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Newbe Question on Radial Sailing

Portstar

New Member
I just purchased a '77 laser with both a Rail and full rig. I understand that the Radial sail you need to hold the sail up with a halyard. My question is can I not just use the full rig lower mast section instead of the smaller one?I am only using it for recreation.
 

Merrily

Administrator
Portstar said:
I just purchased a '77 laser with both a Rail and full rig. I understand that the Radial sail you need to hold the sail up with a halyard. My question is can I not just use the full rig lower mast section instead of the smaller one?I am only using it for recreation.
Wow, the halyard raised Radial sails are fairly rare. Nowadays they slide onto the mast just like the Standard sail.

My answer is, I don't know, but these are some things to think about.
Is there any reason you do not want to use the lower mast section for the Radial? The Radial lower mast section is bendier and acts better with the Radial sail--at least that's true with the modern setup. Also, the Radial sail is about 3 feet or nearly a meter shorter than the standard. Is your halyard line long enough to make up the distance? Another concern is will you be able to depower with the mismatched parts? It's my understanding that the halyard raised Rads were hard to depower anyway.

That said, you could just rig it up and see if it works!

Merrily
 

Portstar

New Member
There is no sail cloth around top of the sail to hold it in place like the regular rig,so the halyard is needed
 

vtgent49

Member
Welcome,

You should do a search on M rig, or "M" rig, or Modified rig. Use the advanced search feature to reduce the list. Those are the names that we have used to discuss this rig before. Your's is probably an M, which is the interim product, prior to the modern radial.

To answer your question more directly, you'll find the shorter bottom (if you have one) fits the luff curve better. You may have a shorter top instead, which was an experiment, not well received, primarily because the stiff/full lower wouldn't flex enough to match the luff curve, thus didn't really flatten/depower the sail as well, thus defeating the main purpose of the smaller sail.

Enjoy

Al Russell 182793
 

HECS

New Member
Al and 327, what about this (and other) earlier posts that are pretty specific about the fact that there WAS a Radial sail with halyard? (I don't know myself, I have never seen one but three are pics onthe forum somewhere).


"The Radial rig originally came with a halyard; perhaps you saw one of those?

I've never seen the system firsthand, but I understand there is a cloth/webbing item (much like the top 3" of the regular sail) that fits over the top of the mast and the halyard turns there (I don't know if there's a block or what up there). I'm not exactly what changes are made to the sail, but the top is modified to have a smaller webbing loop that the halyard is tied to, instead of the strap the runs over the top of the mast that the regular sails' have.

I did find this description:

> ILCA published a Laser handbook 04/86 with specifications
> on the Radial sail and instructions for rigging it along with
> many photos. This particular handbook shows the old
> metal basket style mast topper with rivited fairlead for the
> halyard and this mast topper fits over the top of the mast
> (duh). My newer Radial sail (1992 vintage -- NOT an M-
> RIG !!!) , lower mast section, and mast topper - all
> purchased from Laser - are similar to the one featured in the
> ILCA publication except that the mast topper is cloth with a
> fairlead sewn on. The sail sleeve is wider than the sleeve on
> the standard sail to accommodate the halyard which runs
> down the inside of the sleeve along the mast. At the
> gooseneck is a hook to which the halyard is tied after the
> sail is hoisted. However, when the sail is pulled down, the
> halyard tends to rotate around the mast, making hoisting
> the sail a bit tricky since there is no eyestrap to keep the
> halyard in line with the fairlead.

http://cerebus.winsite.com/archives/.../msg01293.html

Cheers,

Geoff S."


Seems pretty clear that there WAS a Radial with halyard as Merrily says.

Portstar as Merrily says, Ian Bruce and Hans Fogh used a bendier lower section (“I went back to the original section on the original Weekender which sailed in the original Teacup regatta, which happened to be the original section of 4m. 2 3/8” outside diameter irrigation tube" says Ian) to get the right balance and gust response. Your boom will also be at the wrong height compared to the sail, if you use the long section.
 

Merrily

Administrator
HECS said:
Seems pretty clear that there WAS a Radial with halyard as Merrily says.

Your boom will also be at the wrong height compared to the sail, if you use the long section.
Yup, I've seen it. It's not mythical. ;) My friend Chris in Florida has one, and she dreads winds above 12 mph cause she can't depower.

If you use the long section, the sail just won't go all the way to the top, since it's raised from the bottom. That's why you'd need extra length in the halyard if you use the longer section.
 

vtgent49

Member
The M does exist, pics below.

They had a slip on basket, some steel, some were cloth, that held the top of the mast fairlead. These are extremly rare. If you don't have one, you can sew on a strap, like a full sail strap, and just use it like a new sail.

One pic shows how the M could be lowered. Both the M, and colored sails, were attempts to compete with Sunfish, a boat that has always outsold the Laser.

