Friday, May 21, 2010

Custom sail discussion with Jeff Henderson part 1

I'm a peculiar sailor.

So peculiar that I'm going to have Jeff Henderson design a custom sail for my peculiar needs. Here's part 1 of a 15 minutes chat we had yesterday.
Not sure it's going to be interesting for all readers... please let me know with comments.

I feel like adding that in that particular condition of wind I describe (again, BARELY planing on an 80l board and a 5.0), I tried not only the other Hot Sails Maui sails, but also the sails of four other brands.
There just isn't a sail like I want out there. It's only in my mind. And hopefully Jeff will make it for me... how exciting!

There has been a small bump, but I've been working in the afternoon, so I've been relying entirely on Francky and Jimmie for the Hookipa shots.


Anonymous said...

He he Fire Power we have now will be Freek Power - sonds great! But this video idea is great! Can`t wait second part!

dave said...

What up G ? Have you tried a Legend yet? They have great low end power.

cammar said...

Well, at least two people saw it... could be worse!

Anon, as you will see from the upcoming part 2 and 3, MY sail will have little to do with a superfreak... only one panel of dacron by the mast (which we forgot to discuss, btw).

Yo Dave! The Legend was one of the sails I tried.
ALL the sails I tried were great. I don't think there's a bad sail on the market today.
Of course there were sails that I liked more and sails that I liked less... but it's all a matter of personal preferences.
The Legend was a bit stiff and not light enough for me.
I want crazy light, not too stiff, yet great low end power. I think it's possible...

Anonymous said...

Yes Yey all parts please

Anonymous said...

yes all parts please

best regards,

Norm said...

Sounds like you are looking for Half to quater batten sails. Should be interesting.

Anonymous said...

Yes it's cool and interesting
if you ask
Will listen to next part for sure

Jip said...

Nice one,
I'm also interested how you're view is, about how to get to your goal. what the result will be!

My opnion about custom boards versus custom sails.
1 i think there are a lot of people white restitched sails with just the regurlar collors. Second, I have 2 boards and 6 sails. 1 waveboard, 1 freestyle. If I want a custom wave quiver i need 1 custom board, and 4 custom sails...There is just so much more choice with teh sails already i guess..

Rafn said...

Interesting discussion.. more please :)

Jeroensurf said...

I think you want the sail everybody is looking for: extremely light, durable,extremely well handling and powerfull. We can discuss about the degree of softness but as long as you got the above points most will deal with whatever softness you give the sail.
I askes Tom and Jeff also to think about making the stuff lighter, especially the bigger and low-end sails because in that type you feel every gram a lot more as on a strong wind kit.
You might find this guys intersting:
They can build a strong ands powerfull 5.9 with the weight of Freak UL 4.5.....

Next autumn i,m going to Cornwall where they are locatred and i,m serious tempted to buy my biggest wavesail from them.

cammar said...

thanks everyone for the comments.

Jeroen, those sails look interesting. Too bad there's no information whatsoever on their website about materials and weight of their sails...
Anyway, I figured long time ago that light and durable don't go together. Finding the right compromise is the key and that's where one has to rely on the experience of the sail designer.

Otherwise I would just pick the lightest stuff available and have a sail that would be fantastic... for a couple of session before getting destroyed.

Anonymous said...

I've been asking around for a custom sail but nobody wants to touch my idea.
I want a sail with a venetian blind type panel in the middle for power adjustments on the fly.
All the way closed for max power, and all the way open for min power.
Am I nuts?

Jeroensurf said...

I think a LOT has to do with what materials you use and where you take the compromises.
Cornwall isnt hawaii but it is also rather heavy wavespot in Europe so when they can build stuff that lasts there they pretty know what they are doing, at least with the used materials.

But there is a contactbutton on there website so ask them, Mathew the sailmaker is very easy in giving info and seems a nice guy.

Anonymous said...

Hi Cammar, the last few years i thought about changing my 5,3 to a 5.0, because I find it to heavy in waves, the only thing holding me back is that there isn't a 5,0 that is as light as the current 5,0SF and at least as powerful as the 5,3SF.
(So Jeff can built two versions of that custom 5.0 and send one to europe for testing...)

Interesting to see the next video's and discuss some more...
Personally I think the answer would be almost completely dacron sail (= light and strong), but FULLY battened and some specific leash and sailshape-tensioning kevlar strings and ...?

cammar said...

Venetian blind anon... that's a great idea! :)

Jeroen, I'm lucky enough to have Jeff I can talk to. He said the goal will be 5 pounds. That's 2.27 Kg and that's light enough (I'd say!) for me. I have no idea how he will do that, but I will wait trustfully...

