing that amazes me about the Huckers most recently? That I can waterstart them with almost no wind. Even when I'm wet in a lull, I seem to be able to pop out of the water without too much effort.
Starboard [Gemini, F-Type 148, iSonic 105], AHD [Convert 60, GT Special 73], Windsurfer
Neil Pryde [v8 9.8], Sailworks [Retro 8.0; Hucker 6.6, 5.6, 4.8]

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Old 21st November 2006, 01:13 PM   #13
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Default RE: 6.5 sail for gusty lake sailing

Thanks a lot guys!
I will look at the 4.8 then. This will be the smallest sail in my quiver but occasions are so rare you need a smaller sail at my place. I also think the 4.8 will work great on my tapered powerex z-free 430.
Best regards
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Old 25th November 2006, 08:36 AM   #14
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Default RE: 6.5 sail for gusty lake sailing

H Roger,

I just wanted to say thanks for the advice, I've had my 6.5 retro out a couple of time now in really perfect condition for it to show it's range and I'm loving it. With the adjustable outhaul I really can change it from, having heft to pull me onto a plane in marginal conditions, to, pulling it flat to get in "some how" when the wind really picked up. A really great sail that my prototype X-9 mast works great with.

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Old 25th November 2006, 07:49 PM   #15
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Default RE: 6.5 sail for gusty lake sailing

Hi Matthew,
Glad to hear the Retro 6.5 m2 is working well with your NP X3 460 cm
Also very glad to hear that you've been able to "discover" how your Retro can be tuned with an adjustable outhaul.
Have you done any additional tuning with the downhaul?
That's another "feature" of the Retro.
If you need a sail that's a little less powerful, add a little downhaul and you can extend the range even further, then do the "fine tuning" with the adj. outhaul.
Hope this helps,
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