Skip to main content

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

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

DUFOUR_470.JM-LIOT-15

Boat Review: Dufour 470

Annapolis may be the sailing capital of America, but if you looked around the United States Sailboat Show last fall, you would have no choice but to conclude most sailboats are now built in Europe. The Dufour 470 is a good example of a modern French performance cruiser. DESIGN & ...read more

01-LEAD-IMG_6563

Close Encounters: Captain Sarah Schelbert

I met Captain Sarah Schelbert back in 2019 while on the boat trip from hell aboard a seaworthy but poorly run Triton 28 in the western Caribbean. I was trying to help the owner sail his boat back to Florida from the Rio Dulce, in Guatemala. Outbound from the river basin, we had ...read more

02-Voice-of-the-Oceans---sailboat-Kat-11

Raising Their Voices

Many of us who are cruising sailors have been sailing mid-ocean or walking along a perfect beach in the middle of seemingly nowhere, only to be appalled at the amount of plastic trash we find. Few of us, however, have taken that disheartening reality and turned it into a ...read more

IC37racingonSunday-Photo-by-Paul-Todd

IC37 North American Championship

This past weekend saw 20 IC37s off Newport, Rhode Island engage in fast and furious one-design racing with the win going to Peter McClennen’s Gamecock. “It’s huge,” said McClennen of the win. “I think of the one-designs of this club going back to the New York 30 [built in ...read more

01-LEAD-IMG_2056

South Pacific Storm Prep

Having set ourselves the task of transforming our recently purchased Open 66 ex-Vendée Globe racer, NV, into a performance family cruiser, my partner, Timo, and I found ourselves (extremely) high and dry as cyclone season approached. The favorite cyclone strategy in Fiji is to ...read more

00-Alexe-1---GUaGKDY4-single-boat-sailing-away-from-skyline,-Hill-Holiday

Cruising: Find Your Own Adventure

Whether they’re at the end of their collegiate career or after aging out of a summer sailing program, a lot of young sailors have a hard time finding a way to continue sailing as adults. Some of the barriers to sailing, including location, finances and time, can be hard to ...read more

00LEAD-IMG_2183

Heavy Hitters on Heavy Weather

“What’s the joke about heavy weather? You know it when you see it.” Figure 8 singlehander Randall Reeves drew laughs from the Cruising Club of America (CCA) sailors attending the forum “Heavy Weather Sailing: Bluewater Perspectives” as part of the CCA’s centennial celebration in ...read more

Nominne-Promo-2048x1149

Best Boat Nominees 2023

The more things change, the more they seem to stay the same. Some of it is timing. Some of it is just the way of the world. Either way, it can be fascinating to see the evolution of the boatbuilding industry over the years, as has been evident in SAIL magazine’s annual Best Boats ...read more