Originally Posted by danielgoldberg
I don't think this is right. Roller furling and self steering certainly have made great strides, and these offshore races have had a large impact on that.
Likewise, I think hull shape has been impacted as well.
You are right, of course, I should have been more specific. Almost every technical aspect of sailing has improved and often through testing in offshore racing. The new rigs with Spectra and Dyneema, rope shackles, the list is near endless. Sail materials are unrecognizable from 30 years ago.
Still, what I had in mind was primarily boat shape, and perhaps sail systems. The Open 60 shape is efficient and has influenced coastal sailing - but not many choose it for comfort on blue water. I am sure some ocean sailors would also like to see more of the good ol' ketch sails, with small manageable sails and quite efficient - but not for racing. And if you're looking at the real hot rods, the record-beating trimarans, they rely so much on size that if you and I bought one each, we'd pretty much congest New York Harbour. We'd spend most of our time there, because storage is so scarce that we'd be running ashore every day to buy coffee and sugar