Wednesday, March 25, 2015
Hello all Squibbers. Welcome to the Hyde Sails season guide. It is getting to that time where you will be dusting off your boat, maybe applying that antifoul or thinking about the legal go faster modifications that you should make prior to the first event or club race.
At Hyde Sails it’s an exciting time too. The winter period allows us the break in racing needed to carry out sail modifications learnt from racing the boat all season that will give you that extra 1% or hopefully more increase in performance for the forthcoming season. This season has allowed for some big changes. The big changes this year have focused around the cloth (which finally arrived in our sail loft a couple of weeks ago!!!).
I am not sure if you are all aware but the class took the opportunity to improve the sail cloth construction over the winter, in a view to sails lasting longer. The way this has come about is as follows; Contender, who used to and will again build the sailcloth for Squib have changed the way they do it.
In the past the cloth was manufactured in Holland by Contender then is was shipped to another company where the finishing was done, by finishing I mean dying the cloth the Tan colour that some love and some despise. However, the problem was that Contender could not control the quality of the finishing as it was not part of their in house production. You will have probably noticed that some sails look slightly darker than others and some feel slightly firmer than others, this is down to the impregnation of the dye and how it is controlled, or not, as Contender would argue. So over the winter Contender have at great expense bought a new dying machine to bring this process in house with a view to enable much better quality control. The downside of this is a slight cost increase to the material, however the upside, the sails should last longer according to Contender.
We have been extremely thorough over the winter and explored every avenue available to us, to the point we even bought both brands of mast to evaluate their bend characteristics. The results were startling to say the least.
In order to bend test the rigs we used an 8KG weight and measured 25%, 50% and 75% intervals from the black bands. We then proceeded to test the fore and aft deflection by hanging the weight at the 50% mark and running a line tight from the top black band to the gooseneck and measuring the offsets.
As you can see from the graph, the difference is pretty drastic. In the middle of the mast just below where your spreaders are the difference is 15mm. That may not seem a lot but in sail maker terms that is a lot!
The result of these findings has meant we are left with no alternative but to offer 2 mainsails. One option for boats with a Super Spar mast 315S and another for those sailing with Z-SPARS or Canopus sections the 315Z.
These findings also highlight for us on 105 why we thought we had a performance weakness in medium to light conditions, when you looking to power up your boat you tend to need a straighter more powerful setup and we were actually fighting a losing battle with the rig. However, now we know the reasons we will be able to change the settings around to make the difference. Obviously, with a bendy mast you can always make it stiffer with rig tension but with a stiff mast you cannot make it softer and this is where the 315Z will make a big difference across the wind range.
So that is the major find of our winter testing. See video bellow of us testing out these findings to ensure the changes are definitely faster.
We did not stop there. There were a few subtle changes made as well. We flattened out the bottom 2 seams of the mainsail and also made the sail more aerodynamic with the addition of new batten pockets. Plus we re-deigned the head reinforcement to get a better load spreading to avoid the crease you see when sailing in strong wind.
The Jib was not spared in the search for speed. This too has the reinforcing patches evaluated and improved plus a slight flattening of the exit to allow for the cleanest exit. I can honestly say in the 10 squib jibs that I have seen and been part of the development team for the latest 315 jib from Hyde Sails this on is on another level.
Remember you can also use our tuning guide available on our Squib web page to find all the best setup tips. Also be sure to check out the full range of accessories for you boat too, especially the undercover for those doing the long trip to Ireland for the nationals.