Monday, May 19, 2008

The case for testing and more testing

With the wind on a seemly endless NE pattern for the past 2 week here in Holland, Ive been seeking out new places to sail north of Amsterdam on the Ijsselmeer. This past week I got up to Mendemblik for several evening sessions testing fins and boards with NED 103 and then again in Monnickendam on Sunday with the local fleet. By changing and testing different settings, I am slowly but surely beginning to dial things in with the 08 F2 board, fins and trim settings.Heres what Ive found so far- with the mast track pegged further forward in the light wind- around 75% forward in the box- the board tracks better upwind. Some guys in the US have been having success with their mast tracks all the way in back of the track but to me that feels too draggy.
Footstrap positions- so far my back feet want to pull forward in the straps- so I inched them forward one position but then back again as it didn't feel like I was putting enough fin pressure on.
Waist harness- believe it or not it seems to be working- a bit uncomfortable but it keeps the rig more upright in the light stuff. I wasn't dragging my ass in any waves at all.
Uphaul: there's some debate on this one. Tuck it in the wide sleeve to avoid unnecessary drag all together or use it to your advantage by sailing upwind with your front hand on it to keep the rig upright.
Wide Tail booms: still waiting on construction of mine this week but the theory here is- especially on the fuller body sails like North and Maui Sails- you can create a smoother airfoil downwind so that the sail isnt draping over the booms when you blow the outhaul off downwind.
The wider end should allow you to hike further to windward as well.
Boom height: higher is better for unloading the weight of the rig off the board.
Too high and you begin to loose control. Ive been running mine at nose to forehead level.
Fins: Been trying as many as I can to find the fastest setup. So far, in the lighter stuff, the Ifju fin is going well. I am playing with different rakes in the box to find the fastest setting.
All these small details add up to a big difference in terms of performance!

Here in Holland, a lot of guys are still using their 05 and 06 boards with much success proving it is nether the Indian nor the arrow but rather how well the Indian can make his arrows go!






9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Steve, I need your advice very much:)
I sail 07 F2 formula board, R17 +8 soft fin and 11 NS Warp2008.
When wind becomes stronger than 16-18kts it becomes difficult to keep the boards speed upwind. Every small chop slows the board. Looks like I'm not able to hold the power and keep the gap closed.
I am 77 kg, 1,78m
Boom - L mark. Works very good on light wind.
I'm loosing a lot on upwind. What can I do?
Thank you in advance.

USA 4 Steve Bodner said...

Anonymous-
My advice- get the 08 F2 board- it seems to track better upwind.
Otherwise if you're stuck with the 07 board- try making some changes to the mast track position to see if you can improve your upwind settings.
Perhaps also ease up on your outhaul to give the sail some more upwind range. I noticed that when it got windier and I cranked the outhaul to get more control- my angle would also suffer.
One final bit of advise- might be to try 1-2cm more of downhaul- this could improve your top end speed as the wind comes up.
You never know if you dont try.
Good luck
Steve

Anonymous said...

Thank you. Will try tommorow.

Anonymous said...

Wind - 18-20 kts. Sailed with 1 cm more downhaul and moved mastplate 3-4cm forward. Board is more controlable, but camber under the boom "clicks" every 5 seconds. Looks like it can't fix itself at the end position and tries to move back a bit. "Clicking" appears on port tack.
Control and speed increased very significant after I've changed outhaul to a lower hole. Everything is perfect on starboard tack, but sail is uncontrolable at port tack and tries to "cover" me.
What are the problems and what to do?

USA 4 Steve Bodner said...

Make sure all the cams rotate during the tack for best performance.
When you flatten the sail too much, the bottom cams tend to stick after tacking.
You can reduce the chances of sticking if you get a powerful pump as the sail rotates.
I also have learned to kick the cam over and even punch it over with the palm of my hand while hooked in after the tack

Anonymous said...

Sail was touching boom in clamcleat fixator area.

I'm well trained at camber kicking from other brand sail. Problematic camber isn't sensitive to kicks. It moves back after kick.
Are there other ways to make camber move to the end position? Rotation isn't a problem. Cambers rotate very well. But camber stops at 10 degrees from the end position on the port tack. This creates enormous difference on different tacks.
Softer batten front peace, uclosed camber zipper, shortened, grinded camber?

Anonymous said...

http://bp1.blogger.com/_7evfxgSXiUA/SAZTHOAl4gI/AAAAAAAAIbU/psqptLFLAVM/s1600-h/steve-almere.jpg

Found that picture with port tack. Look at the two bottom cambers. Do you think they are fully rotated?
Comparing to the starboard tack photos the sleeve on that photo is very flat.
Maybe I'm not right.

USA 4 Steve Bodner said...

Some spacers might help the bottom cam gain better shape and proper rotation.
I will try it out.
Steve

Anonymous said...

Camber rotation is better with one narrow spacer.
Everything is working good.
I think that board control problems comes from too forward rake of the fin.