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That is the down wind rig on an Amel (French) boat. Shortens the pole so it can be handled by one person easily. Actually a pretty slick rig, but I worry it puts stress an the rig at several points without support. I've not heard of any failures, but?
 

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The Amel rig is one of the best downwind sailing systems out there. designed for ease of handling by a small crew. The top two winckes are for raising the long poles to the horizontal, straight out from the short pole attached to the mast. 3 other lines secure the pole into position. The cruising shute is known as the ballooner, Its a lighter copy of the Genoa and is hoisted using the larger winch, with the luff tape raised along a second luff slot on the forestay. Its a very stable rig, If the wind picks up the Genoa and Ballooner can be furled into each other. If the wind shifts the balloner can lay on the Genoa and furled away. Have a look at some of the Amel boats, for safety( 5 watertight bulkheads and numerous watertight compartments), comfort, build quality and ease of use, they are hard to beat in a production boat. These are not one off's, there has been a progression through the years, when they got something right they kept it.
Regards Joe
Yes I'm biased, we have an Amel Santorin
 
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