ON CHARLOTTE HARBOR — Chuck Taylor does not know how fast his boat will go when it sails for the first time in the Charlotte Harbor Regatta. For himself, Bob Hill and Tom Ray, it will be a learning curve.
Taylor’s 14-foot Laser vessel is distinctive — one of only two, named XL1 and XL2, that will be equipped with experimental foil wings — not the usual floppy sail. The Punta Gorda resident built the wing sails using carbon fiber, and they are extremely light, weighing just 8 pounds each. The total weight for each two-piece sail is 18 pounds, with 80 square feet of sail. At first, Taylor used 1⁄8-inch plywood two-by-fours and pine ribs to make them. That produced only 32 square feet of sail that weighed in at 50 pounds.
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