Thanks for the welcome.
You may be surprised to hear that I agree with you on aesthetics! La Novia is a beautiful boat and she turned heads wherever she went, but the truth is that the fore boom detracted from her looks rather than enhancing them. She could live with that because her curved wing section mast
drew the eye away from the foreboom. The best looking aerorig I've seen was on a huge dutch yacht where the booms were a tubular lattice space frame instead of a solid grp structure.
I really liked the rig & I'd have no hesitation in going offshore
with one again. Easiest to summarize as Pro's & Con's. Start with the bad news.
No spinnaker so a dead run downwind in light airs is frustrating
. You really want 14 kts true wind
if its right behind you.
Big front end windage
. The mast
is stepped forward of the keel
and there is serious windage in both the mast and the fore boom. As a consequence, the boat is a right handful in the marina on a windy day and her behavior at anchor
You can't heave to
Sail handling can only be done at the mast
and with a 1200 sqf mainsail
you need to be in reasonable physical shape to cope with a problem in heavy weather
Too little to hang on to at the top of the mast
. Sounds trivial, but it's not. I had to go to the top of the mast in 35 knots with a 3 metre breaking sea & sustained the worst bruising of my life.
Main boom touches the water when the boat rolls running goose winged
. Not the end of the world but an irritant if your hull
rolls going downwind. We had a lifting keel
which we would raise downwind & that pretty much solved
. The fore boom just doesn't look right.
. You have to get used to the mast flexing & the end of the boom moving up and down as the boat pitches. Just like monohull
sailors find that creaking noise
as a catamaran
flexes a bit unsettling!
Brilliant shorthanded rig
. Everything is controlled on a single
mainsheet on a small manual winch
. Just effortless. Easy single
Brilliant short tacking out of a narrow channel with the wind on the nose
. Words cannot describe how good she was at this.
. As long as you keep the rig balanced, you cannot crash jibe. When you jibe, the rig settles gently into place without any impact on the main sheet.
Low sheet loads
. The rotational forces of the jib
cancel out an equal force from the main, so the sheet loading is about 1/3 of that on a conventional rig. Big deal if you are cruising on a powerful boat with young children
No standing rigging to fail
. I was insured with a Dutch insurer that covered almost all the bigger aerorigs and my premiums were 20% less than for an equivalent stayed rig. They told me that they had never known an aerorig to be dismasted and that their experience was that the majority of dismastings were caused by failure of the standing rigging
, not by the boat being rolled.
No standing rigging to maintain
Uncluttered decks & useable foredeck
Quick & easy to depower
. Just ease the mainsheet till she spills & voila. No need to reef for trade
wind squalls - just spill.
Virtually zero chafing
. Only the lazy jacks to worry about.
trim & therefore the slot is always perfect.
Beautifully balanced under bare poles
. No storm sail needed.
Happy to answer specific queries in more depth