What are the options when considering a boat that tacks its own sails from one point-of-sail to another. Newer boats are being designed a bit more mast forward, with taller masts and bigger mainsails. These newer designs are predominately main driven and implement a smaller self-tending jib (shown below), which helps with pointing when going upwind. If you can swing it financially, this is a great option for ease of use in single handed sailing.
However, for the rest of us folks who have slightly older boats; we may have or can have, what some like to call a cutter style sloop, or simply a mast with more than one forestay. This style of boat will utilize a smaller a non-overlapping headsail, flown from the Stay-sail stay or the Solent stay. The problem is, unless it is really blowing the boat is mostly under-powered if using this small jib.
Lastly there are the old cat boats which have been around since the 1840’s. This style of boat skips the foresail all together and makes single handing a manageable experience. These boats however lack upwind performance as-well-as sail options for downwind sailing.
Presenting a solution for ALL Marconi (Bermudian) rigged boats with overlapping foresails. Watch this!!!
Although new winch technology offers winches that spin both ways from other manufacturers like Harken and Selden, only Lewmar has designed a switch system that will allow one winch to ease while the other trims…..in sync, all via a single button. Hence self tacking is no longer for boats with small foresails. Yes, this is new technology but I can’t wait to try one of these myself. The future of sailing is about to take the next step.