Elvstrøm Sails has launched what it describes as the "truly ground breaking" Blue Water Runner, which performs the role of three sails in one. Watch it in action here
Just launched by Elvstrøm Sails, the Blue Water Runner is ideal for offshore and short handed sailing, as it is easy to control from the cockpit.
Designed as effectively two Yankee sails on a single luff cable, it works as a light up-wind genoa and a reaching ‘Yankee’ when the two-ply sails are together.
When running dead-downwind it can be peeled open into ‘goose-winging’ mode, doubling the sail area to increase boat speed. It can then be trimmed and poled out like a spinnaker, or used without a pole.
The new sail has been designed by Elvstrøm Sails UK Loft Manager, Jeremy White.
He was approached by a client who wanted a downwind sail to give the thrill of surfing downwind offshore.
He also wanted a sail that was easy to control and stow quickly when wind conditions changed, without needing to leave the cockpit.
With this brief, White created the Blue Water Runner for family sailors and blue water cruisers who want to sail downwind, for days on end if needed, with great speed, stability and safety.
The twin running sails are hoisted furled in-front of the headstay, and can be un-furled and furled when required and left up when not in use.
There is no need for a snuffer and it is controlled from the cockpit.
Elvstrøm Sails said that in very light airs, the Blue Water Runner can be sheeted in hard and used as a ‘Code 0’ type genoa.
Being lighter than a conventional furling genoa, it can be flown in the lightest of winds.
“It makes an excellent reaching sail in heavier airs, with the sheets cracked. When the breeze comes from behind the boat, the twin-ply sail is opened apart and spread out in-front of the wind, providing a large surface area like a spinnaker,” said the company on its website.
“If the breeze heads, the windward sail can be flipped back over to join its leeward wing, where it happily locates itself under the pressure of the wind, and you can continue sailing on a broad reach.”
“If the breeze is coming up or night falls, you can reduce the size of the Blue Water Runner by simply taking in on the furling system. Or, totally roll it away and leave it up and furled until conditions change, with no need for anyone to struggle on the foredeck.”
“When sailing dead downwind, it is most efficient to drop the mainsail. The huge sail area benefits from not being shadowed by the main, and you can safely steer anywhere without the risk of an involuntary gybe! Rolling downwind is prevented by gently easing the tack line. The Blue Water Runner oscillates without transferring to the hull, helping to dampen any rolling moment.”
Commenting on his Blue Water Runner, White said: “I wanted to create a sail that enables the chance to surf down waves, but with the knowledge that with a pull of a line from the safety of the cockpit the sail can be safely stowed.”
“I have so many customers asking should they buy a spinnaker, an asymmetric, plus running sails. With the Blue Water Runner, I believe now all three boxes are ticked.”
“That means our customers can reduce their overall sail wardrobe and save money,” added White, who said there has been much interest in the new sail for cruising in the Solent, where skippers can hoist the Blue Water Runner in the marina in Lymington and have a safe fast sail to Gosport.
The sail received an extended test on board Diane Whittingham’s Halberg Rassy 40, Engima during the 2016 ARC+ Rally where she finished 2nd in Class.
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Professional skipper and RYA Instructor, Paul Weinberg, was on board Enigma and attributes their position “almost solely to the fact” that they were using the Blue Water Runner.
“It performed well in the light conditions and gave us a competitive advantage,” he said.
“We were able to use the sail in wind angles of 130 to 180 degrees. Generally, in 5 knots of wind we managed 3-3.5 knots, around 6 knots in 5-8 knots of wind and over a steady 11 knots wind speed we were clocking 7 to 8 knots plus,” continued Weinberg.
“We carried the sail up to 20 knots, and on one occasion we were caught out in a squall of 30 knots gusts, so we reefed it then!” he added.
The Blue Water Runner sail is constructed from Dimension CPP 3.5pz polyester storm spinnaker fabric.
Polyester is used for durability as nylon can be easily destroyed by sunlight, and with blue water cruising events such as the ARC rallies, the sail may be used for days on end.
The Blue Water Runner is available in all sizes, and prices vary accordingly. For example, to fit out a Bavaria 34 CR would cost in the region of £2,428 (including VAT).