could the research and technology utilized by the giant multi-hull sailboat’s of the America’s Cup be dribbling down into the world of the weekend dinghy sailor? the last America’s Cup was won by an impressive performance by the BMW Oracle Racing team and their giant 223-ft tall wing sail on the USA-17.
but now, for the very first time – this wing-sail technology has been adapted for a simple dinghy sailboat like a Sunfish. X-Wing Sails now has plans and specifications available for sail to create your very own wing sail for a Sunfish.
The key to getting a wing sail system that not only affordable but easy to handle, rig and sail, is to keep the weight low. The first wing that I built was about 50#, and had only 32ft\2 area. The latest version is about18# with a sail area of 60ft\2. Using the standard Sunfish mast will reduce that weight by another 10%. Note that most sailors know that weight in the rigging is bad for sailing. The latest design has similar weight distribution to the standard sail system for the Sunfish.
at this point, it isn’t going to win any beauty contests, but I suppose things like that can be fine-tuned with future model revisions. my only other thought – if you want a bit more speed, and something a little sportier than a Sunfish – don’t most people just make the transition to sailing a Laser?
HT: Wavedancer at the Sunfish Forum.