Setting sail with new technology


Yachting Monthly reader Ewen Hardie has sent me this picture taken north of Oban near Loch Creran, on the west coast of Scotland. ‘From a distance it looked like Thor Heyerdhal had taken to the waves again,’ Ewen reports.

In fact I believe she is the new Crofter Open 30. Note the hi-tech, hydraulic, non-stayed mast, and outboard tiller extension. The Crofter Open 30 has no guard rails and is marketed as a motor-sailer for inter-island adventuring. She is able to carry peat between the crofts – hence her name – on her flat deck.

Here she is seen with a pilot boat alongside. She is also flying an RNLI pennant and the intrepid staff at the lifeboat HQ in Poole will be pleased to see their ‘always wear a lifejacket’ campaign is paying off. Although whether that buoyancy aid would be enough to keep the wearer’s hobnail boots afloat is debatable.

The dipping lugsail can double as a spinnaker – as can be seen in this photograph – the skipper is craftily flying the sail upside down for major pull.