Are we making any real design improvements??

Discussion in 'Sailboats' started by Wardi, May 3, 2004.

  1. White Knight
    Joined: Oct 2008
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    White Knight Chief

    another option!!!!!

    Saeble, For another option for kite sails see: It seems that they had a more affordable and prettier product. I have no relationship with these guys either. Mark
  2. CT 249
    Joined: Dec 2004
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    Location: Sydney Australia

    CT 249 Senior Member

    People have been trying all sorts of stuff for many years. Some of them look at what is actually working and compare it to what some theories say should work, and assume that the theories are right and the practice is wrong.

    Maybe it's the other way around? Maybe it's not that sailors and designers are closed-minded and ignorant. Maybe what actually works, out there on the water, is what actually works?

    And even where rules are restrictive, maybe that's because most of the classes that succeed have restrictive rules. The rules may not be the enemy of progress, they may be the thing that actually keeps the sport alive so that progress can be made.
  3. PI Design
    Joined: Oct 2006
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    PI Design Senior Member

    I think the rules are often inconsistant, which is as much due to the history behind them as anything else. There are many ideas that could be explored with double skinned sails, masts, swing rigs etc that are penalised or outlawed, yet canting keels and exotic materials are allowed.
    Applying aeroplane theories to boats is fraught with problems. For a cruising boat a wireless rig may be a good idea, but the wires do add a degree of control and adjustement that is impossible with a simple cantilevered mast. Horses for courses and all that...
  4. gggGuest
    Joined: Feb 2005
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    gggGuest ...

    No and no... All the things you list are allowed in some boats but not in others...
    The big challenge with radical ideas is that the bar to success is so very high...
    Lets say, perhaps conservatively, that current Skiff type dinghy rigs, which wave far too many wires about in the air for me to be truly content with, are developed to 90% of their potential speed.
    Now, supposing I come up with an idea that has the potential to be 15% round the track, which is a pretty substantial jump... I have to get that idea operating to nearly 80% of its potential before it will break even with the current state of the art.
    That really is a pretty big ask...

  5. PI Design
    Joined: Oct 2006
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    PI Design Senior Member

    I totally agree with you, and that is sort of the point i was trying to make. Swing rigs are obviously allowed in cruising boats, but ISAF rules require the jib tack to be nrear the centreline. Consequently, no one has seriously developed the concept and the Aerorig etc probably are only 60% of their potential. Sure there are some racing classes that ignore some ISAF rules, but they are the exception.
    I think the fact that, fundamentally, all A Class cats look the same, all Moths look the same, all 18' skiffs look the same, all NS14s look the same etc, is not necessarily because they have evolved to the optimum configuration, but because it is much easier to tweak an existing idea than to create a competitive radical design. The single sailed DCs, for example, have potential but haven't yet proven themselves faster. Will they stick with the una rig and develop it, or switch back to the tried and trusted bermudan rig?
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