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Review of 3 batten sail

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Joined: 11 Aug 2006
Posts: 925
Location: Oahu

PostPosted: Sun Feb 02, 2014 10:59 am    Post subject: Review of 3 batten sail Reply with quote

3 batten sails have suddenly become all the rage, with practically every sail maker testing their own version. Hot Sails Maui was the first sailmaker to put one into production, so I treated myself to an early Christmas present and bought a KS3 5.2 in December. Iíve used this sail for 2 months now and finally feel I am able to give it a thorough review. In summary this sail is exceptional for wave sailing.


The design / layout of the KS3 is very different to any other sail Iíve used, with a massive S bend in the bottom batten that both forces shape into the sail, and then takes the shape away when the sail is sheeted out.


The sail is light at just over 3 kg, but still looks very solidly built. The materials are thicker than those used on my Firelight, and the window is heavy duty monofilm with a reinforcing thread running through the monofilm. The light weight achieved appears to be a combination of high tech materials and only 3 battens. The overall feeling of the sail is very solid, something built to take serious abuse in the waves.


Rigging is straight forward as the recommended markings are accurate. On my 5.2 the recommended downhaul was 415 cm + or Ė 1 cm. I found the best set up was to downhaul the sail to 415. Downhauling to 414 did make the sail feel more powerful, but at the expense of an unpleasant jerkiness that disappeared at 415. The recommended settings for the boom were 171 cm + or Ė 2 cm, and I found a huge range of tuning just altering the outhaul. This is one wave sail where an adjustable outhaul would mean never having to come into the beach when the wind picked up or dropped dramatically. I used this sail for 2 sessions with a 100% carbon Hot Sails Maui Ultra 400 mast, and the rest of the sessions were on a 90% carbon Goya RDM mast. The sail set perfectly on both masts, but the response felt fractionally better on the 100% carbon mast.

On the water

I used the 5.2 in a wide variety of conditions in Southern California and South Africa, from cross on to cross off and from overpowered to slog and ride. Apart from one session when I set the downhaul at 414, this sail felt consistently smooth while sailing. This is definitely a power wave sail, yet the delivery is not jerky, more like a consistent pull that quickly got me planning. During gusts the sail continued to feel smooth, and in overpowered conditions increasing the outhaul made the sail very useable in conditions when I should have been on a 4.5. On a wave the sail feels perfect, providing a lot of drive through the bottom turn until sheeted out, and then instantly goes neutral and light, perfect for top turns. For aerials the powerful nature of the sail was a bonus for extra hang time. In slogging conditions the light weight of the sail is a major positive, and it pumps well to catch a wave. The sail was a breeze slogging over white water in cross off conditions, which I attributed to the stability of the foil. Due to the large tuning range of the outhaul I felt that the 5.2 had a major overlap with both my 5.6 and 5.0, to the point that I am reducing my wave sail quiver for 2014 to 4.7/5.2/6.0.

Any negatives?

I heard from a friend who bought a KS3 4.9 that he didnít like the sail for bump and jump sailing (though he did like it for wavesailing). In addition because the exoskeleton of the sail is held up by just 3 battens, the sails donít sail well with a broken batten. (Not surprising really!)
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Joined: 06 Jul 2001
Posts: 3447
Location: Shipsterns Bluff, Tasmania. Colorado

PostPosted: Mon Feb 03, 2014 11:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice review, well done.

Some of the character you mention is present in the QU4D, I really like it.

weight: the lightness is always welcome, but at what expense $$ wise and durability.

It took me awhile to go 4 batten , would really like to try one however !!

Good trip to CapeTown ?

K4 fins
4Boards....May the fours be with you
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Joined: 11 Aug 2006
Posts: 925
Location: Oahu

PostPosted: Mon Feb 10, 2014 7:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

U2U2U2 wrote:
Good trip to CapeTown ?

Really great trip, did both windless South Coast (sailed anyway, just needed right equipment - 118 L Goya Quad) and windy West Coast (mostly on LS 90 Quad, but few flat days on Langebaan Lagoon and less windy days on 118 L Quad). Missed a couple of days due to a twisted ankle, but otherwise awesome trip.

Local knowledge is imperative to maximize sailing time, so anyone planning on going pm me for tips.
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Joined: 30 Jun 1997
Posts: 267

PostPosted: Sat Feb 15, 2014 2:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Going OT here, but I was wondering what you thought of the GOYA 118 Quad. Always looking for the ultimate light wind wave board. Has to work DTL , be able to make good bottom turns and OTLs ...and sub-planing slogging up-wind. Currently using JP FSW's.
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Joined: 11 Aug 2006
Posts: 925
Location: Oahu

PostPosted: Mon Feb 17, 2014 5:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My impressions are based on weighing 82 kg, so probably lighter than the intended target audience. But I still give it a 5 star rating because it does what i intended it to do - replace my SUP for light wind slogging.

Though I like it a lot, it will feel slower to plane than a FSW. My SUP could never plane, so as a SUP replacement not planing as early as a FSW is not a problem. The Quattro Quad (LS in 2013, Cube in 2014) has a much earlier planing feel to it. I have sailed both and have also compared the rocker on the Goya 118 to the Quattro 110 using a yard stick and the Quattro 110 has a flat section, while the Goya 118 does not have much of a flat section. The Goya 118 planes just fine in planing conditions, the same as any other wave oriented wave board.

For a heavy sailor (>100 kg) I'd think it is the perfect moderate wind wave board, bottom turns nicely and has a superb top turn, and for a medium weight sailor it works well as a SUP replacement as when the waves are smooth anyone can bottom turn it. Being a Quad with 18 cm rears it goes upwind better than a single fin, even in sub planing conditions.
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