Gaastra Manic (2008)

Ed Davis

Sizes: 3.3, 3.7, 4.0, 4.2, 4.5, 4.7, 5.0, 5.3, 5.7m.

Manufacturer’s mast recommendations:

Recommended for use with skinny masts although billed as compatible with SD masts too.

The 2008 Gaastra 400 75% RDM (recommended for the smaller Manics) is a stiff mast with a stiff-top bend curve. Although we didn’t measure the 100% (recommended for larger sizes) it is likely to be at least as stiff and of a similar bend curve since this was the case with last year’s 430s.

Our mast recommendations:

It seems to set best on a skinny with stifftop or average bend curve. A moderate flex-top RD mast stiffened up the middle of the sail and the 2nd batten sticks a bit in lighter winds, though overall performance was still good.

The sail feels relatively taut with the stiff Gaastra masts and doesn’t seem to suffer particularly when used with softer masts, other than losing a little bit of stability.

Changes for ’08:

New luff curve, shorter clew and flatter foot batten.

Set:

There is a fair amount of twist located right at the head, and a decent amount of rotation in battens 1 & 2 – and depending on set it can even keep some rotation in batten 3. The foil is nicely taut but has nice spring. It sets fairly flat on the beach, with pre-set shape in the bottom batten only.

Performance:

We have used this sail in 5.0 and 5.3m and liked it a lot. It feels light and compact with a decent bottom end and good top end. It remains relatively flexible and forgiving despite maintaining decent skin tension with smooth power delivery and breathability. It is light and flicky in transitions and goes neutral easily. A good all-rounder for all strong wind sailing.

Price:

5.0m – £405

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