View Full Version : Formula Sail Sizes?

Hugh Jarmes
24th October 2006, 02:25 AM
Thanks guys (particularly Roger) for all the advice regarding the ???Help-Water in the hole?? thread. My wonderful SB 160 is nearly dry now.

My next question is about sail sizes. What should I have in my Formula quiver? How many sails? What sizes? What are the optimum gaps between sizes?

I realize that the answer depends on a number of factors:

Weight ??? 96kg. Heavy you might think but without wishing to brag ??? it is mostly muscle. True, I could loose a few pounds but that wouldn???t make much difference.

Strength/Fitness ??? Something I have always tried to maintain having been an athlete in my youth. I still train 6 days per week ??? a combination of resistance training and CV work on a Concept 2 rower.

Windsurfing ability ??? Despite having been an instructor/trainer and racer for many years (mostly long boards) ??? it still could/should be better but I seem to have found my niche in Formula.

Where I sail ??? Next year it could be anywhere as I plan to enter both Inland and Coastal competitions. (5 of each plus a National Champs)

Funds available ???always a problem but like most Windsurfers, I tend to find ways of justifying spending.

I have gone from WB12.3m to Gaastra Nitro 4 12m and now to a NP RS5 11.6 as my largest sail. Should I, at my size, go back to a 12.5 or not? And what are the logical step downs?

Your wisdom gratefully received

24th October 2006, 05:04 AM
I guess a lot depends on how variable and what your general conditions are like. If you pretty much sail in the same winds all the time you can easily be successful with one sail; but if you're experiencing conditions between 4 and 12 m/s and everything inbetween then 2 and maybe 3 sails could be necessary.

I originally wanted to get by with two sails (both logistics and cost seemed nice) but ended up with three - mostly based on what was availible at good prices. I have Vapors 12, 11 and 9.5 - originally wanted 11.5 and 10. The 1 have massive power, something that does come in handy as I often sail in just around 5 m/s which means that the 11 will plane easily, but have hard time getting me upwind. The 12 on the other hand is very very nice in light winds. I pretty much never use the small sail; but figured that quite often when the wind is too heavy to hold the 11 water state means that control is easily as important as power, so when the 9.5 came up for sale (used/cheap) I grabbed that. I'm 95kg and was on a 159, now a 160.

That's a bunch of ramblings that might not be helpful at all?

Are you planning on buying brand new sails? I don't know where you sail, but around here it is my guess that anything but maybe the national top three will be within reach with 2006 sails, even next year. And if you haven't got a good deal new sails are very expensive, whereas 2006 sails are getting pretty cheap (relative..) right now.

Hugh Jarmes
25th October 2006, 12:31 AM
Thanks Barks.

Ramblings maybe but they made alot of sense.

I guess the question is, will I, at my weight, be disadvantaged in light winds by having an 11.6 as my largest sail. To have a 12.5 and an 11.6 seems to me to be silly - but I am happy to be told tht I am wrong. Almost 1 metre difference could mean the difference between planing or not in marginal conditions.

Once the largest sail size is established then the rest should follow.

Thanks again:)

25th October 2006, 01:31 AM
get the 12.5

26th October 2006, 02:42 PM
Hi Hugh,

I do not tnink that 12,5 will help you, the extra weight of the sail will kill the board. And you really to be in absolute perfect physical condition to use this kind of sails.
To increase your performaces in light winds beter to have a very good fin. The Deboichet R 19 soft -- rake + 8cm is a real machine for your 11.6.
All the best

30th October 2006, 05:59 PM
Hi Hugh,
As you said :
>> I have gone from WB12.3m to Gaastra Nitro 4 12m and now to a NP RS5 11.6
Could you tell me how behave these sails, compared to each other, especially concerning WB12.3 and Nitro4 12.0, since I'm about to buy one of them :
What about the low end use (power, planning) ?
What about the windrange ?
In a few words, what of them would you advice to buy among WB and Nitro4 ?

Hugh Jarmes
31st October 2006, 03:15 AM
Yann, The WB12.3 was great in a light breeze - so long as it was constant -but it did not respond well to gusts and was not very tuneable. I really liked the Nitro 4 12m. it was light, responsive and far easier to tune. it respnded well to downhaul on the beach and outhaul out on the water. The Nitro planed earlier but felt a little soft which seemed to sap its top end. The WB was more rigid and locked in and seemed to have a better top end. I am a recent convert to the wide luff tube of the NP RSs. I have to admit that they are very powerful - the 11.6 easily providing more grunt than the Nitro 12. However, when i change down its to a Neutron which can be set very flat indeed but retains it's profile well around the boom. With regard to wind range - that depends on your size/weight/fitness/strength. I am quite big and find that i can stay with larger sails for longer. In my opinion (and I'm no expert) if you want good windrange, go for the nitro over the WB. hope this helps.

Hugh Jarmes
31st October 2006, 03:21 AM
Thanks again guys for all the advice. I've also taken the advice 9off forum) of a very successfull windsurfer - perhaps you've heard of him - Keith Atkinson. I followed Keith's advice and have gone for the 11.6, 9.8 and 9.0. His reasoning went like this:

the reasons being that the sail (12.5) is heavier, and harder to get onto the plane generally. if you pump well then a smaller sail will pop on the plane quicker. however if your lazy, which i'm sure your not given your athletic background, then a big sail will pull you onto the plane, albeit slower.

the other reason for not going 12.5 is that in the UK the air is denser and therefore has more power in a place like Silvaplana, for example. which is why i said if your doing any international racing like in a place like Silvaplana then you may need a 12.5m. however i, and many other sailors only use 10.7, even in Silvaplana. bigger sails maintain speed better when the wind is really marginal. i opt for the smaller sail i can get away with because its lighter, planes earlier with my pumping, however i struggle in margina; conditions in the open sea when abroad, but not in the UK.

personally i would go for 11.6 as your biggest, then you can either go for 10.7 as a changedown and then down to a 9.8.... or if a 9.8 is too big as your smallest, then go for the 11.6 - 9.8, then 9.0. the reson i say this combination over 11.6 - 10.7 - 9.0 is because the 10.7 is too close to the 11.6 in power, but the 9.8 is a significant enough decrease in size, but maintaines serious power to justify jumping onto it. but my opinion is, it's too powerful for the smallest. the 9.0 is so sweet!!"

Its hard to argue with that!:)

31st October 2006, 03:34 AM
Hi Hugh,

Which 3 models of sail are you going for. Especially the 9.8 and 9.0 as I'm thinking about some second hand gaastras for my f161

Hugh Jarmes
31st October 2006, 04:17 AM
Hi Matt, I've gone for NP RS5s. But I am also a fan of Neutrons.

31st October 2006, 06:16 AM
I tried one of these neutrons

Mast Imcs Luff Boom Base Batten Head Cams
9.0 - Gaastra 100 : 490 29 518 250 28 9 fixed 5

The only problem is that I do not want to carry a third mast, do you think it will rig ok on a 520?

Hugh Jarmes
31st October 2006, 02:12 PM
I have an 8.5 Neutron which i rig on either a cut down 520 32 or a 490 29 depending upon the windstrength. The stiffer mast gives me a tighter leech in relatively lighter winds. The Neutron seems to cope well with either. I guess a 9 would be OK on a 520 so long as it is not too stiff.

1st November 2006, 01:39 AM
Sounds good. I'm 110kg so the stiffre mast might be fine. What's the luff length and boom length of your 8.5? The gaastra site won't work for me at the moment (bloody work firewall).