Hobie Forums

Page 2 of 10

Author:  fusioneng [ Fri Jul 12, 2013 6:57 pm ]

I feel we are seeing right before our eyes a fundamental change in the way sailing is done. This is a very exciting time.

The Wright brothers didn't invent flight, most of the ideas about wing design and lift had been bouncing around for years (thousands of years according to some). As outside the box thinkers the truly amazing thing they came up with was the fundamentals of controlled flight ( ie... Ailerons, rudder, elevator, propeller, etc), these fundamentals have really nothing to do with available technology at the time. As outside the box thinkers they came up with (in their garage) a fundamental breakthrough in thinking that changed the world. I am assuming pretty much everyone who tried flying prior to them died in the process ( humor).

Pretty much every plane made since then works on exactly the same principles. My understanding is they did their best to try and completely control the market, but once the cat was out of the bag on how to do controlled flight successfully, pretty much everyone else followed and improved on their concepts without them. I am hoping for the same progression to come to sailing, now we have all seen what can be done.

I feel in the last couple years (because of the Americas cup and a few very bright guys), there has been a fundamental change in the way sailboats work.
Lets face it boats and sailing have been around for thousands of years with very few changes. Pretty much everyone basically is just following the same path trying to improve on what everyone else already knows, all of us in the same rut. Of course there is the natural progression of better materials and advancements in manufacture as Tom points out so well, but the basic concepts have not changed in 2000 yrs.

Once in a while outside the box thinkers come up with breakthrough ideas that can change the basic thinking of how things can be done (like the Wright brother, Henry Ford, Verner Von Braun, Einstein, the Beatles, etc). I feel things like the wing sails, hydrofoils, Mirage drives (yes mirage drive is up there with the best ideas) are just a taste of what is in all of our futures as sailing enthusiasts.

Everyone will say who would spend gazillians of dollars to design and build such a boat as an AC72. We all have eyes and can see and understand the concepts of what is being done, we all need to think outside the box and come up with the ideas on how to make this stuff a reality and affordable after 2000 yrs and thousands of books all re-hashing all the same old stuff over and over again.

We as humans once we see something, all try to improve on that idea, for example the gas engine in my car is exactly the same engine that was in the 1955 chevy, with a couple minor improvements (because of technology) but the fundamentals have not changed, everyone is just following the same old horse, that’s human nature (and very sad for society).

Of course sailing is just my hobby and I’m not in the sailing industry at all. I just putze with my boat on weekends in my garage for something to do and to occupy my mind. But I do have eyes and can see what is out there, and what is going on, and have a pretty good understanding of what some of these new concepts to sailing mean (ie.. wing sails, foils, hull design, etc). I feel what they are doing right now in front of our very eyes (and on Youtube) over the last couple years is a fundamental breakthrough (like the Wright brothers) in the way people will think about how to make sailboats in the future, basically a reboot, throwing out all the old knowledge. Just like with the Wright brothers this has nothing to do with technology, and who has the most money, it the fundamental thinking behind how to understand and make sailboats work. Basically pulling all of us out of the rut we have all been in for 2000 yrs.

As long as people are willing to think a little outside of the current box in the sailing industry , we will all have all this cool stuff.

I can give examples showing that you don’t have to spend a gazillian dollars to take advantage of these new fundamentals:

A couple years ago after watching my friend on his Trifoiler I studied up a little on Hydrofoil design and built my own Hydrofoils for my TI, just for somethin to do. They are cool and they work, but I lost interest quickly because we just don’t get the kind of winds needed around here, and like Tom said, they actually are a little boring once you have them. I made the foils in my garage by hand with no powertools at a cost of under $200 dollars (it’s not rocket science). The foils are just one small piece of the puzzle, but as people learn how to design and build stuff like this, eventually they will be a must have component on any sailboat just like a daggerboard, or rudder, and I think that will be sooner rather than later.

