Moth Sails 2024
In early 2023 Lennon Sails joined with Quantum and continues to develop International Moth sails at break neck pace. This class demands continuous evolution and occasional revolution in design. The challenge for designers is dreaming up the next big break through !
Having worked with Paul Goodison and others over the past years Mike Lennon had to look for new Moth talent as Paul bowed out of Moth competition to make room for Americas cup glory. Quantum has now teamed up with some new Moth talent along side some well established names at the sharp end of the fleet.
At the start of 2023 we wanted to try and push on with integrating the sleeve and sail body - this was to try and improve the shape off the luff into the sail body with no sleeve intersection. Also to combine this with a move to having the draft further back. This change was to help balance the boats and improve performance in lighter winds and downwind.
We also reintroduced the Membrane option as this was central to the new concept.
In 2023 Quantum offered the Tyra / iLEX sails which Lennon Sails had developed in 2021/22 and had won many events. We are phasing out these sails for 2024 as the new membrane Fusion integrated designs outperform the legacy designs.
The concept sail we sent out in January 2023 went to Harry Melges for winter testing in Pensacola. Harry comfortably won the events there and was convinced on the step forward. Under pressure from sailors at those events and training camps, we released the design after a very short development phase.
These sails were fast but a little untidy and lacking robustness due to the short development turnaround. That design, coded QAX went on to finish 2nd at the ill fated Weymouth worlds. Whilst not a true worlds, as not enough races were completed, Jean - Baptiste Bernez claimed his second place result overall at his first worlds. Jean was one of our new team sailors in 2023 and has just taken delivery of the new version 2 - QAX to evaluate between his ILCA (Laser) commitments leading up to the Paris 2024 Olympics.
After the Weymouth worlds, we doubled down on improving the QAX ( 8.2m2) and the QHX (7.5m2) to fair up the vertical shape distribution and add toughness to the skins. The early versions were an immediate successes, with Dave Hivey winning events in the UK and Germany.
Quantum went on to take the French nationals and German Nationals as the racing season drew to a close. Eddie Bridle and Philipp Buhl respectively taking the titles - Both have now got Version 2 QAX designs.
Like Jean, Philipp has ILCA duties to perform leading up to Paris but will be fitting in Moth practice when time allows.
Henry Wetherell joined the development team in the Autumn and has been testing V2 for several months. We have incorporated many of the changes into the QHX ( 7.5 ) and will be adding a 7.8m2 version for 2024.
V2 sounds like one iteration on from the design which Jean took 2nd place with in Weymouth, however there were several design iterations before settling on the new design for 2024.
Another variability is the DS foot length. This has been pushed longer and longer forcing us to move the mainsheet fittings aft and have to relearn to tack and gybe ! We offer several sizes currently. 900mm is “old standard” which fits on unmodified boats and booms. 1050mm we think is a great compromise and is very popular with Bieker owners. 1100mm is also popular with 1150 and 1200 in equal measure. The lighter sailors prefer the longer DS lengths. This does however require boat and boom modification on older boats.
We also offer 1250mm DS foot length. The longer the DS the more area is pulled down below the boom reducing the heeling force. However on lighter days these sails are more tricky and later to foil.
What are string or membrane sails?
Quantum are market leaders in membrane technology with our “Fusion” technology combined with iQ, winning everything from TP52 to the Moth and everything in between. Sometimes called string sails, are designed with the structure and shape in mind. The amount of fibre (string) used in the sail is varied by the designer and this variation can be used to get different characteristics from the sail. All sails stretch but the degree of stretch can be controlled to a much higher degree compared to more conventional sails.
Low stretch is not always the end goal and having a progressive feel through the controls is also important - often this is achieved by allowing more stretch. So some stretch here and less stretch there will also lend itself to achieving the desired shape and handling characteristic.
Our Fusion Moth sails are 100% Aramid fibre with 0505 light skins ( aligned filament skin ).
The relatively high fibre content in the loaded areas of the sail is giving great life as a welcome by-product of achieving the desired stretch characteristic.
As we work with some great sailors who are committed to being the best they possibly can be - we want to produce sails to help them - and so we can offer the best product to market. To get to that position we do produce a reasonable number of sails. These sails are often sold on into the general market. This can paint a confusing picture as to the number of designs we offer. We do not release new designs until the testing has reached its goal and the sail has produced the result intended.
As standard - the sails now ships with the new 2024 carbon batten spec - we introduced a new taper last year working with Ctech. This spec helps lock in the draft being further aft compared to earlier designs.
Lennon developed the long cam system ahead competitors lofts way back in 2015. These are now standard across most lofts who picked up the dev done with Allen for free ! For 2024 Quantum are developing our own in house cam set. Like the Allen cams these are injection moulded - so strong and light. But we have tweaked the mast diameter and profile shape to improve the entry shape.
We work closely with CST and Ctech and have been providing sails with layout changes to suit personal preferences. Quantum sails won major championships in 2023 with both CST and CTech masts.
Quantum supplies Ctech Carbon sail battens as standard which are included in the price along with our new injection moulded cams.