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Making Complex Simple - article for Sailing World Magazine

Originally written for Sailing World Magazine by Sailing.Dog's Andrew Palfrey

In this web series of technical articles highlighting some of the major controls generic to most keelboats, we’ll use the 5.5 Metre as a platform to explore various key controls, what they do, and how and why they’re set up as they are.

Below deck on a 5.5 Metre by Andrew Palfrey
Below deck on a 5.5 Metre

I had been speaking with Sailing World’s Dave Powlison about a potential series of articles highlighting the major generic controls on most keel-boats to control the rig and sails, when it suddenly occurred to both of us that we could do this series in parallel to my involvement in the creation of two 5.5 Metre class yacht builds taking place in Cowes, on the Isle of Wight in England.

Why the 5.5 as a platform for this discussion? For starters, there are no fewer than 46 control points. This is where a control line is directed to a crewmember. Believe me, I have “simplicity” going through my mind at every moment—we are doing all we can to minimize complication. At every step of the way, we debate what we do and don’t need and where it needs to be led.

To read the rest of the article check out the Sailing World website.


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