North & Masts Again.

North & Masts Again.

Post by Juri Munk » Wed, 28 Jul 1993 02:57:29

I found a good deal on a Fiberspar purple 440/23 world cup carbon mast
and bought it.

The wind was really nuking from noon to around 4Pm today (my 4.3 was
too big most of the time, but I didn't want to rig the 3.6, because
I knew the wind would drop).

In the afternoon, the wind dropped enough, so I took my 5.5 Gamma (Prisma
with no monofilm from 1991) sailed it for a few hours. I have previously
used either flex top masts (they didn't work well) or constant curve
masts with this sail. The purple Fiberspars are something between
constant and flex top (combination curve).

The sail was fuller than with a flex top mast and the top was quite floppy
even with only moderate downhaul.

At first, it felt really strange to sail, but then I noticed that in my
hurry I had forgotten to set the boom height and it was at least 10 cm
higher than what I'm used to. It really makes a bigger difference than
changing the mast. I'm about 5'10" (177 cm) and on the Gamma 5.5, I set
the boom as low as it can go. Any higher and the sail becomes harder to

Once that was fixed, I think the most noticeable thing was that the
mast was softer and it took less wind for the sail to twist away.

It doesn't look perfect, but it seems to work acceptably. Since the
mast is very light (1.7 kg) when compared to my old mast (over 3.5 kg)
I'm going to keep using it with the 5.5.

Sailing with the 4.3 was occasionally really scary. It's an older Infinity
and doesn't behave nearly as well as the new ones when overpowered. Taking
the camber out made me feel a bit safer, since I could luff the sail in
the highest gusts (I think they were well over 30 knots, probably closer
to 40). The chop was high and irregular.

The gusts made certain that no one was saved from spectacular wipeouts.
The smallest sail I saw was a 3.7. One of my friends jumped his wave
board and lost the bottom glass laminate as a result.

I used the Tiga 5.0 fin with the small sail and it surpassed all my
expectations. It didn't spin out in any unexpected situations and I
was reasonably in control when I wasn't too much overpowered.

Later on, I switched boards and rigs with a friend that rides a Bic
Electric rock and who has a 1992 Gaastra Slalomfoil Pro rigged (I was
using the 5.5 at that time). He felt that my Tiga 268 felt extremely
unstable and somewhat difficult to sail (no surprise there, the mast
foot was almost all the way back on the track).

I liked the Gaastra sail. The mast track on the Bic was at least 35 cm
(1 foot) more forward than on my board and it felt really strange when
there was so little nose in front of the mast. I catapulted once in
a gust, which I attribute to the strange sailing stance. Normally I
have no problems with catapulting.

I also had to twist my body to sail upwind. The flat deck also made a
difference, although I wouldn't say that it was all bad.

  Juri Munkki                           Newton: It's 1984 all over again...