Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Vector Fins Delta Speed Weed

I purchased a couple of Delta Weed Speeds recently for a last minute trip to Lake George.  The 2 fins chosen were the 23(40 degree rake) to go with my JP 49 and 6.2/5m RS Racings and the 27(35 degree rake) to go with my Falcon 89 and 6.7/6.2 RS Racings.

27 @ 35 degree rake + 23 @ 40 degree rake.

I paid a little extra to get the fins overnight from Jesper at Vector Fins Australia as I needed them by the following day.  I read on the Vector Fins International site that the weed speed came in both 40 and 45 degree rakes so I was suprised when the 27 was only 35 degrees(leading edge).  With the extra length I hoped it would not pick up too much weed.  The tip is slightly swept for the last 50mm so this is effectively more rake in the area prone to catching weed. This tip is also the only area with any twist or flex which is the way I like it! The fins are very well finished without any clearcoat on the foil to hide the contour lines.  The base is cast in PU which is easy to sand for a perfect fit in the box.

23 @ 40 degree rake top, 27 @ 35 degree rake bottom
 The only experience I have had with weed fins is a couple of G10 JP weeds.  I found the 36 terrible and I think this was mainly due to the material not being suitable for a heavyweight sailor.  In a much shorter fin (<30) the differences between Carbon and G10 weed fins are much less.  Combining the wide base of a new style speed fin with the rake of a weed fin results in a nice stiff design with good dependable performance.

Comparing a 23 Slingshot and 23 Delta Speed Weed.

The weed at Lake George is 20-30cm long and starting where there is less than 20cm of clear water above is very hit and miss.  If you start without being fully powered the tail bogs down and you soon rake up a nice collection of weed.  The weed is like string as apart from the more ribbon like seagrasses and once up an planing you can feel a slight slowing of the board in thick weed if the tip touches but I cuts through nicely even at a 35 degree rake.  The 23 at 40 degrees had even less resistance but this is probably a combination of the reduced length and increased rake.  The lack of resistance through the weed really allowed you to push it off the wind into flatter shallow water without fear of a weed brake being applied.  Heading upwind I was really pinching and like to bury the windward rail and not rely on fin lift.  This is a common technique for a speed setup as you are not after upwind performance from the fin, just enough to keep the board tracking nicely off the wind.  Sailing across the wind I found myself burying the windward rail a bit also but again the 27 fin in the Falcon 89 is more of a speed setup and I managed a 42 knot peak without too much effort and could have done with a lot more sail power.  The 23 in the 49 with the same conditions got to a 43 peak so not too much difference there and the 89 would probable require less energy if speed sailing a full day.  The Delta weeds could really be pushed with a lot of back foot pressure off of the wind and never let go or tail-walked.  They were also very safe in the round-up at the end of the run as you hit the sharp chop, so safe infact that I was pulling on the outhaul to flatten the sail for the upwind return leg while rounding up!  The other comforting fact was that the fin didn't seem to be the limiting factor to higher speeds,  it was the lack of sail pressure off the wind.

Summary
I would thouroughly recommend the Vector Fins Delta Speed Weed to anyone wanting to speed sail in light to moderately weedy areas with slalom and speed boards 90L and below.  I think the wide base design would also suit slightly longer fins than the current longest fin of 27cm so I will be keeping an eye on the vector fins site.

Vector Fins Delta Speed Weed is available in 19, 21, 23, 25 & 27cm from Vector Fins Pacific & Scandanavia
GPS Sessions using the Delta Speed Weed:

1 comment:

  1. As per usual I always find your informative.
    I wish I had got a delta instead of a 23 Slingshot

    ReplyDelete