My Gun Sail Experience.

My Gun Sail Experience.

Post by Paul Rybarczy » Thu, 08 Oct 1998 04:00:00


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
believe it!

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.
--
Regards,
Paul Rybarczyk.

 
 
 

My Gun Sail Experience.

Post by Andy Thil » Thu, 08 Oct 1998 04:00:00

I too was going to buy a Gun sail, due to their price and success in
mainland europe. However!, the dealer had a nice 8.1 NP Supersonic on
special offer, so I got that instead. I did buy a Gun mast though. It is a
shame that the UK has basically shunned Gun sails, as they seem to be very
good sails. It is also a shame that there is only ONE shop in the UK to
actually sell Gun sails.

 
 
 

My Gun Sail Experience.

Post by Paul Rybarczy » Fri, 09 Oct 1998 04:00:00

I got this reply via email, but figured I may as well share
it with the rest of rec.windsurfing.

***

Quote:
>  I have been looking into getting the same sail that you just
>  bought, but no store around me has any that I can demo or even
>  knows anything about them. What model year did you get the 98 or
>  99, i am not sure if they redesigned or not for 99. I am also

I don't know the model year of the sail. Neither the invoice or
the sail gives any indication. Maybe sails made in Germany don't
revolve around model years so much.  I don't know.

Quote:
>  curius as to what kind of mast and boom you use with it and if
>  they are carbon or not.  How much was shipping, I have never

I use it with a carbon mast and carbon boom, both Dynafiber.
According to Randy (at Multisails), it is important to use it with
a fairly modern mast, since the ball cams are designed to fit the
standardized mast diameters, available for the last few years.
Shipping was $32 (ground) to Peoria, Illinois from Costa Mesa, CA.
No sales tax. I've ordered nearly all my windsurfing equipment by
mail order (no shops near me), and the folks at Multisails seem
very helpful and professional in comparison. It would be nice to
be able to demo a sail before buying it (I imagine), but mail order
has some advantages too (like price).

Quote:
>  ordered a sail from a distant company.  Was it easy to water
>  start?  Could you also tell me some more of your feelings towards
>  the sail if you do not mind ;)

Like a true race sail, it has a big mast sleeve. So if you let it
fill up, it won't be easy to clear from the water compared to some.
But once you clear it (or don't let it fill up in the first place),
it water starts pretty much like any other sail.

The sail works best fully powered up. It seems very fast, and cuts up
wind very well. In light (sub planing) conditions, you would be better
off with a lighter and less complex sail (Gun makes those too). I'm
keeping my old 7.5M Gastra CS-I for those long board shlogging days.
But where I sail, the wind varies a lot. It might be 10MPH one second
and 30MPH the next. To maximize my planing time, I wanted a big sail
with a huge range and a stable draft, and that's what the Mega XII
delivers better than any I've tried before. I'm sure "name brand" race
sails are probably as stable, but I couldn't find one for $349.

A few words about rigging...

While first rigging the sail, I quickly learned that the mast
must be inserted into the sleeve ON the cams. Otherwise, it was
impossible for me to get the cams on the mast after any downhaul
tension was applied.

The first problem I encountered was that any significant downhaul
tension would cause the cams to immediately pop off the mast. No
matter how careful I was, it happened every time. After a
frustrating hour, I came up with this solution:  Insert the mast
into the sleeve on the cams. Scrunching up the mast sleeve a
little bit makes this easier to do. With NO downhaul, attach the
boom, then outhaul completely. Then downhaul completely
(periodically sliding the boom down the mast as needed). Then
loosen the outhaul to the proper tension and trim.

Although unusual, this technique worked pretty well. Later, I
talked to Randy again, and he suggested alternating the cams on
the sail as the downhaul is applied. This makes them work against
each other, so they don't pop off the mast. Works like a charm,
but some rigging tips on paper to that affect would have been
nice. Is this rigging technique common knowledge?  Wasn't to me.
Anyway, now I can rig the sail pretty easily in under ten minutes.

Unrigging the sail is very easy.  After removing the boom,
releasing the downhaul causes most of the cams to immediately
jump off the mast, then the mast easily slides out.  All of the
battens are parallel, so you just roll up the sail right away.
Oh yeah, the sail includes a very nice zippered and vented bag
to store it in.

I can't think of much more to say about the sail. If you have
any more specific questions, I would suggest giving the folks
at Multisails/Gun a call.
--
Regards,
Paul Rybarczyk.

 
 
 

My Gun Sail Experience.

Post by Tobias Alda » Fri, 09 Oct 1998 04:00:00

Thanks for this informations. I also look out for a new sail and  I guess
one from Gun Sails will be a good idea.
Hang Loose
Tobias

Quote:
>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.

 
 
 

My Gun Sail Experience.

Post by Dimitar Bojantch » Sat, 10 Oct 1998 04:00:00

A couple of more comments from me on the Gun Mega X2 -- I bought the
sail last year for for an excellent price and wrote recently that it
is "an excellent and well-built sail"... Now after more than 80
sailing days on North and Pryde sails though in all honesty I should
scale back on the excellent part.  Actually, a couple of folks tried
the sail earlier in the season and commented that it was very unstable
(one of them actually got so scared that he is still shy of trying
another sail in that size :-)...  Not knowing any better at the time I
thought that the rigging and the mast are the problem.  Anyway, out of
curiosity recently I did pull the Gun sail again and rigged it right
This time I myself had the ample opportunity to see that it was really
bad, actually for some reason it was almost unsailable on one side
(starboard) in slightly overpowered conditions. The 8.3 Mega X2 is a
powerful sail that feels more like an 8.7, but with a draft waaay
back, behind that of a 9.3 Z1.  But I found no way to sqeeze range out
of it. Downhaul, well past the max, various outhaul setting, lower
grommet, etc -- I still had to wrestle with it all the way and that
made for some very tiresome sailing. So, I abandoned the project.

In addition, as I wrote recently the lack of support makes it hard for
me to setlle for something like Gun. Now they already have the Mega X4
version and it is not imported here. Lack of factory support is a
problem (no rigging instructions, no 'serious' tuning tips, etc.)  --
the beauty of the local shop is the convenient service they offer,
mainly as a liaison with the manufacturer (dealing with warranties,
etc.) With Gun that is not here, at least in the USA. So, in my mind
it is only a good option for the occasional light-wind sailor who does
not want to invest too much into race sails and cares less about range
but plans to use it mainly as a last resort in light winds.

        D.

--
===============================================================================

Pontix Consulting, Inc.               http://www.pontix.com/
Personal Info                         http://www.pontix.com/dimitar

 
 
 

My Gun Sail Experience.

Post by TomBuckO » Fri, 16 Oct 1998 04:00:00

Quote:

>I too was going to buy a Gun sail, due to their price and success in
>mainland europe. However!, the dealer had a nice 8.1 NP Supersonic on
>special offer, so I got that instead. I did buy a Gun mast though. It is a
>shame that the UK has basically shunned Gun sails, as they seem to be very
>good sails. It is also a shame that there is only ONE shop in the UK to
>actually sell Gun sails.

Ok, let me get this straight.  You are disappointed that the shops in the UK
shun Gun sails - and you go and buy an NP Supersonic?????

You gotta be kidding with that post.  Right?

Tom  - Chicago