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March 2015

Retro Vs Hucker – Comparison

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Retro 6.5m Vs Hucker 6.6m Comparison.

The biggest differences between the Retro 6.5 and the Hucker 6.6 are the shaping profile and rig tension. The Retro is much more forgiving to ride, especially over-powered because the shaping profile in the Retro really tapers out above the boom, so the head and upper leech are very free to release as the sail powers up. This keeps the center of effort low and balanced and makes the sail very easy to hang onto when powered up. The draft profile in the Retro is cut slightly further forward (than the Hucker) but the batten set is softer. The Retro has a clew cutout which shortens the boom length and keeps the swing weight lower.

The Hucker by comparison is much fuller in the draft profile in terms of overall shape, but also the depth is held progressively higher in the span of the sail. The Hucker sails still have progressive leech twist like the Retro, but the rate of twist is much less. The draft profile in the Hucker is cut slightly further aft but the batten set is stiffer than the Retro, add in the increased luff curve and this makes the Hucker feel much firmer, with a much higher center of effort. The higher center of effort is the heart of the Hucker design. It feels more lively  than the Retro and can feel very over-powering to novice riders, however, for experienced riders who enjoy/want a powered ride, especially taller, heavier riders, the Hucker is a dream come true. Big blokes have leverage and the Hucker serves up the power and stability. For these reasons the Hucker sails “ride big” for their size.

The Hucker to Retro power equivalency ratio is essentially this:

HK6.6    =    RT7.0
HK5.6    =    RT6.0
HK4.8    =    RT5.0
HK4.2    =    RT4.5