View Full Version : Hucker and mast

21st September 2006, 08:10 AM
Hi Roger,
I'd like to buy the Sailworks Hucker 6.6 and was wondering if you could recommend me a mast and a boom for this sail.
I recently trashed my Retro 8.0 on lake Michigan. The conditions were cross-shore about 12 knots and increasing to maybe 18. I was ready to go home and close to the shore when a larger wave came, swept me off the board and rolled over the sail. The result is 3 broken battens and ripped sail between the bottom 2 battens about 5 inches from leach. Unfortunetly, the broken battens also punched a hole through the batten pocket:( I'm not sure if the sail is worth the repair anymore. I'll make some pictures and post them online so you could see the damage and give me your opinion.

I know I shouldn't have used the Retro there. It's a perfect sail for flatwater but I guess not so good when it gets a little rough. Would Hucker be more suitable and take the beating without damage? Should I get a wave mast, RDM mast or standard mast for the Hucker?

23rd September 2006, 01:47 PM
Hi Stefan,
I've not had the new 6.6 Hucker proto long enough to test it with several different masts, but I think the mast selection is going to depend on which of the Hucker's features you want to bring out the most.
If you want top speed and excellent range, then probably the best mast is the Speedstick 460 or Powerex Z-Speed 460.
If you are wanting more bump and jump performance (with the emphasis on jumping) then the Backbone 460 RDM will give you the tightest upper leech and the most "airtime".
Any 175-210 cm boom will work nicely. A smaller boom (HPL Freeride) will work nicely as well. Just make sure you don't get a boom that needs to be extended to it's full range to fit the 6.6 m2 Hucker's recommended boom length of 199 cm.

On your Retro, you might want to send the photos to the Sailworks loft as well. If you aren't in a hurry to get it back, they can restore it to like new condition for not an exorbitant amount of $$.
If you "got rolled" in the Lake Michigan surf, it seems very lucky that you didn't break your mast as well.
The 6.6 Hucker will be a little better, in extreme conditions, but if you have breaking surf, any sail with carbon tube battens is going to be subject to some damage if it gets rolled in the surf.
Hope this helps,

28th September 2006, 09:30 PM
Hi Roger,

do you think a hucker 6.6 could be a replacement for a retro 8.0 as far as planing and overall use is concerned? What sized retro would you consider replacing with a hucker 6.6 for early planing purposes?



1st October 2006, 11:05 PM
Hi Paul C,
No, I don't think the Huckers "super power" extends quite this far.
The 6.6 m2 Hucker easily replaces a 7.0 m2 Retro, and probably gets close to a 7.5 m2 Retro, but you won't get the low end and early planing power of an 8.0 m2 Retro with the 6.6 m2 Hucker.
The loft is working on some more powerful 6.6 m2 Hucker designs, but the prototype sail I have is a little less powerful.
I'll let you know when I get one of the next evolution 6.6 m2 Huckers as to what the low end power is going to be.
However, I cannot stress enough how much you can "tune" the characteristics of all the Huckers with different masts.
If you want lot's of power and a really tight upper leech, use a Backbone.
If you want a looser leech, and a little less low end, use a std. dia. mast. And, if you have other masts with slightly different bend characteristics, tyr them.
The Hucker 5.6 has in incredible range with the following 5 masts I've tried.
Powerex 430 cm Z-Speed 100% Carbon
Sailworks 430 cm Joystick 75% Carbon
Sailworks 430 cm Backbone RDM 90% Carbon
Powerex 430 cm Wave Prepreg RDM 90% Carbon
Sailworks Backbone 460 cm Backbone 90% carbon
Each mast is slightly different in bend characteristics, and you can use this small difference to "tune" the Hucker toward the type of sailing you want to do an any given day.
Want "speed", use the 460 cm Backbone.
Want lots of "air time" use the 430 Joystick
Want lots of "low end" with a tight leech, use the 430
Getting a little over powered and want more top twist, use the
Powerex Wave Prepreg 430.
Each mast gives the 5.6 m2 Hucker a little different shape and
If I ever get back on the water (been working on aircraft carriers for the last week and a half) I'll try to focus on the 6.6 Hucker and pass along anything new I discover about this particular sail.
I'm looking at the new "more powerful" Hucker 6.6 m2 as the "best" sail for the new Starboard Serenity. Sailed it last week in very light winds with a 7.5 m2 Retro and it was awesome.
Hope this helps,

2nd October 2006, 10:24 AM
I look forward to hearing your impressions of the next version of the Hucker. I recently purchased a 4.8 Hucker. I am 65kg and was out sailing at Canadian Hole and Friscowoods when others were using 3.7 - 6.3. I just kept changing the downhaul to match the conditions. I love this concept!

I've recently ripped the foot (pulley and about three inches of sail cloth) off my 7.7 V8. I am starting to think about how to either fix it or replace it. The 6.6 sounds like a good option especially if they are improving on its wind range. Then, with that in my quiver, I'll probably replace my other small V8's (6.0 & 6.6) with a 5.6 Hucker. To cover the gap above the 6.6 Hucker, I'd probably get an 8.0 Retro (my next sail is a 9.8 V8). This should give me a good range of sails for my boards. I really want to see how an 8.0 Retro would work on the iS 105. I loved how the 7.7 V8 felt on this board when it was fully powered up.

I really like the idea of having less gear to carry around.

Oh, I used the Powerex Z_Free 430 with my 4.8 Hucker. It seemed like a great match for the sail. I loved how the sail felt when I wanted it to act like a 5.5. The amount of pull was amazing!

