sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Cruising Photo Gallery Video Gallery
Sail-World.com : FX Rig Designer explains the working of the Fathead Rig + Video
FX Rig Designer explains the working of the Fathead Rig + Video

'The versatile FX Fathead rig allows the boat to be powered up for light winds and flattened out at the top end of the wind range.'    Richard Gladwell    Click Here to view large photo

Mackay Boats John Clinton explains how the Fathead Rig works using video taken from a test sailing session in the FX undertaken on Auckland Harbour on Saturday, when winds gusted to a recorded 31 kts.

Fathead rigs had their origins in 12 and 18ft skiffs, and are so-called because of their large square head in the mainsail.

A slightly flatter gennaker design gives the FX excellent handling downwind when the breeze kicks in. -  Richard Gladwell   Click Here to view large photo
They have been adopted into a variety of classes, right up to America's Cup level, because of their ability to carry extra area high up in the rig to give power in light and moderate winds, but allow the rig to depower itself in the bigger breezes as the head twists open.

Although the concept is simple, the sail and rig engineering is not. Getting the sail design to work with the spar package is critical, as is the need to reduce sheet loads on the crew.

Clinton has 30 years experience in sail and rig design, having worked as a sail designer for North Sails, and also for for Southern Spars, specialising in dinghy and skiff rigs in both situations. He's also one of New Zealand's top technical sailing coaches.

In these long, unedited video sequences, John Clinton talks us through the essentials of the FX rig using video from ahead of the boat, side on and astern.

Then in a long downwind sequence, he explains how high speeds are achieved in skiffs like the FX using a combination of rig and sail shape to make the boat sail faster, while remaining in easy control.

As Clinton notes several times in the video, the FX has a mast that is one metre shorter than the 49er, however modern sail and rig design allow the designers to optimise the boat to a crew weight - which in the case of the FX is around 120kg. (Interestingly the maximum weight for lightweight women rowers is only 58kg each - so the FX is optimised for crew only 2kg above the womens lightweight rowing weight).



The outcomes are that sailors can power up the rig in light winds, start flattening it using a downhaul - in a similar way to that used on windsurfer rigs, and then in the top end of the breeze the main is flattened, or depowered. The power in the jib is controlled by the sheet position - which was the purpose of the weekend's test in these quite extreme conditions. Also a lot of the rig power is adjusted through the range by changing the stay tensions. The uppers are loosened as the wind increases to allow the top of the mast to fall off sideways to depower the head.

The FX mainsail is flattened by pulling on a powerful downhaul attached to the luff of the mainsail which induces mast bend. The jib is flattened by adjustment of the clew position. Stays are loosened in a breeze to allow rig bend and depowering -  Richard Gladwell   Click Here to view large photo
The precision of the rig optimistion for a target crew weight, was demonstrated in on the water testing, involving a heavier, 135kg, very competent male skiff crew against the 123kg female crew in 20kt and 25kt winds, sailing two FX's. The test showed that the heavier male crew had an advantage around the above 25kts and the 123kg crew below 20 kts. 'But the differences around the course between the crews in these wind strengths was small', said Clinton. 'My guess is that the cross-over was around 22kts.'

Capsizing a skiff is covered at the end of the video.

Up and downwind capsize situations are covered, again with unedited video sequences, showing how quickly a skiff like the FX can be righted in about 90 seconds, in 25 knots of wind - even with spinnaker set, and when one or both crew have fallen off the boat.

The keys to the quick recovery are the FX's lower rig height and lighter rig weight, and having the skipper and crew correctly positioned. Swimming the boat into a position where the wind can help with the righting operation does help, but is not essential. Just like the 49er, in extreme situations (not seen in the video) the crew holds onto the centreboard in a move known as the Russian or Eskimo Roll, and effectively becomes a bulb keel, preventing the boat from capsizing a second time.

The handing on of sailing tips involving launching, capsizing, and boat handling from the Mens 49er crews has accelerated the progress of Womens crews transitioning into the FX. In both classes, and indeed all skiff classes, correct and precise technique is vitally important to sailing this type of boat to its best. Taking just 90 seconds to right the FX is testimony to the benefits of this sharing of experience.

The performance of the FX rig is expected to lead to the development of a significant 'Weekend Warrior' market as a variety of skiff sailors take to the class, using second hand 49er hulls and dropping the FX rig onto the boat, for a very modest outlay. Currently Mackay Boats already have orders for five FX rigs from Weekend Warrior crews.

