A month or so ago, I posted some questions to rec.windsurfing
asking for advice on a new sail purchase. After some research, I
decided on a Gun sail.
Well, I got my new Gun 7.3M Mega X-II race sail last week! Mostly
bright yellow with red and blue trim. Ordered it by phone
(through Multisails) as advertised on www.gunsails.com. I was
pleased when talking to Randy on the phone (from Multisails) that
he was willing to answer my questions and make sure I got the
right sail. He clearly knew a lot about windsurfing/sails and
didn't try to pressure me into a purchase. In short, very
helpful. So I ordered one. Only $349 plus shipping (no sales
tax)...not bad for a 6 roller cam, 7 batten race sail :-)
The sail arrived a couple days later. The monofilm was in good
condition...no wrinkles or scratches. But damn, there were also
no rigging instructions, and this was my first race sail :-(
Fortunately, the guys at Gun/Multisails said I could call them if
I had questions, which I did. Rigging was more than a bit
frustrating until they gave me some (essential) tips on how to
keep the cams on the mast. With that knowledge, rigging was
fairly quick and easy...less than ten minutes, pretty much like
my other sails.
The roller cams are interesting. They work like ball bearings
embedded into the cams where the mast makes contact with the cam.
The ends of the battens don't have the usual strap tensioners,
and there is no apparent way to pull the battens out. The only
adjustment is an allen***in the end of each batten, so you
just adjust them once and leave 'em. Interesting.
A few days ago, I finally had the chance to sail this thing in
some strong wind (it's been a crappy Fall here in Illinois). It
was blowing about 10-30 MPH, so initially I rigged my old 6.4M twin
cam Gastra CS-II. The gusts were moving the draft and
center-of-effort around pretty badly. When the wind started
letting up a bit, I decided to rig up to my new Gun. About the
time I was done, the wind picked back up. I figured the Gun would
be too much sail, but thought I would try it anyway. To my
amazement, it handled the gusts better than my 6.4, and I could
actually sail it in higher wind! The draft was completely stable
and the center-of-effort hardly moved. Before now, I had
considered my Gastra CS-II to be a pretty stable sail. I couldn't
Understand, I had read the following claim on their web site:
"The Mega X is equipped with 6 ball cams which are accurately
matched to the mast diameter and ensure a rigid sail profile.
These cambers ensure an extremely stable center of effort in the
strongest wind condition. The Mega X is a high performance sail
developed to win races. When the wind increases its stability is
not affected so you can handle a larger sail than before whilst
remaining in control."
But, although I hoped this was true, I didn't want to get my
hopes up and be dissapointed. But this thing can really handle
the big gusts! On my 6.4, the draft would move far back and push
me down in the water, but with the 7.3 Gun it stayed put. I just
sheeted out and turned up-wind a bit, remaining in control. With
all those cams and battens, it weighs a bit more than my other
sails, but I will gladly accept that for its incredible
stability. As good as this sail is, its really a shame that the
major magazines choose to ignore Gun. Thank God for the internet.
So in short, I would definately recommend a Gun. And no, I am
not sponsored and I don't get anything for saying this. I'm just
a happy customer. And yes, I understand the importance of
supporting local shops, but I don't have one anywhere near me.
Nor did I feel like paying $200+ more for a similar sail from one
of the mail order houses.
Hope someone finds this info useful.