There were some pretty interesting ideas to see on our Dinghy Show Stand this year. Did you go?? No worries if you didn’t as we’ll do a series of news items to tell all.
Probably the most easy to miss, because the action was way above us in the Hall, were the two mainsails. Both Goacher and P&B mains were sporting roughly double the number of seams from the hounds upward. You might miss it on the Goacher main above (white stitching), but P&B kindly did the stitching in black. Here it is….
“Now what’s the idea of that?”, I hear you cry!! Well, I asked Class Legend, Steve Goacher. He described it as the threepenny bit problem. Sailcloth is flat of course, and it’s only the seams that bring shape – like the corners on the coin. (think of the old threepenny bit). So the idea is that if you have more seams, especially up top where the sail tends to flatten, you might induce more shape. As Steve rushed to point out, there would be a practical limit to the number of seams – weight, labour cost etc. Plus each time you put a seam in you induce a tiny error and the errors add up!
I know Charles Apthorp has been experimenting with this idea during his winter training at Datchet – and likes the result.
I took a moment to ask Richard Lovering from Hydes about it, and he seemed non-plussed! Then he went and won all five races against staggering competition at the Datchet Open on his new design!!