New Posts New Posts RSS Feed: Are weight equalisaiton systems safe?
  FAQ FAQ  Forum Search   Register Register  Login Login

Are weight equalisaiton systems safe?

 Post Reply Post Reply Page  <1234>
Author
Rob.e View Drop Down
Really should get out more
Really should get out more
Avatar

Joined: 19 Oct 04
Location: United Kingdom
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 543
Post Options Post Options   Quote Rob.e Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Dec 04 at 7:44pm

I heard there where two 300's in Aus, (bizarely with aft mainsheets? tho that may be a myth). The old Blaze rig was supposed to be difficult, but the new rig sounds like it makes the boat really nice! They are at least selling well. The 300 is the fastest of all, but also more demanding, coming from a Moth designer. To my mind it has all the best features of the earlier Moths, i.e. it's "cutting edge", light, fast and rewarding, but not as extreme as the latest designs. They probably made it too difficult for the market it serves, so they haven't really sold enough. It needs a season to learn, but once mastered, is not that hard to sail, and pays you back for all the effort!

By the way, the'yre all faster than the Laser, and the 300 rates just slower than the contender, but close enough to really race boat for boat- the best sailor would probably win!



Edited by Rob.e
Back to Top
mpl720 View Drop Down
Newbie
Newbie


Joined: 15 Nov 04
Location: United States
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 23
Post Options Post Options   Quote mpl720 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Dec 04 at 9:18am

Hi - A bit of 'Blaze history' - the early 10.4m fully battened sail was replaced about 4 years ago by a smaller 10.0 semi-soft sail developed by the class association and Sobstad. (now virtually universal) Only it's top two battens are now full width - this was done to overcome problems with the original sail which was simply horrible in F4 and above.  The boat is now transformed and helms can 'feather' the sail upwind and keep the boat moving fast.  The problem with some fully battened sails, particularly on singlehanders is that when sheeting out in a gust the battens support the chord of the sail into the airflow around the mast - this increases drag, the boat slows more and the helm has to let the boom out further etc etc (and repeat).  It was also very possible to be caught in irons if technique was less than perfect when tacking with the original sail (Sound familiar to some of you ?).  The semi-soft approach, as with 'traditional' sails, allows the helm to dump power and  keep the boat tracking as the luff of the sail can, when necessary, 'feather' as the rig is adjusted.   Getting caught in irons, a problem with many novices, was also banished.  You will notice that many of the later RS designs (and others) have also realised the limitations of fully battened (large) sails on all sorts of boats in recent years - no point in having power that is unusable ...The Blaze is now slightly slower in very light winds, but points higher and when it blows it really comes into its own.

Equalisation - well for us it did not really work.  Lightweights hated the lead (up to 12kg) in the boat especially when it blew and the heavyweights could not use the toestrap system properly as they were forced to have the wings 'in' and could not get far enough from the straps to hike well.  The Blaze has very little 'rocker' (very flat fore and aft) at all and the impression we got is that this sort of hull form was relatively insensitive to the attempts at equalisation.  We found the big guys won heavy wind races regardless - possibly because they are generall stronger and lightweights, even with lead, got to the front in the light stuff.  In the end we abandoned the system and accept that certain people are possibly advantaged in some conditions.  But it has not influenced results to any perceptable extent.  70kg helms and 95kg crews are remarkably close in most conditions.  We think this is because the rig is highly adjustable - a benefit of being held up with untrendy wire and that this is perhaps the best way to 'even out' some of the gross differences between crew sizes and weights.  In short we have rediscovered many of the advantages of the rigs developed and that evolved in many traditional classes. We are hopelessly biased, of course, but would encourage anyone remotely interested to try one - contact the association.  Cheers - Mike Lyons

 

 

 

Back to Top
Chris 249 View Drop Down
Really should get out more
Really should get out more
Avatar

Joined: 10 May 04
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 2041
Post Options Post Options   Quote Chris 249 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Dec 04 at 9:55am
Interesting info, everyone, thanks.

I'd read about the new Blaze rig and the reasoning behind it, but I'm still a bit puzzled about the problem with the old sail. Boats like the Moths do pretty well with full battens, and even in the old days of dacron the full battens seemed better than "soft" sails. Of course, gear has changed a lot and I know that battens are no longer as necessary with modern gear. Even something as rigid as a windsurfer sail of many years ago (like a Mistral sail) can be sailed just off the leach, with the luff feathering.

I'm not disputing the effect and I think I understand it, but I'm just interested in  more info. Did the whole sail flog when it was eased too far off, flopping back and forth with the battens?