Wing sails, after watching the Americas cup boats and studying up a little on wing sails, I designed and built my own wing sail for my TI just for somethin to do and for my own personal enjoyment. It actually works really well and really is way more efficient than normal sails. And no it’s not a monstrous contraption that has to be hauled on a separate trailer, or cost a gazillian dollars it’s just a 32 sq ft furlable jib sail, and looks no different from any typical jib sail out there. My wing jib didn’t cost more than $150 in materials to make, all made in my garage in a few weekends with no fancy powertools or technology of any kind. The jib is 32 sq ft verses the 90sq ft standard mainsail (1/3 the sail area), yet propels my TI at 6mph in 10-12mph winds with the main completely furled. That’s about the same speed a TI sails in the same wind conditions with just the mainsail alone (no jib). If I can do this putzing in my garage, making a sail that’s 3 times more efficient vs a normal commercial sail, why are not things like this on the market ??.... because nobody really understood the fundamentals, but now we all do (again all pretty simple stuff).

I just feel the sailing market, has been held back with the same old 2000 yr old thinking, everyone chasing the same old dead horse (like the same old unchanged 1955 chevy engine design in my new Yukon, I expect more) . Hopefully as everyone see’s the Americas cup boats, they will get off their butts and start designing some good stuff, that we can all easily afford.

Sailing industry there are no more excuses, I want to be able to buy an affordable 18 to 25 ft cat or tri (with foils, and wing sails of course), capable of 40 mph within the next couple years. If you don’t come thru I will design and build it myself (only for my own personal enjoyment ‘sorry’), we all have the knowledge and knowhow now thanks to these Americas cup guys showing us the way.
Hope I didn’t bore everybody too much

Author:  TriBlue [ Fri Jul 12, 2013 7:10 pm ]

Hey Bob,

I completely agree with your long winded discourse!
So much so, that I think I may have shelved my longstanding Jib project for my AI in favor of a wing for the main...
just dreamin'...
but it's a start!


Author:  tonystott [ Sat Jul 13, 2013 1:48 am ]

The really cool thing is that the best evolution of foil sailing has taken place in the international Moth class, led by a bunch of Aussies. This is where money is not the main component, but smart thinking certainly is.

Author:  Surffoils [ Mon Jul 15, 2013 10:26 am ]

tonystott wrote:
The really cool thing is that the best evolution of foil sailing has taken place in the international Moth class, led by a bunch of Aussies. This is where money is not the main component, but smart thinking certainly is.

Following on from what Fusioneng said above, ive watched the Moth foilers in action and even tho they are riding a new style of craft, they've hung on to the old designs of foils and wing theory. The high aspect foils stall quickly and the sailing is more about tuning the two foils for steady lift. I wish the Smart Thinking could reinvent the foil so there's more sailing.


Author:  fusioneng [ Mon Jul 15, 2013 11:52 am ]

Surffoils :
That's not exactly what I was envisioning, it looks like those guys are in the water as much as they are on it, but boy does it look like a lot of fun. Unfortunately I'm too old for that kind of sailing. What I think is possible would be an 18-25 ft cat or tri with those curved daggerboard foils, that would be hopefully pretty automatic, basically your either foiling or your not. The mainsail would really be the key component. I have found just in tinkering around with wing sails that they are much more efficient verses conventional sails, according to my actual trials, the wing sail is around 3 time more efficient than a conventional sail with a lot less healing moment (trying to tip you over).
Here is a video of my first time out using a wing jib, even though it is only 1/3 the size of the standard Hobie mainsail, it is fairly close to equal to the performance (basically just by itself can propel the boat to similar speeds as the mainsail alone). And this is just a cheap sail ($150 bucks) built by hand in my garage to not so exacting specs, I imagine if it were properly designed and built the performance could double again, keep in mind this was designed just as a jib (because my old jib wore out and had to be replaced anyway).

The winds were actually only 7mph, in subsequent tests I have been able to easily get up to 6mph just using the jib in 10-12 mph winds, which is pretty equal to what the TI's mainsail can do alone (the TI stock sails typically is good for around .5 to .6 of the wind). All my videos are on the Ultimate Tandem Island thread ( viewtopic.php?f=69&t=33720&start=105). Keep in mind I'm just farting around with this stuff for fun.

I feel once they start going to wing sails, the sail size can increase (maybe even double), on an equal sized boat (because there is much less healing moment), can you imagine doubling the sail area on an 18-25 cat, with a way more efficient wing sail the power it would develop. Then once up on foils nearly no drag.
I just feel the potential for all this new stuff is huge, and am excited to see it all come into the marketplace.

