View Full Version : North Sails "One mast fits all" concept.

12th November 2006, 05:53 PM

A simple question: how does North Sails "One mast fits all" concept work?

For example: I have bought a 2006 Daytona, size 7.3, and this sail uses a 460 mast with a final luff of 486 cm; well, from catalog, North Sails says it is possible to use same mast (460) with smaller Daytona size, till 5.4

...but 5.4 (year 2006) has a final luff of only 448 cm!

How is it possible to use a 460 mast on a sail with a luff of only 448 cm?


12th November 2006, 11:33 PM
Hi Expander,
OK, the smaller sizes of the North Daytona (5.4 m2 and 6.0 m2) have an adjustable head strap at the top.
So, you adjust the strap and headcap so the mast extends beyond the top of the sail (approx. 20 cm on the 5.4 m2 Daytona and approx. 5 cm on the 6.0 m2 Daytona).
Check out this link to the NS Daytona:
Follow the links to the little Hexagon with the "2 masts fit all" which explains the use of the "Carbon extendo" extension for the larger Daytona sails.
BUT, take note of the mast bend specifications in the chart for the Daytona sails.
The best mast for the 5.4 m2 Daytona is a 430 cm MCS 21-23.
So to get the best perfromance from the smallest Daytona, you need a 430 mast, and to get the best perfromance from mid size Daytonas you need a 460 IMCS 24-26 mast, and for the the larger Daytonas, you need a 490 mast and then the 490 mast with the CX (carbon extender) for the 10.0 m2.
So, what they are telling you is that you can get away with only 2 masts + the Carbon Extender (a 460 and a 490 to cover the entire range 5.4-10.0 m2) of Daytonas, but if you really want the full performance you will need 3 or 4 masts.
Hope this helps,

13th November 2006, 03:40 PM
Roger phrases things nicely above. I would add that while its a sort of nice service to the customers on a tight budget to go the "1 (or 2) mast fits all" route, there is still a fundamental problem that smaller sails need softer masts to work to their fullest potential (and larger sails need stiffer masts). That is for example manifested in the 430 being the rec mast for the Daytona 5.4. Even if you specifically try to design a smaller sail to work on a stiffer (longer) mast you would have to do some compromises to get there and end up with a less responsive rig.

So, personally I think its is in most cases better to go for perfect fit masts, at least as a long term strategy. If you're getting a new quiver now, I would for example argue that its better invest in complemantary masts next time (instead of getting fresh sails again).

14th November 2006, 07:48 AM

I'll second what Roger & Ola have said, from a personal experience. I've used 460 mast + carbon extender with a 9.0 Daytona. It will work (well sort of), but when I tried it with a proper (longer/stiffer) mast, there was a world of difference. So, while it may be a good idea (to buy fewer masts), it doesn't offer good enough performance, not even for recreational sailors.


17th November 2006, 12:28 AM

Thank you, Roger, Ola_H and Screamer, for your detailed and persuasive explanation about "North Sails one mast concept"...



17th November 2006, 03:22 AM
It's a matter of budget & I have been on both ends. At one time, using a 460 mast for everything from a 4.0 to a 7.5, plus a 480 with an extension from 8.5 - 10.6 (this was many years ago) Now I have a separate mast for all but one sail.

If one can come up with the money for a quiver of masts - great! If not, you make do with what you have. Is it better to have a 430 mast with the 5.4 - sure!. Can you still have fun with a 5.4 on a 460 - you bet.

18th November 2006, 02:14 AM
Another factor is gusty winds where you may prefer to have a couple of quivers ready on the beach.
I can have a 5.75 on 430 mast and 6.5 on 460 mast ready for a quick switch if the wind changes. If they were to use the same mast I would have to de rig the whole thing every time.

19th November 2006, 12:36 AM
Yes Per but if I have two 400 mast I can rig 4.7 and 5.3 at the same time. If the wind gets lighter I can derig the 4.7 and rig up a 5.7 without having to derig the 5.3. It??s pretty obvious that this is an huge advantage if you have fluky winds....

19th November 2006, 07:31 AM
Hi Doby,
Might work, but if you read the "best mast" specifications from North (and basically ALL other sailmakers), your 4.7 needs a 400 cm IMCS 19 mast and your 5.3 needs a 430 cm IMCS 21 mast.
A 6.5 needs a 460 IMCS 25 mast.
8.5 m2 rigs need a 490 cm IMCS 29 mast, and sails larger than 10.0 need 520 IMCS 34 mast or 550 cm IMCS 39 mast.
As you can see, the larger the sail, the stiffer the mast required.
Adding the North CX (Carbon Extender, or any other type of extension to the top or bottom of the mast) does not make make the mast any stiffer, so the more extension your add, the poorer the perfromance of the sail (unless sails were designed on extended masts, which they are not).
Even when you have a sail that takes a 460 cm extended out to a 490 luff length (with 30 cm of a normal 46-48 cm extension under the bottom) you can be assured that the sail designer actually used that combination (460 mast with 30 cm of extension) as the basis for the design. (This is why virtually all sail designers recommend a "best" mast. The "best" mast is what they used when they designed the sail and provides the most likleyhood that the sail will perfrom for the customer in the way that it was designed.
Use a different mast, and you will surely get a different result.
Is having the best mast "critical"?
In some cases , absolutely, in others cases a mast that's "close to the right specs." may work pretty well.
If you consider that we "pay" quite a bit for the best sail designs, it makes very little sense to compromise those designs by rigging the sail on a mast that does not provide the full performance you have paid for in the sail.
Hope this helps,

19th November 2006, 07:56 AM

You have made an excellent point regarding mast usage, but I would like to emphasize that some sail designers do identify the potential use of different mast sizes for certain sail applications. I know that you acknowledged that, but I want to ensure that folks understand that. I have been benefiting from the use of smaller masts in larger sails because of my lighter weight, and I'm sure that similar folks can do so too. Our strategies don't always have to accommodate spending maximum figures to find synergy and balance.