Were the Blaze's battens very rigid? Was the old sail quite deep? Was the mast a bit too stiff to depower by twisting off the head?

Out of interest, in what conditions do the Blaze and RS 300 perform best (or worst) against Contenders and Lasers? How does it do against a Phantom?

Some guys don't like the Blaze, but I can understand the appeal of a wide, powerful and stable singlehander with wings rather than a trap. It's a pity one can't get the lines, it could be an interesting comparison to the Contender in hull shape; both are fairly flat and stable AFAIK.

Rob, do you know where the 300s in Australia might be??
Back to Top
mpl720 View Drop Down
Newbie
Newbie


Joined: 15 Nov 04
Location: United States
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 23
Post Options Post Options   Quote mpl720 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Dec 04 at 11:41am

Re: Blaze - We tried softer and tapered battens with the old sail  but it was just tinkering and did not make much difference.  Unlike a Tasar main where the rig is still fairly 'soft' the 10.4 sail on the Blaze was quite 'hard' and we could not get it right hence the switch.  The M7 we use is fairly stiff at the top but being stayed we have a great range of setups possible to suit all.  The Moths are a different case in that its sail is relatively smaller and was always higher aspect plus the mast is softer so can get away with a hard sail more easily - and they tend to sacrifice everything for more power !.  The fully battened approach is likely to be theoretically and in practice very efficient - in certain wind strengths possibly.  However when it blows you do not need 'maximum' power anyway and the key is depowering upwind in particular.  With a fair bit more sail the Blaze was never short of power but it was very hard to apply in F4+  ,now, even when slightly reduced in size, the drive can be controlled more effectively.    

We would judge the Blaze to be very competitive on handicap with 300's and Phantoms in more than 9kn of wind, and absolutely faster than Phantoms though slower than 300's.  When it blows over 15kn+ its very much faster than Phantoms and close to a 300, partly because most club sailors find the 300 'challenging'  especially in the sort of waves 15kn will produce on open water.  In winds less than 6kn I'd put my money on a well sailed Phantom or 300 against a Blaze much of the time - but most of us prefer it when there's some wind surely !! 

I'm sure some don't like the Blaze - but ask them to tell you if/when they last tried one -  Draw your own conclusions if you get a 'vague' answer !  Most of us in the Blaze have come from Lasers, 300's, Phantom's or whatever.  They are all great boats for some people and revel in some conditions.  Make your mind up what your preferred style of sailing is and simply sail the boat that best suits it. 'My' boat may not be for you ... so ? 

Cheers - Mike Lyons  

 

Back to Top
Matt Jackson View Drop Down
Really should get out more
Really should get out more
Avatar

Joined: 21 Sep 04
Location: Darlington
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 962
Post Options Post Options   Quote Matt Jackson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Dec 04 at 12:55pm

The Contender has been mentioned a few times but with no response so I'll try my best. I've never sailed directly aginst a Blaze but shared an open with them a few years ago, the blaze seemed a fair bit slower upwind (F3-4) but quicker on a reach. The Phantom is really over canvassed so in any more than F3-4 you can usually hear the groans whilst going upwind. The Contender is horribly slow compared to anything in less than a F3 and it's fairly common (for me) to be racing lasers! The EPS was really quick on a run because there's no shrouds (just lowers) but seemed to stick a bit in a chop because of the lack of freeboard (and rocker?).

The thing that surprises people about the Contender is that we still use a 'soft' sail and a bendy mast and this gives us a huge sailable wind range, because you can pull the sail into any shape you like, but looks a bit dated. If you bang on enough kicker virtually anything is sailable upwind - off the wind may be a different matter tho

Graduate 2157, Laser 147050
Back to Top
mpl720 View Drop Down
Newbie
Newbie


Joined: 15 Nov 04
Location: United States
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 23
Post Options Post Options   Quote mpl720 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Dec 04 at 3:05pm

As Matt says previously - the Blaze is slower than a Contender upwind when the winds up and/but relatively faster offwind.  We are often faster than Contenders upwind in lighter airs but once the trapeze helps its the Contender that pulls away of course.  In fact we've shared quite a few meetings with Contenders in recent years - no conscious intention of ignoring the comparison !  We have not dis-similar rigs now and also both have centreboards which is another 'traditional' feature of the 'modern' Blaze.  Daggers are arguably more efficient to the purist - BUT it's so nice to round the windward mark, fully extended on the wing and raise by control line !  It also makes downwind sailing by the lee (a la Cockerill) much easier with a clear cockpit and lateral resistance moved back down the boat.  I'm sure the Contender benefits as well, especially when its windy, from its centreboard but maybe not as much as they seldom seem to attempt sailing by the lee.   I also think that the reason they do so well against the RS600 in higher winds is by virtue of their 'soft' sail and centreboard which makes their handling arguably easier.   