Author:  Chet3 [ Mon Jul 15, 2013 1:35 pm ]

I am curious how that is a wing sail vs just a fully battened jib? I am guessing it has some thickness to it but it is not really shown in the video.

The wing sails on the AC72 boats have two or more sections that articulate to increase the efficiency. This is a bit more complicated but the real drawback is how to raise, lower and store the sail when it is a rigid wing. Of course they do it with a crane and then put it in a building but that is not practical for the average sailor.

Author:  Surffoils [ Mon Jul 15, 2013 1:44 pm ]

Nice video Fusioneng, what do you mean you're too old to sail foils ?!

Author:  fusioneng [ Mon Jul 15, 2013 3:27 pm ]

Here is a website that kind of describes the differences between different sail types ( http://smalltridesign.com/masts/rig-mast_options.html)
The sails used on the AC 45 and AC 72's has an efficiency of 2.5, whereas a standard sail has an efficiency of .85. Since I don't have a gazillian dollars or a crane, I work with a slightly less efficient sail design which has a rating of around 2.2 (basically is capable of sailing 2.2x the wind speed (between E and F)). If you happen to have a gazzilian dollars and your countries reputation is at stake, then by all means design around the best, and get that extra couple mph.
The difference in efficiency between a rigid (hard) wing sail and a soft wing sail of similar design is only a couple percent, when underway the air inlets on the leading edge of my jib make it as rigid as a rigid wing sail (like blowing up a balloon), so basically my sail is a rigid wing.
It's the actual airfoil shape (like an airplane wing) itself that gives you the efficiency. If you go to the Ultimate Tandem Island thread I pointed to above you can see pics of the sail laying on the garage floor both furled up and open. The sail is 5-6 inches thick and looks like the shape of an airplane wing and weighs 4 lbs (without the mast).
My sail is pretty simple to raise and lower with just a standard halyard, and super simple to take out and put away, just furl it up just like you would a standard roto furling jib like on an h16 or a getaway no different.
No need to copy my designs, as they are crap, what I am trying to point out is it would be pretty easy to build a free standing mast with a wing sail lets say on a cat or a tri, that uses the improved aerodynamics of wing shapes vs trying to re-hash yet another .85 efficiency standard (2000 yr old) sail designs (really the only point I'm trying to make). I'm not suggesting at all that the wing sails should be rigid, or that they should be jointed, and you would need a separate trailer for them, and have to own a crane. I'm actually saying the opposite, I'm saying instead of sail designers designing the same old sails we have all been using for a couple thousand years over and over again, why not just design them using wing designs, I can't imagine them costing much more, basically just throw away all their old books and ancient knowledge, and start fresh with the new ideas (reboot). We all have eyes, and can see that it can be done, They shouldn't need all that extra crap, like the giant rigid wing (soft wings are almost as efficient), you shouldn't need the joint in the middle and a crew of grinders pumping the hydraulics, all that extra stuff is just crap, if they were to think it through they can come up using natural forces to do all the same stuff the grinders do automatically (the grinders are the guys on the AC72 boats that pump the hydraulic pumps by hand to manipulate the wing sail (don't need any of that crap at all). Actually watching a future cat with a wing sail from a distance will not look any different than a standard cat with a standard old world sail. Except the guy with the wing sail and hydrofoils will be smiling ear to ear, and flying through the water on his foils at 40 plus.
Hey I'm not in the sailing industry, sailing is just my hobby, but I do have eyes, and can see a fundamental change in the way sailing is done (kind of the point I was trying to make) in the near future. Just like everyone else I just want one of those boats, yea I could design and built it myself, but why. I'm willing to bet within a couple yrs Hobie will have one out for under $15k.

Author:  Chet3 [ Mon Jul 15, 2013 8:20 pm ]

Thanks for the info. So you have an inflatable wing, some of the same technology used on the kite surfer wings or parafoils. That is cool stuff. I did not know that you could do that asymmetrically so it would work on both tacks by bending the shape to one side or the other. I am wondering how that could be incorporated into the mainsail on my Hobie 18 with the rotating mast which already forms the leading edge of a wing sail in effect.

I will give this some more thought :D

Author:  Slaughter [ Tue Jul 16, 2013 1:54 am ]

Thanks for the tech notes Bob. Really informative stuff.

