The boys in the lab have been working overtime on a new invention, and I wanted to give you a sneak peak. Internally we call it the spinnaclaw, however marketing is still testing the final brand name with focus groups.
As the name implies, it is a cross between a crab claw sail and a spinnaker, sort of a Scandinavian/Polynesian hybrid. The idea is to mount the crab claw boom to a spinnaker pole, and shunt the sail like a big asymmetrical chute! The reasons you would do that:
- Quicker shunts. The radial motion of the spinnaker pole combined with the fact that it travels only half as far as the traditional rig fore and aft should make for snappier shunts.
- Better helm balance off wind: traditional crab claws develop powerful weather helm on off wind courses, the result of all that sail hanging off the leeward side. The Spinnaclaw shifts approx. 20% of the sail area to windward as it bears off, thus reducing weather helm.
- Quickly adjustable CE. The pole can easily be shifted fore and aft while under sail, fine tuning the sail’s center of effort and helm balance for all courses. A nice feature for a boat that steers by weight shift and the occasional steering oar.