Controlling jib shape
There’s full three-dimensional control over the jib sheeting system, with everything controlled by under-deck block and tackle systems. There are three of these on each side: one for the transverse jib car position, one for the friction ring that runs through the car to determine the fore-and-aft position of the sheet lead, and one for the outboard sheet lead (a 2:1 tackle to pull the sheet out to the sheer). In addition, there’s a tack cunningham as the halyard is on a lock and is therefore not adjustable. On white sail reaches a reaching strut can be set to leeward, moving the sheeting position around 700mm outboard. This maintains the sail’s optimum twist when sailing at greater apparent wind angles.
In common with other contemporary grand prix boats configured for inshore racing, all Fast40+ designs are seriously wet inside and out. This is due to the plethora of lines that pass through the deck and the big forehatch used for launching and recovering spinnakers. “These boats are inherently soaking wet – it’s like a swamp,” says Butt.
Controlling water ingress was, therefore, a high priority, and Girls on Film has a system of self-draining wet boxes that divert as much water as possible overboard, as well as five automatic bilge pumps. Even so, Butt feels that an extra two or three pumps would make a useful difference. Taking no chances with water ingress, the boat computer is in a fully waterproof Peli case, with a wireless link to an ipad Mini used by the navigator on deck.
Batteries are another area that offered significant potential for weight savings. The three lithium-ion units are around 20kg lighter than the equivalent lead-acid batteries would be and can be discharged repeatedly to a very low level. They take up very little room, yet have enough capacity to power the five pumps, instrument system and boat’s computer during racing.