If you read this earlier post, you'll notice that our 4.7 sail was totally destroyed during one of the many big wave day's we've had recently. The end result you'll see to the right. Now we put a lot of days on this particular sail, between us almost 90 in the past year. And that's how old this sail was - brand spanking new in March 09, in the trash by March 10. So we had to get a new sail, and we also had to ponder what type of sail to get.
We had been using mostly monofilm wave sails - which have a light easy handling feel - and were excellent preforming sails. But considering the amount of days we get on the water, we decided that a sail built a bit stronger and designed more specifically for Maui wave sailing conditions made more sense. While a wave sail largely built from monofilm is going to feel and look great during the first ten days or so, eventually monofilm breaks down and becomes fragile. You can replace the panel and return the sail to almost new condition, but what if the sail is almost entirely monofilm? And what happens if the panel blows up on a big wave day, with the current sucking you into weird wave with a 20 ft face, and the sail is now ripped in half and you have no way to sail back in? Which is what actually happened to Julia and she was lucky that nothing else was destroyed in the process.
So in the end we purchased a quiver of Goya 2010 wave sails. We got a 5.3 Eclipse with a small monofilm window (you can also get an x-ply version) and two Gurus (4.7, 4.2) which have vinyl windows. There were a lot of factors in going with the Goya sails. A big one is we have gotten to know most of the Goya team - Jason Diffin is the sail designer, and of course Francisco and Lalo Goya, Pascal Bronnimann, Keith Teboul, Bjoern Zedlick, Levi Siver, Josh Stone, and Jake Miller, to name a few, all ride and provide input into the design of these sails. These guys live and breathe windsurfing here on Maui, and their passion and love for the sport shows in the products that they create.
There's also the fact that Jason Diffin has been designing these sails for the past two years. Prior to joining the Goya team, Jason was the designer for Simmer for several years, and before Simmer he worked with David Ezzy. So there's no doubt that Jason knows a thing or two about sail design. If you looked at Goya sails prior to 2009, then you were looking at a completely different sail, and you need to check out the more recent designs. Jason is continuously improving things - you will see him and other members of the team often out on prototypes at Hookipa - and it shows in the improvements that have appeared in 2010.
Below you can click on a tab to see specific details. I'm really impressed with all the little things that make these sails easy to rig, easy to sail, and durable. Also note that all the full sails specs are available under the spec tab.
I'm holding our new Goya 5.3 Eclipse. Did I also mention that, besides the awesome handling and control these sails provide, they also look great?
The sail foot padding is very cushy and protects the entire area that could impact the board. Have you ever had the rig land on your foot while attempting a heli-tack? It can hurt - trust me, padding is good thing.
Looking closer at the foot of the sail, you'll see the area is reinforced with two hard plastic seams. The foot of the sail often hits the board, so extra protection here can be critical.
Further up the foot you see the guide in a very convenient place for rigging. Note that the recommended mast for the 5.3 is a 400. Which is nice because the 400 is also the best mast for the 4.5/4.7. I've also been able to use a 400 on the 4.2, though the preferred mast there is a 370. Bottom line, a 400 can be used from 4.2-5.3 which is all you really need here on Maui. Since Julia and I had only one 400 and we already had a 430, I was able to purchase on the cheap an extra 400 bottom ($120) and combined this with the 430 top I already had. This combo, a 415, works great on the 5.3.
You'll find the outhaul indicator near the outhaul (makes sense). I find that two finger widths is around 2 cm, and I usually set the boom so I get at a bit more then that (about 3 cm) . From there I can loosen the outhaul if the wind is lighter. Note that you should not change the downhaul tension to accommodate lighter wind.
The outhaul has two grommets. This allows the boom to be set higher, lower, or in the middle as I've done here. Higher puts a bit more power into the sail (better pumping) and lower a bit better handling. Also if you set you boom height low or high at the mast then you might choose the matching grommet height. Good to have options.
And speaking of mast heights, there is a nice indicator for that. I'm a 135. Once you determine your height, it's easy to rig it correctly for any of the sails.
Jason's trade mark stretch control system. This brings stability and strength into the main body of the sail.
Near the top of the sail is the downhaul indicator. This means you want to feel looseness, or see a wrinkle, in the fabric out to this point. Jason told me you can downhaul a bit beyond this point for windy days, but never under downhaul the sail!
The top of the mast sleeve, which takes the most abuse (think reefs, rocks and broken mast tips) is heavy duty material.
This little stitched in Goya plastic decal is not just for decoration. It serves a useful purpose - it widens the opening of the mast sleeve to make inserting the tip of the mast easier when rigging. As Yogi Bera once said "The little things are big!"
And a batten tensioning key. All battens need some tensioning when new. The lowest battens need the most tension, and the higher battens progressively less.
Stitching detail. All the seams are glued and stitched, with critical seams double stitched as you see here.
The very top of the sail has this kevlar reinforced material that can withstand both reefs, asphalt and rigging on the rocks at the hatch. Which some of us do from time to time.
Sail specs for the Goya 2010 Eclipse and Guru Wave sails: