icy sailor:
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I just dusted off 3 sets of runners that came with my DN.  If all goes well, my son & I are off to the Junior Ice Championship...I figured, mind as well try to race the DN while I'm there.  The DN is a little old, but I upgraded it 2 years ago with a Sherry carbon fiber mast.  I'm interested in input with regards to the runners...when would you use each of them (e.g. slush, snow, hard ice, etc.) and what's lacking in the runner armentarium?
Runners #1: Sarns Bull nose, 1/4" plate, 29" long, 8-1/2" flat
Runners #2: 1/4" plate, 90 degrees, 35" long, 12" flat
Runners #3: T iron, 1/8" plate, 29" long, 10-1/2" flat

Ken Smith:

First lets see if we are talking the same language.  "Flat" has two meanings.  Henry Bosset's "runner terms" article found in the DN Archives ( front page, click on archives) defines flat as what we now call "dead flat," meaning that length of edge that all touches a straight edge or flat surface.  When most say flat, they mean what Henry calls 0.008 flat: The distance between 0.008 inch shims between the edge and a flat surface.

Lets use that later definition.  You are all set up for pretty good performance on the hard clear ice typical this time of year.  Also soft clear ice, or light wind, or poorer alignment.  To get to top speed, you need more flat in all your runners.  Short flat minimizes shortcomings in alignment.  Spend time on alignment first: check straight and alignment.

I think you mean 35" inserts, not plates, for your runner #2.  That is too long for legal plates.  If the steel is visible for 1.5 inches from the ice to the body, those are inserts.  The rules call them wood bodied runners.

Next, lets talk steel.  If they rust, they are not stainless.  Not the best for snow, unless highly polished.

What you are missing is 3/16 (minimum) inserts (preferably  440C stainless) with 18-19 inches of flat -- the universal runner.  It is flat enough to be fast, thin enough to go through snow up to 1-1/2 inches deep and can handle winds up to about 20 mph.  In other words, 95% pf the conditions we sail.  It is hard enough to hold an edge most of the weekend - goose doo and sand not present on the ice.  Your 1/4" inserts can be equal on clear ice.

In clear ice, your T-irons will be just as good as your plates can be also almost as good as your inserts or inserts with longer flat, with some tuning.  You don't have good snow runners.  The plates are OK for deep snow but need to be polished on the sides to compete with stainless plates.  In light air and snow, shorter plates would be better.  Stainless or mirror sides...

If you go with what you've got, let your son use the lightest runners you have (probably the Ts), and you use the #2 set.

Other opinions may vary.

Have fun, you are well equipped for that already!  Your boat with the mast you have has lots of potential with the runners you described.  Any top gold sailor could compete up to the middle of the fleet with it, presuming alignment and sharp runners, and not too much snow.


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