An interesting boat : matinbleu (free standing "wing sails" goélette)

Discussion in 'Sailboats' started by yves, Aug 21, 2012.

  1. yves
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    yves Junior Member

    Below an interesting boat with 2 free standing masts and kind of wing sails :

    http://www.voilesetvoiliers.com/gra...e-3-matin-bleu-la-goelette-ailee-en-question/

    Their blog :
    http://matinbleu.over-blog.com/
    (last trip they went from Noumea to France through the Magellan passage)

    note : couldn't find any info in English about it

    "Amateur" built with some help from E Lerouge, who has a plan for a similar but smaller boat for himself :

    http://www.hisse-et-oh.com/forums/forums-techniques/messages/648010-projet-brattahlid

    I find it interesting that Rodger Martin, also built a boat with a similar concept for himself :
    http://www.rodgermartindesign.com/portfolio/presto-30/

    And somehow Nigel Irens as well :
    http://www.nigelirens.com/FRAMEcruising.htm
    (Roxane)
     
  2. Gary Baigent
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    Gary Baigent Senior Member

    Dare I mention it.
     

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  3. yves
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    yves Junior Member

    Interesting ! Is it yours ?
     
  4. Eric Sponberg
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    Eric Sponberg Senior Member

    Yes, I think you should! It is interesting to see that free-standing rigs are alive, well, gaining popularity again, and improving.

    I really like the pictures of this little boat because its shape remiinds me of both Mini Transat boats and the Open Class boats. I have long advocated that free-standing rigs on such boats would fare very well on long distance races. I worked for a long time in the 1990s to interest anyone in such a rig, which did culminate in Project Amazon, but no others. Since then, interest has waned for lack of people even trying. It does take money, after all, and the two things that America does NOT have are money and intellectual interest for long-distance racing.

    But these pictures are encouraging, because it shows that people are trying, they are looking, they are building, they are sailing free-standing rigs, including some that are shaped like wings and rotate.

    Good show, and thanks for the photos and links.

    Eric
     
  5. yves
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    yves Junior Member

    Interesting that free standing rigs seem to be pushed by Architects on their own boats first !
    Also the case (or almost) for Patrick Luscher Aquablue catamaran :
    http://looping.luscher.free.fr/aquablue.htm
    http://looping34.jimdo.com/
    [​IMG]
    (with the jib luff point that also moves on a rail, note : the boat is sold already)

    Note : for race boats, how would you describe the potential key advantages ?
     
  6. Eric Sponberg
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    Eric Sponberg Senior Member

    For the same reasons that they make good cruising rigs:

    First, there are A LOT fewer rig parts to go wrong--drop, break, etc. The increase is rig safety is inversely proportional to the number of fittings that are not used--many hundreds of percent. As I have said before, if it is not there, it cannot break. If you break the rig, you are out of the race, most likely. If you want to be first, first you have to finish.

    Second, free-standing rigs have proven themselves to be every bit as efficient as top notch stayed rigs, and in some cases, even more so. That means that they can sail to windward with the best of them. And in round-the-world racing, particularly in multi-stop races, you always have a mix of maritime weather and continental weather, which means that a lot of the time the wind is on the nose and you need to get to where the wind is coming from. Go back through the history of round-the-world racing and count how many times legs are won or lost in the last stages of the leg when boats are trying to beat each other upwind getting into port. It happens a lot.

    Third, a free-standing cat-ketch rig is naturally stable downwind (sails set wing and wing, booms forward of the beam) and this makes the boat practically immune to gybing. If you get caught in an uncontrolled gybe, the boat can suddenly broach and that puts you in danger, really great danger, of getting hit hard sideways by waves. Count how many times THAT happens in a round the world race! It's not so much the winds that break you, it's the waves! They cause real damage and they can roll you over. If you get rolled over, chances are you could be out of the race. With a free-standing cat-ketch rig, uncontrolled gybing and subsequent broaching simply do not happen.

