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Old 16-01-2009, 09:06   #1
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Fixed Winged Cat

Perhaps the perfect Catamaran ?

Computer controled WingSailTM and sail-by-wire capability what are your thoughts?

"Winged technology has as many advantages for the 40-50 foot boat owner and
operator as it does for the superyacht operator. It's hands free, it's
safe, it's green and it has lower maintenance costs. It takes virtually no
manpower to keep a wing upright and to monitor the controls, yet traditional
soft sails require knowledgeable bodies to make sail changes and to trim
them. Thin-filmed solar sheets reduce fuel costs, because you're not running
engines all of the time to recharge batteries. It's a lot less expensive to
replace individual panels on wing elements than it is to replace old sails,"
said an enthusiastic Pete Melvin who is looking forward to seeing winged
multihull fleets of all sizes circling the globe.

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Old 16-01-2009, 09:46   #2
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They look kind of like the Walker Wingsail boats.

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Old 16-01-2009, 09:52   #3
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Walker wings where only on there boat which where Trimarans
This wing can go on any cat, RETRO, or new designs
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Old 16-01-2009, 09:53   #4
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Morelli and Melvin are top-of-the-heap design wizards for speed machines. There are no better go-fast designers. Cruisers should look for something a LOT less exotic, that can be reefed in bad weather, and completely furled at the end of the day. They should look for simple, robust structure that can be repaired at sea by a couple. The list goes on. Unless you've got a boat house the size of a blimp hangar, this may not be a "practical" boat.
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Old 16-01-2009, 09:58   #5
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Sandy.. you said in the first quote Morelli and Melvin. they are a part of this design, Reefed yes it can be, it also has less drag than a normail rig, and it does not go past the beam of the boat. so at a dock the wing rotates 360 degrees
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Old 16-01-2009, 12:39   #6
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Interesting system, but if the computer goes down it looks like you'll need an engineering degree to keep yourself out of trouble. Here is a demo video:

Harbor Wing Technologies - Autonomous Unmanned Surface Vessel - AUSV
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Old 16-01-2009, 12:53   #7
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winged sail

I would be a little hesitant not to be able to strike sail. Even if reefing is possible, the liability of a fixed wing offshore would be ridiculous. Squalls rarely carry steady direction winds, so doubt the 360 degree rotation of the wing to keep it "luffing" would keep up in those conditions...
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Old 16-01-2009, 17:21   #8
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Aussiesuede .. You looked at the website of Harbor Wing and as you will see most of your concerns have been answered from the test boat for the military. This thread was to see, here and have you ask the Questions that the average sailor would have. In Boat International USA page 38 there is a three page story about this project. But I wanted to here from the real Sailors out there............... is this the 21 century way of Sailing?
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Old 16-01-2009, 17:38   #9
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Interesting system, but if the computer goes down it looks like you'll need an engineering degree to keep yourself out of trouble? No there are manual back up systems.
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Old 17-01-2009, 11:29   #10
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Wing sails are great for going fast. They have been discussed and tested over the past 40 years at AYRS. But multihull cruisers don't spend every waking moment trying to go fast. In fact, most spend a lot of time and effort slowing down, to stay comfortable. We carry a selection of sails, to match the conditions, from zephyrs to madly shrieking gales that would shred sheet metal.

When I drop the anchor in some beautiful refuge, I do not want to worry about dragging that anchor because I have some aerodynamic surfaces still up, swinging in the breeze. It would be like hurtling down a twisty mountain road with no brakes, as the shifting gusts turn into thrust in one direction and then the other!

If a squall comes along, I want to get all of my precious investment into a nice, safe, dry bag where it can go back up when the storm has passed.

The Walker Wing Sail establish one undeniable fact: no one bought the idea.
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Old 17-01-2009, 13:05   #11
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I dont know about "perfect"

For a cruiser it seems like a lot of things to break for which obtaining spare parts would be next to impossible. If spare parts were possible to obtain, they would be extremely expensive because there is no price competition. I'm sure the manufacturer would love to be able to sell you parts for five times what it cost them to manufacture.

What third world boatyards would be able to fix such a rig if you could not obtain parts or didn't want to pay through the nose?

Also, how do you reduce sail for when its blowing like hell?

You also have to ask yourself, is all this complexity and inability to make easy repairs worth a few extra knots?

"Perfect" also has to mean practical. Its not.

