The first sail: LWM 8.7

August 23, 2018
August 23, 2018 dori

The first LWM 8.7 sail was made from nice white laminate material. It was made in a rush as I was too curious of the shape in real life. Although I knew that the mast I had at that time is not the correct one and not the one I prefer to use in the future, and I didn’t had the optimal battens either, but I just couldn’t wait.

Design

Design wise, I chose a 6 batten layout to save weight, using quite a moderate head angle, and quite a moderate leech curve with a massive foot roach. The picture below is missing the clew cut-out, which modifies the angle between the clew and the 6th batten obviously. I recut the leech curve as well during the building, to add a slight negative to the lower leech and a kink to the top. (See photos later).

My idea was to make the sail as much design with a built in twist as possible, to avoid the loose leech but still having a twist on the sail to avoid stalling. Now it was a question if it works or not. In theory, yes it did.

I usually make my sailshape with broadseems and adding luffcurves, so I used the flying shape of my next sail with cam, but with a different, smaller luffcurve, to fit to the mast and be able to use as a no-cam sail.

Construction wise, I used a nice white laminate, with some xplys for the window, and technora luff panel so it’s stiff along the luff to avoid stretching.

Making

The task was to make a sail which can actually be used and just to test some basic details and features, so it wasn’t worked out in full details, not even the cams, only a mast sleeve. On the corners, batten pockets, etc. I just used the same details as the catamaran sails, for example the clew cover patch was the same as my F18 jib clew cover patch.

Testing

Of course, as I was expecting, the luff curve was not 100% for this mast, but I could see that the shape I designed worked quite well and the sail delivered the power I expected. The lower wrinkles shows the lack of luff curve on the lower part of the mast, but on the water they dissappeared very nicely.

On this picture the shape around the 5th batten seems a little too round on the back part. The battens were quite soft ones, as they were the same ones that we use for the Flying Phantom catamaran main sails. Before leaving for the test run I’ve changed the batten to a better one.

Conclusion

The flying shape reached my expectations and I liked it very much, despite the mistakes in the luffcurve and with the batten stiffness. The leech opens quite a nice amount, so it doesn’t stall. This amount should be optimal for light wind as we have shape on the upper part of the sail, so the sailor’s weight can be hung on it even in light wind.

After the testing, I can say it is a pretty good lightwind machine, delivering great power and speed to foil early. Especially when I recut the luff to match the platinum mast, and perhaps giving some more loose leech to be more managable in bigger wind range and use stiffer battens as well.

The next sail is going to be the upgraded version with cams, monofilm/technora laminate construction. Keep in touch, see you soon.

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