Think of an umbrella: we
carry it around folded until it rains, and then open it in a few seconds
to give us shelter. When the rain stops, we fold it away again so that
it doesn't get in the way. The Transition Rig follows a similar
utilitarian logic -
when you need a sail you can raise it quickly and gain power from the
wind. When the voyage is over, or if a storm strikes while you are at
sea, you can quickly fold the rig away.
The idea for the
Transition Rig came 30 years ago, and I now have successful prototypes
for smaller craft such as windsurfers, kayaks, canoes, and dinghies. I
suggest that a similar approach can be applied to bigger ships too.
When you have a mast
that is jointed to enable raising and lowering, other things become
possible. You now have a variable-geometry rig with the potential to
change its shape in use and according to conditions. No doubt you have
watched birds soaring in thermals and along hillsides facing the wind
and marvelled at the way they continuously adjust the shape of their
wings in gusts and lulls. The Transition Rig gives the same
possibilities for shape-changing in use.
My name is Richard
Dryden, and you can contact me by e-mail at