Radical New Concept: "Split Mast, Swing Sail"
Three Sheets To The Wind!
by Carl Camper
Lila Lou Design has created a radical and possibly revolutionary idea, a swing-sail system
with side-by-side, matching masts and booms that split port & starboard, harnessing the power
of the wind, as well as electrical power with vertical-axis wind turbines. This system effectively
doubles the sail area, generating so much power that twin sub-surface foils and a sliding keel
bulb are needed to keep it upright. Revolutionary isn't always ridiculous, right? Read on...
According to Lila Lou Design; "We have developed 'Ankida' in a manner that we see is the natural progression for sailing yachts, the most fundamental aspect of which is the mast, rig and keel configuration, moving away from a traditional centre line mast arrangement in order to structurally integrate the entire set-up with the hull and superstructure, making all wind generated forces work homogeneously with the craft, thus maximizing the propulsion efficiency." Obviously, Ankida will rely heavily on an automated mechanical system, coupled with a sophisticated software package for weather, navigation and operation. It is intended to be a yacht could effectively sail itself.
A "traditional" central mast structure concentrates & focuses vast stresses and strains on the yacht's deck and internal structure and does not distribute this tension in homogenous fashion, it also creates a structural/visual barrier along the very center of the boat, externally and internally. We developed Ankida's mast(s) to be light, flexible and integral to the entire yacht's design so that the forces generated are more uniformly distributed throughout the vessel. Most importantly, this mast system favors performance. It was from the mast design that the sail design became interesting...