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As I discovered the Autima mast may be a constant curve (rather than hard top), I tried to validate this with the company - to no avail. They did NOT answer e-mails NOR phone-calls. Other people have confirmed that this mast is CC or constant curve. Britt Viehman, an expert trainer and windsurfer, who also happens to use MauiSails, feels that the mast is less critical in the non-race MS sails - like the Pursuit ...
Prior to purchasing my TR-4 10-oh, I purchased an HPL boom, which i later discovered was a full carbon boom and with the carbon reinforcement at the head, as suggested by Bruce Peterson of SailWorks fame, is a solid and very stiff boom. This boom is now used for my sails larger than 7-oh.
In 2011, my Pursuit started to show signs of wear n tear. Asked in forums, including MS , what is the best approach. Some said ditch the sail, others said ride til it dies and some said fix as required. The main issue seemed to be that in general, monofilm will DIE after about 250 hours of UV exposure. I used this sail in 2010 about 20 times with the shortboard and probably as many times on the longboard. That winter I also started using it in 10 kph winds on my snow sailboard. If we say 50 times in one year and over one hour exposure each time, the sail will barely last three(3) years :-( AND guess what, that is where I am. Some have told me of their experiences downhauling and the monofilm just exploding in their faces %^&*() This sounds like an exaggeration to me and i am sure this sail will still last a number of years if used carefully.
So, I decided to wait - until i found an 2007 MS-2 8-oh with MS 490/75 % combo at a decent price. Here is photo of the kit WITH the HPL boom
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Paul, who sold me the TR-4 10-oh is VERY interested in an analysis/comparison of these two(2) sails in terms of low end, high end, lightness in your hands, stability, etc.
The first thing I did was rig the Pursuit with the MS 490/75 to see how that compared to the Autima 490/90. This is from my journal notes :
Tried the MS 490/75 on the Pursuit 8.5. First rigged it as i would the Autima 490/90. It felt like it was not enough. Putting 2.5 less cm on the mast base (which i do ONLY with the longboard) - 22.5 rather than 25 did not seem to work - the battens were further on the mast than usual. Is it really an MS mast ? It rigged GREAT on the MS-2.
OK, let's experiment - put 25 cm on the mast base and more outhaul. Sail felt light n lively even on the BIC Dufour longboard ie even when hauled tight. Winds were from the S at about 10 knots and very pleasant...
Maybe i will use the Autima with the Pursuit when on the longboard ...
we will see....
I have rigged the MS-2 twice, both with the MS mast and love the pocket of power and the cam rotation. Cannot wait to try it on my AHD FF 160 in 20 to 40 kph winds. It should just RIP !!! and for me rip does NOT mean rest in peace/pieces :-)
I tend to rig the TR-4 and the MS-2 with a very deep draft or pocket - that is the way I like it !!!
When we compare the MS-2 8-oh and the Pursuit 8.5, they both rig in the 490/75 mast, which is a recommended mast for both. They are made around the same time frame and obviously by the same manufacturer. The MS-2 has seven(7) battens and two(2) cams, whereas the Pursuit has six(6) battens and NO cams. The MS-2 is about 20 cm shorter in luff, 5 cm thinner in the boom and one pound or half a kilo heavier. The MS-2 has a tack strap and the Pursuit does NOT. So, are we comparing apples and oranges here ? I would tend to say NOT. However, it does seem like they are different "breeds" of apples.
Also, will i be able to remain unbiased ?? The Pursuit after all is my favourite sail of my entire quiver !! This is partially due to my weight, which requires bigger sails AND winds tend to be light here in Montreal. There are spring and fall winds, butt i stay away from 25+ knot winds - for now ...
Have not been out on the shortboard since about JULY 23rd - that's about three (3) weeks. :-(
Well, I finally got to take out the MS-2 8-oh sail with the MS 490/75% mast. The Pursuit 8.5 weighs 4.8 kilos and the MS-2 8-oh weighs 5.45 kilos. So, why did the sail feel so light?? I rigged it with a little more outhaul than I prefer since winds were gutsy (my version of gusty) between 16 and 20 knots. Cams flipped like a charm and the sail performed well even when it was overpowered. It felt like there was no end - just keep pushing - or pulling actually. It did not feel like it had low end grunt - instead it just wanted to go. With a smaller board than the AHD 160 I am sure this sail would rip em all up!! The sail also beach started with no issues in terms of cams or luff sleeves. This version still rigs with the cams on. The new Titans now have the luff sleeve like the TR's. When the wind dropped, I released the outhaul and I was the only one going anywhere. Then again, some of the lightweights were rigging 5.x and on really small boards. Is it time for me to lose fifty (50) pounds / 20 kilos ?? In summary the sail was great and I was ashamed that I was falling in love with it. After all, I just celebrated my 25 year wedding anniversary :-)
Next time I am going to have to try both sails on the same day - hopefully with the same conditions. Both riggings will need to be similiar and I will use the same MS mast.
btw the mast stuck today #$%^& had to dry my hands and mast and give it a good twist #$%^&*()
MON 29AUG2011 - took the Pursuit 8.5 out in very lite winds - with the MS 490/75% mast. Paul was correct, the sail does better on the MS mast. For example: I always had problems with the bottom batten sticking. Today, even in lite winds, pulled sail into wind and ALL battens "popped" to the other side. Considering this is an 8.5, it is surprising how much i can throw that sail around. Perhaps not sell it and keep both ??
