Features December 2007 Issue

Riding Sails to Tame Those Anchor-Dancing Boats

The tri-panel Banner Bay FinDelta challenges traditional anchor-riding sails’ design and materials.

Practical Sailor recently evaluated a radically new designed riding sail, the FinDelta Anchoring Sail from Banner Bay Marine, which uses three panels instead of the traditional single panel. According to Banner Bay, as the boat tries to swing, the sail’s forward fin generates a thrust vector to one side only, gently realigning the boat. By comparison, a traditional, single-panel anchoring sail still allows some degree of “sailing” at anchor as the sail backs and fills from one side to the other, often resulting in flogging. The FinDelta’s design also reduces one of the most common complaints of traditional riding sail users: noise. The FinDelta doesn’t require attachment to the backstay—an excellent conduit to transmit the vibration from flogging anchor sail—and so noise is greatly reduced. While the single-panel riding sail has served sailors well for centuries, this new design intrigued our testers, and a head-to head-comparison between it and the traditional Sailrite riding sail was launched.

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