Great solutions have been provided by Beneteau over the last few years which have made sailing simpler and more affordable. Among these recent improvements, a new one is in the making. The “Wing Sail” rig has been undergoing prototyping and tests since the summer of 2013 and could mark the beginning of a new era in sailing.
Boat of the Future
Beneteau has committed itself to in-depth research on the development of a sailboat for the new generation of sailors.
The ‘Wing Sail’ currently under study utilizes significant human and technical resources. Without bias, the developers led by Bruno Belmont, BENETEAU Group’s Sailboat Strategy Manager, set out on the task of perfecting an easy to use sail.
Lateen or ‘crab claw’ sail, junk, kite or wing sail rig? The boatyard developers began by observing and analysing existing research on the different forms of wind propulsion. The ingenious work available endeavours to optimize performance as opposed to simplifying use, whereas the goal of the Beneteau’s project is to ease propulsion as much as possible while providing similar performance.
A Decisive Meeting
A meeting with Guy Beaup, otherwise known as a clever ‘Gyro Gearloose’, took place in the summer of 2012 and marked a decisive stage in the progress of the project.
When asked where his many inventions come from, he replied, “When I need something – before asking where I can buy it, I look at how I could make it”. Despite being a newcomer to the world of sailing, Guy decided to travel the seas at the age of 25 and set about building his first boat, which included a junk-inspired rig. The absence of a sailing background led him to tackle each and every question without any preconceived notions. The result of his process let to the creation of the wing sail on his Matin Bleu,which stood up to its promise of a simple and strong method of propulsion. When he returned from a 60,000 mile circumnavigation, his invention stood out as one of the major world innovations within the sailing industry.
Beneteau immediately decided to purchase the patent on this wing sail and welcomed Guy Beaup as a partner in all of the stages of its development and prototyping. Incidences Sails joined the wing sail project design team as an additional partner.
Prototype and Tests
The Sense 43 was the natural choice for the initial testing period. The Sense’s size was sufficient enough to create significant strain and the boat’s design worked well with the rig development in progress. The first outings made in September of 2013 were extremely encouraging, however an innovation of this scale will require long months of testing, performance comparisons and boat plan development before mass production can be considered. The objective is to be able to equip certain ranges of Beneteau sailboats with a “Wing Sail” within 18 to 24 months.
This project was taken on to introduce newcomers to the joys of sailing. Beneteau continues to innovate and bring the sea within reach of a broader public – the vocation that has guided the company’s development for 130 years.
The new rig is being tested on the Beneteau Sense 43.
Beneteau has committed itself to in-depth reflection on the development of the sailing yacht for new generations of sailors as much as for people from countries in which sailing is a growing culture. Many innovations have already been born from the Boat of the Future programme.
Boat of the FutureThe new hard-chined hulls of the Sense range, now also used on the Oceanis sailing yachts have considerably reduced heeling and enabled a complete review of the interior and exterior fittings’ ergonomics. In search of new pleasures, the general public were quickly won over by the increased comfort on board and safety.
Dock&Go, which synchronizes a rotating saildrive pod and bow thruster, the exclusive solution offered by Beneteau for four years now, takes away the stress of manoeuvring in the harbour. A child could now come alongside a pontoon with a 50-footer, no matter the wind or current.
Always looking towards simplification, the many recent developments make sailing itself more accessible. The integration of GPS, educational software or automatic assistance with some manoeuvres, now makes things easier for new sailors and considerably alleviates the physical efforts of the crew.
||Infused with the same philosophy, and starting from scratch, the ‘Wing Sail’ under study mobilizes significant human and technical resources. Without bias, the developers, led by Bruno Belmont, BENETEAU Group’s Sailing Yacht Strategy Manager, set themselves the task of perfecting a sail that greatly would simplify its use|
||Decisive MeetingLateen or ‘crab claw’ sail, junk, kite or wing sail rig, the boatyard developers began by observing and analysing existing research on the different forms of wind propulsion. Often ingenious, the work available endeavours more to optimize performance than to simplify use, while the goal of the Beneteau project is to simplify propulsion as much as possible while providing similar performance.|
||Noticed in 2001, before his departure, a meeting with Guy Beaup, a clever ‘Gyro Gearloose’ from the region of Grenoble, took place in the summer of 2012 and marked a decisive stage in the progress of Beneteau’s choices. “When I need something – before asking where I can buy it, I look at how I could make it”, says the man if you ask him where his many inventions come from.Turning the absence of a sailing background, which could be considered a shortcoming into an ingenious strength, led him to tackle each question without any preconceived ideas. The result of this reflection, the wing sail of his Matin Bleu, stood up to its promise of a simple and strong method of propulsion. When he returned from a 60,000 mile circumnavigation, the family adventure entered the world of major innovations in the sailing industry.|
||Beneteau immediately decided to buy the patent for this wing sail with a great many strengths and made the inventor a partner in all stages of its development and prototyping. A partnership with Incidences Sails completed the design team of the wing sail project.|
||The Sense 43, the youngest member of the most recent range of sailing yachts designed by Beneteau was the natural choice for the first tests. The size was sufficient for the strain to be significant and the boat matched its philosophy with the rig development in progress. The first outings made last September were extremely encouraging, but an innovation of this scale will still require long months of tests, performance comparisons and boat plan development before mass production can be considered. The objective now ahead of us is to be able to equip certain sailing yachts of the Beneteau ranges within 18 to 24 months.
With this project spurred on to gently bring newcomers to the joys of sailing, Beneteau continues to innovate and bring the sea within reach of a broad public – the vocation that has guided its development for 130 years