Originally Posted by geoff326
[. Another big difference is sail shape. A well designed flat top has a much better sail shape part due to the number of battens while a gaff rig looks baggy in comparison. A gaff rig also has a lot more weight aloft than a flat top
No way to sugar coat it a gaff rig is much different than a square top.
[/QUOTE]The other point I forgot to mention was a lot of effort in windsurfing sails
has gone into batten design - in particular that it is tapered correctly.
Although a gaff rig may look similar, can it actually twist off?[/QUOTE]
There are gaff rigs out there which are very aerodynamic & efficent. Having both great sail shape, & not a lot in terms of rigging
, which generates turbulence.
For example PT Dinghy
And if one bothers to search (current designs, & or historic ones), you'll find more which are similar. The catch being, that often, like so many other high performance ideas & designs, they were often killed off by rating rules, yacht clubs, & luddites.
Also, gaffer's needn't have heavy or high windage equipment
at their top ends. It's easy enough to fabricate a whole variety of gaff component designs, using modern composites. Or even aluminum
The bottom line on such, is what you're trying to achieve, & how much you're willing to spend + take the time to test. For such equipment
isn't commonly found in most rigging
catalogs, simply because Bermucan rigs have pretty much ruled sailing for the last century+
So there's not a great demand for such gear
, ergo, little gets spend on it's R&D by mainstream companies.
As to the question about whether or not gaffs can twist off. Yes, most definetly they can (at times too much). And many have "Vang" lines, which run from the upper, aft end of the gaff, down to the deck
, so that the amount of twist can be controlled.
BTW: There's nothing which says that a gaff rig can't have a full battens. I'm uncertain as to where that thought's coming from.
Also, windsurfing isn't the only place where continual work on batten design has been taking place. For example, the IACC boats were experimenting with battens with tapering thickness nomex cores, with tapering thickness, carbon fiber skins on both sides, 25yrs ago. As welll as plenty of other materials & designs, going back a LOT further than that.
Do some reading on; The Little America's Cup, A-Class Catamarans, C-Class Catamarans, etc. The guys who created those boats, through their creativity, & desire for lightness & speed, are the ones responsible for a lot of what is "cutting edge", now. Only they were designing & building the stuff in their shops & garages, 30-40yrs or more, ago.
Ditto on a lot of the small boat, one design fleets. The tech generated by the sailors who work on & build them, is where much of the mainstream go fast gear
comes from (for big boats).