Definition of Sailing?

Discussion in 'Sailboats' started by Kiteship, Nov 25, 2006.

  1. Kiteship
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    Kiteship Senior Member

    Seems trivial enough. We all "know" what it is, so it should be simple enough to define, right?

    I'm having a significantly hard time at it, though. I want a succinct, accurate, exclusive definition of "sailing." I want to to encompass all known forms of sailing (including land and ice sailing--and also theoretical ice-ice and land-land sailing), and exclude forms of wind powered motion which aren't sailing (using a turbine to charge a battery, then using the battery to move the boat; or using potential energy to story transient vagaries of wind, as sea birds do). I want to include Peter Sharp's "powered alternate sailing" (if you aren't familiar with this you should be; it's fascinating), but should probably exclude "solar sailing" (though photons have no mass, they do posses momentum--so sailing using them should be possible. OTOH, "sailing" ought to require two fluids (or other material media), it seems to me and solar sailing only has the one--it uses gravity as a second "working fluid", which clearly isn't kosher. (I think!)

    I am also having trouble including such simple "sailing" as a leaf (or a clipper ship) being blown DDW across a pond; if this is not sailing (no second "medium;" the water need not be involved), then what is? (eg; if a leaf blowing across a pond is sailing, then why is a leaf blowing through the air, not?) No, it isn't just about drag; If I use a kite to pull a hovercraft DDW, the friction is trivialized--but I am still clearly "sailing," or at least motorsailing)

    "Interface vehicle" is the most succinct I can manage to date, but I don't pretend it is a sufficient definition. (and damn, "most succinct" smacks of redundancy itself!)

    What do *you* think?

    Cheers,

    Dave Culp
     
  2. gggGuest
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    gggGuest ...

    > or using potential energy to story transient vagaries of wind, as sea birds do).

    And so does every flecible sailboat rig - its a key factory in "gust reponse"

    > uses gravity as a second "working fluid", which clearly isn't kosher. (I think!)

    Its kosher enough in the Racing rules of sailing:)

    I think there's why you're getting in trouble Dave, you're attempting to posit a rigid boundary to a flexible condition... I don't think you can get a rigid definition.
     
  3. Kiteship
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    Kiteship Senior Member

    But, you don't even offer a flexible definition. ;-)

    What *is* sailing?

    D
     
  4. Crag Cay
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    Crag Cay Senior Member

    To use the power of the wind alone to move 'a vessel' to a given point decided upon by the skipper.

    This eradication of mearly being 'blown along', seperates sailing from trash in the street, leaves on a pond and Westsail 32's.
     
  5. Tim B
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    Tim B Senior Member

    Sailing may be defined as the act of going somewhere across water, propelled by the wind and supported, primarily by bouyancy due to displacement of said water.

    Tim B.
     
  6. Doug Lord

    Doug Lord Guest

    Maybe: "Non-random movement as a direct result of wind pressure"
     
  7. Kiteship
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    Kiteship Senior Member

    Sailing is not limited to wind, or water. What about land sailing, ice sailing, and air-to-air sailing? (also what about solid-solid sailing--it *is* possible)
     
  8. Doug Lord

    Doug Lord Guest

    There are no limitations on my definition except the use of wind pressure to create the movement and the fact that it is not random movement.
     
  9. Kiteship
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    Kiteship Senior Member

    You do not need wind to sail, Doug. You could, for instance, use a river's current on a windless day. You could also use a river current, coupled to a heavy craft running on the river's bottom (like land sailing, but using water, not air). FWIW, the craft doesn't need to be underwater, but could be on the shore, coupled to the river current by a line (this is then kite sailing--still not using wind). It is also possible to "sail" between two solid surfaces, so long as they are moving, relative to each other, and so long as you can couple the two together. You can also "sail" between relative moving bodies of water (as between a current and still water nearby) and also in the air, between different air currents (this time you do use "wind" but you use nothing else!)

    C'mon folks, let's think harder! There is some good info about this in recent AYRS publications.

     
  10. Mychael
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    Mychael Mychael

    Hmm, so would you consider flying a glider that uses thermals to provide lift as a form of sailing.?? When there are no thermals so therfore no positive lift, then you are just gliding.

    Mychael
     
  11. Kiteship
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    Kiteship Senior Member

    Typically, no. A glider uses the vertical lift from thermals. Blowing things vertically with vertical currents isn't "sailing," I think you'd agree. However, the reasons why soaring isn't sailing might be helpful in developing a definition of sailing.

    FWIW, this isn't *my* definition of sailing--it's not a quiz. Sailing is sailing. What we're looking for is a definition.

    D.

     
  12. yipster
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    yipster designer

    ok you opened the thread under sailboats
    but wonder isnt a powerboat also sailing on water?
    a quik look in the dictionairy here:
    sail=controlling+fload (thrue)
    sailing=to sail+boattrip
     
  13. DGreenwood
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    DGreenwood Senior Member

    Utilizing a decoupled flow at an interface of two fluids or a fluid and a solid, to advance a vehicle through or over one of two said media.

    Jeez this is getting ridiculous
     
  14. DGreenwood
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    DGreenwood Senior Member

    "Sailing boats exploit the discontinuity in fluid flow that exists at the air/water interface in order to propel themselves."

    Joseph Norwood

    High Speed Sailing-Design Factors- A study of high performance multihull yacht design
    1979
    Adlard Coles-Granada Publishing UK

    Not a complete definition under Kiteships required inclusion of land sailors.
     

  15. LP
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    LP Flying Boatman

    not original, but. . .

    Going nowhere slowly at great expense.

    And my addition.

    Going there a little faster at excessive expense.

    :D :D :D
     
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