    Fourth, with the sails set for downwind as above, you are generating driving force by LIFT in the rig, not so much with DRAG as typically occurs with a stayed rig. This makes the boat that much faster, proven to be significantly faster than stayed rig boats of equal proportions. Also, you can sail a lot deeper downwind, you don't have to tack downwind as is typical with many open class boats. So your VMG downwind is much better, both because of speed and with pointing angle.

    Fifth, with rotating wingmasts, sail handling is much easier. Setting and shaking reefs can occur while the boat is on course. On a stayed rig boat, if you are sailing off the wind and you want to set a reef, first you have to bring the boat into the wind--you are stopped dead in the water. You are not racing. You are not sailing toward the finish line. You spend 15-30 minutes setting the reef, then you get back to the business of sailing. During that reef time, if you are not careful, the boat can get beaten and broached by the waves. (See point 3 above.) Really, you are a sitting duck. The reverse happens when shaking out the reef--you are stopped dead in the water. On a free-standing wingmast cat-ketch, when you set the reef, you stay on course, you do not stop. You luff the mast, not the boat, by letting the boom swing out until the mast and sail weathervane. The boat is on course, sailing toward the finish line. You pull in the reef, and you reset that mast and sail to their proper angle of attack. You have not stopped all that time, you've gained miles on your competitors. The same happens in reverse when you shake out the reef--you are always on course sailing for the finish line, no stopping dead in the water, no threat of wave hits or broaches.

    All that to me seems like A LOT of advantages, even more so now when race finish times between boats seem to be getting shorter and shorter. I would think that the prudent skipper would like to have all these factors in his quivver of tactical and design advantages.

    Eric
     
  7. yves
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    yves Junior Member

    Thanks a lot for the detailed answer (need to read it again), the ability to reef when downwind is for sure a major plus, but this is due a lot to the rotating wingmast and they can also be stayed (like on the big tris), no ?

    As to the cat-ketch rig, I'm not exactly sure to understand what you are refering to ? The type of rig that was on team Philipps with one free standing mast on each hull ? (or Yves Parlier's Hydraplaneur ?)

    Too bad this boat broke (and Parlier capsized), especially as it for sure stopped some possible experiments as well, do we have a clear idea of its potential from the navigation before the breakage ?

    Edit : Sorry you mean a cat boat ketch rig like Rodger Martin boat ? But then wouldn't the VMG always be better on a race boat with some broad reach tacks than down wind wing on wing ?
     
  8. Eric Sponberg
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    Eric Sponberg Senior Member

    If you stay a mast, the swing of your boom is always restricted by the presence of the shrouds--it can only swing out so far, until it hits the shroud. If it hits the shroud too hard, the boom breaks--then you're in a pickle! The leach of the mainsail still faces into the wind if you are sailing downwind, and so it has a tendency to catch the wind and gybe itself. On a free-standing rig, there are no shrouds, so the swing of the boom is unrestricted--it can swing way past abeam, even well forward of the mast. Therefore, the leach of the sail is downwind from the mast. It cannot catch the wind. It cannot gybe. You cannot break the boom against the shroud because there is no shroud there.

    Yes, the cat ketch rig is like Rodger Martin's Presto 30, and also Gary Baigent's photo of the little red boat that he shows--those are cat ketches. I also attach a photo of my design that I mentioned before, Project Amazon. It entered the 1998 Around Alone and was keeping pace with the leader in the first leg, but the owner had to retire for lack of money to continue the race.

    Team Phillips was a Bi-plane rig, not smartly designed and built, in my opinion, but that's another story. It's fate has not stopped people from continuing to build bi-plane rigs. There are a number of enthusiasts on this forum that are experimenting with it.

    In my experience, the cat ketch is so much faster downwind just in boat speed that boat for boat it will beat a stayed rig boat sailing downwind on any tack. Then, on top of that, because the stayed rig boat is a little unstable and slow going deep downwind, she has to tack downwind to keep up speed, so now she is increasing her course length by tacks when the cat ketch is sailing a straighter line by sailing deeper, she is so stable and powerful that way. A cat ketch with a rotating wingmast rig will beat a stayed rig boat of comparable size sailing downwind any day of the week, hands down.

