Thursday, July 2, 2009

Pink Sail

I bought a used 9.8 msq sail yesterday from Sandy Point Progressive Sports in Daytona Beach. SPPS posts their inventory online, so I was able to pick out the sail, a 2004 Aerotech VMG, before I went up there. It was exactly what I was looking for in terms of size, construction, vintage, and price. It wasn't until I got to the shop, though, that I realized the sail was PINK and yellow. When I mumbled some doubts about the girly colors, the salesclerk said, "Don't worry, it's not really pink, it's fuschia". That didn't make me feel much better. But then I remembered that my windsurfing hero, Robby Naish, uses pink sails, and he's cool...

So anyway, I went ahead and bought the sail, and I'm pretty stoked about it. Took it for a little morning sesh in 5-12 knots and appreciated its lightness, power, and smooth feel. My planing threshold is now around 10 knots.


I also really like the construction. As far as I know, Aerotech is the only sail company that doesn't use fragile "monofilm" plastic for the body of their race sails. Instead they use grid type materials that are less prone to cracking and tearing when they wrinkle. Also, the company is based right out of Daytona and the sail designer is the SPPS shop owner, which is cool.


PS- If anyone wants the beater 8.7 sail that the new one is replacing, they can have it for eight dollars and seventy cents.


Frank said...

Well that PHD must be getting you a little money. Great looking sail! Rigs on 520 mast? What board are you using for this sail? Boom length? I traded my Kona to a beginner for a JP 145 and found that it plans almost as soon as my Formula board and jibes a lot better.

Chuck said...


Glad you like the 9.8 VMG. They are great sails. Have you tried it with your Kona One yet? I have 2008 VMG 8.3 and 11.0 both of which I really love. I have not put the 11.0 on my Kona One yet but it works really great on my Formula. Two weekends ago, I used the 8.3 on both my Futura 122 and my Kona One. After the wind got a little light for the 122 I put it on the Kona. I was amazed at how fast I was going. Next time I will take my GPS for sure.
Anyway, good luck with your 9.8 and good winds too,

Chuck Rhodes
WET Rep to Belgium

James Douglass said...

Frank- I guess compared to when I was a grad student I'm making some money, but paying back undergraduate student loans and stuff keeps me pinching pennies. The sail was $199, which seemed like a good deal. It rigged on the 520 mast I already had, and the boom length is 260, which worked on the aluminum boom I already had. I'm using the rig on a formula board- a 2004 Exocet Turbo Formula II. Glad you're liking the JP 145.

Chuck- I haven't tried the new 9.8 on the Kona ONE yet, but last year I sailed the Kona ONE with 9.8 a couple times. It definitely gave up some early planing compared to a formula board, but it was fast and easy feeling when powered. (~12+ knots).

Ian Berger said...


Real men wear pink. I have a pink sail and it doesn't make me feel at all feminine. It definitely don't feel like putting on a skirt, or putting on lipstick, or even painting my toenails. (Sweetie, where's the nail polish remover!)

I have an old sail from the 1980s which I keep around because it's funny-looking. It's pure neon with little flanges hanging off the clew like little teeth. I think at one time this was supposed to look cool. Now it looks stupid. Once I get home I'll post a picture of this plastic monstrosity.


Johnny Douglass said...

While you're buying sails and paying student loans don't forget to be stashing some money in a new car fund. As your Dad it makes me feel useful when I get those calls from you with your jalopy broken down on the road. However it's stressful to worry that you might get eaten alive by mosquitoes and alligators or (worse yet) fleeced by tow companies and mechanics.

rod.r said...

Hey James. It almost looks like your battens need tightning?

I just bought a Hotsails 9.5m Formula-D. It was made 2002/2003 and was the last of their cammed sails before they went all RAF.

The thing I like about it, [ and hate about some other cam sails ] is that its rigged by pushing the mast through the cams from the bottom all the way up so I don't have to "scrunch" the sail onto the mast....boy I hat scrunching sails :-)

I'm going to use it on my IMCO so won't be as early planing as your formula.

James Douglass said...

Hey Rod,

Yeah, the sail might could use some more batten tension. I think I adjusted it a little after the picture was taken, but I don't want to over-tension the battens because the cams are already kinda hard to pop.

I also hate scrunching sails when rigging them. You cringe at every crinkle you hear, knowing that crinkles turn to wrinkles, wrinkles turn to creases, creases turn to cracks, and cracks turn to tears, destroying your beautiful sail.

I'm a little less worried about that with this Aerotech than I have been with other sails, because the x-cloth materials don't seem to go beyond the crinkle / wrinkle stage.

John said...

Hi Jim,

What type of wind do you need to begin planing with the 9.8 and formula board? Your sail size calculator reccomends 11 kts for my weight with a 10.0 sail, which sounds about right, and I'm curious to hear what your real world experience has been.


James Douglass said...

John- The calc is usually pretty accurate. For me it recommends 10 knots for the 9.8, and that seems to be about right based on my experience. With pumping I can probably get going in 9 knots, but 10 knots is where it starts to feel good. I reckon you could make your 9.8 work in a little less than 11 knots, but the best way to find out for sure would just be to try it.