We are all for many of the advances in sail handling systems that have appeared in recent years: roller furling, low stretch exotic fiber rope halyards, solid vangs, and clutches. All these and more have made sail handling on cruising boats easier and, in many cases, safer.
However, every so often we see a trend on offshore cruising boats that just makes no sense to us at all. The latest in that category is swept-back spreaders, often associated with complex three spreader rigs. Why on earth would you fit a rig to a voyaging boat that prevents trimming the sails properly to sail downwind? Isn’t planning voyages so that downwind and broad reaching are maximized the whole idea? I know it is for us.
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