Self-trimming sail

There has been a lot of interest in the sailboat world in the self-trimming wingsail.  This is a normal wingsail, with or without flaps, and with either of the common methods of tacking--symmetrical aerofoil section, or rotating the wing about the roll axis.

A boom(s) and an adjustable vertical tail aerofoil are added to allow the wing to automatically align itself for zero lift when moored, or for desired power while underway, without the need for a sheet or for worries about reacting quickly to wind shifts.

I am very curious about whether a practical small self-trimming wingsail could be designed a canoe or kayak (without outriggers).

Has anyone tried it?


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RE: Self-trimming sail


This must be a relation to the Walker Wingsail of the 1980's.

I saw that trimaran stooging around on the Chesapeake in those days.  The cost of the thing was known among boatbuilders and was the subject of horror and dismay.  Plus, sailors are an almost freakishly conservative lot so a critical mass of buyers eluded the builders.

Having built a few wing rigs, I can report that they are a nightmare to build and costly even if you do it all yourself.  They are theoretically self-vaning when you're on a mooring or the beach, but in practice a big wind shift will have you going from zero to full power in an instant and you find yourself out of control.  Happened to me several times, and I broke the boat on each occasion.

I love thinking about wing sails, but having lived with a boat rigged that way it's not worth it outside of Portsmouth Speed Week.  

RE: Self-trimming sail

I have no experience with wing sails one way or the other, but... <<< Video


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