Recreational vs. Racing Sail

Discussion in 'Sunfish Talk' started by bluefish, Sep 3, 2008.

  1. bluefish

    bluefish Lake Sailor

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    What's the difference between a recreational sail and a racing sail? It appears the size is the same, 75 sq ft. A race sail appears faster but I don't know why...?
     
  2. mike4947

    mike4947 Member

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    While they are both listed at 75 square foot, the racing sail is actually about 84 square foot when you consider the draft of the sail. Which is considerably deeper than the recreational sail. The 75 square foot comes from the actual flat area that forms the triangle between the booms and the leech of the sail .
     
  3. Wavedancer

    Wavedancer Upside down? Staff Member

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    In addition to what mike4947 wrote, I believe (!) that the racing sail is reinforced around the cunningham grommet. If you don't race, this is not significant.
     
  4. Gail

    Gail 24186

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    The racing sail's panels are shaped and the overall foil maximized for best performance for the boat's design. There is a pattern used by North for consistency and quality control. When compared to a recreational sail, performance for racers is notably better. For recreational sailing, however, it is not worth the expense to buy a racing sail. A Sunfish will still plane with a recreational sail when it's blowing. The boat will still move in lighter conditions.

    The racing sail was implemented to level the playing field. Before its development, racers would go to dealers, take all the sail stock they received, lay it all out, and pick and choose looking for "best sails." This led to unfair advantages for those who had the cooperation of dealers and/or had the time and convenience to be able to do such searches. There was great inconsistency from sail to sail and in the stretch characteristics of the different color sail materials used.
     
  5. Wavedancer

    Wavedancer Upside down? Staff Member

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    Forgot to mention that the racing sail has a window; a good thing in traffic!
     
  6. lava

    lava Member

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    Has anyone ever tried this sail? "Race Style Practice Sail for the Sunfish® SFSH$149.99." It's from: "www.intensitysails.com/rastprsafors.html". I know it's not class leagle but it seems to be a working race sail for the price of a rec. sail. Any thoughts on this? thanks Mike
     
  7. Wavedancer

    Wavedancer Upside down? Staff Member

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    I doubt anybody has experience with the Intensity sail since it appears to be brand new on the market. But the Laser sails sold by Intensity (also not class legal) have proven to be a good buy.

    More in general, it's my impression that Sunfish sails hold up (much?) better than Laser sails, perhaps because Laser sails can be stressed a lot by 'double blocking' with the vang on tight. Therefore, a legal Sunfish race sail will last longer, which leads me to conclude that there is less of a need for a practice (non-legal) race sail of the Intensity variety. Finally, legal Laser sails (North or Hyde) are a lot more expensive than legal Sunfish sails (North).

    Just my humble opinion, of course :).
     
  8. mike4947

    mike4947 Member

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    This thread jogged a couple of thoughts loose about sails.

    First NEVER leave the out haul and cunningham tightened when not sailing. I and several other have had to buy new sails after our racing sails were deformed/stretched out of shape by forgetting to loosen then and storing them.

    We've found the average lifespan of a racing sail used on most weekends (late June thru early September) is 3 years.
    When they went from the 3.9 oz Fleet cloth used by Fogh to the lighter coated fabric when they started making the racing sails the lifespan dropped.
    But today to use the better cloth would jump the price of a racing sail from the current $425 to just about $600.

    If I wasn't racing I had a rec sail and a wooden dagger board I would use. Especially if I was loaning the boat or teaching a newbie to sail.
     
  9. lava

    lava Member

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    my main reason is that I wanted a window, and this seemed like a way to get a good race sail for the price of a rec. sail (which is still more than I can afford} thanks mike
     
  10. mike4947

    mike4947 Member

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    I looked at the sail online and for the price with a window it seems like a very good deal for a recreational sailer. I'd definitely consider one as a second sail for rec sailing and teaching even if I had a race sail.
     
