In January 2023, Lennon Sails joined Quantum Sails, and Mike Lennon brought nearly 15 years of Moth sail development into the Quantum group. Lennon has worked alongside some of the best Moth sailors in recent history, including 3-time World Champion Paul Goodison, Dylan Fletcher, who won multiple Moth championships with Lennon sails since 2013, as well as Brad Funk, Dave Hivey, Philipp Buhl, Nicolai Jacobsen, and Harry Melges – all sailors at the top of the class who are constantly on the leading edge and offering new ideas. Inspired by the performance of these sailors and Quantum’s drive for constant improvement of design, construction, and performance, we have developed updated designs in the Moth for 2023.
Lennon brought the A8 over from Lennon Sails, and this design was very dominant in 2022, winning foiling week and taking the top four spots at the Europeans.
Some tweaks were made to the A8 for 2023 — moving the draft back in the upper half of the sail and some luff curve modifications. This shape was recoded Q-A1 for 2023 and is available in standard 8.25 and now in smaller sizes, 7.8 and 7.5. DS lengths from 850 to 1250 are available.
New design concept
Over the winter, we had a radical rethink of the design process, and instead of tweaking existing designs, we went for a brand-new concept. The existing A8 / Q-A1 designs are from a continuous development line from pre-deck sweeper times. The deck sweeper rigs are lower, and with less area above the boom, light wind take-off is badly impacted. However, it’s much quicker once foiling. This has all but seen the demise of the old non-DS standard rigs for the vast majority of the fleet. But the very draft-forward, straight-exit, “low drag” shaping resulted from years of development on higher non-DS sails.
So, in January, we made a development sail from the new concept for Harry Melges to test through the winter. This sail was a significant departure from the A8/A1 concept. Less luff curve and a lot more shape in the sail body with the draft moved back gives a design with very different characteristics. The new design has the draft further back and the shape more constant from luff to leech. It is also deeper in the upper part. This big change helps reduce the weakness of the DS lower-rig concept and negate some of the power losses compared to standard rigs of the past.
The construction is 100% membrane, so there is no added Dacron luff — the construction integrates the luff and sail body into one section. The membrane is made with Quantum’s in-house Fusion system.
The batten pockets are now inside the sail skins, and the DS sections are also part of the membrane structure.
To add to the changes, we asked C Tech for a new batten spec — the mid and upper battens are more draft aft, with the mid 2 batten being a little softer as well.
This combination of changes has made a very different sail with different sailing characteristics. Harry Melges took the prototype to a regatta in Florida in February and won every race. He was convinced the concept was a step forward, and we immediately got many orders from others attending the event.
As a result, the sail was introduced in 8.2 and 7.5 configurations.
The performance profile of the new 8.2 design is that it offers earlier take-off and a deeper downwind mode. Even the 7.5 does OK in lighter winds — of course, it’s not as early to foil as the 8.2, but it’s surprisingly close, and downwind seems to hold its own once foiling in lighter winds. Further up the range, it comes into its own. You can set a deeper shape for a given heeling force versus the bigger sails; this provides a better-pointing angle, and with less “wetted” area, you have less drag, so go faster — higher and faster!
Both sizes seem to offer a higher mode upwind and a lower mode downwind.
We have coded the new range Q-AX for the 8.2 sail range and Q-HX for the 7.5 range. We have also made a few 7.9m2.
The DS length range is still large — 850 to 1250, taking in 1050, 1100, 1150, 1170, 1200, and 1250.
We have stayed with the conventional cam/batten pocket system as we cannot see any advantage in not having pocket tension and luff sleeve tension independently adjustable. Plus, rigging is easier and quicker.
The new X range and the A1 range are currently available to order from any Quantum representative or Loft. Reach out to your local rep for more information.
“Although Quantum is a new name in the Moth Fleet, our aim was to offer new, exciting, and improved designs quickly,” says Lennon. “We are a proud sponsor of the 2023 Moth Worlds.”