For 2009/2010 Hotsails Maui introduces a new sail, the Bolt. The Bolt will replace the Crossfire. Hotsails had the Crossfire for two years and will now be replaced the Bolt. The Bolt is more a freestyle/wave sail, while the Crossfire is more focussed on flatwater bump and jump and freestyle, more a flatwater sail. The Bolt is also made for newschool wave sailing. Light handling, super strength and lightness are the main features of the sail.
While looking at the Bolt you'll notice that the sail has a few different caracteristics. It only has 4 battens and the foot batten ends above the clew. The sail has a pretty big middle section and a small top. From the clew to the mast base the sail is cut straight. So there is not a lot of sail underneath the boom. The sail has a no monofilm construction. It's completely made of X-ply. As we now from Hotsails everything is built for the long term / no compromises, made to survive every whipe out.
Rigging the sail is different from the Crossfire. In compare to the Crossfire the sail has a bigger range of rigging. As I'm a freestyler I like to rig my sail almost without any loose leech and a full profile. The Crossfire always needed a lot of downhaul, resulting in much loose leech. A lot of leech makes it more difficult to duck the sail. The sail will respond faster, causing that you'll trow the sail in the water faster. That's why we (freestylers) don't rig with a lot of loose leech. For example I take the 4.1 Bolt. When you rig it like the specs say you'll need a 370m mast. When rigged up with this mast the sail will feel a lot softer. The whole sail responds much more on chops and gusts. The sail flexes over the whole length. The feeling of the sail is a little nervous. What I do is using a 4.00 bottom and 3.70 top of the mast. The mast is than stiffer making the sail a little more powerful and more steady in chops and in the gusts. The middle will stay more stable while the top flexes more.
The same with the other sizes. If you need to extend the mast over 15cm you can almost always use a size bigger bottom part of the mast.
When you go wavesailing I will advice to rig the sail like the specs say. Give the sail more loose leech. Outhaul the sail untill the sail will not touch the boom when the profile is filled. The sail, with this trim will feel more lively and has super fast handling. It will plane slower and has less power than rigged up the freestye way, but it will feel lighter. This is definately positive when wave riding.
Wave setting 4.00 mast
173 boom (fully tensioned)
30 cm extension
These are the recommended and best settings for the Bolt when you go wave sailing.
Freestyle setting with this mast means you'll extend with 27.5cm and the boom 169cm.
With the 4.00 mast the sail will feel soft and flexes a lot in the gusts and chops. The window were you look true will have some big wrinkles.
Freestyle setting 4.00 mast top
4.30 mast bottom
15 cm extension
These are the best settings for the Bolt when freestyle sailing. NOTE the sail can even have a little less downhaul (1-2 cm) You'll notice the battens get a lot closer to the mast than with the wave rig.
Conclusion. In compare to the Crossfire the Bolt is much better for wavesailing. It will survive every whipe out and the handling is super fast. For freestyle the sail is also better. The straight clew-foot angel makes it super easy to duck the sail. Also the tune options, the ones I mentioned above, makes the sail better for freestyle. Because of the 4 battens and full x-ply construction the sail is softer than the Crossfire. The Crossfire felt more direct and more stable.