Seldén Mast develops new push button sailing technology for Oyster 495
When the first Oyster 495 hits the water in early 2022, it’ll be sporting a Seldén carbon furling mast with new push button sailing technology developed specifically for this new model. According to Seldén, this type of technology has not been seen to date on a sub 50ft yacht.
Building on its Synchronised Main Furling (SMF) system which synchronises an electric motor in the mast with its new E40i electric winch for the outhaul when unfurling the main, Seldén has automated the system even further to offer a true push button sailing experience.
The company says that to make sail handling even easier for a small crew, it’s removed the E40i electric winch from the SMF system and fitted small aluminium hydraulic cylinders in the boom to control the outhaul when both furling and unfurling the sail.
In-boom hydraulic cylinders for outhaul and mainsheet control is not a new concept but, due to these previously being low pressure large steel cylinders, their size has made them prohibitive for use on yachts below 50ft.
Seldén’s development of a smaller aluminium cylinder at a higher pressure has dramatically reduced the required power pack size and the weight by 50 per cent. This innovation means that a hydraulic outhaul can now sit alongside a hydraulic mainsheet, with both enclosed within the boom of the Oyster 495, allowing the owner push button control of the mainsheet and the outhaul.
The system is powered by Seldén’s proprietary control system, SEL-Bus, which is fully integrated across the yacht for all electric and hydraulic Seldén product ranges. The SEL-Bus system converts 12V or 24V to 42V, which allows much smaller and thinner cables around the vessel. The system also communicates between the different units onboard, offering a diagnostic function to enabling the system to reduce power consumption by putting the system into ‘sleep’ mode when not in use.
In addition to this solution to sail handling, which is usually the preserve of much large yachts, Seldén is also supplying the Oyster 495 with a Furlex electric head sail furler, hydraulic vang and hydraulic backstay ram – all of which will be connected to the SEL-Bus system and controlled at the touch of a button from the helm station.
“The Oyster 495’s push button sail controls will allow the yacht’s crew to sail completely from the cockpit, reefing, furling and trimming the mainsail and the head sail at the touch of a button,” says Steve Norbury, managing director at Seldén Mast. “A safe, secure and extremely convenient way to sail, especially when short-handed or with an inexperienced crew.
“We’ve supplied Oyster with over 50 masts in the last decade or so on models ranging from the 475 to the 745, so developing this technology specifically for their 495 not only strengthens our long-term partnership but demonstrates that Seldén is at the forefront of design for sail and rig control solutions.”
Andrew Martin, Oyster 495 programme manager, comments: “Oyster is delighted with the bespoke development of the SEL-Bus furling system which, with a single button powered solution to mainsail management, takes sailing automation to another level on board the Oyster 495. This is just another innovation that will make sailing this new breed of bluewater sailing yacht a simple pleasure for a couple or young family.
“In mast furling has long been Oyster’s tried and tested reliable bluewater sail plan. The SEL-Bus furling compact hydraulic power system is simpler to install on our smaller boats and along with other unique features sets a very high standard on this new bluewater benchmark.”