Sailing downwind isn't difficult to do, but it is difficult to do well. The closer you sail to dead downwind, the less your sails are acting like a foil, and the more they are simply creating drag. Maximizing sail area downwind is important, sails generally must be eased to create deep belly in the sails and more power.
Sailors typically choose to sail either with a spinnaker or goose winged (with the main and the head sail out either side of the vessel). A spinnaker can be difficult to control especially when shorthanded because it requires constant trimming, it’s not possible to just set and forget. Often spinnaker sailing requires multiple crew members.
Sailing goose-winged is a solution but the more you let your sails out – the more they can chafe against the spreaders. There’s that horrible snap every time the headsail collapses and fills, guaranteed to deliver complaints from down below and the ever present threat of accidentally gybing. With both of these options, the angle on which you can steer either to port or starboard is fairly narrow. A constant focus on steering is necessary or the boat can gybe unintentionally. Autopilots generally do not adapt to downwind conditions easily or quickly enough making it necessary to have a person helming.
Sailchutes sail downwind very effectively because they are perpendicular to the wind and have a lot of belly. In fact when sailing in downwind conditions normal sails are shaped more like chutes than the aerofoils, so Sailchutes Australia have expanded on that concept and designed the perfect downwind sail.
Sailchutes Australia has produced the first ever Sailchute specifically designed for Sailing Vessels. Perfect for dead downwind conditions the Sailchute is connected to the vessel via a tack line and a halyard, easy to hoist and drop and ideal for a shorthanded crew.
The Sailchute rolls gently from side to side following the breeze while the motion on board is steady.
Rather than the wind pushing the boat along, the Sailchute pulls the boat lifting the bow and thereby ensuring smooth sailing.
With the Sailchute pulling the boat on a steady downwind course, there is no need for other sails and the fear of accidentally gybing is removed.
The Sailchute can be easily deployed and dropped by one to two people and as rudder movement is minimal the Autopilot can comfortably do its job.
Sailchutes are available in varying sizes for boats of all lengths, the range comes in 25ft – 28ft – 30ft – 32ft – 34ft – 36ft – 38ft options. Custom Sailchutes can be made to order.
The Sailchute provides stability and ease of mind for downwind sailing. Reports of parachutes being used in this capacity have told of chutes being hoisted and left up for 10 or more days.
Previously unavailable anywhere in the world, Sailchutes are different in that they are produced specifically for Sailing Vessels by Australia’s premier Parasail production company in consultation with experienced local and international sailors. The Sailchute is a product produced by sailors for sailors.
Sailchutes are packed in a tidy chute bag, specifically designed for the purpose. The size of the chute when packed is no more than a small spinnaker and can be stowed easily.
Sailchutes are being launched at Sanctuary Cove Boat Show this May. Visit us on Stand H23.
Check our website www.sailchutes.com
For pre show information and orders contact
Anne Stockdale, Sales & Marketing Manager, Sailchutes Australia
+61 2 9977 4000 Email: info(at)sailchutes.com