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Old 14-10-2013, 20:35   #1
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Racing Trimarans (i.e. ORMA), why inboard diesel+autopilot vs solar + wind vane?

Hi,

I was looking at some fast ORMA based boats (60-70 ft racing tris) and was hoping someone could shed some light on something. These are racing boats, so why do they have inboard diesels? Seems like the weight and propeller would have no place on this kind of boat?

Some of these boats are race i.e. trans-pacific according to the article, then I noticed there are no solar panels. Is this why they have inboards? Electricity generation? For power hungry autopilots?

I was thinking/hoping long range racing (i.e. trans ocean or circumnavigation) would rely more on solar panels + wind vane? Why is this not a viable option?
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Old 14-10-2013, 21:12   #2
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Re: Racing Trimarans (i.e. ORMA), why inboard diesel+autopilot vs solar + wind vane?

Because they're racing. Solar panels are a lot of windage, and fairly heavy for their power output. They also don't work at night, or in cloudy weather.

Windvanes don't work well on fast boats. Too much difference between the AWA and the TWA. And the AWA can shift dramatically as the boat accelerates, which would result in major course changes in wind gusts or surfing.
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Old 14-10-2013, 22:19   #3
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Re: Racing Trimarans (i.e. ORMA), why inboard diesel+autopilot vs solar + wind vane?

the diesels are required by the rules
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Old 15-10-2013, 04:30   #4
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Re: Racing Trimarans (i.e. ORMA), why inboard diesel+autopilot vs solar + wind vane?

What 44c said about vanes. Pretty much useless on a fast multi.
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Old 15-10-2013, 08:56   #5
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Re: Racing Trimarans (i.e. ORMA), why inboard diesel+autopilot vs solar + wind vane?

I was on a Mod70 racing tri - the diesel is not large and the props are small folders. They are also centered in the boat. These boats do need to move in and around ports and marinas, so they need motor propulsion. They also need charging systems for ocean racing - can't rely on solar and not really any place to mount solar. They have a removable windgen (not wind vane). These are fully crewed boats, so the autopilot is probably not used much.

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