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erice

complicated downwind sails...what the hell is this?

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ok it's a parasailor 

 

The Parasailor and Parasail are patented and trademarked variants of a spinnaker sail for yachts. They were designed especially for cruising couples and short-handed crews, are easy to handle and well tempered.[1] These sails make it possible to use one sail as spinnaker and gennaker while providing improved performance. It can be used between 70 and 180 degrees to the wind. Relieving the pressure on the bow and the stabilising effect of the Parasailor and Parasail improve the effect of the rudder and decrease the rudderthrows needed.[2]

The Parasailor has a double-layer wing which inflates as the wind fills the sail. This acts like a soft batten, holding the sail out and actively re-opening the collapsed leech. The wing generates lift that raises the bow of the boat, and also ensures that there is no loss of propulsion. Thanks to this lift, any yawing by the boat is prevented, making a much more comfortable ride. Even if the Parasailor has collapsed after a sudden strong wind shift, the spreading movement of the wing supports the re-opening once the wind has shifted back again.[3]

 

https://duckduckgo.com/?q=parasailor+spinnaker&atb=v177-1&iax=images&ia=images

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It is a German invention and they actually sell a lot of these in Europe for exorbitant prices. It just shows you what good marketing can do. 

Really its just a little more forgiving than a well designed regular spinnaker, if you don't mess the lines up. But doesn't do any greater wind angles, doesn't lift the bow, still needs a spinnaker pole on a mono-hull to be stable etc.  

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