View Full Version : 4.0 m2 sail with 400 mast (luff 376)

19th December 2006, 04:16 AM
I am planing to buy a Gaastra Poison 4.0 sail with a luff length of 376 cm. Ideal mast according to Gaastra is 370 RDM 75% carbon mast, IMCS 19. I have a 400 cm SDM mast, 75% carbon, IMCS 20. The question I have is if I need a new mast or if I can use my existing one - I see here the opportunity to save some costs. Has anybody experience with using a longer than ideal mast - the sail has, as all small sails, a vario top, which indicates that it should be ok. Key question is if it is likely to recognise a considerable difference in performance/handling - and if yes, how it manifests itself.

I would appreciate any insights, experience or views.


19th December 2006, 08:19 AM
I have had a lot of experience with smaller sails and I have to say the biggest single difference to handling and performance was when smaller, softer masts became readily available.
Yes, it will definitly work much better on a 370. If this is a sail you use fairly regularly it is well worth it. From my point of view those special days when it is really windy don't come around often enough to waste the oppurtunities to really enjoy them to the max.

19th December 2006, 09:55 AM
Sailquick wrote: "If this is a sail you use fairly regularly it is well worth it."

I would just like to add the converse; If you hardly ever use a 4.0 it's not worth it.

19th December 2006, 11:34 AM
Good morning, Tom,

For many years, I have used a 4.0m sail with a Vario Top extender, which allowed me to use the sail with a 400mast, rather than the recommended 370. May I say that the sail was only used about 8% of all of the time I spent on the water and I thought it was cost-effective not to buy the correct mast (as per James, above).

Recently, I decided to buy the recommended 370 mast for this sail and I simply couldn't believe the difference that the correct mast made. With the 400 mast, the power in the sail was very 'Off" or "On", as the wind varied in its intensity. This On/Off has been completely defeated with the correct mast and the sail is now very similar to all of my other wave sails (which use their correct masts). This difference was apparent the first time I used the mast and I kick myself now, thinking of all of the times I could have had better performance from the sail, but didn't because of the mast cost.

Certainly, having another mast is a pain in terms of cost, but I console myself knowing that, because of the limited usage of this sail, I don't change it as quickly as my other sails, so I expect to have its good performance for a long time.

Hope this helps,



19th December 2006, 04:00 PM
Windman gives gets it right! And since he's been spending lots of time on the cheap 400-solution he is also more credible than for example me that has been a "mast freak" for years...

In other words, I firmly agree with Sailquick and windman. A 4.0 with a 400 mast is a usable product, but even if the mast and sail are new and top notch, the rig will behave like a 15 year old rig trimmed badly. I frequently sail hear people complaining on 4.0 and 3.5 days that in these winds, the conditions is so on-off, its very gusyt etc. In my experience, this comes from them using the wrong masts. It is simply their rigs that is has a too small wind spectrum where it feels good. Just as Windman writes, with the right mast, a modern 4.0 will be just as active and rangy as a similar 5.0 and 4.0 sailing can be almost as smooth and controlled as 5.0 sailing (except for a typically more difficult water state).

So, the bottom line is that if you can find the money - get the right mast to go with the sail. Maybe you can find a used on cheap. 370 masts generally are closer in character than 400 masts, so finding one that fins should not be that hard. Even if you only get a few days a year with the 4.0, I consider it worth it in the long run (and with a long extension, you might be able to use it on your 4.5 (if you have one) too).

Personally, when I have to pack light for air travel, if I can't "afford" bringing a 370 mast, I don't bring the 4,0 sail either. I rather get by on a perfectly rigged 4.5 (but of course, if it a high wind place I'm going to, I will arrange things so that I can bring 4.0+mast and maybe 3.5+340-mast too).

20th December 2006, 04:48 AM
Hi all,

Thanks for your responses. You have confirmed my gut feel that I should go for the right mast length, which I will do now. Also thanks to you James about your view that I could use the longer mast if used seldomly. However, the experience shared by the others is quite clear.

Thanks again