Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Modified Mistral Energy

I read a cool post on James Douglass's blog yesterday, and it reminded me of a board modification I did a few years ago. I cut off the nose of a 1991 Mistral Energy CHS and added cutouts to the tail. I did this to make it a better board for gps speed sailing. Check out the YouTube video I made from the pictures I took throughout the project.

In the end the modified Energy was faster, mostly because the high end control was improved. The stock Energy usually started to feel very "nailed down" and unable to deal with chop once speed got over ~30 mph (using arm mounted gps). Top speed I ever reached on gps (with the stock energy) was 33 or 34 mph in very flat conditions at Bird Island Basin.

After modification the board felt much looser even at 30+ mph and I regularly recorded speeds of 34 or 35 mph in choppy local conditions on Lake Winnebago. I think the cutouts reduce the amount of lift generated way back on the board and lets the board ride a little higher angle in the water. It is also more sensitive to slight rider input to get through chop.

The reduction in waterline on the rail reduced the upwind ability, but the board still can get upwind ok as long as it's lit enough to stay on the fin. But definitely worse upwind if only lightly powered.

Overall, the mods did what I hoped - added high wind control and top end speed. It was a fun project and I would encourage anyone with some old gear in their garage to try a similar modification.

Check out these links for another project I did - adding double chicken straps to my Formula HWR: