Advanced Wing Systems announce the first wing sail powered production sports yacht.
Advanced Wing Systems announce the first wing sail powered production sports yacht Advanced Wing Systems is introducing the latest technology in wing design, the semi rigid wing or SRW, by coupling it with a boat designed to get the most from the power of the wing. The SRW uses a patented technology that creates a semi rigid aerofoil structure but is still capable of being easily hoisted, reefed and stowed.
The SRW is a breakthrough in practicality, usability and reliability of wing sails. It’s simple, lightweight design means that the SRW can be applied to a wide range of sailing yachts. To demonstrate the flexibility and capability of the SRW, Advanced Wing Systems have worked with Nicolas Goldenberg of G Yacht Design to build a light, fast user friendly and enjoyable, 8 m sports boat. Nicolas said ¨The K8 is unlike any other sports boat on the market, simply because all other boats have been designed for “conventional rigs”. The design brief from Advanced Wing Systems was to create an exciting sports boat that is easy to sail with a small crew. The K8 has modern, powerful lines to take advantage of the extra power of the wing. The wide chines provide narrow heels waterlines and high stability allow the boat to be sailed powered up with 3-5 crew.
The trend is away from sports boats which require a crew of 6, super athletic crew and the SRW makes this easier to achieve.” The K8 will be a one design class but also capable of being raced under club handicaps and IRC. Greg Johnston of Advanced Wing Systems says “The K8 is simple to sail, but it has a number of differences which will change race tactics. For example, the SRW does not luff and allows the skipper to sail to heights that are simply not achievable with conventional sails. This is going to make for some very interesting start manoeuvres.” The K8 has been optimised for the SRW but it is easy to see that this wing technology is readily applicable to many types of yachts. And the benefits are not only in the performance. Bret Perry from Katabatic Performance Sailing in Valencia, Spain, has been testing the SRW for well over a year now and has sailed the new K8 more than anyone. “The SRW is a delight to handle. It is easy to hoist and stow and it doesn’t flap or flog like a normal sail. When the wing is in “neutral” it is very flat and simply sits behind the mast. The lack of flapping and flogging makes the SRW safer to hoist and the sail will last much longer. Once you are sailing it becomes apparent how stable and well behaved the SRW is. And on the K8 this means a boat that is well behaved. It is easily sailed with four people and very quickly reaches planning on all points of sailing. There are technical differences in the SRW which will challenge well established notions of sail trim, but this makes the boat new and exciting.”
The K8 is eglass/foam construction with the strategic use of carbon fibre to ensure a stiff, lightweight boat. The bulb keel can be retracted to allow the boat to be towed on trailer. The deck layout is simple and clean. All the wing controls come from a central cockpit pod and are within easy reach. The boat is designed to allow the skipper to concentrate on steering. The twin rudders ensure efficient, effortless steering at optimal heel. The K8 will come standard with a mast head spinnaker and a self-tacking headsail. The conventional sails on the boat have been optimised to work with the wing giving impressive upwind and downwind performance.