2011 Best Boats Most Innovative Rig: Radical Bay 8000

No, the idea of putting a parallel, or biplane, rig on a catamaran is not in itself novel. Those with long memories will recall Crossbow, a 60-foot biplane cat that set a sailing speed record (36 knots) back in 1980. Younger sailors will refer to the ill-fated 120-foot Team Phillips that Pete Goss put together for The Race in 2000. A few adventurous souls have also installed such rigs on smaller
Author:
Updated:
Original:
radical.int1

No, the idea of putting a parallel, or biplane, rig on a catamaran is not in itself novel. Those with long memories will recall Crossbow, a 60-foot biplane cat that set a sailing speed record (36 knots) back in 1980. Younger sailors will refer to the ill-fated 120-foot Team Phillips that Pete Goss put together for The Race in 2000. A few adventurous souls have also installed such rigs on smaller one-off cruising cats over the years.

But no one has ever before put a rig like this on a production boat, which is why our judges thought it important to recognize the new Radical Bay 8000 by Radical Catamarans. Builder Ian Morse took a kit design for home-builders marketed by Australian designer Jeff Schionning and has ramped it up for prime time. Morse has altered Schionning’s original rig, adding wishbone booms and a pair of free-flying jibs that furl on their own luffs. One true innovation is that Morse has reinvented the wishbone rig by adding mast tracks forward to shift the boom up and down and control sail shape, an improvement over the conventional choker line. During our test sail we were impressed by how very versatile the rig can be. A big part of the fun is figuring out what variations work best.

[brightcove videoid="3989549000001" playerid="4343385270001" height="315" width="560"]

The benefits of a biplane cat are manifest. By splitting the sailplan and moving it off the main crossbeam and onto the hulls, rig loads are carried by the boat’s inherently strongest parts. The structure joining the hulls can be made lighter. The rig’s center of effort is both lower and more evenly distributed to windward and leeward across the boat’s horizontal beam. According to Morse, it is impossible to fly a hull. In that the combination of speed and safety is always inherently attractive, we look forward to seeing how this intriguing project develops. For more information, visit sailradical.com

SPECS

LOA: 26ft 4in

LWL: 26ft 4in

Beam: 18ft 10in

Draft: 1ft 0in

Displacement: 2,425lb

Sail Area: 441 sq ft

Related

QuarterdeckBuildingWatercolor

Bitter End Yacht Club 2.0

Amid the widespread devastation caused by hurricanes Irma and Maria when they swept across the northern Caribbean in September 2017, the destruction of the iconic Bitter End Yacht Club on Virgin Gorda in the British Virgin Islands was particularly keenly felt by sailors. The ...read more

TOTW_PromoSite

SAIL's Tip of the Week

Presented by Vetus-Maxwell. Got a tip? Send it to sailmail@sailmagazine.com The back door Satisfied with your headsails? So was I, until one day I took a long, hard look up the luff of my genoa, making sure I inspected the leeward side as well. The sail had plenty of life ...read more

02-Lydia12-01

Losing Sight of Shore

I arrived on the docks of Beaufort, North Carolina, in late April with two backpacks filled with new gear—everything I’d need for my first offshore passage. Though I’d been sailing for 16 years, graduating from dinghies to keelboats to a J/122, I’d spent my time racing and, in ...read more

Squall

The Face of a Squall

They are the worst of times, they are the best of times There’s a fabulous line from an old Paul Simon song that I often sing to myself while sailing: I can gather all the news I need from the weather report. It is part of the magic of sailing, this ancient process by which we ...read more

ntcktshtrstk

Cruising Southern New England Waters

One of the most wonderful childhood vacations I can remember was back in 1971 when my best friend invited me to his family’s summer home on Nantucket Island. For a 10-year-old kid, this was a thrilling trip for many reasons, not the least of which was the fact it was also my ...read more

IMG_8287GR16Mykonos

Cultural Charters: Mykonos

In last month’s column, I covered the amazing mix of cultures that have called the Dalmatian Coast home over the centuries. Croatia cruising is like a smorgasbord of intertwined centuries, and the islands are a movie set. A little farther south, though, you’ve also got Greece, ...read more

cookinglead

Cruising: No Oven? No Worries

Many cruising boats, especially smaller ones, don’t have a conventional oven. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t have all the baked foods you want, from bread to brownies to breakfast rolls to casseroles and even a roast chicken. All it takes is the right bit of gear and a ...read more