19th November 2006, 06:05 PM
Roger, no, the best mast according to North for example the ICE is 400 for 4.7 5.3 and 5.7. Only for the 6.2 they recommend the 430 over the 400 + CX. I??m 90 kg been windsurfing since -89 and the performance of the ICE with a 400 is just amazing. I also ride an 8.3 daytona with 460 + CX and it??s great.

21st November 2006, 07:20 AM
Hi Seve C and Doby:
For Steve C.
Yes, virtually all sail designers do sugggest "alternate masts".
I often use "alternate masts" (esp. with the Sailworks Huckers) as this can change the characteristics of a sail quite a bit.
I guess my "point" has been missed here somehow.
If you check the link in Post #2, you will clearly see that North "specifies" a particular mast as the "best mast" (with the little slashes whatever they mean) but is also very specific on the range of
IMCS stiffness numbers.
The chart also lists the "best"/and suggested alternate length masts and it's pretty clear to me that they designed each sail around a particular mast.
So, you what the full performance that the designer had in mind...?
Or do you want to save some money and get something other than the full performance. It's your choice, and can be influenced (as you suggest) by sailor weight, ambient conditions, sailor style, and discipline you are most interested in (i.e. speed, racing, B&J, waves; or freesailing.
For Doby:
Here's the link for the ICE (a different breed of sail than the Daytona for sure)
As you can see, the "best mast", and the range of IMCS stiffness numbers changes as the sails get larger.
Have you ever tried your sails with the recommended best mast?
Try to borrow genuine North masts that are specified as the "best mast" for your sails and let me know what differences you see in how they rig and how they feel on the water.
I'm pretty sure you will both see and feel a noticeable difference.
Might be better, might not, but only you can make that decision.
Upgrading to the "best masts" might be a good thing, and maybe it won't make enough difference to justify the cost. Again your decision.
I'm reasonably sure that the designers of the Daytona and Ice sails had a particular mast in mind, that they used to develop and test the sail.
Marketing then came along and pretty much made them put "alternate masts" and IMCS numbers in the chart, because that's their marketing program.
No one knows if they ever tested the sails with both the "best mast" and the "alternate mast" side by side.
Hope this helps,

21st November 2006, 07:50 AM
Hi Roger,

Looking back to my prior post I should have offered somewhat of a qualification with my comments. I was viewing my brand, but in particular, my thoughts were more based on small overlaps or possibilities. I should emphasize that I wasn't proposing using a single mast over a broad range of sails. Really, my strategy is more focused on the "custom" idea. I like to view it as an outgrowth of thinking outside the box a bit. Of course, like I mentioned earlier, I'm a lighter guy that can make decisions that heavier folks can't always benefit from in the same ways that I do. On the other hand, they can make inpendent decisions on the other end of the spectrum using a little stiffer mast, and this might even mean allowing some mast extension off the top. I think that it's important to exerperiment a bit, especially if one needs to conservative on their financial expenditures. Sometimes compromises aren't always a reduction in performance. That's where the "custom" ideas can shine.

21st November 2006, 12:28 PM
Hi Steve,
We have communicated.
I see your points very clearly, and since I'm also a smaller lightweight sailor, I too must "experiment" with softer masts to get the most from my sails.
Experimenting with alternate masts is good, after you've tried your sail on the recommended "best" mast to find out what the designer had in mind.
I've never said that the North "Extendo" system does not work. I'm sure that it does, and there are thousands of sailors using the 2 mast concept with good success.
But I, like you, have a bit of trouble seeing how you can get the optimum design performance with the 2 mast system, throughout a wide range of sizes, unless whoever designed the sails also used the "2 mast system" in their designs.
It seems pretty clear to me that in the case of the sails we are discussing here (and nearly all sails in general) that the sails were designed on a specific mast.
It would be very cool if the sail designers would also give us some of their "design parameters" like how heavy was the sailor they designed and tested the sail for?
What actual windspeeds did they focus on for a particular size sail, and did they test outside that range?
The "best mast" and the suggested rigging parameters are nearly always the best place to start, and then we "customize" (your term) to make the design work for us.
Hope this helps,

22nd November 2006, 11:22 PM
HI Roger, yes as you see in the charts the best mast is a 400 from 4,5 to 5,7 so I don??t understand what you??re saying. The best masts for the 2006 Daytona 8.3 is a 460 + CX which several persons have confirmed for instance Craig at Fanatic.

I sail with the best mast that is North Gold and platinum....