    Eric
     

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  9. Gary Baigent
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    Gary Baigent Senior Member

    Eric, I have to make an apologetic correction; the Cox's Bay Skimmer (5.5 x 2.25m - 6.5m masts) started life with free standing wing mast rigs ... but I bent the cantilevered base on the forward one, carrying too much sail in fresh winds ... so changed to 3 point stay rigging on the forward rig and 4 point for the main. Which works fine, in fact is perfect. My original carbon reinforcing over the core at base was obviously not enough - but that is no fault of the free standing concept - just my mistake.
    Here is a shot of the original free standing setup.
     

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    Last edited: Aug 23, 2012
  10. yves
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    yves Junior Member

    Thanks for the info Eric, didn't know about the Amazon project, and for sure I don't have the hands on comparison knowledge to have an idea about the true potential, but somehow would like it to be the case ! (after all planes were full of shrouds at the beginning as well, but have the advantage of two wings in opposite directions for structure loads).
    But for the down wind vmg, thought current mono or multis would in any case be quicker at a not too broad angle, to keep laminar flow on the sails/wings (except maybe in very strong winds).
    Isn't Amazon interested by a cat ketch Imoca project ? :)
    (should be pocket change for them)
     
  11. Eric Sponberg
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    Eric Sponberg Senior Member

    Gary, Very nice design nonetheless. I would be intrigued by any reports you can give on her sailing performance. How well do you do against similarly sized boats on various points of sail?

    Yves, If you would like to learn more about Project Amazon, I wrote a technical paper for SNAME on her entire design, and an article on her rig for Professional Boatbuilder, both of which are downloadable from my website:

    SNAME Paper: http://www.sponbergyachtdesign.com/Project Amazon SNAME.pdf

    PBB Article: http://www.sponbergyachtdesign.com/Project Amazon PBB.pdf

    On downwind sailing, I would not attempt to compete monos against multis. As for VMG downwind, try the cat ketch, you'll like it. Laminar flow is not the issue, and in fact at full scale one cannot expect laminar flow around the rig. All flow around sails at full scale is turbulent flow--still attached in most cases, just turbulent. You can get an appreciation for the differences between a non-rotating stayed rig and a rotating rig by one of the figures in the PBB article, uploaded below. Upwind, the stayed rig is fine--nice aerofoil shape, attached flow, minor separation behind the mast. As the boat turns downwind, the mast/sail combination becomes poorer and poorer in aerofoil shape with flow separation becoming so bad that flow does not reattach, at least not very well. Deep downwind the mast/sail shape is the worst, and the only power you get out of the rig is drag--pure drag, hardly any lift. That is why tacking downwind is the preferred tactic with a stayed rig because some semblance of lift (and power) still exists. But on a rotating rig, particularly a cat ketch with two rotating masts, the masts turn into the wind so that the rig is generating lift all the time. Flow does not separate from the rig; it stays attached. Lift is much more powerful than drag, and so such boats are much faster than stayed rig boats on courses deep downwind.

    The name Project Amazon has nothing to do with Amazon.com. The owner of the boat, my client, Sebastian Reidl, is a fascinating man--a machinist by trade, but at the time a gold prospector in Equador. He's also a commercial diver, and he helped to discover a sunken Spanish galleon that sank off Lima, Peru in 1643 that carried a silver treasure worth billions. He currently lives in Paraguay. Anyway, at the time of designing and building Project Amazon, he was also involved with the government of Ecuador on behalf of the indiginous people of the Amazon river basin by finding outlets for the work of their artisans. Also, his gold prospecting was on the western slopes of the Andes mountains which has the cloud forest. The cloud forest on the western slopes is what helps create the clouds that cross the Andes and provide rain for the rain forest on the eastern slopes of the Andes. If you want to preserve the rain forest, you have to preserve the cloud forest. Project Amazon was the embodiment of that effort to educate the world on those issues.

