New Sunfish Sail Question

Thread starter #1
I am getting back into Sunfish racing after a 23 year absence.
My 2005 boat, foils and spars are excellent.
The 2005 sail seems quite good too.
But at the Master Worlds in Florida this weekend I saw lots of new, crisp sails that sure did look fuller and with better shape than mine.
Significantly faster in light to medium winds, too.
Has the sail been re-designed since 2005 to be that much better?
I can't see my sail with little real use getting that much different.
Oh, and does it really cost nearly $500 for a new sail?
Yikes.
Should I get one from one area rather than another, or are they really all the same Sri Lanka Norths?

Dave Ellis
79301
 
#2
I too am getting back in this..and I can only imagine that technology and composite fabrics are better than ever...$500 bucks seems about right if a normal SF sail is $350?? maybe a custom sail maker can do the trick for you locally....good luck keep us posted
 

beldar boathead

Well-Known Member
#5
The sails have not changed since 2005. They changed a bit when they went to Sri Lanka, but everyone uses Sri Lankan sails. Next time you are at a big event, ask one of the fast people to look at your sail. The sail is sensitive to luff tension, and in light air to foot tension. Gooseneck location is also important. An expert will be glad to have a look. And some of those sailors are just FAST - Greg Gust and Tom Whitehurst in particular. Be sure to observe the amount of heel the fast folks have, as well as body placement in the boat, and sheet tension. If your gooseneck is similarly positioned vs the others, you can judge sheet tension by seeing how much sheet there is between the rear block and the bridle. BB
 

Wavedancer

Upside down?
Staff member
#7
Laserites complain quite a bit about differences among their North sails. These sails are made in the same loft in Sri Lanka as the Sunfish ones.
Some have surmised on this forum that as far as quality control is concerned, the Sunfish ones range even below the Laser ones. Of course, that is really hard to judge, so take that statement/opinion with a grain of salt.
 
#8
I sailed in the Sunfish Worlds last year, and the Sunfish NAs last summer and the summer before, and there was no complaining amongst the fleet about sail quality or variation. I think a lot of us think the blue/yellow sails from the Buffalo Worlds were unusually large and fast, but aside from that, I don't think there have been any widespread recent issues.

I bought a 2001 Sunfish new, and that sail was awful - went low and slow, so it does happen, but I don't think it is frequent.

Chris
 
Thread starter #9
I've been sailboat racing for a very long time. I think I am qualified to see sail shape diffences. (I'm an official 505 sail measurer, among other things,)
I did see a difference in the sail cross section shapes at the Master Worlds in Tampa this year.
Some of the crispy new sails seemed significantly more full over all.
As for my 2005, it just seemed mis-shapen. Also has a slight curl to the leach.
But after getting home from the regatta I cleaned off the salt and grunge from the sail and took a good look at the set up.
Lo and behold, it was not set up according to the recognized method, shown in the books.
The halyard was eight inches off. The uphaul on the upper spar was WAY loose.
So, it is my fault for just buying a used Sunfish and going sailing.
Maybe next event I won't be passed on both sides by the hot shots.
Dave Ellis
79301
 

beldar boathead

Well-Known Member
#10
Those changes should make a difference. I do encourage you to ask for advice when you are having trouble. Sunfish racers are usually very happy to help. Always a good idea to copy the competition - having your sail 8 inches higher than the fleet is going to make you slower. BB
 

signal charlie

Well-Known Member
Staff member
#13
Lay two sails on top of each other and check them out? At one point they started cutting the sail fuller, was it after 2005? Anyone got an old and new with pics to compare?
 

beldar boathead

Well-Known Member
#14
Lay two sails on top of each other and check them out? At one point they started cutting the sail fuller, was it after 2005? Anyone got an old and new with pics to compare?
Laying two sails on each other will not tell you if the broadseaming changeD. But in any event the last time there was any known change to the sail was when production moved to Sri Lanka 15 years or so back. At that point the cloth changed some.

TAG is right that Scott's tuning article is good, but the gooseneck settings in it were made obsolete when the plastic daggerboard was introduced.
 
#15
TAG is right that Scott's tuning article is good, but the gooseneck settings in it were made obsolete when the plastic daggerboard was introduced.
BB, can you go into more detail on how the gooseneck settings change with the plastic board? Or what they should be now?

Thanks,
tag
 
Thread starter #17
More draft everywhere, not just the foot.
And the draft is placed well, not just 'there' to be a full sail.
My original question was whether my 2005 white sail with window was the same shape as a new 2013 sail that many seemed to have at the Master Worlds.
I think mine is the same.
I just had it set up incorrectly.
Thus far nobody has shown that the 2005 new sails from Sri Lanka are cut differently than my 2005.
So far.
Dave Ellis
79301
 

beldar boathead

Well-Known Member
#19
BB, can you go into more detail on how the gooseneck settings change with the plastic board? Or what they should be now?
Back in the wooden board days, if you put the gooseneck up at 14-15 inches, the blade did not have enough lift and would stall. The plastic blades, which are foil-shaped, have more lift. With the g-neck at 14-15 inches the board no longer stalls. And it turns out that the boat us fast In up to 12 kts or so at 15 inches. If you tried that setting with a wood board you would just go sideways.
 
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