Al Russell 182797
 

Attachments

Portstar

New Member
I have a metal basket style mast topper with riveted fairlead for the
halyard and this mast topper fits over the top of the upper mast section.I also have a "RADIAL LOWER MAST" section,on this at the goose neck there is a hook for the halyard to attach to.The sail is a "RADIAL SAIL" (stated on the sail bag) at the lower luff of the sail there is a pocket for the halyard to go in.So I say that it is not a "M RIG" The sail slids onto the mast like a regular sail.The next time I go to Toronto I will take the sail into Fogh Marine and see what they say and let you know.
 

HECS

New Member
"The M does exist, pics below."

No-one ever denied the M existed - it just seemed that you thought only the M had a halyard, when in fact some Radials apparently also had halyards.
 

Merrily

Administrator
I thought the M was a Radial rig with a halyard. You are saying they are 2 different things? How do they differ?

Merrily
 
OKay guys, settle down.

The M-rig was the original radial rig, which was developed in the late '80's as both a means for lighter sailers to sail as well as to make more competition with the sunfish. the M-rigs were originally called radials, until the current design came out. All M-rigs had halyards, and only M-rigs had halyards. If it doesn't have one, it's not an M-rig.

The rig uses a top section with a different end-cap, one with an eye that the halyard can go through. The bottom section is a radial bottom section. You pulled up the sail, tied it down to something on the mast (or deck, not exactly sure), then put the excess halyard in a zipper pocket in the sail. They were produced in the late 80's until the Mk. 5 radial sail came out, during which time they were phased out. A few years later, the Mk. 6 sail with blue edges was released, and that puts us where we are today.

I have sailed with an M-rig, and as noted they don't depower at all. However, they are somewhat of a collector's item as they were only made for 4 or 5 years tops.
 

3335

New Member
Our family actually has one of the halyard type radials, and I saw another one (never used but really old) at a regatta this summer. The M rig came before the radial (and long before me, but my dad has the original brochures). It was Laser's first attempt at a smaller sail, but because it didn't bend the mast back, it messed up the way the sail power was directed.
 

HECS

New Member
Computeroman, the M does not use the Radial bottom section and I'm pretty sure it wasn't radial cut.

Ian Bruce says that the M used the big-rig bottom section and a shorter top section. He reckons that initial trials in light winds (mainly on the central east coast of the USA IIRC) were so successful that the rig was launched without extensive testing. I think he told me that the local sailing association tried the M in light winds and was so keen that they ordered 50. Such a big order for the rig as it was pretty much killed further testing.

But as soon as the wind picked up, the M rig turned out to be a failure as 3335 says. The problem came from the way they tried to keep the balance with the M rig, while reducing its size. “The minute we started taking roach out of the sail, we got lee helm” remembers Ian. “So it had a closed leach, to get the balance right, but in a breeze the closed leach made it actually harder to sail upwind than the full rig.”

Ian (and I think Hans) then developed the Radial alone because the LAser builders were scared off by the failure of the M. Ian, a former Finn sailor, says the key was an advance in Finn rigs created by Brazilian Georg Bruder (in the early '60s IIRC) . “Hans and I were talking one day and I was looking at my old Finn spar….right about the gooseneck we planed them in, to get them to hinge back. That’s when I started talking to Hans, I said what we really need to do is to peel off the back end of the sail.”

The very first Laser, then known as the Weekender, had first sailed at the America's Tea Cup regatta about '71. In the development following that regatta, the lower section used in the first boat was replaced by a stiffer section - the one used in big rigs and M rigs.

Years later Ian used the same flexy lower section from the Weekender as the basis for the Radial section. “I went back to the original section on the original Weekender which sailed in the original Teacup regatta, which happened to be the original section of 4m. 2 3/8” outside diameter irrigation tube....."

The flexy lower section allows the Radial to bend back more, putting the balance in the right place without needing a tight-leach sail like the M rig.

I think I still have the interview I did with Ian on tape, the quoted remarks come from my transcript so the source is pretty good.
 

HECS

New Member
I'm writing a book on dinghy history and design - because the shape of boats is so much affected by timing, history, technology, geography and sociology it seems impossible to separate the history from the design.

I'm not a designer, but no-one else was doing it and somebody had to. :)

I'm interested in popular boats like the Laser, not just the latest skiffs or performance boats. Unlike other really popular boats (420s, Optis, Mirrors etc) the Laser's design team is still around to talk too as well so I've done a few pages on it. I have had email correspondence with Bruce Kirby and interviewed Ian in person, but I have yet to talk to Hans Fogh or to send them all the chapter so they can check the facts.
 

Portstar

New Member
I was recently down to Fogh Marine and they said the sail that I have is a Radial Sail and it is probably from the first year, in good shape probably used 30-50 times if that.
 
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