Cruising Downwind Sails: Oxley Stabilizing Spinnaker
The wing section of the Oxley stabilizing spinnaker acts as a batten to flatten the mid section of the sail. In high winds it provides lift to keep the bow from burying.
UK Sailmakers has become a distributor for Oxley self stabilizing spinnaker. These unique sails have been designed for cruising sailors who are looking for extra downwind speed, but without the wild gyrations that conventional spinnakers can produce.
OXLEY STABILIZING SPINNAKER EXPLAINED
In contrast to a conventional Spinnaker/Gennaker, Oxley’s self-stabilizing sails BORA and LEVANTE are equipped with a lift-creating wing in the upper part of the sail body.
For the long-distance cruising sailors who spend a lot of time on autopilot, the advantages of this construction are massive. The entire boat is stabilized as the sail is automatically balanced by the lifting function of the wing. This leads to a reduction in rudder pressure and minimized corrections of the autopilot.
Relaxed cruising can be had, even without a Spinnaker pole. Besides the wide range of applications, the sail offers one more important aspect: comfort. Easy to use, even under difficult conditions, the overall reduced movements in rig and boat are leading to a new feeling of harmonic long-distance cruising.
Left: Bora Wing cross-section, Right: Levante. Both are options of the Oxley stabilizing spinnaker.
Oxley offers two versions of the stabilizing spinnaker, the Bora and the Levante. The Bora has a true three-dimensional airfoil-shaped wing that inflates with the wind coming through the vent, while the Levante has a foiled-shaped piece of cloth that works like the flap on the trailing edge of an airplane wing. The lifting wing on both versions of the Oxley spinnaker allows these cruising spinnakers to be used in a wider range of wind angles than a conventional spinnaker, even without a spinnaker pole.
Inflated Bora Wing
OXLEY STABILIZING SPINNAKER BORA VS LEVANTE
2-D Levante Wing
The Oxley stabilizing spinnaker Bora option has a 3D airfoil-shaped wing, much like a paraglider. When it inflates, the air inside the wing becomes a soft batten that flattens the sail as pushes out to the leeches. The inflating wing becomes a soft batten. A flat sail works well for sail from dead-down wind and flat spinnakers can be used for close reaching since rounder sails create too much heeling. Therefore, the Bora can be used for true wind angles ranging from 60-180 degrees in wind speeds from 5 to 25 knots.
The Levante can be used in lower wind ranges well since it does not have an inflating wing; it has a curved fabric wing to create lift. The Levante’s wing creates a spreading effect on the middle of the sail, but not as much as the inflatable wing on the Bora. That means that the Levante spinnaker is not as flat as the Bora. The Levante’s application range is from 70 to 180 degrees true wind angle and for wind speeds from 2-20 knots.
WHICH VERSION OF THE OXLEY STABILIZING SPINNAKER TO CHOOSE
Both sails work well while the autopilot is engaged because of the dampening quality of the vent and lift-generating wing. The Bora is approximately 10% smaller than the Levante, which makes it designed for rougher conditions. The Levante is designed for more moderate conditions as it does not need as much wind to spread the wing.
For heavy yachts, the gust dumping advantage of the Bora is not that important; these boats are so stable in the gusty condition that they can use Levante without any disadvantage. For newer boats designed to carry maximum beam all the way aft, which creates a lot of buoyancy, the Bora would be the better option. If you have any questions about which sail will best meet your cruising needs, we can put you in touch with Sven Mohr who is head of sales and service at Oxley Sails who has years of experience with stabilizing spinnakers.
Inflatable Dousing Sock
The INFLATABLE DOUSING SOCK from OXLEY® is the perfect solution for all kinds of sail sizes and a small fore-deck hatch. A firm outer layer made of Dacron and an airtight innertube form the basis of the oval snuffer collar.
This construction principle makes the funnel especially resilient, durable, and light. This technique has its origins in the sport of kite surfing and has been successfully in operation for a full decade. Using a double action pump or an air compressor, the collar ring can be inflated very quickly. Using the deflation valve, the air can be released within seconds and the collar is reduced to convenient storage size.
TWIN LINE DOUSING SOCK
The Oxley Dousing Sock was specially developed for the BORA and LEVANTE. The dousing sock is separated into the bottom and top sections. By pulling on the hoist rope, both sections are getting pulled up. This ensures, that the funnel does not get stuck below the sails wing.