The FX features a rig that is one metre shorter than the Mens 49er, but is optimised for a crew weight of less than 120kg -  Richard Gladwell   Click Here to view large photo

Wide wings make the FX easy to tack and gybe in a big breeze. The crew can run smoothly to the opposite side as the boat turns. -  Richard Gladwell   Click Here to view large photo


by Richard Gladwell

  

Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=96707

9:43 PM Mon 30 Apr 2012GMT


Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.

Click for further information on
2010 Mackay Boats

Related News Stories:

28 Apr 2012  Womens Olympic Skiff proves a point in a 25kt breeze + Video
04 Mar 2012  FX: What the Sailors say about the Olympic Womens Skiff entry + Video
16 Feb 2012  Women's Olympic Skiff Trials: New FX put through paces + Video
27 Oct 2011  Prototype for Olympic Womens Skiff trials has great pedigree
27 Aug 2011  Team Jolly update on the Olympic Womens 470 at Weymouth
15 Jul 2011  470's to have Reunion Dinner at Takapuna - Book Now!
10 Feb 2011  Summer update from Womens 470 Silver medallists - Team Jolly
01 Feb 2011  Brits win NZ 470 Nationals at Takapuna
31 Jan 2011  Images of Takapuna: NZ 470 Nationals - Day 2
22 Dec 2010  49er World Youth Championship for Travemuende






News - USA and the World

Kate Nota and her team onboard the J/111 Odyssey won the Ripple Effect Short Video Contest, which was part of the Ida Lewis Distance Race this summer (August 15). ... [more]  

The largest Laser World Championship in history will be taking place on the south coast of France when 515 sailors, representing 36 different countries, begin racing on October 5 to open the 2014 Audi Laser Masters’ World Championships. The Laser remains one of the best and most popular boats worldwide in which to enjoy the sport of sailing. ... [more]  

After being graced with plenty of late summer sunshine during the opening days of the event, more autumnal weather moved in on the fifth day of the DAVIDOFF Cool Water Sylt PWA Super Grand Slam with grey skies and infrequent showers. Unfortunately though the light winds continued as the sailors endured another lay day. ... [more]  

In a move that is expected to benefit recreational boaters, on Oct. 22 the US Coast Guard will drop the current life jacket type code scheme -- Type I, II, III, IV and V -- that has been used for years to label and differentiate the types of life jackets and their specific use. ... [more]  

Carlo Borlenghi was back on the water for day two at Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez to capture these images. ... [more]  

It has been an interesting journey so far for the Chinese team in the Volvo Ocean Race, Dongfeng Race Team. Approximately 10 months ago this team set out on a mission to select and train Chinese recruits in the hope that they would be ‘race ready’ for the start of leg 1 of the Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race fans can now carry the world’s toughest ocean race in their pocket, thanks to the launch of a new official mobile app. Developed for both iOS and Android systems, the app is available for download from the App Store and Google Play now – and boasts a host of exciting features which will allow users to be closer to the on-water adventure than ever before. ... [more]  

Race teams planning next season’s calendar could do worse than sign up for the Mount Gay Round Barbados Race Series 2015 which runs from 16-24 January. This event, which kick starts the Caribbean race season, was re-launched in 2014 with a new race format and plenty of record-breaking opportunities. It proved such a success that an even bigger entry is expected in 2015. ... [more]  

Photographer Eugenia Bakunova of leading Russian website www.mainsail.ru was on the water at Les Voiles de Saint Tropez on the French Riveria , and provided this gallery of images of the classics and other yachts racing ... [more]  

Sunset+Vine|APP, the Oxford-based unit of the multi-award winning UK independent TV sports production and media company Sunset+Vine, has helped ISAF smash all previous broadcaster records for the recent Santander 2014 ISAF Sailing World Championships. ... [more]  

2014 ISAF Sailing World Cup - Melbourne - Don’t forget to enter the ISAF Sailing World Cup – Melbourne. There are only two days left to take advantage of the discounted entry price offer. ... [more]  

2014 12 Metre North American Championships - Two days of a northerly (first strong, then light) and one day of a building southwesterly put six 12 Metre yachts to the test at their North American Championships, which were held off Newport, R.I. over September 26-28. Gunther Buerman’s (Newport, R.I.) KZ-3 and Dennis Williams’ (Hobe Sound, Fla.) Victory ’83 defended their titles ... [more]  

