Thursday, May 20, 2010

Rig Weight Analysis - HSM Fire vs HSM Bolt and Playmate Carbon Vs Playmate Alloy

I have for a long time wondered whether I should switch from alloy booms to carbon ones. While I would have always admitted that the stiffness of a carbon boom was far better for sailing I have always been concerned with the cost implications vs gain (this is heavily influenced by my habit for washing up on rocks and destroying the grips on my booms).

Recently I decided to switch from HSM Fire to HSM Bolt in part because of the weight saving, I had wanted a 4 batten wave sail for a couple of years. As I am about to collect my new sails I thought that I should look at the boom issue again and apply a more mathmatical approach.

The above data compares the Bolt with the Fire with full carbon setups (Hotrod mast, Hotrod extension and Playmate Carbon) and the Bolt with full carbon (what I am considering). It also compares with Fire with alloy boom (what I used previously) with the new full carbon Bolt setup. The findings are clear, if we look at my usual set up (5.0m) then the new set up would save 0.96kg which represents a 11.23% improvement (Bolt Carbon Vs Fire Alloy).

When we add stiffness into the equation (which would be hard to compute mathmatically) then if is clear that this weight saving and stiffness improvement should make a significant differnce to performance.

 HSM Playmate Carbon a 0.25kg saving, every little helps! A clear winner.

It is true that the cost issue still rasies its head but my conclusion is that I will be ordering HSM Playmate Carbon booms and feel comfortable that the extra money is worth it.

More to follow...

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