What are set to be 2016's trend-setters? Here follows a brief look at some of the season's hottest new sailing kit, from shoes to jackets, chart plotters to batteries, wingsails to foils. Read on to keep up with your neighbours...
10. SOLAR CLOTH SYSTEM – POWER IN YOUR SAILS
Thin film photovoltaics (TFPV) could be the power source of the future – not only for yachtsmen, but for any structure on land or sea that is unable to support the heavy glass boxes you see installed on residential roofs all over the country. Of course the drawback is that TFPVs cost twice as much and produce 15 per cent less power than their burly predecessors, but the ability to recharge batteries from an awning or a main sail, leaving the coachroof space free of solid, sharp-edged solar panels is a major breakthrough and looks likely to gain ground in the marine industry in 2016.
The company is currently working on a project to use its solar sails on a zero emission IMOCA 60 challenge for the 2016 Vendée Globe, more news of that when we have it. See the Solar Cloth System website for details.