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  1. #36
    Senior Member chrispavlo's Avatar
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    is the mastsleeve of the new Blades still wide that it could also fit a SDM? Click image for larger version. 

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    (one reason why i liked the S-1 more compared to the Blade, is their slim mastsleeve, optimised for RDM only - feels more direct)
    Last edited by chrispavlo; 25th March 2015 at 01:07 PM. Reason: pic

  2. #37
    Long working day here but I picked up my new 5.3 Blade Pro on the way home and spent an hour on a sunny beach rigging it.
    As with any new gear I have a lot to say about this.
    (And, we are now well on-topic here).

    So for starters, the Blade Pro is indeed a very different sail from the normal Blade.
    (Perhaps read the earlier posts about this, and this overlap thread: http://forums.boards.mpora.com/showt...sail-right-now).
    I already have a 2015 Blade in the 5m size and I bought a 5.3 in the Pro model as my biggest sail – on a hunch that it would be more powerful, as it's Koster's signature sail. And I think I'm right.

    Out of the bag, this is one impressive sail – with the 5.3 weighing in at just 2.8kgs (I checked), but it still looks like the complete product, strong rather than flimsy. Lots of attention to detail.

    But the shape is something else too. As the product pictures show, there is little cosmetic seaming in this sail and no separate luff panel, and with fullness created by broad seaming hidden behind the battens. So the layout is clean, and all deep red with black trim, except for the usefully big window.
    The black 'SpiderFibres' are spread across the sail in lines of tension – with, for example, many more fibres running up the luff section, to counter downhaul loads. Towards the head, there are less fibres set within the scrim. Each panel section has been tailor made (bespoke-laminated) for the load needs in that area of the sail. And that's what you're paying s for. This is a unique fabric from the new Silk Road, leading all the way back to China.

    I have the Severne Carbon100 mast to rig the Blade on, and that too is super light.
    It sleeves surprisingly easily and, from the get go, I'm guessing the upper luff curve is very straight, allowing the mast to slide in easily. (It'll be that straightened luff round at the head that allows the upper leach to open). The downhaul settings, as written on the sail, are correct and I soon had the thing rigged, with 26cms of mast extension on my Chinook, and with my Amex boom set at about 172cms for, in my case, a low boom. For a higher boom, you'll need the boom length out at 173cms or more – as the clew cringle on Blades is set quite low, meaning an angled boom for tall people.

    The Pro Blade sail sets cleanly, but is relatively full at the leading edge and you can tell that the broad seaming has pushed a lot of shape in the luff over the bottom three battens. There is good rotation near the bottom two battens as well, so we are talking 'power' here. (Rule of thumb: Broad seaming gives any sail permanent shape and therefore power, whereas rotation gives you extra fullness once the sail 'inflates' with wind.)

    With the correct amount of downhaul, the head readily pops open down to batten two. I got the idea that you could open it further with more downhaul, but not as much as for the standard Blade. It looks just right though.

    I tweaked the batten tensioners a bit and the sail panels then set immaculately – as in crease-free. This sail looks powerful and forward-pulling, and yet the whole rig feels so light on the beach. Next stage will be to see how it performs on the water.

    I also rigged this 5.3 Blade Pro on my Amex Supermodel mast, which in theory has a slightly softer top section – but I couldn't see much difference in the sail set. I suspect the Blades – both types – will fit just fine on any constant curve mast.

    Above all, this Pro Blade sail looks like what UK mags have called a 'power wave' and I think it should be good for early planing and for sailing in onshore conditions. (Which is what I wanted it for).



    But it's also worth comparing it to the conventional Blade. And so I rigged my 5m Blade on the Severne mast for direct comparison.
    A 5m sail is of course not the same as a 5.3 and you can argue that smaller wave sails are usually flatter than the bigger ones – but in this case, the two sails set like chalk and cheese.

    I'd guess the conventional Blade has little horizontal broad seaming under the battens and instead has some fullness pushed in via the luff panel seam, but then sets pretty flat without wind in it, with most of the boom area fullness coming from rotation. That should mean the sail will go more neutral when sheeted out or when manoeuvring on the wave. And that difference might go some way to explain why the Boardseeker clones preferred the conventional Blade.
    You can also set the conventional Blade with an even floppier leech than the Pro version – which may mean the conventional version has a better top end.


    But I'll get back to you on that, once I've had some on-the-water time with these rigs.
    As it is, the 5.3 Pro Blade looks like a good step up from the 5m standard Blade, perhaps with the bottom end power of a 5.5 sail. We'll see, I guess.

    Shame it looks like being 4m weather this weekend!
    Last edited by basher; 27th March 2015 at 11:36 AM.
    Now back in the UK.

  3. #38
    Senior Member chrispavlo's Avatar
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    cool report, thanks!

    regarding luff sleeve, did you see a difference to the standard Blade,
    e.g. that the Blade Pro got a tighter luff pocket and therefore the more visible 'off' of the standard edition?

    regarding luff length of the 5.3 size i think i found the reason, why ben decided for 432 on the standard Blade - to make it possible to also use it with a 430 mast: Click image for larger version. 

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    for the 5.3 Blade Pro he obviously skipped this strategy and optimised the ratio for a 400rdm, i think.

  4. #39
    Both types of Blade have what seems a relatively big luff sleeve. Whether you can fit an SDM mast in there, I don't know – and I don't have an SDM to try.
    There is no mention of using SDMs in these sails on the Severne site – or that I have seen.
    (If you are still on SDMs for wavesailing then you probably won't be buying the Pro version of this sail, or the new S1. But the conventional Blades should still work.)
    Last edited by basher; 27th March 2015 at 12:59 AM.
    Now back in the UK.

  5. #40
    Senior Member chrispavlo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by basher View Post
    (If you are still on SDMs for wavesailing then you probably won't be buying the Pro version of this sail, or the new S1. But the conventional Blades should still work.)
    that's why my question - thought the BLADE Pro could now be optimised for rdm only, like the S-1 was designed from start on.

  6. #41
    Senior Member Navegante's Avatar
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    Good morning from sunny Tuscany
    Chris and Basher.
    Good reading both.
    I'm anxious to read the on the water
    report, Basher, so that I finish making up my mind.
    I'm in for a whole quiver renewal and the defi wind is rapidly
    approaching. So I have to decide on how many cambered sails
    and how many wave sails (fir the Caribbean later in the year)
    cheers
    N

  7. #42
    Senior Member chrispavlo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Navegante View Post
    I'm anxious to read the on the water
    report, Basher, so that I finish making up my mind.
    I'm in for a whole quiver renewal..
    hm.. CPO guessing how long it would take until basher will change his standard Blade 5.0/4.5 for a Blade Pro 4.7...

    edit: and how long will it take until i add a 4.4 and 5.2 size to my S-1 Pro 4.8.. ?
    Last edited by chrispavlo; 27th March 2015 at 08:54 AM.

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