  11. AJC6882

    AJC6882 Member

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    I have a neil pride sail with window and I bought it for $165.00 it is made to sunfish specs. They used to make the recreational sails for sunfish. Thats why i got it from them. Excellent workmanship. even has the sunfish logo like the real deal. Only downfall is that its not class legal.
     
  12. bluefish

    bluefish Lake Sailor

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    All good suggestions and thoughts!

    I understand the "draft" of a racing sail makes the sail larger than a rec sail. Is the race sail material cut differently (like on a bias?) than a recreational sail? Can anyone explain "draft" for me? I've had many discussions with fellow racers and everyone has a different explanation. Thanks!
     
  13. DanB

    DanB Crabber

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    Sort of surprised your racing friends can’t agree. It’s a basic sailing concept. Sailing texts explain it in the first chapter or two. Racing guides refer to it extensively as the object of outhaul and cunningham trim.


    Draft of the Sail .......... From - www.uiowa.edu/~sail/skills/racing_basics
    The sail is the foil driving the boat. In order to maximize the speed of the boat in different conditions, you must change the depth of the foil. This depth is called the draft of the sail. Its size and location can be changed using the sail controls discussed below. These changes are important because the optimal draft position and size change with the condition of the wind and water.


    Here’s how to control the Sunfish sail’s draft ( http://www.starboardpassage.com/?attachment_id=79 )

    .
     

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  14. Wavedancer

    Wavedancer Upside down? Staff Member

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  15. Bill Siler

    Bill Siler Member

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    So, why are the rec sails cut the same as the race sails? The cost should be the same. Extra for better fabric, reinforcement, and a window I can see. But the basic cut? While I'm dreaming, how about solid color sails to avoid the uneven stretch issue?
     
  16. mike4947

    mike4947 Member

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    The rec sails are basiclly flat with little draft. For years we used to hang the spars with the sail attached flat and load the sail with weight to stretch the sail in areas we wanted draft. The introduction of the 3.9oz Fleetcloth Fogh sail increased the draft and ended the need to weight the sail.
    The material is also different, not to mention the quality control on the race sails from Malyasia is better (but not as good as the first ones from the Fogh loft in Canada) than the rec sails.
    The reason race sails are normally white is the stretch values on the different color panels varies on the rec sails. A race sail is made from material all from the same batch so it's stretch value is constant through out the sail.

    As an aside Hans Fogh made me up a "special" back in the late 70's. It was the 3.9 oz Fleetcloth, and cut in the pattern of the current race sail and made with all red panels. SInce it came from his loft which made the "class legal sails" I got it with the class approved emblem on it. Only problem with it is it has the LONG narrow window which was standard back then. But it still keeps up with race sail equipped boats. Where as current race sails get "blown out" about every three years.
     
  17. Ultradave

    Ultradave New Member

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    Me too. I'm very happy with it and was only interested for recreation, not racing.

    Dave
     
  18. bluefish

    bluefish Lake Sailor

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    Thanks for the info and links, they are great resources!!! Learning alot! I appreciate it. :D
     
  19. doug.claflin

    doug.claflin New Member

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    Going to the question about Intensity sails.

    I have an Intensity racing sail for my sunfish. My daughters use them on their Lasers, both radials and full rigs. These sails are NOT allowed in 'big' racing, but local racers usually do not care. They have a good reputation in Rhode Island, Jim owns Intensity and sails here, as you can imagine, he gets a lot of direct feedback.

    Laser Performance is also located in Rhode Island. You can get official sunfish and laser gear from them. One big advantage they have, is that unused sails from sunfish worlds will be sold off there at a very reasonable price. These ARE class legal sails. In addition, the sails are colored. I had a blue and gold set that went up in smoke when my club house burned down.
     
  20. Jerryd

    Jerryd New Member

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    I've found that my new training sail is not as powerful as my race sail, especially in light air. It is cut much flatter, the leach is perfectly straight unlike the Sunfish race sail, not nearly the draft, and the the foot is straight cut. The foot of the Sunfish sail that is cut curved for depth lower in the sail.

    At the price, its certainly a great sail for recreational use, but I can't be competitive in local racing.
     

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