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Square top sails

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Ok I am chasing some ideas/reasoning about square top sails. A lot of classes are moving to them. The latest being the Nacra 16. VYC have released their latest yardsticks which from what I can ascertain is more formula based now. They have given a hit for the square top from 79.5(pintop) to 77(square top). As results have not matched this I am guessing it is part of the formula that causes this. Now if you have a pintop 16 and run a kite you get a 3.1% hit. 3.1 % of 79.5 is 77. So it is to be said in this case a square top is equal to a spinnaker. So do you all think that out in the real world over A. loop course, B. Triangle course that a square top will/can give that sort of performance. I have been talking to some arrow sailers and they say that their new square top has definately improved the speed of their boat. So I would much appreciate some discussion on A. how to work Square top. B. how a square top should interact with a mast. C.how a square top has affected your boat since you have changed from a pintop or made the head bigger.

Ps I am not bagging out the VYC. I am glad they are actively working on it again. Although I think it is something Yachting Australia should be responsible for.

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I vote trendy.

The 49ers had them a long time ago but with the integral design of "automatic" leech release due to the flexible topmast. Frank Bethwaite talks about this in his books.

Same concepts with the big ticket development classes, A's T's etc. In some cases the reason was because the rules weren't particularly clear thus allowing the extra sail area.

Down at the bottom end and you have either classes wanting to be trendy or manufacturers trying to pull a few more bob out of older classes, particularly the classes which are 'owned' by the manufacturers (eg Nacra). I don't imagine you'd get much change out of $2k for a new set of, say Windy square tops.


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