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  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2009

    5.5 Bolt v Storm

    I have used 5/5.5/6.0m Tush Storms for years. I decided my 5.5 needed updating so took a look at the 5.5 Bolt...........and was impressed so bought it!

    I have not sailed it yet, just messed about with it on the lawn to get an initial rig and save time on the beach when I want to use it.....but here are my initial impressions just based on that.

    The first thing you notice is the new laminate material, which looks no only smart but strong and also does not crease. The big "v" in the sail comprises 2 load dispersion strips...not sure what the material is though.

    I set the sail on a 430 Tush C75 SDM mast with the adjustable head cap almost closed to the top of the luff tube.....probably 2 cm off just to ensure the headcap was able to sit square and I could visibly check that the mast was sitting fully in the cap. I downhauled to create a loose leech in the top panel in towards the middle of that panel and just beyond the leech batten on the second panel ( as seen without outhaul). Outhaul was about 2cm positive from neutral. The specified downhaul and outhaul settings both seemed about 2/4 cm too much but I guess the sail is likely to stretch a little yet. I tensioned the 2 lower battens to remove wrinkles only and applied just nominal tension on the top 3. You can definitely overdo batten tension on the lower 2 battens......which will result in an "S" bend on the bottom batten.

    Looking at the set, the sail is very different to my other Storms. My Storms all set pretty flat and very little pre shaping or leech twist...........but they work fine! The Bolt does have pre shaping on the bottom 2 panels, and progressive twist. Unlike my Storms the battens above and below the boom do not have much ( if any) rotation behind the mast. Instead they sit just about at the clew side of the mast. The luff tube is much bigger than on my Storms, so the "spring" in the sail is much more like an Ezzy or Sailworks where the sail at the luff is able to move away from the boom under pressure rather than from behind the mast.

    So all in all there seems to be a completely different design approach here from Tushingham for the Storm.

    The sail now also has a tack pulley..although annoyingly for me as a North XT2 user, the pulley is rotated 90 degrees so I have to thread the downhaul rather than using loop loop go. The boom cut out has a graduated scale marked + and - from the 0 centre point which is useful to tell you how much more or less outhaul you will need if you set the boom other than in the middle. It has a single clew cringle and the foot of the sail has a protection strip.

    So look forward now to using it!

    Click image for larger version. 

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  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Looks great, hope you enjoy it. How much extension did you use? My 5.5 storm sits on a 430 with 0 extension which was a pain as none of my RDM extensions went short enough so I was left with quite a bit of mast sticking out of the top and I could never get the head cap to stay locked between sessions.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    The rig setting says luff of 436. On my North XT2 I set it on 4cm. As I said above the head cap was positioned so that just about 2cm of mast was visible. On the Storm ( and other Tush sails of that era) the Luff measure takes into account the use of a ( detachable) tack pulley but I was never sure if it took into account the adjustable head cap or not! So I basically ignored the settings and rigged it by eye. Again with the Bolt, I am set overall probably 4cm less than the guide says at this stage, and 2cm less on the outhaul.
    The Bolt head cap now has 2 steel hoops that lock together rather than the knurled bar arrangement on the Storm....I think the webbing has more profile as well. I always created a half hitch in the webbing on the Storms to prevent slipping. The Bolt arrangement did not appear to slip whilst I was I will see whether a half hitch is required or not over time.
    Keep in mind that the north XT2 has to have about 3mm gap left between pulley blocks or the release lever will not work. The bottom of the luff tube board protector was positioned about half way along the extension mast foot release button..........OK on a small sail for fsw but I like a much lower tack covering all of the extension on my slalom sails. Extensions with the pulley block mounted lower would of course enable the Bolt to be rigged a little lower. Overall though, it both looks and rigs like a more classier sail than the Storm I reckon........just hope it works at least as well!

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2013
    I remember trying out a 5.5 & 6.5 Storm from yester-year and was very impressed with the smooth power delivery of the sails. The one thing that put me off Tush sails was the fact that I had to buy Tush masts....

    The laminate (non crease) panel sounds like a good improvement. It will be very interesting to compare Bolt/Gator/Legacy or Cheetah ranges....Perhaps a good test for a Windsurf Mag, 10 page spread....Nudge, Nudge, Wink, Wink

    Keen to know more. Good One Mikerb!

  5. #5
    I've got one Bolt and, impressed by the 5 batten 6.5, now have another one on the way, in the 5.25 size (which is 4 battens).

    Boards have this morning posted the Bolt video on the news page – this is a detailed rigging video which came out two weeks ago and mentions downhaul settings allowing for head cap.

    Couple of things to add, given the comments here.

    Spammy says he was put off the Storms because of needing to buy Tushingham masts. I'd say most Tushy sails set on a range of masts, and I currently set some of mine on Amex masts.
    The Bolt will set on a variety of masts.

    When changing masts, the 'perfect' downhaul setting will change – because even if two masts are the same length the bend characteristics will not be exactly the same for alternate masts, but you just set according to the leech openness required and outhaul tension – without the need to be a slave to measurements printed on the sail.
    The perfect settings will certainly vary between SDM and RDM masts – that's true for all brands where, as here, you can use both types of masts in the same sail.
    The measurements given are a guide to get you started, but you'll find different mast extensions often work to a different measuring point. So go on sail looks for your chosen setting, not on extension markings.
    The video explains tuning very well.

    As the video says, you can just set the downhaul and then play with the outhaul to vary the power.
    (I do that, but I find I can get greater early planing out of my 6.5 by sailing it quite tight-leeched, and get a better top end with more downhaul if necessary. So I vary downhaul to get the maximum wind range out of any one size of sail.
    This is true of all sails but I find people don't do this if they are 'frightened' of tweaking downhaul. I guess the pulley system on the Bolts allows downhauling to be easier, because you use a 1:6 purchase.)

    Head caps are another thing that people comment on – the old knurled bar buckle system never slipped for my sails but you had to make sure the sliding bar didn't seize in a fixed position, stopping it gripping the webbing.
    The newer D ring system doesn't slip for me, but if you are worried then you can actually put the tail of the webbing back through the head cap to lock it off.

    The difference between the Bolt and the Storm is that it's a different sail! It has a more modern compact set of luff and boom measurements, plus there are newer hi-tech materials used in the Bolt.
    In terms of set, my rigger's eye tells me the Bolt has more fullness cut into it with broad seaming, and that fullness backs up the stability that already comes from luff round to mast bend match, keeping fullness lower down in the rig and allowing for better progressive twist.
    Last edited by basher; 18th August 2014 at 11:44 AM.
    Main boards: Flare 101, NuEvo 86, UltraKode 80, Reactor 82, NuEvo 73. Powered by Severne Blades and S1s.

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Thanks for pointing out that Amex CC? works on your Storms Basher. I was told the Tush mast/sail thingy by one of the local shops.

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    If you believe the measurements taken by Unifibre the Tush masts appear to be less flex top now ( 2014) than they were in 2012 and they now have the Tush SDM at 430 or less just at the upper end ( i.e.towards flex top) of constant curve. That is certainly within tolerance for virtually any CC mast to be very similar. I believe the Tush RDM has always been just at the upper end of CC.

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