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Old 05-03-2016, 04:48   #1
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New Technology - Feedback appreciated!

Hi there,

I am currently doing research into varies potential applications for illuminating fabrics technology.

The technology is based around illuminating fabrics, and I am trying to see if there would be a potential market in the boat sail market. The idea is, that there would be red illuminating material going around the outline of the port side of the sail and green on the starboard side, making boats much more visible when sailing at night, and also allowing others to ascertain which side of the boat they are looking at .what direction it's heading.

Your thoughts on the above idea would be greatly appreciated.

I would also love to get an idea of the average cost of a sail for a yacht say 32' - 38' just to get an idea of what people spend on a new sail.

Many thanks,
Smighty.
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Old 06-03-2016, 07:10   #2
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Re: New Technology - Feedback appreciated!

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Smighty.
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Old 06-03-2016, 07:49   #3
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New Technology - Feedback appreciated!

The various angles that sails can be set would mean your red or green could be visible from the bow or stern as well, which would be misleading and probably a violation of regulations. If u want to increase visibility that's fine, but pick non-conflicting colors. See the colregs for lights at night configurations.

From a sailors perspective seeing the outline of a sail at night would be beneficial for trimming without having to turn on deck lights. But it would have to be dim enough not to wreck your night vision.


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Old 06-03-2016, 07:58   #4
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Re: New Technology - Feedback appreciated!

As Autumn mentioned lighting up the entire sail in red/green would violate Colregs so that won't work. But there really isn't a need for it either. From a sail trim standpoint being able to light up draft strips say 2 inches wide by the width at that point would be enough.

There are some other places I can see this being usefully depending on the amount of illumination. The underside of biminies would be one place I would love it.
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Old 06-03-2016, 09:08   #5
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Re: New Technology - Feedback appreciated!

Yes, under my hard bimini, warm white and dimmable. And maybe later even inside. But not for outside or as navigation light.
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Old 06-03-2016, 09:17   #6
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Re: New Technology - Feedback appreciated!

I don't want to be a wet blanket but I think you have 2 insurmountable issues. On safety, if not close hauled your colored patches would violate the CGREGS. More importantly, you are offering a solution to a non problem. If visibility at night is the problem, the solution would be more elevated and/or higher intensity running lights which is a tiny fraction of the cost of new sails. Spreader light on the sails is another low cost option but also has a night vision issue. Either way I respectfully suggest you investigate other markets. Safety vests might be one if your product is brighter than the reflective materials in common use.
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Old 06-03-2016, 09:50   #7
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Re: New Technology - Feedback appreciated!

What about "night" flags??
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Old 06-03-2016, 11:14   #8
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Re: New Technology - Feedback appreciated!

I can think of lots of potential uses for safety gear, liferaft canopies, life jacket covers, jackstay lines etc if this is effectively an illuminated version of the glass bead reflective strip. Can you also turn it into a paint and do all the pot buoys!!!
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Old 06-03-2016, 11:31   #9
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Re: New Technology - Feedback appreciated!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Smighty View Post
The idea is, that there would be red illuminating material going around the outline of the port side of the sail and green on the starboard side
As already pointed out, that won't work

I do use reflective tape; looks something like this (example pic only):



Already available pretty much everywhere, and pretty budget friendly

Quote:
Originally Posted by Smighty View Post
I would also love to get an idea of the average cost of a sail for a yacht say 32' - 38'
What is the average cost of a 3 - 4 bedroom apartment (worldwide)?
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Old 06-03-2016, 11:40   #10
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Re: New Technology - Feedback appreciated!

Such sails may be in fact illegal. Boats are supposed to show only the lights described in relevant regulations.

Still the technology can be used in alternative ways.

Illuminated trim strips on sail can help sailors trim sails at night. Vide poster above.

Etc.

b.
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Old 06-03-2016, 12:10   #11
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Re: New Technology - Feedback appreciated!

Personally, I am pretty fed up with all the neon, rope lights, etc. that have been showing up on many powerboats in recent years and it is hard enough to figure out which way they are going without adding any other light that is not already listed in the Colregs.

that being said, I think, as others pointed out, it may be useful for turning on and off to make sure you are seen, and sail trim, but the difference in buying a new sail or my $10 12volt spotlight would not make it worth my money.
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Old 06-03-2016, 13:15   #12
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Re: New Technology - Feedback appreciated!

Would anyone really confuse these for navigation lights? Perhaps the OP could provide an example of the size he was thinking. Outlining a shape on either side of a sail, at a large scale size, would not likely confuse anyone at night. Or perhaps do it at the higher points of the sail to increase general visibility of the vessel.

Could these be turned on quickly or do they 'warm up'? What is the power usage? What colors are available? What kind of brightness levels? How much does it weigh beyond the weight of typical sail cloth?

I think we are thinking too 'inside the box' on what the OP is imagining.

Tankersteve
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Old 07-03-2016, 00:29   #13
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Re: New Technology - Feedback appreciated!

Something like this?

These fabrics were made specifically for night skiing off the standard slopes...

Although it would be really annoying so much light.
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Old 07-03-2016, 01:04   #14
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New Technology - Feedback appreciated!

Annoying is the word for this idea. When I see navigation lights I know what I'm seeing and the likely distance from them. When I see something else lit up strangely on the ocean I'm either confused or annoyed. Either way not good.

Otoh there are many applications for lighted fabrics aboard. As long as it doesn't blow your night vision.

Finally. On my sailboat if I have some concern that I'm not being seen I hail the ship using the DSC radio calling bridge to bridge or I shine a light on my sails or I flip on the spreader lights (knowing my night vision will be compromised) all of these work well and none of them confuse other boaters.




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Old 15-03-2016, 00:57   #15
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Re: New Technology - Feedback appreciated!

Quote:
Originally Posted by tankersteve View Post
Would anyone really confuse these for navigation lights? Perhaps the OP could provide an example of the size he was thinking. Outlining a shape on either side of a sail, at a large scale size, would not likely confuse anyone at night. Or perhaps do it at the higher points of the sail to increase general visibility of the vessel.

Could these be turned on quickly or do they 'warm up'? What is the power usage? What colors are available? What kind of brightness levels? How much does it weigh beyond the weight of typical sail cloth?

I think we are thinking too 'inside the box' on what the OP is imagining.

Tankersteve
As already pointed out, unless close hauled, you could be showing red to your bow, green to your stern or vice versa. The box has been defined by regulation, thinking outside of that box endanger's your boat, your crew, and every other vessel you might encounter at night. Sometimes the box is a good place to be. rarely but in this case, ya, please stay in the box.
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