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Alternative Rigs Page 5

Sailors are a conservative lot. The sea takes no prisoners, and most people don’t care to experiment when the cost of failure is potentially great. That’s why both futuristic and some older traditional sailing rigs struggle for acceptance and often receive little more than patronizing smiles from so-called modern mariners.Ironically, the conventional marconi rig that now dominates sailing

Flying Latent Rig

Inventor Bud Short’s Flying Lateen, billed as a “new/old rig,” can be retrofitted to boats 15 feet and up. It has three tubular struts that attach to a boat’s chainplates and stem fitting to create a tripod mast. At the top of the tripod is a T-shaped fitting. Two swivels, one situated below this fitting and another on the deck (situated in line with the top swivel), create a “phantom mast.” Attached to the swivels are two lateen spars, a luff spar and a boom, that support the sail. The sail furls inside the luff spar and can be roller-reefed either manually or under power.

The loose-footed mainsail has four control lines (a mainsheet, an outhaul, a cunningham, and a furling line), which allows for convenient shorthanded sailing. The deck swivel attaches to the boom and can be moved upward and downward on its vertical axis, doubling as the rig’s boomvang (lower the swivel when sailing downwind).

The Flying Lateen cannot be squared-off dead downwind, as the spars foul the support struts, but Short claims that the boom can be eased 70-plus degrees off the boat’s centerline, thus projecting the sail almost square to the wind.

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