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Old 02-02-2012, 08:36   #1
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Can You Automate the Sailing Process?

Yes why would you. I just want to get some ideas. The concept is to enter on the ship board computer the destination port(s) and perhaps using software sketch of prefered rote. Then cast off and leave the rest to the programme. The system will use GPS navigation, which will also give ship speed and tidal drift (to be corrected for) it would include electronic maps and location of hazzards. The hardware would be basically:
(1) Servo controlled tiller (manual overide).
(2) A pair of fan like sales one each side of the mast with seperate servos to expand the sail out (imagine an inverted fan of triangular cross section) to yield the most suitable 'push' in the given circumstances.
(3) A rotating mast to align the sail to obtain the maximum power from the wind. If tacking is necessary then the computer will caculate the course to be followed. Sudden loss of wind can be sensed and adjusted for. The rotation is obtained by a very large gear wheel at the bottom driven by pinion and servo.
(4) A vane controlled windturbine which will give speed and direction of wind and supply via generator top up to ships batteries. Obviously this can be 'feathered' in high winds.Relative wind speed can be gauged by computer from GPS.
(5) Since there will be sudden swings of the sail, it would be best if the mast is on the upper deck with the 'crew' on a lower sundeck.
The whole system relies on storm warnings etc to be 'understood' by the computer and suitable action taken.
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Old 02-02-2012, 08:54   #2
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Re: Can you automate the sailing process?

welcome to the forum,try this!ps get the wife to throw buckets of water at you for full sailing experiance.....................

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Old 02-02-2012, 10:54   #3
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Re: Can you automate the sailing process?

Small robot sailboats have crossed oceans. But they are more on a scale of an RC sailboat than a boat.

I've read that The Maltese Falcon is completely automated. Other sailing megayachts have winches that go in and out on long worm screws and do not need human intervention.

There was also a wing sail catamaran in San Diego that had a steering wheel. A computer would somehow figure out how to set ailerons on the wing to make it sail.
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Old 02-02-2012, 10:58   #4
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Re: Can you automate the sailing process?

seems like a case of more to go wrong.
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Old 02-02-2012, 11:56   #5
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Re: Can you automate the sailing process?

If it EVER comes to this ! I will start flying and useing Cruise Ships LOL to much for this OLD guy !! Bob and Connie
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Old 02-02-2012, 12:09   #6
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Re: Can you automate the sailing process?

Its been done. A university in Germany created a catamaran that sailed completely autonomously from there to Terceira in the Azores. All decisions were made by software. No intervention from land! The IMO said, "Never do that again" Why?

Imagine you are in a liferaft, you see the lights coming, you use your last flare, nobody on watch, you die...
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Old 02-02-2012, 12:22   #7
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Re: Can you automate the sailing process?

Seems a pointless exercise to me. Maybe you could but why would you want to and what if something breaks as it certainly will at some point? Each to his own but I'd take up some other pastime if that ever became the 'norm'.
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Old 02-02-2012, 14:21   #8
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Re: Can you automate the sailing process?

I read subject and my reaction was the same as the first sentence, why would you? Couldn't think of any good reason, so I stopped there.
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Old 02-02-2012, 14:33   #9
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Re: Can you automate the sailing process?

I like sailing...............

Who keeps watch to prevent this thing from running over those of us who like sailing?
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Old 02-02-2012, 14:38   #10
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Re: Can you automate the sailing process?

I was playing with my electronics recently and saved a track down a problematic channel by using save track function. then let the boat follow the track using the nav to saved track and autopilot. it did wonderfully, the only time i grabbed the helm was going under a bridge for safety sake.
Got 7 beeps out of autopilot everytime it turned to follow course. I was going downwind and didnt have to trim the sails. The nav part is already there. Now interfacing wind nav instruments to auto winches for trimming sails?
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Old 02-02-2012, 15:12   #11
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Re: Can you automate the sailing process?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sy_gilana View Post
..... Imagine you are in a liferaft, you see the lights coming, you use your last flare, nobody on watch, you die...
U need a flare detector,

When i read the first post it looked something like da Vincis ideas about helicopters. Automated sailing is possible, of course. But is that what we really want?
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Old 02-02-2012, 16:25   #12
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Re: Can you automate the sailing process?

To the OP - yes you can do it and it can be done with stuff already available.

Should you do it - NO!

Why would you do it - I just don't know! (some like to sail still)

Should you do some of it - sure!

What are you really trying to ask as I sense there is another question hidden inside the original?
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Old 02-02-2012, 16:29   #13
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Re: Can you automate the sailing process?

You can automate the lovemaking process more easily, but I think it detracts from the trip.
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Old 02-02-2012, 16:43   #14
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pirate Re: Can you automate the sailing process?

Quote:
Originally Posted by S/V Alchemy View Post
You can automate the lovemaking process more easily, but I think it detracts from the trip.
Thought Fonda was drop dead gorgeous in that...
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Old 02-02-2012, 17:54   #15
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Re: Can you automate the sailing process?

quote [welcome to the forum,try this!ps get the wife to throw buckets of water at you for full sailing experiance.....................]

Yeah, Atoll has it covered. Get your wife to do her nautical duty.
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