11th October 2006, 07:17 PM
Roger, per my prior post, I'm starting to think that if I get the 5.6 Hucker to join my 4.8, I'll miss having both of them rigged without another mast. In Maine, I leave my gear hanging on the wall in the shade. All I have to do it downhaul, throw a boom on and go. With this in mind, I'll be one mast short since both the 4.8 & 5.6 Huckers fit on my Z-Free 430 mast.

So, what is your suggestion for a 2nd mast? I love flatwater blasting and bump & jump, but I never go out in ocean swell/waves, so real jumping isn't in my bag of tricks. I loved how the 4.8 felt on my current 430.

Should I get another Z-Free 430 or would another mast complement the 5.6 or 4.8 better? I have a Z-Free 460, but that will go with a 6.6 Hucker if and when I get that in 2007.

12th October 2006, 01:34 PM
Hi o2bnme,
To really extend the range of the 5.6 m2 Hucker I'd suggest the Sailworks
460 Backbone mast.
With this mast and a little head cap extension on the sail you get a very fast and easy to handle slalom sail.
The upper leech is tighter than a Retro for sure, but not as tight as the 5.6 Hucker on a 430 cm mast.
I sail my 5.6 Hucker this way about half the time.
Hope this helps,

12th October 2006, 09:02 PM
So, with the 460 Backbone, I would be getting more lightwind or highwind range out of the 5.6?

13th October 2006, 08:44 AM
Hi o2bnme,
The SW Backbone 460 gives a tighter profile top to bottom in the Hucker 5.6.
Turns a fast bump n jump sail with a tight leech for big air and a full lower profile for great low end power into an incredibly fast and stable
slalom race sail.
Dale Cook has been well over 40 knots on a 5.6 Hucker (if I've heard correctly) and Bruce P. has used then sucessfully in Gorge Cup slalom races.
Very fast, very stable.
Hope this helps,

13th October 2006, 09:20 AM
That's what I needed to know! Thanks. Now to decide whether to spend MORE money on a mast when I get the sail. ;-)

14th October 2006, 11:41 PM
Hi o2bnme,
Hmmmm.... you leave your sails with the mast in, but without any outhaul when you hang them in the shade in Maine?
That would seem to me to be very hard on the mast and the sail.
Even if you release the downhaul pressure you still have some residual bend in the mast and the front of the battens is going to be pushing ou the front of the luff sleeve. This is very hard on the sail.
The mast is going to "take a set" and be permanently "bent" over time.
The luff sleeve of your sails is going to be "stretched"by the front of the battens pushing out the front.
I know having your rigs "ready to go" at a moments notice is very attractive here, but long term damage to both the mast and the sail is probably going to be the price you pay in the long term.
It only take me < 4-5 min. to rig a Hucker from scratch (maybe less, I&#39;ll have to time myself) and it gives me the ability to select the mast that&#39;s going to be best for the current conditions since Huckers give me the ability to change their "characteristics" so much depending on what mast I use.
Hope this helps,

15th October 2006, 03:29 AM
Actually, the luff/sail has no tension on it when hanging. The mast is perfectly straight -- or are you saying that they will bend because they are being held up by the endpoints (and therefore will sag slightly)? I would think this sag would be inperceptible, yes? I would just take the mast/sail off the rope loops it hangs from attach a mast extension, downhaul, attach a boom and go.

But I keep forgetting that the huckers are quick to rig. I&#39;m used to dealing with sails that take longer to rig. And I&#39;ve never been up here for more than a week or two. Now, I get the chance to spend a month+ up here, so leaving them fully rigged would definitely do what you say.

I may just stop the practice because they are easy to rig. I don&#39;t expect I&#39;ll ever have a huge quiver of masts, but I can see a need to put a sail on a different mast depending on the desired performance characteristics I&#39;m after.

15th October 2006, 10:03 AM
Hi o2bnme,
I got some VERY quality time on the 6.6 Hucker proto and the&#39;07 Isonic 101 this afternoon at the Canadian Hole.
In one word, both were "AWESOME"!
Think I was the fast guy as I passed everyone I saw, and didn&#39;t see anyone gaining or passing me.
What an incredible range this sail and board have!
Wind was from the straight west and really up and down (not gusty, just sub planing for a while, then increasing until I was ripping, then dying off to sub planing again).
Rigged for a bit more wind at first, then when I got out there I backed off the downhaul and outhaul until the sail was tuned to the mark on a new version Powerex Z-Speed 460.
Tangent 32 cm Reaper weedfin was perfect, right on the verge of letting go alot of the time, but more and more "solid" as the speed increased.
I cannot believe I was powered up on a 6.6 m2 rig and 101 liter board in only about 10-14 knots of wind.
at first the 6.6 Hucker was a little underpowered for the windspeeds, but real slippery and easy to handle when the wind came up.
After the adjustment of the downhaul and outhaul the Hucker pulled like a tugboat to get on plane, but had really good speed once on plane and the apparent wind kicked in.
I had a positively outstanding sesh!
Hope this helps,

15th October 2006, 11:44 AM
Hi again o2bnme,
Next time you have a "straight mast" in your sail, hanging up by the ends or laying on the graound, take a look at the way the battens and the luf sleeve "push forward" (trying to match a bent mast shape).
There will be some really odd "wrinkles" in the monofilm or X ply panels as the battens are positioned in the sail so that the front of the battens follows the curve of the front of the luff sleeve.
On a reasonably tight sleeved sail (like the Retro or Hucker) the tendancy for the front of the battens to try to "poke through" the front of the luff sleeve will cause the panels to be tensioned at an angle (as there is no curvature in the luff sleeve since the mast is basically straight).
I don&#39;t think this is very good for the sail and could cause premature wear and tear of the luff sleeve, and the front of the batten pocket nylon reinforcement.
Hope this helps,