Anon, the answer will be the opposite: mostly light x-ply with one dacron panel by the mast (which we didn't discuss in the video, btw). The battens lenght will be the first thing we will discuss in part 2.

Ola H. said...

Light is always nice. The original Psyclones were really light fx and held up pretty well. 8 or 10 years before that I had some Tiga sail which were in fact the first wave sails with a free leach. Full mono film, almost no reinforcements and SUPER light. Didn't hold up though. In the end, even if you're prepared to change sails often, I think durability is still a very practical thing. So a thing like the mast pocket. The current one is just so good when you break masts, hit the reef etc. I'm not sure the weight loss would be worth it in practice. But anyway, that light feeling, "disappearing" 5.0 with a touch of extra power is for sure interesting. Personally I was really happy with the 2010 Bolt 4.5 though. Maybe not ultra light as far as pure weight go, but still so amazingly throw about on the wave and planing power like a 5.0. But I know you were not as impressed. To hard for your taste, maybe. Anyway, I'll follow the next two episodes.

Ola H. said...

And I already have a name for this sail: The Al Dente.

Anonymous said...

On flexi - tip masts (HR) is hard to construct such sail? Isn`t it? And will you use hr in that sail - it is preaty heavy tough...

sergio said...

putting my two cents: during the last years I've reduced my quiver to 3 smacks (5.3 the bigger) and 2 boards (wave 99 the bigger) not finding particular earliest planing in bigger sizes unless the sails become too heavy for the board. Till I took out from the trash bin an old Spiderlock 5.9 (the missing link between a sail and a kite) that I haven't sold. When there's almost no wind and I want to sumptuously plan and do some b&j it still works quite nice. It's vintage sailing I know, no clew first or strange tricks but u should see the faces of still freestylers when you pop a speedloop right in front of them with a wave board, unbeatable!

cammar said...

last summer I went to Oahu for two months with two super light masts and I ended up breaking both. One in particular in a situation in which a Hot Rod would have never broken. So, I hate to say, the mast is not the place where you can save much weight... at least in the waves.

Ola and Sergio,
I know Jeff did some pretty light sails in the past, but light weight is not my only requirement. Too much monofilm both in the spiderlock and psyclone, too stiff for my taste. The goal will be light, but relatively soft and yet powerful.
Not wasy.

cammar said...

There was a comment from an italian reader that for some reason disappeared. He wanted to know what "low end power" means in italian.
Lo tradurrei come la capacita' di erogare potenza con vento leggero.

Anonymous said...

re - 5-oceans sails

the 4 batten sail in that picture weighs 2.6kg. It is not optimised for lightweight.(i just weighed it, its damp and a little sandy)
A lightweight optimised version (with no loss of strength- but loss of colour) is sub 2.3 kg.

could go a bit lighter with a very expensive batten set(or a less robust batten set)- not really worth it.

This 5 batten 5.6m sail weighs 2.95kg.

Light version of that one without strength loss is 2.7kg.

Those are full wind range sails.

If you only want a sail for float and ride and marginal planing then a 2.3 kg 5m is really easy as you can use much lighter and less battens with some light cloth. simples.

have fun with it- light sails are definetly a good thing and im sure jeff henderson will do you a great sail.


sergio said...

ciao Giampaolo, yes, just light crisp monofilm, but I think that the dacron mast panel and the 2 (very) short battens made them soft enough, coping with the need of pull in marginal conditions! I've tried a Freak for a whole weekend at the lake from powered to overpowered and I've understood it, but I think it didn't suit me and the somehow gusty conditions. Anyway I'd love a Power Freak or a Light Smack 5.3! cheers, Sergio

Anonymous said...

just curious, did you try the MauiSails Ghost? I bought one to do the same as you are trying to do, but I haven't had a chance to try it out yet. I'd be interested to get some unbiased feedback.

cammar said...

thanks a lot for those info.
Your sails look good: very simple design, no fancy stuff (that's how I want mine... part 3 of the video).
Hey, is that you in the second photo (the five battens sails)? If yes, do I see your front foot ALL THE WAY in the footstrap? I'm sure it's great for wave riding, but don't you ever get stuck in it? And doesn't it hurt your ankle even if you don't get stuck?
Do you keep you back footstrap like that too?
Just curious, since I just broke my foot...

x-ply has a slightly softer feel than monofilm, so I'm confident in the result. Yes, if the Smack was ligther (a lot lighter), it would be closer to what I want, but it's built to take a lot of abuse.
And I still think I prefere short battens.

Tony, I didn't try the Ghost. But I often sail with Art and he told me about them and how much he likes them. I'd love to try them, but right now I'm still healing my foot (plus the winter conditions are well gone... it's blowing 30 every day!).

Anonymous said...

Hi Cammar- not me in the photo but a guy called ian black. He does damage his ankles quite a bit!