Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Annapolis, Md
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I would say that since almost every new leading edge racing design is fractionally rigged, and nearly all new production cruising designs are fractionally rigged, the rumors of the fractional rig's demise is premature.
That said there are a lot of aberations that show up in race boats that are rule driven (such the current spate of flat top mainsails).
But if you were designing a boat for speed, efficiency, and ease of handling across a broad range of windspeeds, it would still be a fractional rig with a minimally overlapping headsail and with a choice of using both masthead and fractional hoist chutes. Whether or not these chutes are asymmetrical or symmetrical is dependent on the sailing venue and the L/D of the boat, with lighter boats rarely needing a symmetrical chute while a heavier displacement boat really benefits from having a symmetrical chute. More later.
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Curmudgeon at Large- and rhinestone in the rough, sailing my Farr 11.6 on the Chesapeake Bay