Converting power to sails

Discussion in 'Boatbuilding' started by windLover, Mar 12, 2011.

  1. windLover
    Joined: Mar 2011
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    windLover New Member

    Hi, I know it's a little crazy so please do not discourage me :)

    If you wanted to buy an old (small) hull (small cargo vessel) and add sails for cargo transportation purposes, what would you do?

    Can this be done?
     
  2. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Discouraging crazy people should be left to whom?
     
  3. rasorinc
    Joined: Nov 2007
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    rasorinc Senior Member

    define SMALL in meters please
     
  4. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    The bottom line on this issue is the hull shape differences between a small cargo vessel and a sailing vessel are substantial enough to not warrant sail power as a retro consideration, unless you're just being cute, quaint or other wise unjustifiable.

    If you want attempt a cargo hauling enterprise, select an efficient sailing hull form and an efficient rig, optimized for the hull selected. You'll still take 8 to 10 times as long to deliver things from port to port, but on non-time considerate cargo, possably a market.
     
  5. windLover
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    windLover New Member

    Sailing cargo

    OK that makes sense.

    So, since there are virtually no hulls available (sailing cargo purposes) to retrofit, where would you suggest I look as building one from scratch is not an option :confused:
     
  6. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Well, it depends on what you want to do and how much you want to haul around. Any well founded cruising yacht could serve to carry substantial cargo, with a retro fit. Basically, you make a hold and small living quarters for the skipper and crew. If you want to carry a lot of weight, then you'll be looking at a custom design. Without a reference as to what you are attempting, then any recommendations are just guesses.
     
  7. viking north
    Joined: Dec 2010
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    viking north VINLAND

    AAhhh, a possible conversion with reverse engineering and all. See guys i'm not the only nut the squirrel stashed away :). Getting serious my fellow Canuk from the left coast what size vessel do you envision. ---- Geo.

    A yacht is not defined by the vessel but by the care and love of her owner
     
  8. Petros
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    Petros Senior Member

    I have studied this issue before, the real issue is one of economics. The cost of buying and maintaining sails, rigging and everything needed for a cargo carrying sailboat ends up more than the cost of burning fuel to deliver the cargo. It is not just a matter of fuel cost, but of total life-cycle costs, including the crew wages. If it takes longer to deliver the goods, you get more crew costs and more wear and tear (maintenance costs) on the ship than one that delivers it faster. You will find that over the total operation costs divided by the amount of cargo delivered, a sailboat will cost more to operate. This means that you have consumed more resources than just using a conventional diesel powered cargo ship. The cost of the resources are measured in terms of materials, labor and fuel, so the sailboat actually consumes more resources than a conventional cargo ship.

    If was economically viable, even in limited markets or narrowly defined needs, there would be more use of sails on cargo ships. None have proven to be economically viable, even as a sail augmented propulsion, the concept has been studied since the beginning of fuel powered cargo ships.

    Now if you want to make a "hobby" business out of delivering goods that consume no fuel, and you use the ship as a liveaboard to support your on-the-water lifestyle, you might make a go of it. But all of your time will be spent maintaining the boat, and do not expect to get rich off of it. It will be at best a self supporting hobby, with some possible tax benefits against all that other income you are making doing something else.
     
  9. viking north
    Joined: Dec 2010
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    viking north VINLAND

    Petros, the fuel cost factor is and will continue to work in his favour and if as you say it is set up as a hobby buisness on a commune ( 60's flashback) model crewing along with a mixture of freighting and retail into isolated communities it actually should be quite viable. Had a friend of mine do this with a 65ft. schooner selling drygoods with some freight delivery along the south coast of Newfoundland and he did very very well getting paid in American Gold coin and king George the V1 paper. Even today there is still American Gold Coinage stashed away in some of those remote villages.---Geo.

    A yacht is not defined by the vessel but by the care and love of her owner.
     

  10. rwatson
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    rwatson Senior Member

    Money doesnt enter the equation - as he doesnt have any :p

    I reckon the best candidate for cargo carrying when you cant afford a real boat is at the Scow thread

    http://www.boatdesign.net/forums/sailboats/new-zealand-scow-28735-6.html#post448584

    They dont get cheaper than that.
     
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