The waiting game continued on day four of the DAVIDOFF Cool Water Sylt PWA Super Grand Slam as the light winds continued. Over the course of the day a few sailors took the opportunity to make the most of the small waves on offer, either surfing or SUPping. After spending the day on hold the sailors were released at 4:30pm. ... [more]  

After Gmunden, Austria, in 2011 and Cala de' Medici, Italy, in 2012 and after a pained second place, same points with the Portogues 'Credite Egs' in Portosin, Spain, last year, the Italian crew coming from Puglia 'Euz II Monella Vagabonda', with Sandro Montefusco at the helm and his brother Paolo as a tactician, confirms for the third time the Platu 25 World Championship title. ... [more]  

Carlo Borlenghi was on deck for the first day of competition at Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez to capture these images. ... [more]  

Photographer Ingrid Abery was on site for day one of racing at the 2014 Les Voiles de Saint Tropez to capture these images. ... [more]  

The final day of the 2014 U.S. Team Racing Championship ended up being a half day of sailing due to a complete shutdown of the wind. However, the fleet completed enough races to count Gold Round Robin 3 and crown Ladies and Gentlemen as the back-to-back Team Racing Champions. ... [more]  

Michigan, the Great Lakes State, was a fitting location as The National Sailing Hall of Fame (NSHOF) gathered for the fourth time in the organization’s history to fulfill its mission to recognize Americans who have made outstanding contributions to the sport of sailing. ... [more]  

The International Sailing Federation (ISAF) has published guidelines for candidates bidding to host the 2016 ISAF Youth Match Racing World Championship. Bids to host the 2016 ISAF Youth Match Racing Worlds must be received by Friday 24 October 2014. ... [more]  

The onboard medic-sailors competing in the upcoming Volvo Ocean Race have completed their last medical training. More than a basic first aid refresher course, the mandatory medical training each Volvo Ocean Race team had to carry out in the last few months and days are key to survival while at sea. ... [more]  

Erik Simonson was on the water at 2014 Melges 20 Pacific Coast Championship to capture these images. ... [more]  

2014 J/105 North American Championship - Light air ruled the J/105 North American Championship hosted by Royal Canadian Yacht Club in Toronto, Ontario, Canada—and so did Rod Wilmer and Terry McLaughlin on Mandate. ... [more]  

The Extreme Sailing Series event in Istanbul seems to have only just finished, but already the containers are in the Ville de Nice set to gear up for this weeks penultimate regatta. Peter Burling and Blair Tuke are back onboard this week, fresh from their 49er World Championship win and looking to make it two wins from two events for Emirates Team New Zealand on the ?Extreme Sailing Series ... [more]  

2014 Buddy Melges Challenge - In Sunday’s final matches in the Buddy Melges Challenge, Stephanie Roble and Lotte Meldgaard Pedersen showed the crowds on the bluffs of Lake Michigan how top class match racing should be sailed. It took five absolutely thrilling matches for the Danish crew to secure their first WIM Series event victory since last summer’s Danish Open. ... [more]  

America's Cup: Oracle Team USA's AC72 takes to the streets by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.com/nz
Oracle Team USA's winning AC72 takes to the streets of San Francisco, one year on from the Team's successful Defence of the America's Cup. This week the AC72 catamaran Oracle Team USA raced to victory is going to be a special guest at Oracle OpenWorld 2014 in San Francisco. ... [more]  

Matches between the world’s top two match racing skippers are always aggressive affairs on the Alpari World Match Racing Tour (AWMRT). In the pre-start of the first match, Canfield stuck two penalties on Williams, leaving the British boat playing catch-up. ... [more]  

Pantaenius, the world’s leading specialist yacht insurance company, has been at the forefront of yacht insurance for more than 40 years, earning a reputation for transparency and commitment to customer service that provides round-the-clock international support and reliable, speedy claims settlement. ... [more]  

What a great day for kiting at Kite Foil Gold Cup Australia 2014! 10-15 knot North Easterly and slight seas. Kites zooming around like supersonic mosquitoes but mosquitoes buzz whereas foiling kites are completely silent! ... [more]  

At the time that we are writing this, it is almost exactly a week since the first race took place at Wakatere Boating Club in New Zealand, followed by hundreds of races across the globe that we have been told attracted record numbers of sailors to your clubs ... [more]  

