Extreme Storm Sail

I have built an “extreme” storm sail. The objective was to get as much sail area as possible into the 12" height limit. The rationale behind building such a large storm sail, is that fat hulls like mine need a lot of sail, so a big storm sail is also needed.

The sail is a McCormack style, with a height of 10.5 inches, a foot of 19 inches, and a ridiculously large roach. The roach is supported by plastic battens, which essentially make it look a little like a gaff rig. It has an elliptical shape. Total sail area is 137 sq in. The big question was “will this sail actually work at all”. When sailing, it looks like the sail was put on wrong.

The local pond has thawed this week, so I attached it to the 3-Liter Torpedo and tried it out. The wind was light, however the boat actually sailed nicely, and was able to tack.

Do you have a picture? I am anticipating eactly the same problem with the Phin The tp rig as drawn is about 280 sq inches on a mast that is 27 inches above the deck. I think she’ll need all that to drive her. Lots of wetted area and a displacement of over 2 pounds. When I need to chnage down to only a 12 inch rig, it’s going to need to be very broad to get enough area.


I have attached a picture for your amusement. Obviously, the boom is too long for the sail and needs to be trimmed. The hull has the mast step too far forward, which also promotes a lot of boom protrusion (and possible dragging in the water). So I will need to move the mast step aft about an inch, and also the position of the pivot on the sail assembly. But the very low aspect ratio concept apparently works. Whether it is faster to windward than a more high-aspect rig of the same height, remains to be seen. But it has got to be faster downwind.


I would have thought that 137 ins^2 would be far too much area for a Storm Rig. I was sailing last weekend with 90 ins^2 McCormack sail - 100 mm “Jib” foot, 200 mm Main foot and 300mm above the box . The club anemometer said average 20 mph gusting to 36mph. Whilst the boat speed may have been there and it never actually got flattened, tacking was another matter altogether - almost impossible. If you cannot turn you’ll never keep up let alone win.

I haven’t tried it yet, but I’m thinking 90 to 100 ins^2 for a windy day and something like 70 ins^2 for a proper storm rig.

The trouble is, with the 2 Rig rule which 2 sails do you chose ?



Isn’t it just delightful, if simply frightful, that the Footy designer must fight to overcome the limitations of ONLY two rigs and ONLY 4AA batteries.
If the sky is to be the limit, then anything goes and only money-money-money will enable anybody to win.

I thought it was the shape, and the numbers that made the vessel go.
I could build one of my boats in all-glass, and one in all-carbon. both will go the same, but one just costs more.

It seems to me not the trouble, but the point of the rule.

You are forced to make sane (non-extreme or practical) choices in both storm and large rig.