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Regarding the Open 60's in the Vendee Globe - what function do those 'outriggers' serve? Are they outboard stays that allow closer sheeting angles for the jib? Do they adjust the mast shape?

And of course, how long before we start seeing the on production Catalina's and Hunters ( lol! )....
 

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Are they outboard stays that allow closer sheeting angles for the jib?
DING!

Those outboard stays are also the reason that one boat was disabled and had to retire. The captan was assisting in the rescue of the captain of a boat that had lost it's keel bulb and capsized. As he passed close aboard the upturned keel snagged his starboard spreader and as I understand it nearly borought the rig down. They limped into port and retired. (though I believe that the captain is receiving redress and will be placed 3rd)
 

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The outriggers are there because the masts (shaped like a wing) rotate like a swivel, they have a scale to indicate mast angle. Some masts now allow up to 90º rotation. The outriggers rotate with the mast.

The outriggers are telescopic and allow the mast to rake forward and aft , so she is allways optimized for sail enhancing performance on all points of sail.

These are way out of our reach from us normal mortals, and are very complex. By the way the boat is a Transat 60, and are normally sailed solo in record breaking attempts.

Its a dream machine that also suffers severe structural failures due to the conditions they are sailed. Normally the masts break, because they are really sailed hard.

These boats altough slower than the "sister" trimarans, require a lot more dosage of sailing ability and are also harder to sail.
 
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