2014 U.S. Team Racing Championship - It was a picturesque day on Marblehead Harbor with plenty of sunshine for the second day of the U.S. Team Racing Championship. Once again, a lack of consistent breeze made for a challenging day for the Race Committee, umpires and competitors. Nevertheless, PRO Susie Schneider and her team were able to complete Round Robin One ... [more]  

2014 Buddy Melges Challenge - Saturday’s racing in the Buddy Melges Challenge on Lake Michigan, USA, saw more breeze than ever before during the week. Stephanie Roble used her local knowledge to show a clean sheet for the day, going in to Sunday’s conclusion with a one – zero lead over Lotte Meldgaard Pedersen in the final, sailed as a best of five match series. ... [more]  

2014 U.S. Adult Sailing Championship - A balanced field and limited racing usually leads to close races and a crowded leaderboard. This was the situation on Eagle Mountain Lake for the last day at the U.S. Adult Championship, hosted by Fort Worth Boat Club. ... [more]  

2014 J/105 North American Championship - Five races are now in the books, and just three points separate the top three teams at the J/105 North American Championship hosted by Royal Canadian Yacht Club in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. ... [more]  

Images from Cannes: Régates Royales – Trophée Panerai
Régates Royales – Trophée Panerai: Cannes at its best
Dutch Match Cup - Gilmour keeps clean sheet in Lelystad
Dutch Match Cup - GAC Pindar through to fifth consecutive semi-final
Hobie 16 Open North Americans and 2015 Pan Am Games qualifier overall
Volvo Ocean Race - Frostad on Boat Design and final changes (Part II) *Feature
Volvo Ocean Race 10 days to go – Frostad on cultural change (Part I) *Feature
2014-15 Volvo Ocean Race on NBC Sports Network in the U.S.
2014 J/24 World Championship - Will Welles’ Cougar clinches
2014 Buddy Melges Challenge - Meldgaard and Le Berre ready for semis
2014 U.S. Adult Sailing Championship - Day 3
2014 U.S. Team Racing Championship - Day 1 + Video
America's Cup: Then and now - Coutts on why Oracle won, and the Venue
Byte CII World Sailing Championship comes to Royal Varuna, Thailand
Dutch Match Cup: Canfield wins Qualifying, six set for Quarters battle
12 Metre North Americans - A blast from the America’s Cup past
2015 ISAF Sailing World Cup qualification system published
Volvo Ocean Race: Mapfre named as Spanish team sponsor + Video
Extreme Sailing Series returns to Nice for the penultimate Act of 2014
ISAF invites bids for 2016 Women's Match Racing World Championship
2014 ISAF Sailing World Cup, Melbourne - Teaming up   
Mascalzone Latino Jr. named 2014 Melges 20 European Ranking Champion   
2014 Buddy Melges Challenge - Le Berre keeps winning in Sheboygan   
Hobie 16 Open North American Champ and Pan Am Games Qualifier - Day 4   
2014 U.S. Adult Sailing Championship - Day 2   
J/105 North Americans - Wilmer and McLaughlin master light conditions   
J/24 World Championship - Will Welles hangs on going into last day   
Open 2.4mR World Championship on the horizon   
Bart's Bash - Top photographers gain special entry   
Platu 25 Worlds - EUZ II Monella Vagabonda is still leading in France   
St. Barth Cata Cup - Olympic duel on the island   
Dutch Match Cup - High winds and big wipeouts in Lelystad   
Route du Rhum - Yann Guichard to sail Spindrift 2 solo   
Mirabaud Yacht Racing Image - Best sailing photo of the year sought   
Volvo Ocean Race - Yann Riou, getting you up close and personal   
Marseille One Design concludes GC32 racing season + Video   
World Yacht Racing Forum - Seventh edition to take place in Barcelona   
Record number of entries for the Sailing Champions League   
Platu 25 World Championship - Euz II Monella Vagabonda still leading   
Rolex Middle Sea Race Record - A possibility for Esimit Europa 2   


For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News







Sail-World.com  


















Switch Default Region to:

Social Media

Asia

Australia

Canada

Europe

New Zealand

United Kingdom


http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/Twitter_logo_small.png http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/FaceBook-icon.png  http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/RSS-Icon.png

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World

 

Contact

Commercial

News

Search

Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text

Feedback

Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery

 

Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery

Policies

 

 

 

Privacy Policy

 

 


Cookie Policy

 

 



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph contact the photographer directly.
XLXL NEW US
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT