WOW: the wing sail technology for large cruising yachts by Wally and Omer Wing Sail
Wally is always pushing the envelope in improving every aspect of yacht design to upgrade all the yacht functions. Enhancing Performance is one of the main goals of the company since its inception: Fast & Easy is the original claim reflecting this mission. Ten years ago, the Wally Research & Development department started testing a folding and reefing wing sail applied to a 30-foot One design boat.
“Already back then we were convinced that this would be the path to explore and improve the sail plan -says Luca Bassani, Wally President and founder – The wing sail already showed its incredible advantages in the racing multihulls, and we wanted to simplify and develop the system for cruising yachts”.
In the course of its R&D wing sail programme, Wally teamed up with Ilan Gonen, an ex fighter pilot and enthusiastic sailor, who had also developed a similar project, Omer Wing Sail, “I discovered that there are many similarities between flying and sailing, between airplanes and boats. –says Ilan Gonen, President and founder of Omer Wing Sail - The most remarkable one is the use of lift force. So I asked myself why do we try to make the sails look like wings and don’t use wings instead?”
Wally Omer Wing Sail
The result of this collaboration is the new Wally Omer Wing Sail, the wing sail technology for cruising yachts that offers unprecedented advantages:
• high performance in terms of boat speed and heading angles
• ease of handling by one person only, whatever its dimension is
• lowering and reefing characteristics
• reducing and simplifying the boat structures thus improving the interiors
• simple, safe and reliable
The WOW Sail increases the performance by 10-30 per cent in any condition, depending on the displacement of the yacht: the lighter the boat is, the more efficient the wing sail is.
“To give an example, in terms of speed, a yacht like the Wally 130 in 12 knots of wind, would be half a mile ahead to windward after only 30 minutes of beating! And with the Code 0, the increase of the downwind performance would even double!” enthusiastically specifies Luca Bassani. “The best comment on these numbers is… WOW!!”
“The WOW Sail is unique also because the high performance is combined with easy sailing characteristics” adds Ilan Gonen “It means that one person can handle the huge wing of a yacht like the Wally 130. The WOW Sail is truly a cruising feature.”
The system is indeed quite simple: it includes a free-standing, rotating carbon fibre mast with carbon fibre frames that hold the fully battened 3DL sail cloth, and is manoeuvred by a hydraulic ram with push button control to change the profile of the wing, and by a sheet to trim the sail.
Another great advantage of the WOW Sail is that it keeps its shape longer, and it lasts longer than traditional sails because it never slams. The WOW Sail is patented worldwide to protect this innovative technology. Like the traditional sail plan, the WOW Sail is specifically developed for each yacht: the design team includes Omer, Wally, and the naval architect, while the construction is made by Wally and the sail maker.
“We have always believed in this new technology –say Luca Bassani and Ilan Gonen – Now that the 33rd America’s Cup proved its incredible advantages, we think the market is finally ready for it, and we want to further develop it”.