I only stuck my oar into this discussion to suggest there is another way to sail downwind, than a couple of jibs or main boomed out. I'm not claiming to have 'invented' anything; since it has been pointed out that roller furling
yards are 'old news.' I knew this and have examined and sailed a few, including variations, like square sails
which pull out like drapes. Most are custom fabricated and expensive, so I devised a method whereby just about anyone with half decent boating
skills could make a roller furling
square sail system, then hoist it up a fore mast
, be it sloop
or schooner, and wend their way downwind practically blindfolded.
It is not the sort of thing one would install on a 24' sloop
, but for a robust cruising boat it is a serious option—especially compared to a large spinnaker
. The windage and weight is negligible on such a vessel, against the benefits when sailing down wind.
Unfortunately I have been personally stymied for the moment from buying
the boat I want, (by the economic downturn), but when I sort it out I shall install two yards on the foremast, flying a course and topsail, both of which will be furled, reefed and braced from the cockpit
When this is done and tested at sea I will let everyone into the process.