Author:  NOHUHU [ Tue Jul 16, 2013 2:09 am ]

The Cup boats use very efficient articulating wings, so very much like a plane's flaps, they are used to shape the sail for any tack.

It also means you will not see those beautiful spinnakers anymore.

What do AC72's and the moth have in common? Learning to fly one:


Author:  Surffoils [ Tue Jul 16, 2013 2:33 am ]

Watching the moths I see that they often have a problem with yaw sensitivity prior to a crash. That seems to be a common occurrence so maybe increasing the distance between foils would assist in stability..? It doesn't seem to affect the AC72's maybe because of the greater chord of the front foil.

Author:  tonystott [ Tue Jul 16, 2013 2:38 am ]

Ah, the Aussie accent :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

Author:  fusioneng [ Tue Jul 16, 2013 11:34 am ]

Surffoils :
I'm not too old to sail with foils, just Moth boats (though I think they would be a blast), I actually have foils for my Tandem Island, and they actually work, but the problem I have is getting the TI with it's teeny sails up to launch speed (8-10 mph).

Keep in mind with foils when the hull and foils are both in the water you get double drag (from the hull and the foils). The two times I was able to get up on my foils was on a down wind (about 135 degrees) in around 20 mph winds with all my sails out including my big spinnaker (330 sq ft sail area total). Without the foils I have been able to sustain around 18 mph in similar conditions on several occasions (only because of the spinnaker, and only downwind). With the foils I was able to get up on the foils and get up to similar speeds but chickened out trying to go any faster and always backed off after a few moments. That was 2 1/2 yrs ago and pointed out my problem very clearly, you can't add additional sail area to a TI for upwind and a reach (the only conditions where the foils would be practical) without adding more healing moment to the boat than the hull design can handle. So the foils have been just sitting in the garage ever since. Obviously if I owned and H18 that would have not been a problem.
That's kind of what got me started researching wing sails, in as they are much more efficient than standard sails and the healing moment (the force trying to tip you over) is only 1/4 that of standard sails (as shown in my videos).
So basically over the last couple years I've been thinking about my problems (and throwing away all the old books on sailing knowledge), and my conclusion and possible solution will be converting to wing sails with an efficiency of 2.2 verses the present main sail on my TI which has an efficiency of .85, (refer to this article for sail type efficiency ratings ( http://smalltridesign.com/masts/rig-mast_options.html )) with the added benefit that wing sails have way less healing moment (much less stress on the hull). The tiny jib that I made basically proved out the concepts, I have all the designs done and will get started shortly on a 90-100 sq ft main wing sail to replace my current old fashion design mainsail. Using the new wing main in combination with the already built and proven out wing jib. I'm hoping my TI (without the foils) will be able to do around 18 to 20mph on a 90 degree reach (without the spinnaker). Once I achieve this I will re-introduce the hydrofoils to the design, and according to all my math calculations I should be able to hit 30mph with the foils (about max speed for my existing foil design). Keep in mind this is all on a standard Tandem Island with no modifications whatsoever to the basic hull design or mast system, and on a limited budget ($500 bucks max for everything).
If I can do all this on a cheap rotomolded tri with a POS hull design, and dumping the teeny 2000 yr old existing sail design overboard, just think what someone could do with an H18, or a Wildcat. That's why I'm saying Future Cat (or tri) will be a 40+ mph boat in a couple years.
The Aussies, Windsurfers, and the Moth people all have it right, it's just the mainstream sailing industry that just doesn't get it yet (just my opinion).
Hope I'm not boring everyone.

Author:  Tom Kirkman [ Tue Jul 16, 2013 11:53 am ]

The TI sail isn't a "fixed mast" type design owing to the luff pocket that slides over the mast. The luff is free to move around the mast.

I have found foiling to be a real blast, but it's never going to be extremely practical for most sailing applications. At least not for the type of use that most AI and TI boats see, and I guess the same could be said for the beach cats as well. From a standpoint of practicality, the same can be said of wing sails I'd think.

But it's nice that some of you guys are fooling around with the stuff. That's what makes it all so much fun.

Page 2 of 10 All times are UTC - 8 hours [ DST ]
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group