Besides, isn't cruising partially about the fun of getting there? If the most important thing is getting to your destination fast, then wouldn't it be better to take an airplane?
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Old 17-01-2009, 15:04   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sandy daugherty View Post
Wing sails are great for going fast. They have been discussed and tested over the past 40 years at AYRS. But multihull cruisers don't spend every waking moment trying to go fast. In fact, most spend a lot of time and effort slowing down, to stay comfortable. We carry a selection of sails, to match the conditions, from zephyrs to madly shrieking gales that would shred sheet metal.

When I drop the anchor in some beautiful refuge, I do not want to worry about dragging that anchor because I have some aerodynamic surfaces still up, swinging in the breeze. It would be like hurtling down a twisty mountain road with no brakes, as the shifting gusts turn into thrust in one direction and then the other!

If a squall comes along, I want to get all of my precious investment into a nice, safe, dry bag where it can go back up when the storm has passed.

The Walker Wing Sail establish one undeniable fact: no one bought the idea.
Well, I suspect M&M have thought about those very concerns. Years ago we were moored in a Cullen Bay marina, directly behind a walker wingsail boat. It was quite impressive watching the whole kit and caboodle weather cock with the puffs. It managed to get to Aus on its own bottom, I suspect, so they must have done something right.

My understanding of the system is that the amount of drive is controlled by the angle of attack of the small aft-most foils ( bit like rudder trim tabs). So it automatically swings with the changing wind direction. The power is controlled by the large aftmainfoil flap. When anchored zero everything and it just weather cocks. ( yer right). Personally I don't want one. Maybe they will find a use for them on super yachts.

I wonder how they stop flutter when it gets real windy?
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Old 17-01-2009, 15:14   #13
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Wing advantages

Wings will never be for everyone. But take for instance the sailor who can no longer hoist sails or handle the rigging efficiently due to age or ailment. They lose their love for easier system management, the trawler. Why not offer wings as alternative. Easy enough for even a paraplegic to handle alone if you follow the Walker story.

Walker wingsail was mismanaged from the beginning as JOhn Walker really only was marketing a demo for creating wing power on commercial shipping. He never had a strategy for targeting recreational craft. By the time he had demo'd the possibility fuel prices dropped significantly and his whole business premise failed. His new enterprise Shadotec PLC has not gone anywhere as investors have stayed away.

There are issues with any new designs. For instance the wing will have to be demountable for repairs if ever needed. But technical wing repair would be done by any aircraft mechanic. Looking at parts to fail, not many. Single teleflex cable to tail rudder(s) with an internal linkage to the slat. Only moving part taking a load is the mast bearing which is easily maintained.

AS far as danger from squall, the wing would be expected to to freely turn in 4 knots of wind. The speed in which the wing will will feather is directly proportional to the loading. Big gust from new direction, wing will swing very fast. Much faster than your sail can drop, or you can sheet out. The wing is counterbalanced. Inertia for wing swing is centered on the mast. No dumping the lee rail in the drink with a fast moving wing, versus the accidental jibe of a normal sail.

Once feathered, the wings themselves present 1/30th the drag of a similar diameter circular mast, and considering the rigging, wires etc, in much much less than any rig of equivalent sail area. In total much less drag force on a feathered wing than a bare pole sail boat. Bad winds expect the wing to create much less downwind force than a typical sail rig.

Certainly have to agree with all posters that redundant methods have to be established for wing control if electronics fail. But I would NOT dismiss the possibility of a market for winged boat.

There are a few other clever things that wings do. Never flog, can create lift in very light air, while sails flog about. Can set the rudders to back up the boat if desired. Man overboard, set the rudders to reverse and wind brings boat to stop, then back up.

The tail rudders will set the wing to best angle of attack while sails have watch trim and are always a compromise. Set the tail rudders for speed desired and just steer.

Wings never stretch and lose shape over time, don't rip, with UV protective paint no other maintenance for up to 20 years. Bearing life should last longer than the boat.

Anything here look like a good idea ?

What wings will not do well is dead downwind. I could work around that shortfall.

JT
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Old 17-01-2009, 16:13   #14
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But technical wing repair would be done by any aircraft mechanic.

JT
Thats not very reassuring when the furthest aircraft mechanic might be thousands of miles away...yet the nearest sail maker, or at least someone with a heavy duty sewing machine might be in the next village. There is a lot to be said about keeping things simple.

A wing mast might be fine for infinitely wealthy people who hire professional crew to push their boat to its absolute speed potential. But thats not what most cruisers are about.

Simple-Reliable-Inexpensive-Easy to manage. It must meet that criteria for the vast majority of cruisers.
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Old 18-01-2009, 08:36   #15
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Another shiney bubble.
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