Originally Posted by bobperry
I think that may have been one of the reasons the sailmakers were not keen on my rig.
When I look at those pics they look to me a bit like they are on their way to a square topped main. Under some rules the curved topmast was a way to gain some unmeasured sail area (British 12's).
Kim, my client owned a 30 sq. meter so he was well acquainted with the curved mast look. But in the end practicality and the cost of a used Farr 40 rig won the day. Like I said, it was probably a good decision. So far it's working nicely.
One of the things that has always amazed me about Curry was he was an 18 year old kid when he wrote his first monograph on the aerodynamics of sailing around 1917. (His first real book was roughly 7 year later and his best know book a few years later than that.) But even more amazing that that, was that he pretty much anticipated the large roach mainsail, slightly overlapping jib sail plan in his research.
His work was aimed at a series of development classes which restricted the area of the sail (including roach) to a fixed amount. His research was trying to come up with the most efficient sail shape for all points of sailing using a constant sail area. That shape came from his wind tunnel testing.
Which is not to say that other classes used the curved mast as a rule beater way of obtaining unrated sail area.
Curry was one of those guys who just was into science and invention. He is credited with developing the tapered full length batten, and the cam cleat. He is also credited with creating the recombant bicycle (both two and 4 wheel versions). He was a medical doctor and while some of his theories have been dismissed over time, I understand that much of his basic research has supposedly held up very well.
I think the Farr 40 rig was the right call even if the curved rig might have been slightly more elegant looking.