The Corsair Sprint 750 is the latest addition to Corsair's line of fast, trailerable trimarans. Based on the Corsair 24, the Sprint 750 is described by the manufacturer as having "the performance and flexibility of a beach catamaran with none of the annoyances." They also claim that the 750 won't go into irons and will tack and sail to weather "as well as or better than any monohull." The hulls are fiberglass with Divinycell foam core; the mast is carbon, as is the spinnaker sprit, although the boom is aluminum. When the first boat is rigged, the standing rigging will be of synthetic fibers. We spoke with Paul Koch, the company president, who described the hulls as being similar to the Corsair 24, but with less interior. "There's just a bunk up forward and room for a portable toilet and that's it," said Koch. "And it's got a totally new deck and a cockpit that's 4 feet longer. A tab for the carbon bowsprit is molded into the deck. The rudder kicks up, and it's got a different daggerboard, slightly longer than the 24's with a little bit better shape." The boat's designed to carry a 5-horsepower, four-stroke engine on the port side for power. With its large cockpit and optional cockpit cabin, Koch sees the Corsair Sprint 750 as a capable weekender. "We designed an enclosure that folds down into the deck," says Koch. "We put some thought into making it disappear neatly." One-design rules for the boat are being drawn up, and should be ready by the time the first boat hits the water in early July. Sprint 750 $49,350 LOA 24' 3" LWL 23' 7" Beam 17' 11"/(folded) 8' 2" Draft (board up) 1' 0"/( down) 5' 6" Mast length 35' 6" Weight 1,584 lbs. Upwind SA 428 sq. ft. Downwind SA 889 sq. ft. Hulls Fiberglass/PVC foam core www.corsairmarine.com A few months back, two innovative consumer electronics products were singled out for innovation awards by the National Marine Manufacturers Association and judges from Boating Writers International. One winner was Maretron's SSC2000 Compass, which is the only solid-state (no moving parts) marine compass in the business. The SSC2000 uses magnetometers to sense magnetic fields, and, according to one of the NMMA judges, "can measure yaw, pitch, roll and heel, and can be used at any angle." The compass is easily calibrated with a simple 360-degree turn. The SSC200 is certified to the NMEA 2000 network standard, but is compatible with NMEA 0183. It connects directly with any NMEA 2000 network and/or NMEA 0183 listeners to share information with navigational software, chart plotters, autopilots, and dedicated instrument displays. $729. www.maretron.com Granted, one of the bonuses of sailing is that it often takes us beyond cell phone range, but there are times when you'd like to be able to keep in touch, whether it be family, work, or automated weather stations. Digital Antenna has developed a product that boosts cell phone coverage wirelessly. Simply install their Three-Watt Cellular Mobile Dual Band Amplifier/Repeater System, which includes both interior and external antennas, and you'll be able to send and receive calls from as far as 50 miles away from the closest cell tower. Even the frequencies reserved for wireless computer communications are covered, and multiple users are no problem. $559.95, We've preached about the virtues (long life, quick recharge, low self-discharge rate, no memory issues) of Lithium Ion (Li-Ion) batteries for a while now, and are always interested to see how manufacturers put them to good use. Our latest pick is the 10.3-ounce, palm-sized Skil iXo drill. It has enough grunt to handle most quick jobs on the boat, and, according to the manufacturer, can hold a charge for many months. Forward and reverse arrows on top of the tool glow to indicate the direction in which the bit is spinning. Also included in the round tin, which the iXo comes in, is a 34-piece bit set. $50, www.skil.com New Rigging From Navtec In addition to it's world-renowned wire and rod steel rigging, and hydraulics, Navtec has been building rigging out of Kevlar and other such fibers since the IOR 50s ruled the waves 15 years ago. While they may have appeared behind the curve lately compared to some smaller companies specializing in composite rigging, they haven't been sitting still. For the past year a team of three Navtec engineers have been developing a method to turn raw PBO fibers into a reasonably priced replacement for rod rigging while solving one of the toughest problems in synthetic rigging manufacturing-creating end pieces that are as strong as the PBO fibers themselves. For the past eight years, Navtec has used cone-and-socket -type end pieces with rigging made from PBO (an isotropic crystal polymer developed by Toyobo, which has superior tensile strength and modulus (resistance to stretch) than aramid fibers). The new method involves what the Navtec engineers call a Sling-an endless loop of PBO. Rather than dead-ending each bundle of strands in a biconic (cone-and-socket) terminal and securing it with epoxy, the new process loops a continuously strand of PBO around thimbles at opposite ends of the stay. The thimbles are made of Nitronic 50 and are designed in several configurations to fit a variety of applications. We had a sneak preview of the process, but because it's proprietary we weren't allowed to take pictures of anything but the finished product. What we saw was a computer-controlled winding machine that shuttles back and forth on rails between two thimbles-effectively a CNC machine for shroud building. The density, tightness, weave, and number of PBO fibers are controlled by the computer, as is the application of the lightweight, self-amalgamating tape that seals the PBO against water and UV light, and the braided outer cover to protect against chafe. The resulting cable, says Navtec USA president Peter O'Connell, is at least twice as strong as comparable rod, although the strength isn't as important as the stretch. "We asked the spar designers and engineers what they were looking for," says O'Connell. "Their design programs spit out what's called the "Effective Area" [stiffness] for any given modulus. We said, if you give us that number, we'll make a product to fit." Navtec is naming its PBO shroud sizes by EA number in an effort to mimic the industry standard they have for sizing rod rigging. Instead of "dash 10 rod," which means the rod has 10,000 pounds breaking strength, it will be called by its EA number, for example Z-52 or Z-40. "Over time, we see fiber rigging taking over from rod rigging," said O'Connell, "and we want to keep our market share." For companies such as Navtec, that means going beyond the development of PBO rigging. Another material on the horizon is Magellan's M5, a polymer fiber that's stronger and lighter than Kevlar and Spectra, more heat resistant than Nomex, and impervious to UV, but so far restricted to government projects.