    As for sponsorship for sailing here in the US, it does not exist. The very best sailors that we have in single-handed off-shore and round-the-world sailing, like Brad Van Liew, and before him Jean-Pierre Mouligne (French/American), and numbers of others before them, could not secure corporate sponsorship after their initial winning campaigns. At least, it was extremely difficult, a real struggle. This is because in America, corporations do not have a mind-set about the value of international advertising the way sailing sponsorship works. It is so foreign to them, the constant obstacle is that they have to be made to understand, first, what it is and what it does. They can't be bothered--they don't look for extended campaigns, they want instant gratification. They would rather spend $2 million on a 30-second TV ad at the Superbowl than the same amount on an international round-the-world sailing campaign. The latter reaches more people over a much longer period of time, and therefore, could be considered much more effective, bigger bang for the buck, with the right international companies. Sailing is still seen as an elitist sport, and some don't even think it is a sport. Both opinions are far from the truth. But you know, in the end, who cares? Do you enjoy sailing? Do you like to travel by sailboat? That is all that matters.

    Enjoy the articles. Pass them around.

    Eric
     

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  12. capt vimes
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    capt vimes Senior Member

    hi eric, good hearing from you again! ;)

    ives, here's an interesting article which was written actually onboard Neutrogena during the barcelona world race...
    http://www.sailingworld.com/experts/how-to-sail-an-open-60

    on page 2 you'll have a polar... see the poor performance of an modern open 60 downwind?
    there is a mark on this polar by a 140° - means they do not sail with true wind coming further aft then 140°. in a race they change course and even tack... heck - these boats only perform between 50° and 140°... that's just 90° of true wind angle acceptable for them to race...
    i have no polar for a cat ketch - probably eric could provide one - but more tacking means longer course, more time, more work, more stress on material...
    i do see the advantages of such unstayed rigs and was almost on the verge of buying me one this summer with the help of eric... ;)
     
  13. yves
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    yves Junior Member

    Thanks for the links, will look at them, already read Eric's article below :
    http://www.sponbergyachtdesign.com/StateoftheArt.htm

    And yes I get the point, especially with :
    [​IMG]

    Interesting pics and tables in your link Capt also, especially :
    [​IMG]

    Again I think I'm quite a "buyer" of the concept !

    I did quite a bit of racing on monohulls when in college, and also had a period of mostly windsurfing and a bit of cruising on rentals or friends boats, (also designing and building boards), so I relate quite easily to non stayed and simple rigs (well your body as shrouds in the case of windsurfing), and to wing kind of sails with a nice shape ..
    Now thinking of buying a boat so looking around (but with a cruising program more than anything else).

    Eric, yes I understood the Amazon project had nothing to do with Amazon.com, seems to have been quite an adventure, was linking to Amazon as maybe the type of companies that could go in sailing sponsorship, especailly as they for sure have an international footprint and image ...

    Current time is quite special in many ways : ocean racing has definitely moved from the adventure kind of beginnings to become fully professional, even more so maybe with the one design moves (VOR and Mod 70, following open class "optimisation" period), sponsors probably not wishing to take many risks in "experiments", and the economic (or energetic/ressources) crisis in the background ...

    Anyway will pass the links, in the discussion thread about matinbleu and new E Lerouge boat especially, but I guess he heard of the Amazon project already.

    Do you think the concept would be valid even for the minis ? or better adapted for the class 40 ? (at least these classes would allow these experiments, and Parlier's hydraplaneur was also an Orma 60 for instance)
     
  14. yves
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    yves Junior Member


  15. Eric Sponberg
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    Eric Sponberg Senior Member

    Minis--yes. Why hasn't it been done before? I don't know, perhaps no one has had the guts to try. I did have a few approaches about designing a Mini Transat boat or two back in the late '90s, but those sailers never have enough money to design a new one--they all operate on shoestrings, and all that they have goes to buying the best used boat or production Mini available. If someone would come up with the wherewithal for a proper design, I think it would be a cool little boat.

    Eric
     
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