Development Class for Wind and Human Powered Ocean Racing

Discussion in 'Sailboats' started by scotdomergue, Dec 26, 2010.

  1. scotdomergue
    Joined: Jan 2009
    Posts: 114
    Likes: 3, Points: 18, Legacy Rep: 45
    Location: Twisp, WA USA

    scotdomergue Scot

    This idea comes from my personal interest in a type of boat that does not seem to be currently available. It is related to the development class suggested by sharpii2 on this forum in 2004. It is also related to raid-type events and to trans-Atlantic ocean-rowing races. It is my hope that this class and its races would lead to the development of boats suitable for adventure cruising using sail and oars with capabilities far beyond the typical raid boats currently available. Boats designed for this class would likely meet the specs of the current “Design Challenge III” competition sponsored by WoodenBoat and Professional BoatBuilder Magazines.

    Races would begin and end on shore, with the boats and all that will be carried in them above the high tide line. They would be moved and launched by their crews, by hand at the beginning of the races and hauled to the above-tideline finish in the same way, using float-rollers as appropriate but no other mechanical assistance. (If this creates too large an advantage to big, brawny crews, then maximum weight limits and/or other provisions might be used toward the same goals?).

    Propulsion would be only by human and wind power (along with ocean currents).

    Ballast in the form of water and consumables would be acceptable and could be movable (may want to limit heavy metal and other types).

    Self-righting and/or righting by crew members would be required.

    Classes would include solo and pairs and possibly also bigger crews; men, women, and mixed.

    I’m inspired by Fredrick Fenger’s “Alone in the Caribbean”, “Rowing to Latitude” by Jill Fredston, and various other examples of adventure in small boats. I appreciate ocean rowing, but see no reason not to take advantage of the natural force of the wind as well.

    What do you all think?
     
  2. Gary Baigent
    Joined: Jul 2005
    Posts: 2,994
    Likes: 116, Points: 63, Legacy Rep: 509
    Location: auckland nz

    Gary Baigent Senior Member

    All good. The Florida coastal and inland waterways races are similar. Such a race has been bandied about here in Auckland but nothing substantial has come from it yet.
     
  3. scotdomergue
    Joined: Jan 2009
    Posts: 114
    Likes: 3, Points: 18, Legacy Rep: 45
    Location: Twisp, WA USA

    scotdomergue Scot

    Gary, Thanks for your response. The events I know about in Florida are what I would consider raid events, while I'm talking about racing across oceans - which would require a much more seaworthy craft, almost certainly having a small cabin (could be a requirement in the development class). I expect that the boats would be noticably different.

    Further thoughts?
     
  4. CutOnce

    CutOnce Previous Member

    Eric McNicholl designed a larger RAID boat for similar use last year. The boat was built and has been well-liked by the person who defined the boat's requirements to Eric. Velox Design RAID - camping 25' custom.

    --
    CutOnce
     
  5. scotdomergue
    Joined: Jan 2009
    Posts: 114
    Likes: 3, Points: 18, Legacy Rep: 45
    Location: Twisp, WA USA

    scotdomergue Scot

    Thanks! . . . but I'm talking about RACING ACROSS OCEANS!!!!! with crew of one or two. According to my brief look at the website you gave, the boat you mention is an open raid/camp cruiser for up to 10 people. Nothing like what I have in mind. (The website is interesting in other ways; again thanks.)

    Is anyone out there interested in the idea of small, light boats using only human and wind power that are seriously seaworthy, suitable for crossing oceans? The idea of racing such boats? And creating a development class that would encourage innovative design of such boats?

    Yes there would be some characteristics in common with raids and raid boats (sailing, rowing, easily beachable) as well as some characteristics in common with ocean rowing boats (seriously seaworthy, rowing) and with small ocean racing sailboats (fast sailing, seaworthy, cabin). I'd love to see all these combined!

    Anyone else? Any thoughts about such a development class and such races?
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2010
  6. Gary Baigent
    Joined: Jul 2005
    Posts: 2,994
    Likes: 116, Points: 63, Legacy Rep: 509
    Location: auckland nz

    Gary Baigent Senior Member

    Check out the Mini Transat designs - but maybe they are too race oriented for you.
     
  7. scotdomergue
    Joined: Jan 2009
    Posts: 114
    Likes: 3, Points: 18, Legacy Rep: 45
    Location: Twisp, WA USA

    scotdomergue Scot

    Thanks again Gary. The problem with the Mini Transats is that they aren't beachable or rowable (suitable for significant, efficient human power). They also tend to be relatively heavy and expensive, I think (though I admit to ingnorance beyond what I've seen here on the boat design forums.
     
  8. Doug Lord
    Joined: May 2009
    Posts: 16,653
    Likes: 322, Points: 93, Legacy Rep: 1362
    Location: Cocoa, Florida

    Doug Lord Flight Ready

    DCWHPOR--multihulls!

