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Rigging a cambered Race Sail

This post is to help people not rigging their high performance race sails in the easiest manner. I met a fellow at OKA who was rigging his 2012 Severne Reflex III in a manner I had never seen and he was convinced he was doing it correctly {not incorrect way , just NOT the recommended fashion as per manufacturer}

This is what he did:

0) Unrolling the sail downwind is presumed/assumed :-)
1) He obviously put the mast in the wide luff - over or on top of the battens.
2) He attached the extension and put zero downhaul - this is where we differ.
3) He attached the boom to this setup - it looked awkward and wrinkled the sail.

In step #2 I put full downhaul. There are two(2) methods I know of rigging race sails and the "other" known method puts downhaul leaving about 10 cm slack.

4) He put full outhaul.
5) He put some cambers on and had to do some adjustments to get them all on.
6) Then full downhaul was applied....

For me:

1) same as above - insert mast.
2) put extension and apply FULL downhaul.
3) same as above - attach the boom
4) same as above - full outhaul.
5) put the cambers, BUTT loosen downhaul about 10 cm first !!!
6) same as above - apply full downhaul
7) check outhaul to see if adjustment is required...

 The other point this fellow made and again surprised me was: he was using a 460 mast with 43 cm extension !! Personally would prefer 490 with almost zero downhaul - especially in a race sail. What i have done instead is gone from 100 % carbon to 75% carbon. It is less expensive and i like it. Peter Volwater and others have done extensive testing on their TR sails and that is what i use as a race sail....

Here are some videos - Severne Relex II rigging and Maui Sails TR-8.

MauiSails TR-6 rigging guide from on Vimeo.

North Sails is very similiar as well ...

Other issues I have had with my MauiSails TR sails are camber rotation, mast head wear out on TR-4 {known problem for that model year} and i have busted a batten. The camber rotation issue was particularly evident when the sails were like new. I loosened the battens around the boom and applied a wet lubricant like McLube. When winds are stronger and sail is "broken in", there is no longer this "issue". It is more of an inconvenience than an issue...

For me sails over 8-oh need to be cambered. This gives me more range - especially with an adjustable outhaul and has the locked in pocket for lulls in the wind ... Larger sails are after all typically used in lighter winds ...


What about un-rigging or derigging ?? {which one is an actual word ?? }

I have had discussions with MauiSails directly to confirm what i do and have added an additional step,,

For me:

1) Loosen and remove boom.
2) Loosen downhaul by about 10 cm and remove bottom camber manually - this is a step i added to save bottom batten
3) Loosen downhaul suddenly and all the other cambers will POP off with a BANG.
4) Remove extension, mast
5) Roll up sail and put everything away ...

What i like about wide luff sails and this methodology is : the sails' monofilm does NOT get wrinkled in setup nor removal.

What i dislike about wide luff is when the luff is full of water, it is almost impossible to uphaul. I try to get back on board quickly and have an EZ uphaul in case required. The original fellow says he NEVER uphauls his race sails = LUCKY FELLOW !!

In 2014 I had an "interesting" discussion with Bruno of 2-rad about rigging race sails AND sails in general. His idea or methodology is to pull some some downhaul, then some outhaul, more downhaul, etc. I think you get the picture. The interesting point of this story is that when this was shown at a Montreal APVM demo day, he asked a slight young lady of about 120 pounds to rig a Sailworks Retro 8.0 in such a manner with NO tools, Let me tell you, if you do straight downhaul and THEN outhaul, the Retro requires some grunt. So, this method is a very good one - that i will DEFINITELY attempt in the 2014 season and perhaps even in the remainder of the ice sailboarding season :-) THANKS BRUNO !!!

and another North Sails rigging video:

how about AA with a NP sail ...

Even the Ezzy Lion with a narrow luff sleeve is rigged in the same manner as the sails with wide luff sleeves:

01-Lion-Quick rig from Ezzy Sails on Vimeo.


  1. in rigging a naish stealth 8.5 - I tried a min downhaul with cams off, followed by outhaul; with intention of then popping the cams on. what I found was - a lot of stress/strain at the stitching where the batten pockets are sewn to the luff sleeve.

    *this is an about 2003 sail with no camber zippers. I've always had the best results by sliding mast thru the cams and incrementally downhauling and pushing on cams to keep them perpendicular to the mast. repeat, repeat until fully downhauled. then attach boom,..

    1. the NEW Naish Stealth seems to have zippers.
      sails with cambers and NO zippers are typically free-race sails and are rigged with the cambers ON.
      as you have discovered...


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