SAT 03SEPT2011 - went to test the MS-2 with the BIC Dufour on the local river Milles Isles. Winds were quite lite out of the west. I was nervous about rigging it with my retro mast base since the sail calls for 6 cm extension and the minimum i can give here is about 10 cm. Also was worried that the open leech would not work with the long board. I read in some forums including MauiSails that the MS-2 is actually good for longboards. OK, i rigged it with a tight leech and not much outhaul. This created a huge pocket at the mast and the sail pulled like a mother ie more grunt than when i rigged it for higher winds on the shortboard. It was a little difficult to pop the cams to the other side and the bottom batten did not always want to go ...I did try to tighten the outhaul, butt i think a little more downhaul was required too..
TUE 13SEPT2011 - had the MS-2 8-oh out on the AHD FF 160 in 15 to 20 + knots.Was disappointed that i was overwhelmed in gusts, butt investigation showed gusts as high as 30 knots !! The bigger issue was beach starting on this day. Had major difficulties and ended uphauling instead !!
Conclusions: The Pursuit 8.5 is easier to beach start than the MS-2 8-oh. This is a cam "issue". The Pursuit works very well with a constant curve mast and PERHAPS a little better with the hard top MS mast, I now use the MS-2 with the Fanatic Ultra Cat and that will be my favourite combo in light winds. I am still contemplating selling the TR-4 10-oh since the MS2 and CAT combination is SO good. I have NOT tried the Pursuit with the CAT. As i am a cam fan, this discussion may be a little biased. I prefer the MS-2 over the Pursuit in terms of retaining shape, grunt, actually feels lighter and am VERY comfortable with it. I WILL try the Pursuit with the CAT and put comments here. In terms of cost, I believe the Pursuit 8.5 is much less than the MS-2 8-oh.
Found a Titan GS at $730 and Pursuit 8.5 at $625 - both at WorldWinds. Thus the difference is less than I thought. Both rig on the same mast and boom. Note: May be difficult to find a mast base with only 6 cm for the MS-2 8-oh. That is only an issue if you like to rig the lines all the way down to the pulley...
Disclaimer: This analysis was done with an MS-2 and NOT a Titan GS. The ONLY reason i say this is: there are people out there that were big fans of the MS-2 and are NOT fans of the Titan GS. No explanations are given and are basing their opinions on feeling. In the sail world this means everything.
For 2012 MS is supposed to come out with a sail called Blaze that seems like the MS-2 and Titan were.
Followup: I sold my Pursuit which was "well used", butt NO issues.
2012 - The MS-2 now has tears in it and unless I have panels repaired, will NOT sell. IF i have panels repaired, i will keep the sail. I do NOT like the wrinkles n crinkles that form on the MS-2. I have already reserved a TR-6 8.4 for next year. This is the first time I have issues with monofilm. My TR-4 10-oh is still going strong and that is why i was already looking to replace the MS-2. My MS-2 sail may have been a prototype. It definitely was not a production sail ... This is my second bad experience with the MS-2 and as such I will stay away from this sail. I like the TR sails better any way ...
MAY 2013 - I have picked up my TR-6 8.4 sail that has the wide luff and 4 cambers - and due to light winds have been using it mainly with the Fanatic Ultra CAT longboard. It is a lovely combination. I love the fact that the mast slides straight up the luff sleeve and have had only minor issues with cam rotations and the such. So, for me personally I am not a fan of the free-race sail. My sails in the 8-10 square meter size will remain as race sails and anything smaller will be free-ride or wave.
24JUNE2013 - having said all that ... We went to the country/chalet and i was anticipating the typical lake winds... gusts, wind shadows and change of wind direction. And so, i asked myself and i said ... why not try the MS-2 8-oh with the FUC/Fanatic Ultra CAT ?? and so i did... It was quite PLEASANT. The cambers rotate much more easily, the sail is lighter and so, easier to uphaul and handle when there is NO wind... than the MS TR-6 8.4...
Georges of OKA had asked me if i would suggest free-race or race to someone like himself. I had suggested free-race and i stand by that. When winds are good, and not so lake-like, i prefer the TR race sails. On the lake with my FUC, i actually think i prefer the patched MS-2 8-oh. I think I will leave that sail with the FUC board - wherever it be .... And someone coming from RAF sails may find the transition to freerace sail so much easier ... than going directly to race. I had had my Gaastra Flow 3x for many years before and learned to like cambers ....
Perhaps the MS BLAZE will be my next 8.x sail ?? This is my most used sail size in my quiver ... due to my weight and lighter winds in the area...
Freerace = TRY IT, you'll like it :-)
JULY 2013 - since then I have busted my batten on the top camber of the MS-2 again $%^&* I wrote an entire post on this... http://joewindsurfer.blogspot.ca/2013/06/fixing-my-batten-what-again.html
I was able to sell my Pursuit 8-oh, but the MS-2 now has had too many panels broken and too many cambers. If one was to consider ROI/return on investment - I would say, go for the Pursuit. On the other hand, I am now sailing the MS-2 with NO cambers and calling it the MS-OH. It is patched up, looks ugly and yet i use it with the CAT in light winds and even with the 160 liter board in 20 to 40 kph winds. Am I going back to free-ride sails ?? I do have enough sails to keep me going in < 12 knot winds all the way up to about 25 knot winds. On the other hand, the CAT has had some serious repairs and worries me a little !!! The issue is - there are few modern boards to replace it and i keep missing out on the used ones #$%^&