B&R Designs began business in the early sixties when Sven Ridder and Lars Bergstrom began sailing after studying aeronautical engineering. The principles learnt during their aeronautical studies were applied to sailboats and the goal, for them, has been to take up the structural loads in the most constructive way. Access to the wind tunnels, test tanks and structural testing facilities at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm enabled them to develop and test many ideas. One of these ideas evolved into the B&R rig.
The objective was to develop a rig that was more 'user friendly'. Sailboats, thirty years ago and even today, are often fitted with inner forestays and running backstays requiring careful attention by the crew when tacking or jibing. A rig with less demands was the goal, one that was simpler and any mistakes made when tacking or jibing would not jeopardize the boat or crew. Also a simpler rig would require fewer crew members. Safety was another important consideration - a rig that was simple, easy to manage, suitable for a couple or family for cruising.
During this rig development period the first application of the rigid boom vang concept was used on Sven Ridder's own sailboat 'Christina Windex'.
Calculations and model testing of rigs were carried out. Optimizing the aerodynamic effect in the most favorable way was a very important aim. A series of wind tunnel tests were done to optimize the shape of mast sections. Because of the low wind speeds over a mast, laminar separation occurs very easily. Air scoops were set up on either side of the mast to achieve an attached flow. The best results occurred with an oval shaped mast section, fitted with a sail groove recessed in a V shaped area at the rear of the mast section.