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Author Topic: Sail matches mast?  (Read 10638 times)

Posts: 23

« on: November 14, 2011, 03:58:10 PM »

A couple of years back I built a DN including the mast. The mast is made of sitka with an ash nose. I bought a used sail (in almost new condition) from someone on this forum with the goal of just getting on the ice. So last year I started dabbling in racing and am going pretty slow. I'm wondering about my mast/sail combo. How would one determine if the characteristics of a sail are a good match for the flex of a mast?
Scott Brown
Class Member
Posts: 35

« Reply #1 on: November 14, 2011, 04:56:05 PM »

Today's sails are designed to perform on a composite mast that bends.  As the mast bends, the sail shape becomes optimized.  If your mast is wood, I'm going to guess it's the older style which is very stiff.  So the draft is always too deep and too far back.

Three ideas to solve your problem:
1 -- Talk to the sailmaker.   It's probably not economical to re-cut the sail, but they at least could confirm that the sail and mast don't match.
2 -- Now that you have your boat at least going forward, do a little upgrade to a composite masts.  If you want to move slowly with the checkbook, buy a used fiberglass mast.  They can be found.
3 --  Maybe, just maybe, it's not a sail/mast problem.  It could be your runners aren't properly aligned.  Easy to check.
Richard Larsson

Posts: 12

« Reply #2 on: November 19, 2011, 02:40:09 PM »

I broke my old fiberglassmast last year. To sail fast i had to bend it very much. One blowy day with lots of friction on the ice i had to bend it mor than i had before. Right before it broke i had a very nice ride. I baught a Jeff Kentmast wich i can bend how much i want. My sailing improved with that mast. I recommend you to buy a modern mast that you can bend easy and not break.


Richard Larsson
SWE 807
Paul Goodwin - US 46

Posts: 100

« Reply #3 on: November 20, 2011, 09:30:58 PM »

There is a chance that your sail is a reasonable match for your mast.  Since you describe your mast as being made of spruce with an ash nose, it sounds like it is fairly up to date (for wood mast construction).  It is true that you can't compete at the highest levels with a wooden mast, but you can still go a long way.

Most DN sails are marked with a code.  Look for some writing near the tack (bottom corner near the mast) for some identification.  Look for something like "WM1", "KAOL", "F01", "W6", etc.   If you can find this code, tell us what it is and someone may be able to identify what kind of sail you have.


Paul Goodwin
DN US-46
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