Early proto "DSS"?

Discussion in 'Sailboats' started by CT249, Dec 21, 2014.

  1. CT249
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    CT249 Senior Member

    I just came across a letter in the Mystic Seaport Museum's collection of Francis Herreshoff letters where he writes of a boat built around NY circa 1927 that was called an aquaplane. It had "planes at the surface of the water out each side and one one tack one of them gave artificial stability and on the other tack the other one did its work".

    Apparently the boat was not a great performer so it's probably lost in obscurity. Does anyone know anything about it?
     
  2. Skyak
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    Skyak Senior Member

    No I don't but he has considered an amazing amount of concepts so it is not a big surprise. I am a pretty wild inventor and I am stunned that he has 'prior art' on about every configuration I have come up with. In the last 100 years, nothing. In all of history before, nothing. Just one man covering the universe of solutions. When you consider how much of his work did come to fruition you can forgive that he did not pursue all these fine ideas. You can only wonder how he had the time to even document them.
     
  3. messabout
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    messabout Senior Member

    ^ Part of the deal was that every time he came up with something superior his designs were outlawed by the Corinthean Yacht Club hierarchy.

    The old boy dreamed up rip roaring scow racing machines that were incredibly fast, and promptly ruled illegal....... among other avante garde stuff.
     
  4. Skyak
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    Skyak Senior Member

    I heard the same story but about his catamaran. It makes you wonder where we would be today if they had opened their minds to what he offered.
     
  5. CT249
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    CT249 Senior Member

    But most of the stories about bad old conservatives banning bright ideas are just fairy stories, or at least tales from a very one-sided perspective.

    As has been noted in detail several times before on this forum, the Herreshoff cats were NOT banned. Some yacht club commodores (including the founder of the New York YC) had cats and they were raced just like every other class for several years.

    Did Nat or Francis actually produce scow type designs? I seem to recall that Francis was extremely critical of boats like the radical Burgess scow Outlook and similar types.

    Nat was certainly AGAINST scow types - he refused Iselin's instructions (or request) to make Reliance a giant scow. He then created the Universal Rule to get rid of "skimming dish" boats like Reliance, because he wanted to create boats that had finer ends and deeper hulls and were therefore more practical.

    Nat wrote that he did not believe that multis would replace monos. He also later wrote that he thought that the day of the multis was basically over once 'modern' powerboats arrived, because those who wanted to go fast would just chuck an engine on their boat.

    Francis did create sketches for a canting keel machine and a flipping wing, but (as he says to several people in his letters) these were nothing more than ideas. He also designed the rotating mast and aerofoil luff spar for Live Yankee, but I can't find any evidence that they actually worked properly. The fact that they were banned doesn't mean that the class organisers were against development, it may just have meant that they were trying to stop the class being killed by an extremely expensive, impractical and perhaps dangerous design - after all, even Nat told Francis that his rig would cause the rules to be changed so it's not as if the rule change was such a surprise.

    There WERE scows that were extremely fast, and they were used in major events sponsored by major establishment clubs for some time - they died because they were impractical, fell apart, and could only be used or sailed fast in specific conditions. Burgess' Outlook was 52' overall on a 21' waterline, carried 1800 ft of sail, and was decked partly in cloth. So the 'establishment' didn't reject radical boats out of hand - it's just that they died out on the coast because they were impractical.

    The sailors of north eastern USA from the 1850s to the 1920s were arguably the MOST innovative bunch of sailors in history. They were vital in creating international racing in big boats, small boats and canoes. They lead the way in shifting ballast, lightweight hulls, bermudan rigs, scows, skimming dishes, amateur racing, high performance yachts, handicapping, catamaran racing, ocean racing and other things.

    Sorry, but implying that these guys had closed minds and were against developments just doesn't sit with the facts.
     
  6. messabout
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    messabout Senior Member

    CT249, your points are well taken. However I still submit that the yachting hierarchy has been, and remains, a bit stuffy. Defeat them at your own peril has been my experience.
     
  7. CT249
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    CT249 Senior Member

    Dunno, I simply haven't seen much evidence that the 'yachting heirarchy' is that stuffy, or conservative. For example, the materials they use in their toys appear to be as leading-edge as in other sports, and as a sport sailing appears to be much LESS restrictive of the gear people use than other sports.

    Sure, sailing will sometimes ban or restrict gear developments, but every popular similar sport does similar things. Sailing also permits some extremely open and loose classes (the G Class multis, C Class cats, kites, PHRF, IRC, etc) to be used in high end racing, whereas many other sporting bodies are much more restrictive.

    Where I do think the heirarchy goes wrong is that they often accept popular belief as the truth,rather than ensuring that their views are based on objective data; for example many of them will say 'high performance is the way forward for sailing' or 'kids these days want fast boats' when these claims are arguably not supported by objective data.

    Of course, since I reckon that the "heirarchy" should just use objective data, I can only claim that they are conservative when I have objective data to prove that they are. :)

    I simply cannot find enough data to prove that case in general. Of course, in some places the 'yachting heirarchy' may be stuffy, and not everyone agrees with every decision they take, but that doesn't mean that they are all stuffy.
     

  8. gggGuest
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    gggGuest ...

    Be interesting to hear of sports where the hierarchy isn't regarded as stuffy or conservative by some part of their constituency, especially if that hierarchy isn't in the box labelled "outrageously corrupt".
     
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