As for shroads preventing efficient running - we still have plenty of roach in our sail and simply let the kicker off.  The sail is high aspect as well and goes as far forward as you would want.  The other point about using the kicker Matt alludes to - Yes a powerful kicker and highly adjustable stayed mast certainly extends the upper wind range considerably as you really can make the sail 'blade off' at the top. Lastly - Blaze relative to the Laser - certainly faster in most conditions, sometimes much faster, but the Laser has its moments against all the classes mentioned and we've all sailed them at one time or another. 

Cheers - Mike Lyons

PS - Contenders etc - Do you want to share any Opens in 2005 ?

 

 

 

 

            

Back to Top
Matt Jackson View Drop Down
Really should get out more
Really should get out more
Avatar

Joined: 21 Sep 04
Location: Darlington
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 962
Post Options Post Options   Quote Matt Jackson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Dec 04 at 5:13pm
Originally posted by mpl720

...the Laser has its moments against all the classes mentioned and we've all sailed them at one time or another...     

... and those with any sense moved swiftly on to something less painful

It's really hard and scary (but quite fast) sailing by the lee in a Contender because the shrouds are a long way back. If you don't let the kicker off enough you risk a gybe (and a headache coz the boom it only an inch off the tiller) but too much and you induce a death roll - which is bad for boatspeed.

There wouldn't be room for a dagger in a Contender if we wanted one and the C'board is good in that it can be raked further back as the wind rises to keep the boat balanced as the centre of effort and trapezing position moves back.

I thought you were a RS400 man. Matt Aston is yer man for open meeting stuff, his email address is on the class website http://www.sailingsource.com/contender/gbr/ do you have much of a following oop north? I'm trying to raise the Contenders profile up here and tagging onto your circuit would be a low risk way of doing it - just an ideal. PM or email me direct if you're interested or have any wisdom to impart.

Graduate 2157, Laser 147050
Back to Top
BlueMouse View Drop Down
Newbie
Newbie


Joined: 07 Dec 04
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 4
Post Options Post Options   Quote BlueMouse Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Dec 04 at 11:20pm

"The Moths are a different case in that its sail is relatively smaller and was always higher aspect plus the mast is softer so can get away with a hard sail more easily - and they tend to sacrifice everything for more power !" 

Not quite - actually you don't need that much power to drive the narrow hull, but what you do need from a moth rig is low drag. This gives higher top speed. Most moths now have camber induced, fully battened sails (like a windsurfer rig with shrouds). These give a flatter, low drag sail shape and are significantly quicker upwind than a standard mast track/bolt rope arrangement in F3 or above. Also much easier to control in strong winds than a standard fully battened sail (as mentioned in a previous post). Takes longer to rig, but worth the effort!

 

 

Back to Top
ChrisJ View Drop Down
Far too distracted from work
Far too distracted from work


Joined: 07 May 04
Location: United Kingdom
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 336
Post Options Post Options   Quote ChrisJ Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Dec 04 at 10:16am

Originally posted by Matt Jackson

I thought you were a RS400 man

Much of the club has been trying to pursuade Mike to sail one for years.... but no luck so far :-(

Back to Top
Rob.e View Drop Down
Really should get out more
Really should get out more
Avatar

Joined: 19 Oct 04
Location: United Kingdom
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 543
Post Options Post Options   Quote Rob.e Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Dec 04 at 8:10pm
Not much to add to that lot except to say that I wish the 300 had been given a centreboard- if you sail in a narrow creek a dagger is a pain, tho the tilting dagger in the 3 is slightly better. If you can sail a 300 well they can do ok against anything- I've overtaken good 400's on a two sail reach, and an average Fireball 3 sail reaching with crew on the wire. The Contender is superb when the wind gets up, but not happy in the light stuff. The Blaze looks a good compromise-I've never sailed one, but they are increasing in numbers both in sales and opens, so they must be doing it right. We shared a champ with them for a while....
Back to Top
 Post Reply Post Reply Page  <1234>

Forum Jump Forum Permissions View Drop Down

Bulletin Board Software by Web Wiz Forums® version 9.665y
Copyright ©2001-2010 Web Wiz
Change your personal settings, or read our privacy policy