Advice for a 5.2-5.4 Freeride Sail

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Advice for a 5.2-5.4 Freeride Sail

Postby FletcherG » Wed Jul 29, 2015 11:51 am

Looking for a smaller sail to go along with a 6.5 Gaastra Pilot. I want to get the sail first so I know whether I need a 400 or 430 mast. When looking at used gear I am generally only finding wave sails in that range.

Andyz has suggested a Severne Gator or Blade wave sail could work. "The only downside is that you would better have a hard top mast (Vandal, MauiSail, Gaastra RDM 100), but the constant curve will work too with a little more down haul. The loose leech works perfect there - I can sail at least a couple of sizes up compared to other sailors, so I don't need to switch sails often as conditions change."

Do all wave sails use a hard top mast? whatever that is. I assume you want the top of the sail sticking up as high as it can to catch wind while in the trough.

The Severne 40% carbon SDM mast is reasonably priced but I don't know if it will work. Silent Sports is listed as a Severne dealer but nothing listed on their website.

I think this is one of the reasons windsurfing almost died in Canada for the average intermediate level sailor. The equipment has gotten so specialized, technical and expensive. It has taken me lots of time to check each used sail I find to figure out what it is and which masts would be compatible.

Any other details I need to consider?


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Re: Advice for a 5.2-5.4 Freeride Sail

Postby FISH » Wed Jul 29, 2015 3:22 pm

Hi Lynn,

It IS tough isn't it. The problem is really that the sail/mast manufacturers have not determined a better way to spec their mast products. I use just one brand of sail/mast so I know they are compatible, but I have no idea whether they are 'constant-curve', 'flex-top' or 'hard-top'. All the sails do is spec a required mast length and single stiffness parameter either MCS or IMCS, where as a length and single number cannot possibly fully describe the shape the mast makes when bent. I can understand your frustration.

Because of this, I have one suggestion. Sounds like you are looking for a sail and mast. If you can, source them as a pair of the same brand. Then there will be less concern that they are compatible - they probably will be if they are roughly the same age. I would keep your eye's on the for sale section here as well as (parlez francais?) for used sail/mast deals. As we enter the fall, some pretty awesome sailors from Montreal and Quebec City even visit the Sandbanks, so delivery of used gear might even be included!

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Re: Advice for a 5.2-5.4 Freeride Sail

Postby Windjunky » Wed Jul 29, 2015 3:32 pm

Hey Lynn

I wouldn't get all caught up in finding the right type of mast, Constant curve or Hard top (Meaning the proper bend in the mast when down hauled) the length of the most important thing here… If you are a pro sailor you might notice a difference… the average joe sailor not so much, but if you have a couple of money trees growing in your back yard by all means go for it… As for sails most major companies don’t make a bad sail the only thing I would recommend would be to steer away from the recreational lines only because there aren’t as durable and therefore won’t last. I’d lean more toward a side shore wave sail, this will be light in the hands and easier to control in the gust.. or a no cam freeride sail will also do the job... there are a tone of good used sails out there as well, just stay with something made in the last 5 years or so…. When you progress and start doing some forward loops and high speed laydown gybes then maybe start to think about the right mast flex until then… Find something that works and gets the job done . Just get out on the water and have some fun… just my two cents take it for what its worth…..

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Re: Advice for a 5.2-5.4 Freeride Sail

Postby andyz » Fri Jul 31, 2015 10:38 am

I think the compatibility is more important than the particular maker. All modern sails are pretty good and you really can tell difference after having tried them all. The peculiarities of a certain brand is just a matter of habit. If you are aggressive sailor you usually like crisp instant response from the sail. I prefer balanced soft feel (though I am not an advanced sailor).
Regardless of the preferences, it is important to have a proper mast and downhaul - only then you can get all that the design genius put into the sail.
In practice, if you rig, for an example, a Severne sail on a flex top mast (like NP) you will get floppy upper leech and lower battens sticking out behind the mast. This kills power and makes sail to feel heavy. No pleasure at all.
More downhaul, and you get normal battens position and useless upper part. Difficult to waterstart, no power, no effective gusts dumping and big drag.

So as FISH suggests any matching pair (sail/mast from the same maker) is the best bet.

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