Ninja Pro sailing outrigger

21 January 2010     Editor    0 Comments.

This sporty little multihull hails from Cape Town, the home of designer Gerhard Schein and G-Force dinghies. It’s called a “tacking proa”, though we purists would say “outrigger”. It has all the mod-cons like a square top main and a carbon fiber bow sprit for the screacher, and it looks like a great ride. Though the actual boat doesn’t have it, the 3D model on the G-Force site shows a Bruce foil in the ama.

Edmond Bruce was a brilliant sailing theorist and experimenter who was perhaps the brightest star of the Amateur Yacht Research Society (AYRS) in it’s 60’s and 70’s heyday. He had a gift for experiments - building wind tunnels out of bailing wire and desk fans, and tank testing his ideas for a miniscule fraction of the cost of a typical university. He published his results in the famous AYRS newsletter, a peculiarly British institution that printed all manner of demented English sailing fantasies as well as serious research into sailing, and since absolutely no one else was interested in the topic, they had the field mostly to themselves.

Bruce first posited the idea of using angled hydrofoils for balancing heeling force back in 1965, and it is an idea that is ever so slowly catching on. Now ocean racing trimarans sport angled boards in the amas, and so do the latest A Cats. I’m sure Edmond Bruce would be very pleased. A Bruce foiled outrigger is unique because the foil pushes up on one tack, and pulls down on the other.