Parasol Rig

Anyone remember those '20s photos of experimental boats with parasol rigs? Looked like an umbrella stepped in the middle of the boat.

They did work - kind of!

With a riglike that on a Footy, you could get rid of a lot of ballast = weight. Start planing?

Any thoughts?

Do you mean something like this?

Perhaps these fellows will provide some further inspiration.

Interesting. I was thinking of a 20s oicture of a launch hull with a circular horizontal sail mounted on a mast in the middle which exctly resembled a parasol - ribs and all.

I can’t find a piccture but I remember that there was a bow wave and no tow rope evident.


This kind of rig might go with a 6" of water Footy

I’ve been giving some serious thought (as serious as playing with toy boats can be, anyway) to adding a kite sail to the top of my rig. Something to keep me busy at the workbench this winter :slight_smile:

Has anyone had any experience with such things?

Bill H

I think that this is the picture Argus is thinking of. It actually comes from 1895. I found it in Marchaj’s ’Aero-hydrodynamics of sailing’ a book which is the answer to most things.
It is suggested that the idea of a ’non capsizable’ rig came from Polynesian craft. There is a reference to a 1959 experiment with this rig (?) on a 15’ Snipe hull that lasted until the rig blew off and flew away.
I can remember a article on an American dinghy in the ’70s with a large Delta kite on a short mast, which seems a better idea (but less attractive) not sure how well it worked.
The Speed Sailors have gone through a lot of wild ’lifting’ rigs, the best is the simple Windsurfer, which can lift most of it’s weight out of the water and fly off at mind numbing speeds. Ironically this lifting ability was shared by the earliest rigs - the square sails which were ‘kited’ in order to reduce heeling. Strange how things go round in circles?

Thank you Ian, that is indeed the picture I was thinking of. I should have looked in Marchaj!

May be the largest Parasol rig was the 4000 sq ft rig on Jabba the Hutt’s sail barge.
Mr Hutt may not be an ideal companion for an afternoons sailing, but has good taste in aerodynamics.