The first thing that you will notice when sailing a wing is that there is no sail luffing…so to trim the sail properly you need both a masthead fly and telltails. When tacking there is no sail fluttering, you need to keep your eyes on the fly and tails.
A wing sail will point closer to the wind, but the VMG toward the next mark may be better a few degrees more off the wind. The wing generates lift even on the downwind legs, so keep adjusting and watch for the speed changes.
The key to single handed wing sailing is the tacking... we have incorporated an Auto Tacking System to simplify the proceedure... which you will appreciate unless you already have an extra arm...
The X-Wingsails are designed for owners of Lasers, Sunfish, Force Fives and Hobie Bravos and other small sailboats using unstayed masts or self-supporting masts like smaller multi hulls... The near term development will be limited to a maximum of 15’ high wing segments with a single wing cord of 4’. Already developed are wings up to 14' high wings with a 42" cord, or a 80 square foot sail area wing system. This could be increased to about 100 square feet with the 14' high wing segment 4' wide.
The wing prototypes have been capsized many times (this shows that I am not a good small boat sailor), and in one incident a gust of wind lifted the entire wing and mast up and out of the mast sleeve and into the water, it was then towed 1/2 mile back to the dock dragging in the water, it was restepped at the shore, sailed again, with no damage ... . .
On version X7 we had incorporated Clysar vs the Mylar used on previous versions,, and the X6 version was rebuilt using the heat shrink material. The Heat Shrink materialr eliminates the wrinkles prevelant with the Mylar. The remaining versions have all been built and tested with heat shrink wing covering material.
An easy mast-stepping system has been tested and designs are available, and design help is available for a trailer carried wing system.
This new wing construction technology is a low cost configuration resulting in a light weight that is readily stepped. The latest versions of the wing "foil" or shape were developed using an aircraft computer design program using NACA rib designs and a virtual wind tunnel to test for Lift and determine the center of pressure.
Ther are two construction techniques...
1) The laminated ribs, and the aluminum foamed leading edge are the key to a low cost and light weight with wing strength. Each wing foil section weights about 9 pounds, A partial mast configuration will cut the 7 pound mast weight weight by an additional 15%. We can provide DIY plans, wing kits, parts and finished wing systems both standard and custom.
2) Using Carbon Fiber you can also build a real lightweight wing system (under 15# for a 75 Ft\2 wing) using a similar method to create the "nose" portion of the foils. The all Carbon Fiber design requires some knowledge of vacuum bagging construction techniques. See the photograph in the slideshow showing the Carbon Fiber Nose assembly.
Help is available for how to rig your trailer for transporting the wings.
With the advent of the new America’s Cup Sailboats… the Wing Design is in the forefront of the sailing industry. The intent of X-Wing Sails is to provide a low cost, lightweight wing system with simple AutoTack controls, and ease of transport and handling for the small boat owner… to use and learn how to handle the new sailing technology.
The Dual-wing Wingsail systems, with the controlled slot between them are more efficient than regular sails, especially as the wind strength increases. The slot provides a significant increase in lift to the wing as the air is forced through the slot and creates a lower pressure (lift) just behind the leading edge of the rear wing.
The simple Auto Tack one line control allow the slot to be adjusted for different points of sailing and on both tacks. The "main" sheet is similar to the standard sailboat mainsheet, it attaches to the middle of the lower control arm.
In a recent small boat regattas, after the races were completed several young Opti sailors jumped into a Laser with a wing installed and had fun sailing it around...with everyone commenting that it was easy to sail...