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  1. #1
    Senior Member Jankaas's Avatar
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    mast track confusion....

    just watched the latest 'insalment' from Whippy D's top tips, and i realised something rather odd. no, not the strange baggy shirt he's wearing, nor the chucking a UJ away rather than replace the tendon...

    he said to start with the UJ in the central position along the mast track. i would agree with that approach, but where is the centre exactly? on Fanatic boards the markings suggest you ignore the bit where you insert the nut, so the centre isn't exactly half way along. on Starboards they helpfully show you with a clear marking for the outline of the UJ itself
    (hope you're still with me here...)

    because that widest section is some centimeters long it surely is important?

    so, is the centre half way along the entire length of the mast track, or, do you discount that widest section and then go half way along?

  2. #2
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    It'll vary from brand to brand, but I always use the entire length of the box. The variations only about 0.5 cm so which ever you use its a good starting point and the difference is pretty minimal. Stick it in, sail it, then fiddle if needed. The variation in the entire boxes position is probably a bigger issue.

  3. #3
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    I would take issue with Whippy's tip! Every board is going to work with the mast foot in the centre position of the track.........albeit not maybe the best position for that sail and those conditions. Unless you understand how to tune the board that position is not really going to tell you much. It is better in my view to go to one of the extremes..e.g right at the front of the track. It will be obvious if it does not feel right and as you gradually move the mast foot back you can positively note at what point you think the board performs best.

    I have no idea if this is a generalisation but my experience with various boards over recent years has been Starboard............the centred recommended position or 1 or 2 cm forward of that works well
    Fanatic ............... always had the mast foot forward of the centre position
    Tabou.................. ditto.

    My experience of using different mast foot positions ( usually only movements of 1 or 2 cm):-Further forward helps pin the nose in rougher water ( because sailor pressure down on the boom is more forward)Further forward also helps in light wind provided the water is calm ( again sailor downward pressure on the boom is further forward so keeps the board flatter and prevents to much drag on the tail)Further back helps to release the nose and allow the board to sit higher in the water and hence gather more speed ( same reason as above but in reverse)Further back helps when jumping or chop hopping...same reasons as above.The best position is therefore sail type/size, wind strength, water state, and required performance dependant. That means it should not just stay in one position regardless!Slalom sailors use a mast foot position brought back to the point where the board flies free but is on the margins of control as a result. The potential loss of control being the risk run in return for maximum speed. Most of us are looking for the optimum board trim that gives good speed ( in relative terms) as well as good control.
    Last edited by mikerb; 7th April 2016 at 09:16 PM.

  4. #4
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    If the designers done there job right the middle of the box will be the sweet spot for the sail size that's optimum for a given board. Given the inability of windsurfing companies to measure booms, masts and rig markings accurately I'm not entirely convinced they pull it off, but it's a good starting point.

    MikeBs third paragraph is spot on, however, it's only hugely relevant if your using big sails.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Jankaas's Avatar
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    thanks both, much appreciated!

    after i posted my question i went and compared where the recommended position was on my Kode 74L and Carve 121L. and they're in different places, so i guess half-way is a bit of a red herring. my new Naish 90L has 4 manufacturer's markings, none are half way.

    from trial and error my Kode sails best about 1 or 2cm forward of recommended, pins down better and get's planing quicker.
    the Carve is perfect in the recommended position.

    the Naish i've been using a few cms forward of half way, only used it 4 times so far, and with hindsight it does take a pump or 2 to get on the plane. so i'll try moving the mast back a bit.

    am also tempted to try your suggestion mike, and just go to extremes and see how it feels!

    ttfn

  6. #6
    Senior Member crossy5575's Avatar
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    I posted a while ago where and why a mast track should be positioned,... with all the experts on the forum i got very little accurate and knowledgeable responses, thus i would say trial and error are the best option.

  7. #7
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    Regarding moving the mastfoot back in very light winds to help unstick the board I agree with Mr Whippy! Stick a flake in that
    I only tend to do it on my biggest board, 2009 Fanatic Falcon 125l. The last time I used it I did exactly that, and it helped get planing. So long as you have a big enough fin, I used a 47cm Select slalom fin.
    If the wind had picked up then I would have moved it back forward. When the wind picks up, the extra force in the sail will overload the fin and it will spin out.
    The 9m used to go in 1cm forward of the centre of the track at the 130cm mark (its actually 132cm when I measured it). Fanatics sail size range goes up to 9.5m for that board. The Ezzy goes just back from the mid point unless its very light/strong.

    On my previous biggest board, an Exocet S4 125l*80cm with a big OFO and a 53cm fin, moving the mastfoot back had a bigger affect on early planing in light winds. Try that when the wind was stronger and the board railed like a longboard with the centrefin down and mastfoot back rather than spinning out, so it got moved back.

    As sails vary in their design I don't think there is a hard and fast rule like if you are using a 9m the mast foot in a Falcon 125 goes at the 130cm mark. Even allowing for their different sizes, my Naish Redline 9m and Ezzy Lion 8.5m are totally different, so the Ezzy can go further back in the track than the Naish. I believe it is the sails CoE v the fin which is the key relationship. Footstrap position, tail width, fin size, rocker line probably all come into it as well but moving the mast foot around is a quick fix.

    Trying it out and find what works best for you & your kit and technique is the way forward

    Quote Originally Posted by crossy5575 View Post
    thus i would say trial and error are the best option.
    Yep.
    Last edited by phil_in_poole; 8th April 2016 at 10:03 AM.

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