THE ROTATING WINGMAST.

This is Sam Manuard www.manuard.com designed proto, he used the moulds and production process of the open750 mast. But the laminate schedule is adapted to more loads. The mast builder is JPS the actual builder of the OPEN750 and MACH650. The mast is made out of prepreg M40J (high modulus - but  not the highest though) cured in autoclave at 4 bars. Result is a very high level of finish, looks awesome.

I can make this article because i met Sam, had excess to the boat, etc.
That is the reason this makes it to the site, and not the Rogers or the mast of Roxy. It is always good to talk to Sam, no secrets, just the lay down of facts.

The mast is lighter, no spreaders, pbo rigging, saves weight.
 The rig is not as light as what could be a state of the art "three spreader carbon mast", but it is about the same weight as a conservative (or cheap) carbon rig. The wing mast spar is heavier, but as you said the equipment is reduced and therefore light. So we are in the weight range of most carbon spars that you could find in the market for minitransat boats.

The deck hull/structure is heavier to cope with the increased loads. The bulb is heavier, increased loads due to increased momentum.
But according to Sam: "Actually, since my proto designs have huge safety  coefficients concerning the structure (in order to have a very stiff structure and to reduce flex of the boat) the weight difference in the structure is  marginal (less than 1Kg)" I heard a slightly bigger number, but dock talk is cheap :)

So overall it is now not really a lighter design but a more potent one.

Difficulties:
Halyard stoppers and reefing must be done at the mast, as all is rotating, this is the solution. So it a trend backwards from everything to the cockpit. :)
Sam comments: "The final system is still not in place due to the lack of time for preparation. The two spinnaker halyards (masthead and fractional) are situated over the mast and there will be some lines that one can operate from the cockpit to open or close these two stoppers. So as far as spinnaker setting on or off are concerned, it will make no difference compared to a normal set up."

The mast has a glued on track for the luff, like most carbon masts.
If you do it properly, it will work, but in comparison to an Alu mast with the groove in the profile, it is a spot for attention.

The rotating ball, i do not know if it is the same on the Open750 but it will take some time to find the right one. I know one got damaged on an other design for no apparent reason. But the same can be said of normal masts too (spreaders, mast base), you just have to check it often, it are hardcore racers, not for the maintenance haters....

Wind instruments:
If you want TWA, then you need to add a mast angle sensor (like a rudder angle sensor) to your electronic system, it is one more sensor...means a bit more expense...You can definitely get TWA and TWS with a rotating mast, all multi 60'
are equipped with this set up.

Now the positive view:

A more powerful boat in your hands, and good looking...

Sam again:"1) Performs really good as soon as you bear off, It sounds like it gives
good performances from reaching to downwind VMG. We can rotate the mast
as much as 95 on each side.
2) The lack of spreaders makes the handling of kites very easy. When you
gybe the chute never gets trapped in the rig... Also when you are
hoisting the kite you can do it from almost anywhere (cockpit, foredeck,
etc...), halyards never get trapped in the spreaders... It is actually a
big improvement in ergonomic and once you get tired, offshore it makes a
difference.
3) The rig can be adjusted longitudinally (mast rake) while sailing, to
get a good balance when sailing with code0 or with big kites.

The main disadvantage is the price: it is quite costly, although maybe
not as much as a state of the art "three spreader rig"..."

 The result in the first race, with experienced crew, against an Magnen with Alu mast with experienced crew.
In lights winds, faster. Breeze picks up, i had the feeling the feeling the Magnen stole miles back. Its all guessing as it is no an around the buoys race, but 800 miles... Tactics could be involved.

The verdict, very personal:
-looks good
-performs
-exciting

I hope to see a Manuard open60 soon, would be awesome...

Enjoy the photos.