Sails for Freestanding Rigs

Steve, a local sailmaker proposed an intriguing idea for improving sail efficiency on our Freedom cat ketch. He thought that a sleeve that would imitate the effect of the old 2-ply sails would be extremely effective. He would make it out of some light cloth and it would stretch back about 2 feet back thus eliminating the inefficiency created by our telephone pole-style mast. Do you think this might be an easy way to pick up some speed? TIA for any input. Regards, Dave

Hi Dave: Wraparound leading edges have been used at least since the 1960s (on multihulls). If you get all the issues worked out, it will yield a much better lift-to-drag ratio. However, my understanding is that they make raising and lowering the sail more difficult. For firsthand data on this try talking with Gary Hoyt and Newport R and D in Newport, Rhode Island. Gary developed the original Freedom concept and if anyone has a handle on this issue, he will. Good Luck.

Posted by Steve Dashew  (November 30, 1999)

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