Radical new mast and jib on 18ft Skiff
This isn't a Merlin, or a design that we could ever hope to use...but WOW! This news has arrived at just the right time - Winter - perfect for forum members to argue about whether this design will destroy the other skiffs, or how it couldn't possibly work!
Its a rework of what has been tried in the past. However, technology moves on and the science now means that we have the capability without the weight gain. One surprise is the dia of the carbon tube on the triangulation/bearer. Bearing in mind where it is on the sail profile, I would have thought Chris would have gone with an aerofoil and less vertical dia. or just less dia and slightly heavier tube. It will be interesting to see if they get any takers and whether they have got the stiffness of the mast right. That part is incredibly difficult as the rotation will define the stiffness of the mast and ultimately the gust response to drag coefficent. Used to be the big issue in Olympic Tornados and still is in most other cat classes where the sailmaker plan is open to evolution. Happy days for CST. Unfortunately the 75 mm rule for the Merlin, limits the benefit of applying to the Merlin. However, it has been tried on more than one occasion with Glenn being the last person to brave it.
Mark i think you will find its 130mm for us, so could in effect add a significant amount of unmeasured sail plan area over the length of the mast.
Interesting deja-vu. Go back to Jack Holt's original merlins of 1945 and you'll find a mast of this sort of cross section, made of wood of course, fore-aft measurement is about four inches so that will just fit through the rquired 5" diam circle, and it rotates too. It certainly does make some difference when it feathers into the wind properly - occasionally it needs a prompt push on the boom to flick it round but you notice an sudden improvement. Later on booms were also made deep to get some extra area too. It seems as if diamonds are also back in favour!