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Old 11-10-2011, 00:20   #1
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Remember the Walker Wingsail ?

The company has had problems, but the concept is excellent. Speaking as a small plane pilot, I have to wonder why this technology hasn't been picked up by another boat builder.





LARINKA is currently for sale. 43' Tri 2001 Walker Wingsail for $530,000 US. Only 3 other sister ships out there.














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Old 11-10-2011, 00:40   #2
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Re: Remember the Walker Wingsail?

I'm no expert in wing masts so take this with a grain of salt...but at first glance I would say this system may be more expensive, heavy, and difficult or impossible to reef.
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Old 11-10-2011, 00:56   #3
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Re: Remember the Walker Wingsail?

Quote:
Originally Posted by deckofficer View Post
Speaking as a small plane pilot, I have to wonder why this technology hasn't been picked up by another boat builder.
Because its ridiculously overpriced
Unable to be repaired easily
Relies on too much in the way of electronics to run
I would imagine easily damaged
Therefore no one wanted it

Quote:
LARINKA is currently for sale. 43' Tri 2001 Walker Wingsail for $530,000 US. Only 3 other sister ships out there.
LOL
Only 4 punters in the world stumped up the cash for one
and now the company is defunct, they still think its worth $530k when any other 43 ft tri is $400k less

Tell 'em their dreamin'
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Old 11-10-2011, 01:53   #4
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Re: Remember the Walker Wingsail?

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Originally Posted by James S View Post
I'm no expert in wing masts so take this with a grain of salt...but at first glance I would say this system may be more expensive, heavy, and difficult or impossible to reef.

That is the beauty of computer controlled lift wing surfaces. To get under way, it is just a matter of throttling up the wings. Also works the same way for going astern. When on the hook in high winds, the wings of course remain up, but the computer will keep the lift so low that 10 years ago I remember them stating the static load is LESS than a bare mast would be. But should you have a computer boot problem, or issues with the software, where do you turn (no pun intended)?
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Old 11-10-2011, 02:44   #5
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Re: Remember the Walker Wingsail?

I'm glad they had the courage to give it a go....and am sorry they were unsuccessful...if in fact they were...I don't know what other opportunities may have spun off from this venture.
Hats off to those who try!
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Old 11-10-2011, 03:41   #6
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Re: Remember the Walker Wingsail?

K.I.S.S................
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Old 11-10-2011, 04:13   #7
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Re: Remember the Walker Wingsail?

It just looks dumb.
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Old 11-10-2011, 13:39   #8
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Re: Remember the Walker Wingsail?

I wonder, how quickly must the computer adjust the wings to prevent capsizing in a storm?

And I would prefer having the cockpit closer to the stern: the foredeck of a fast boat isn't comfortable in a seaway.

Alain
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Old 11-10-2011, 15:19   #9
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Re: Remember the Walker Wingsail?

It may not be simple and it may look "just dumb" but like James S, I admire the fact the people go down these paths and look at these ideas.
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Old 11-10-2011, 21:12   #10
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Re: Remember the Walker Wingsail ?

I think it is the future of sailing. For 5000 years we have used a sail, the only improvements was designing more like a wing, with high and low pressure sides to produce lift-propulsion. We should be done with roller sails that degrade this air foil, and battens to try and form and stiffen the mainsail to more represent a wing. Why not just go with a wing (or 4 for the mast turntable) and control the angle of these much more efficient wings to suit all points of sail, both forward and astern? Be able to reduce "sail" or lift in this case, with the push of a button. It would be nice to be on the hook and not deal with the sails but also know that the wings when instructed by the computer, offer less wind loading than a bare mast. Not to mention no more sail repair and replacement caused by the rigors of sailing and effects of UV. The pre-teen kids of today, sailing now with their parents, just might be sailing this kind of vessel when their time comes.
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Old 12-10-2011, 00:49   #11
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Re: Remember the Walker Wingsail ?

I think the Walker Wingsail boats are amazing, wonderful, inspired and fantastic realizations of an extraordinary vision. But also crazy.

Some quick and random thoughts:

The suggestion that you can point the boat where you want to go and let the computer sail it is limited because the boat still needs to tack to get places upwind. If you want point and go wind power some kind of rotary system is probably the best bet.

The amount of lift that the Walker rigs develop is likely similar to conventional rigs of similar sail area. There should be less air drag than on a conventional rig but at cruising speeds that's not usually much of an issue. However, the weight of the rig might be an issue.

Feathering sounds good and probably works well most of the time. However, if the bearings are less than ideal or the wind is different at different heights or if the rig resonates things could get ugly and it might be hard to do anything about it...

For the money you could buy several nice boats, keep them in nice places around the world and fly out to use them...

The free standing rotating rig is very attractive in concept. It has the minimum of parts, can be reefed on any point of sail, can be trimmed to best advantage on any point of sail, can be balanced, can be self trimming and so on.

A well made hard sail should last a long time. Soft sails are expensive and perishable. Repairing and replacing them is a chore.

Somewhat fancier wings than the Walker version can operate with either very high lift or very low drag. For a given amount of sail area you could have more options with a wing.

Tom.
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Old 12-10-2011, 01:24   #12
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Re: Remember the Walker Wingsail ?

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The suggestion that you can point the boat where you want to go and let the computer sail it
And when that computer lets the smoke out where do I go for a new one?
Thats what I'd like to know.

Quote:
For the money you could buy several nice boats, keep them in nice places around the world and fly out to use them...
That you could
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Old 12-10-2011, 01:27   #13
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Re: Remember the Walker Wingsail ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by deckofficer View Post
Be able to reduce "sail" or lift in this case, with the push of a button. It would be nice to be on the hook and not deal with the sails but also know that the wings when instructed by the computer,
Where is the nearest repair centre?
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Old 12-10-2011, 02:11   #14
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Re: Remember the Walker Wingsail ?

Surely there is an iPhone app to drive that thing?
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Old 12-10-2011, 05:10   #15
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Re: Remember the Walker Wingsail ?

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Originally Posted by cat man do View Post
And when that computer lets the smoke out where do I go for a new one?
Thats what I'd like to know.


That you could
You just order a new one by airmail--and have it delivered by an aeroplane which, BTW, have had fly-by- wire controls for years. Ironic huh!!
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