1 (edited by davide 2019-08-09 13:07:07)

Topic: Firelight?

After a bizarre Spring with more than erratic wind I finally got to try out my new 2019 Firelight 4.3 and 5.0. A full week of powered up conditions on the 4.3! The sail feels very different than my second generation firelight 4.3, it has almost no pull from the front, the pull is very center to the back hand, and it has a few "problems" that make me wonder:

(1) There is a big crease between the first and second batten. See photo. This never goes away.

(2) If the bottom batten is tensioned enough to take away the small creases in the small mono-film bottom panel the batten has a lot of trouble to rotate, and when it does it snaps worse than a bad cam. A bit  unsettling especially if overpowered .... If I release tension in the batten, which makes the creases re-appear, the batten does not snap into the new side but it still if far from having a smooth rotation.

(3) All along the mast there is extra fabric that gets stretched only when the sail is powered up.

Is this normal? ... it is rigged on a HSM hotrod mast, I use plenty down haul.

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More photos.
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I can pinch the extra (?) fabric with the sail fully rigged
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without boom: a whole seemingly extra pouch of fabric ...
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The thing is that the front of the sail where the "extra" fabric is does not fill up until the sail is very powered up. This gives a seemingly poor low end and if a gust hits when under powered it feels like all the power is in the back hand, little happens in front ...

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2

Re: Firelight?

ok I m curious too....lets wait

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3 (edited by sergio 2019-07-08 03:01:43)

Re: Firelight?

I owned both 2013 and 2016. Yes 2013s  seemed to have more pull than the newer but after a slighter earlier planing they kinda stopped, while the 2016s seemed to keep on accelerating, offering way more control. They borrowed something from the ks3 so that dimple makes sense, it just sounds strange to me that you feel such a heavy backhand pressure. It still has some, compared to the ks3, but in a really balanced way. I'd give it a last try with even less dh but more oh, with both the lower battens at least 50% - 30% over the mast. cheers!

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4

Re: Firelight?

Yeah this doesn't sound right. Especially the back hand thing. The crease may be part of the new design but should not affect performance. I had an early KS3 that had bottom batten rotation problems & it end up being the batten taper. This could be the issue on yours as if the batten tip is too stiff &/or the taper is off then the shape of that crucial bottom batten could be too far back & the rotation would be affected as well... just a guess. Hope you get it sorted out, that is a great looking sail!

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5

Re: Firelight?

Looks like you are running the sail under down hauled and under out hauled.
The foot batten if highly tensioned and under outhauled and under down hauled will have rotation issues.
These Firelights have more top twist than the old ones, so they will not sail well under tensioned.
The "bump" in the luff will smooth out as soon as you lean back on the sail, it is a de-power system used in nearly all the sail we make now.
Try this tune and check back in.

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6 (edited by davide 2019-07-14 06:44:01)

Re: Firelight?

Jeffrey Henderson wrote:

Looks like you are running the sail under down hauled and under out hauled.
The foot batten if highly tensioned and under outhauled and under down hauled will have rotation issues.
These Firelights have more top twist than the old ones, so they will not sail well under tensioned.
The "bump" in the luff will smooth out as soon as you lean back on the sail, it is a de-power system used in nearly all the sail we make now.
Try this tune and check back in.

It quite down hauled already, the leech is loose all the way to the out haul ring, the specs call for 8 cm extension and I am using 10 cm, the out haul says 154 and I using 156.

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7

Re: Firelight?

These are our main rental sail and most of my Kanaha customers use these sizes. The "extra" material is to allow the foot batten to rotate around the mast as these newer Firelights's lowest batten no longer "floats" behind the mast.
When you describe the foot batten not rotating, do you mean around the mast, or simply from side to side the whole shape of the batten?

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8 (edited by davide 2019-07-11 05:42:59)

Re: Firelight?

Jeffrey Henderson wrote:

...
When you describe the foot batten not rotating, do you mean around the mast, or simply from side to side the whole shape of the batten?

The non-rotating batten on the 4.3 is "simply from side to side the whole shape of the batten". It just does no flip unless the batten tension is released. Should I get a new batten as Caleb suggests?

Below is the 5.0, rigged to specs, could use a bit more out haul but it does not seem to have a problem rotating batten #1. Looseness in the top batten extends to the seam close to the mast. The 4.3 looks about the same besides the even more prominent "extra fabric" at the luff and bigger crease in the bottom panel.

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9 (edited by davide 2019-08-02 05:12:25)

Re: Firelight?

Jeffrey Henderson wrote:

...
The "bump" in the luff will smooth out as soon as you lean back on the sail, it is a de-power system used in nearly all the sail we make now.
...

... In steady winds the sail seems ok, but in gustier/choppy conditions it seems to have little stability and frequent loss of power.  A bit disconcerting especially compared with my old Firelight 4.3 that was quite rock solid.

It would be nice if the Web site actually announced that the "old" Firelight was no longer in production, and described the new sail.

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10

Re: Firelight?

Hi Davide, I remember to have been aware of the change before switching, it was well described back then, so the better control when overpowered made me cope with the slight lack of early pull. Having said that, now I have a complete set of Spiders, that in light wind resemble somehow a very full 2013 FL, being way more flickable an maneuvrable in waves or high winds. 2016 FLs still win when gusty. So give them a last try with different settings, like bottom batten well above the mast, pulled back with a bit more oh compared to what you used on the 2013. Cheers!

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11

Re: Firelight?

Seems like the sail is simply not fitting your style. Let's see if we can find a sail that fits you better.
You want more forward pull and stability? KS3 is the most stable of our free ride small sails.

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12 (edited by davide 2019-08-02 05:20:27)

Re: Firelight?

@Sergio: decreasing down haul seems to make the sail more backhanded, especially downwind. Rigged at spec I do not have much more out-haul to apply. I tried but the sail feels too flat ...

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13 (edited by newfreakuser 2019-07-15 09:28:56)

Re: Firelight?

The new Firelight does seem to like more outhaul than the old Firelight. But I'm comparing vastly different size sails, so I'm not making and apples to apples comparison.

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14

Re: Firelight?

Davide, I am emailing you to find a solution.

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