Dynamic Stability System - another few steps further on


James Boyd Photography / www.thedailysail.com
Hugh Welbourn tells us of the new Quant 30, the DSS-equipped Mini and the Infiniti 36
Progress continues on several fronts with designer Hugh Welbourn’s revolutionary Dynamic Stability System. For those still uninitiated, DSS-equipped yachts use a retractable foil to leeward to generate stability, this in turn enables the boat to carry a smaller bulb and require less form stability, dramatically reducing their displacement with all the resultant performance benefits (read more here). And, yes, it does work! At the Bol d’Or Mirabaud last year on Lake Geneva we were impressed to see now initially doing a horizon job on the fleet was a tiny 28ft monohull. Michi Aeppli’s DSS-equipped Quant 28 led the huge Swiss fleet down the Petit Lac to Versoix before she was finally picked off by the first of the D35 catamarans. Heralding from Zurich, Aeppli is a lifelong sailor and windsurfer, whose many previous boats have included a Grand Surprise, a popular one design in Switzerland and more recently an Onyx - a 8.5m long purpose-designed and built lake racer, featuring a giant rig and bowsprit supported on a slender hull, displacing around 1,000kg. In this Aeppli won his class in Switzerland’s top event, the Bol d’Or Mirabaud. However when he first read about the DSS system and went for a sea trial with Gordon Kay on the 27ft DSS demonstrator back in 2008, Aeppli was hooked. It wasn’t until the spring of 2010 that Hugh Welbourn, the brains behind the DSS system, met up with him to discuss the design of a lake racer. Welbourn was well familiar with such boats having raced the Bol d’Or several times with Jo Richards aboard various Full Pelts. They established a suitable design, emphasising performance in very light conditions (as Aeppli puts it “75% of the time we sail in less than 6 knots of wind”), and for reasons of cost they chose to have the

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