    From what I've read you are talking about a multihull-not just any multihull but something similar to the sail/paddling polynesian outriggers. In the old days they would make very long ocean trips sailing and paddling. Studying what was used then and whats going on now might lead to the kind of boat you're after. Here is a link that offers some info: http://www.kanuculture.com/outrigger-canoe-sailing/
    Gary Baigent may know more than anyone on this forum about these boats.
    ---
    "The islanders of ancient Polynesia are believed to have paddled and sailed seaworthy outrigger canoes, including catamarans (two-hulls linked by outriggers) and even trimarans (one hull with two outriggers), as early as 4000 thousand years ago."----from this site: http://www.sit-on-topkayaking.com/Articles/SurfSail/KayakSailing.html
    ---------------
    I don't think you'll get much interest in designs that are intentionally(that is, by arbitrary rules)slowed down. If you don't go with an outrigger type you'll need ballast OR you'll need to use such small sails that they would be incredibly slow. I think there is a problem when you say ocean going AND paddle/sail: who wants to paddle for 1000 miles IF they can sail-and you can almost always sail in the ocean.....
     

    Attached Files:

  9. scotdomergue
    Joined: Jan 2009
    Posts: 114
    Likes: 3, Points: 18, Legacy Rep: 45
    Location: Twisp, WA USA

    scotdomergue Scot

    I took a look at a Mini Transat website. Very interesting. And they certainly aren't for rowing or beaching! Given the speeds at which they cross the Atlantic, I can see issues for the development class I've suggested simply because rowing would probably become irrelevant. The fastest sailing boats would probably win almost all the time, even if they couldn't be rowed. For serious rowing the beam needs to be noticably narrower - not much over 1.5 meters rather than the Mini Transat 3 meters. So perhaps a maximum beam limit would be needed. I can also see other problems with the simple rules I've suggested. But the idea of a relatively simple boat that is small and light, easily rowed and sailed, both adequate for comfortable sleeping and suitable for hauling up on a beach by it's crew of one or two is worthwhile, I think. And it seems that a development class and races could lead to some great design ideas and innovations. Somehow I'm wanting to combine the ideas of Raids, ocean rowing races, and Mini Transat races. Something like that.
     
  10. scotdomergue
    Joined: Jan 2009
    Posts: 114
    Likes: 3, Points: 18, Legacy Rep: 45
    Location: Twisp, WA USA

    scotdomergue Scot

    Thanks Doug. Yes, I can imagine multi-hulls being competitive in the sort of development class I've suggested. It would be interesting to see how it would develop.

    I've done a lot of kayaking, including some kayak sailing. Most kayakers use outriggers for sailing. And I'm somewhat familiar with the history of Polynesian outriggers. I don't know that either would be very suitable for crossing the Atlantic. My impression is that the Polynesians normally crossed relatively shorter distances between islands rather than making such long passages, though I could be wrong about that.

    It's my impression that rowing is significantly faster than paddling. There's been a lot of recent development of rowing as a way to travel long distances - Ocean Rowing, including cross-Atlantic races over the last 10 years or so; adventure travel as described in Jill Fredston's book Rowing to Latitude or in a couple of books by Colin and Julie Angus who were National Geographic Adventurers of the Year recently; and then there is the recent popularity of Raid events that combine sailing and rowing, but involve camping on the beach every night. None of these seem to involve multi-hull boats, which don't seem nearly as suitable for rowing as for paddling, though I've been thinking of ways to make that work.

    It could be interesting to see what sort of boats would result if a development class and races successfully combined both human and wind power with really serious sea-worthiness and ocean crossing capability.
     
  11. Doug Lord
    Joined: May 2009
    Posts: 16,653
    Likes: 322, Points: 93, Legacy Rep: 1362
    Location: Cocoa, Florida

    Doug Lord Flight Ready

    =================
    The thing I haven't been able to get my head around is how do you add sail to a rowing boat w/o artificially slowing it down? Unless you did it by constructing a course where there would be places too narrow or windless to sail? A modern multi could be designed to have accomodations, be rightable by the crew, light enough to beach and fast as hell under sail-so why row/paddle? How would you psycologically induce somebody at sea to row/paddle when they could go many times faster under sail most of the time?
     
  12. Gary Baigent
    Joined: Jul 2005
    Posts: 2,994
    Likes: 116, Points: 63, Legacy Rep: 509
    Location: auckland nz

    Gary Baigent Senior Member

    You need some adaptions: if you want a monohull a lesser beamed Mini Transat 6.5, say 2.5m (which is a beam that is still definitely rowable) then you want a lifting keel/daggerboard for beaching, interior water ballast tanks for stability (because there is only enough lead to sink the dagger) and a reduced, but still large rig. So there you have a large sailing dinghy - something like this, but with a small cabin:
     

    Attached Files:

  13. CutOnce

    CutOnce Previous Member

    Agreed. About exactly what Eric drew and Yves built - with the addition of a small cuddy cabin. Weather-side adjustable water ballast - check. Twin cat-ketch rig - check. Asymmetrical spinnaker for fast downwind work - check. Maintain watches with one person awake - check. Major manoevering (tacks/ gybes) with one (up to 15 knots ) to two people (in breeze) - check. LIghtweight, beach launching - check. Quick to row with one to two people - check.

