Saturday, January 27, 2007

zoot suit riot

One of the biggest winter projects for my Laser 28 syndicate is to develop a set of racing sails using a budget that would make every sailmaker in the free world belly laugh like santa on nitrus. The operation has been given the code name zoot suit riot; and the goal is simple, it is to beat the owner of the most widely respected international sail loft in the world once with my mighty home grown rig.

The match is surely not in my favor. The international loft owner races a 70 foot sled and as far as I know never has lost a bouy race he has participated in. (and I have yet to win one) His boat has a PHRF rating of -70, my rating is 126. I am a dreamer.... but I'm not the only one.

I was lucky enough to find a couple of free ware progams that have been very helpful. Sail cut cad was used to design the sails and open foam was used to test the rig foil shape. I also have built a wind tunnel out of blankets and a box fan. I have designed several main sail shapes before I realized I have to restrict the roach size because of the laser 28 one design rules.

Phrf rules would allow for a larger roach (and bigger roaches are groovy) but the one design police would run me out of town with pitch forks, torches and wooden stakes. I once mentioned I wanted to race JAM, and holy cow, it was like I drank the last beer on earth.

1 comment:

Dana said...

<< (and bigger roaches are groovy) >>

Do they call them roaches because you roll your sails when done?

But in all seriousness (yeah, right), I have a suggestion. A suggestion that might only be applicable in a very narrow wind range, e.g. .5 knot, gusting to .75 knot. Do you think a sail made of dry cleaner bags might work? I guess they wouldn’t hold their shape too well. but imagine a wind seeker made of them.