Pittman Innovation: UK Sailmakers Power Sail

Publish date:
Social count:

Until recently the only solar sails were those designed for catching the solar wind aboard spacecraft, but not anymore, thanks to UK Sailmakers France and SolarCloth System’s Power Sails. The key here is a set of lightweight, non-load-bearing ultra-thin solar panels—typically 65 microns thick—which are laminated, glued, stitched or even zipped to a boat’s mainsail. Proof of concept was aboard an Open 50 in the 3,500-mile Route de Rhum transatlantic race in November 2014. After that came its use aboard the Arcona 380Z (Z for Zero emissions) a production boat with a UK Sweden tape-drive mainsail including 75ft² of photovoltaic film on each side. On this side of the pond, Power Sails have established a bridgehead as part of the energy package on the new J/88 Oceanvolt, which also includes a hydro-generator to help power its electric saildrive. Because the materials work well on a variety of fabrics, expect to see it on sailpacks, dodgers, biminis and awnings as well. On the aforementioned Open 50, for example, the arrays could be unzipped and attached to the sail cover in port.

Price upon request. SolarClothSystem/UK Sailmakers, solarclothsystem.com


Landing Page Lead

The Volvo Returns to the Southern Ocean

Since the Volvo Ocean Race’s inception, the Southern Ocean has made it what it is. And no part of the race says “Southern Ocean” like Leg 7 from Auckland, New Zealand, to Itajaí, Brazil. The 7,600-mile leg, which starts this Sunday, is not only the longest of the event, but far ...read more


SAIL's Tip of the Week

Presented by Vetus-Maxwell.Got a tip? Send it to sailmail@sailmagazine.comTeak deck paradise  I had a call recently from the man who replaced the deck on my Mason 44 five years ago. He was worried about the way people are wrecking their teak decks trying to get the green off. ...read more


Gear: ATN Multi Awning

THROW SOME SHADEAmong the many virtues of cruising cats is the large expanse of netting between their bows, which is the ideal place to hang out with a cold one after a hard day’s sailing and let the breeze blow your worries away. Only trouble is it can get a bit hot up there ...read more


How to Sail the Med

“After spending so many years sailing the Caribbean, I was frankly astounded at how much more I enjoy the Mediterranean,” says Scott Farquharson of charter brokers Proteus Yacht Charters. “The culture, the history, the food, the weather, friendly people, crystal-clear water—there ...read more


Know-How: Rigging Emergency Rudders

We were 1,100 miles from the nearest land when we received a text message on our Iridium GO: “Rudder gone. Water in bilge. Worried pumps can’t keep up. Please call!”We had been in contact with the owners of Rosinante, a 38ft Island Packet, since they had first announced over the ...read more


Experience: Hard Aground

This is a story of how mistakes are made and judgment is dulled to the point of catastrophe. It is also about how prudent planning, good equipment and a bit of luck can bring you back from the brink.We departed Norfolk, Virginia, on December 15 bound for Jacksonville, Florida, ...read more


Vestas Discusses Fatal Collision, Recovery

Vestas 11th Hour Racing co-captains Mark Towill and Charlie Enright discuss the collision near the end of Leg 4 as well as the efforts the team has made to get back into racing trimJust over a month after 11th Hour Racing’s fatal collision with a commercial fishing vessel shortly ...read more