    Maybe you should look at B&B's EC-22. Personally, I think it a little small, but it already has the cuddy cabin. Water stores, provisions, spare sails all take space and a 22' is too small. The cross-ocean rowing boats are more sea-kindly but much slower hull designs with far more displacement and stores to adapt to the slower passages.

    Every design is a compromise and you have to pick and choose from many features - most of which eliminate other good features you have to leave behind.

    --
    CutOnce
     
  14. scotdomergue
    Joined: Jan 2009
    Posts: 114
    Likes: 3, Points: 18, Legacy Rep: 45
    Location: Twisp, WA USA

    scotdomergue Scot

    As this thread continues I can see how the sort of development class I have in mind might lead to development of interesting and worthwhile boats. But Doug Lord identified the key problem. You don't need seaworthiness adequate to cross oceans to be competitive in an event like the Everglades Challenge that is designed for "kayaks, canoes and small boats". But even in that event, sailing performance seems to outweigh human powered performance.

    I've been told, by a member of a winning team, that rowing rather than sailing often determines the outcome of the Shipyard Raid held in the somewhat protected waters east of Vancouver Island, but that is an area with unreliable wind and narrow passages between islands. Like the Everglades Challenge, it doesn't require sleeping aboard or seaworthiness for crossing oceans.

    Once you get into open oceans, human power seems to become irrelevant. A course entirely in the Doldrums?

    I still think that the combination of human and wind power with serious seaworthiness, sleeping aboard, light weight, and beachability is a worthwhile goal. I also think that racing in a development class can be a powerful stimulus to design. I'm not seeing, just now, how to bring that all together.

    I do think that a boat with the characteristics I imagine could be competitive in Raid events.
     

  15. CutOnce

    CutOnce Previous Member

    Nordic explorers actually proved your concepts are do-able when they first explored North America well before Christopher Columbus. L'Anse Aux Meadows in Newfoundland provides clear proof. Well designed rowing boats with sail to replace rowing off the wind work.

    I think the concept is interesting, but I'm not so sure about the number of people who today would actually build a boat to meet the development rules. Long distance offshore RAIDs, especially contemplating ocean crossings are inherently risky ventures, with the distinct possibility of ending up dead if things don't go right. The number of people willing to role those dice aren't huge. Viking cojones are rare in today's world of life insurance and mortgages.

    There is no comparison between a sailboat in a race with dependable wind versus a row boat. Reading Maud Fortenay's first book crossing from Canada to France was a revelation to me - periods of backwards progress while rowing towards her goals and the endless fight to maintain progress once made.

    The Everglades Challenge does require serious seaworthiness - Taking the fast route across the Gulf exposes entrants to potentially dangerous conditions that can not be avoided if conditions deteriorate. Therein lies the problem with open water RAIDs - it is easy to get halfway and have conditions go from optimal to horrible faster than you can avoid trouble.

    Boats with good seakeeping abilities, self righting and comfortable in rough seas are slower than light, fast boats. Everything is a compromise - so much so that a winning design in heavy weather will easily be beaten by a design optimized for light weather if the wind does not blow as expected. People really wanting to win RAIDs almost have to show up with multiple boats and choose their weapon based on the predicted conditions at the start.

    Development class rules can lead directly to chaos if not tight enough - or worse can lead to non-competitive racing. A major part of racing is the society amongst the participants - and if there is no effective head to head competition, the racing enthusiasm dies. No one really wants to be in a race where they never see competition - from either a winning or losing position.

    Look at the Sydney Hobart that is on right now - the weather started bad and deteriorated to the point where a major part of the fleet sensibly abandoned - but these are all serious offshore ocean racing boats, well prepared and equipped with engines and safety escorts and equipment. Imagine crossing the Bass Straight in a 25-30 foot sail/row boat and having the wind and sea turn round into your face at 30+ knots. I sure would not want to be there!

    Basically, I see RAID boats as appropriate for archipelago races in semi-protected water with multiple bail-out options and safety within a half-day's sailing. I don't see RAID boats as appropriate for offshore crossings outside of that safety window. Just my opinion though. I've become more cautious as I've aged (or maybe I think my son needs a Dad more than I need a thrill).

    --
    CutOnce
     
Loading...
Forum posts represent the experience, opinion, and view of individual users. Boat Design Net does not necessarily endorse nor share the view of each individual post.
When making potentially dangerous or financial decisions, always employ and consult appropriate professionals. Your circumstances or experience may be different.