Is this a sailing dinghy or a sailboard ?

Discussion in 'Sailboats' started by xarax, Jun 7, 2009.

  1. xarax

    xarax Previous Member

    US patent 5170734 describes a sailing craft with a fixed windsurf sail and a rudder. A sailing boat like this would be easier on the water than a sailboard, and easier out of the water than a sailing dinghy, because it could be narrow, light and cartoppable. A sailing dinghy without a freeboard, or what ?

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  2. C 249
    Joined: Jun 2006
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    C 249 Junior Member

    I can't really see any advantages to the general configuration. It would be very difficult for the average sailor to remain standing while sailing, as there seems to be no way to brace yourself against fore-and-aft movement. The leverage on the mainsheet seems to be very poor, and the methods of achieving RM seem to be extremely limited.

    In other words, it would seem to be harder to sail than a board or a dinghy, and there's no reason to see why it could be any narrower than a dinghy. In fact, because you can't hike effectively and has a higher c of g than a normal dinghy, it would have to be beamier than a normal dinghy.

    Beneteau (with the Wizz) and others tried to combine boards and boats. I think there was also something called the Tonic, by a top UK designer. None of them worked.

    There's no shortage of skinny, low freeboard little dinghies in the world.

    With a bit of simplification and modification, this style would probably work a lot better than anything with more windsurfer in it.
  3. Zed
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    Zed Senior Member

    I can see a lot of swimming involved! Sailboards are simple and once you know how, not that hard to sail and sail fast at that. I really can't see standing working on a dinghy unless a trapeze is involved.
  4. C 249
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    C 249 Junior Member

    Xarax, with respect it seems that your two village analogy shows that you don't understand the very close links between dinghy designers and board designers, and board designers and sailors.

    To give examples just from guys I've raced against;

    Rick Naish, designer for Robby Naish (still arguably the world's greatest windsurfer) was a Hobie champ. Robby started sailing on the Hobie "mono cat" which was half cat, half mono. They were both very familiar with boats and boards.

    The top 4 (at least) in the last nationals of the biggest windsurfer class here, are all regular boat sailors.

    Andy Mac, creator of the Bladerider Moth was a world Masters champion in Windsurfer One Designs.

    Arthur Brett, two-time world Contender champ (now coach of two-time Laser world champ Tom Slingsby) was a former pro windsurfer.

    Multiple world cat champ and Olympic medallist Glen Ashby is a keen windsurfer.

    The Australian Olympic windsurfers for the past 4 Games have all (bar possibly one) come from sailing backgrounds (ie one was a Sabot champ, one was put into Sabots by her Admiral's Cup winning father).

    Andrew Buckland, 6 time world skiff champ, AC sailor, Admiral's Cup winner and inventor of the modern assymetric spinnaker, was a keen windsurfer.

    Foiler Moth pioneer Ian Ward is very aware of windsurfing.

    Moth world champ and Tornado silver medallist Andrew Landenberger was about 4th in a windsurfer nationals.

    Perennial top Aussie windsurfer Greg Johns was a 470 Olympic crew.

    World Radial champ Krystal Weir is now sailing windsurfers.

    My own club windsurfer fleet includes state or national champs or world class sailors in B14 skiffs, NS14 dinghies, J/24s, offshore boats, Lasers, Javelins, Moths (#2 in the worlds, world junior champ), etc etc etc.

    I could go on, and on, and on, and on (actually I have already done that!). But the fact is that there is a massive interflow between boats and boards, and yet none of those at the top bother to try to make a hybrid. That's NOT because they are copycats (look at the work of the Naishes and Andy Mac, for example). It's because they know it won't be a breakthrough.
  5. C 249
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    C 249 Junior Member

    I apologise for sounding so negative, but one thing just struck me. It is surely relevant that the first windsurfer was designed to be pretty much what you are aiming for. It was basically created as an easier to carry, simpler version of the Sunfish. It was meant to offer a greater sensation of speed.

    So the windsurfer actually started from pretty much the point you are trying to reach (if I understand you correctly). The very first attempts to make a windsurfer included things like a rig rigidly fastened to a skinny hull, and a sailor standing upright. The thing just kept on falling over.

    The very fact that Drake and Schweitzer started out with the Sunfish as one of their starting points (the other being a surfboard) shows this concept (and the previous attempts) are not that innovative. They also show that not all those from a sailing background have a narrow viewpoint. Sure, boards have developed; but from the perspective of simply messing around, many of those developments have been negative, which is why windsurfing is so much smaller than it was. Putting board developments into dinghies is a much more difficult thing than it sounds, and IMHO boats are actually more advanced in most ways than boards.

    Sure, you could design a windsurfer or a dinghy that would be a better "messing around" craft than the existing ones. It would be a great thing, and IMHO much better for the sports than all the foilers and skiffs and speedboards you could name. But that is, IMHO, different from trying to blend in things that don't allow for the fact that in many areas, dinghies and boards are very different dynamically.

    Personally, the interesting hybrid between boards and other craft is between a board, a sea kayak and a SUP, but I've been unable to do any work on the board (or the boats) for 4 months due to an old windsurfing injury.

    There are now many hybrid windsurfer/SUP (stand up paddleboard; like a big surfboard) types out, which is just one more indication that windusrfers are NOT against hybrids; it's just that some won't really work all that well.
  6. gggGuest
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    gggGuest ...

    I dunno, in the dinghy class I've been most associated with in the UK I'd suggest that the majority rather than the minority sail boards as well. At the time when board sailing was at its peak in the late 80s I guess about half the fleet would turn up with a short board in the boat in case there was a really windy day and racing was blown off.
  7. C 249
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    C 249 Junior Member

    Xarax, it's a pity that Nikos has experienced some opposition from boat sailors, but there have also been strong clashes among supporters of various styles of windsurfing in which he has been involved.

    The fact that some windsurfers in some countries have had clashes with some sailors does not point to a significant problem in interchange between dinghies and boards. There is some anti-boat bias from windsurfers, with many of them failing to recognise that in some areas the boats have actually progressed further than the boards since the first Windsurfer arrived. However, that's probably not the view of the main people in the field.

    The simple fact is that there is an enormous amount of interchange, and a huge number of people who sail dinghies and other boats as well as boards. I could keep on listing people who are the top of both boards and boats, but I've already bored enough bytes of bandwidth to death.

    In a huge amount of cases there's not even any need for communication from one person to the next; so many top people are heavily involved in both areas that all the information they need about combining boards and boats is there in their own neurons.

    Sorry, but unless you're going to go trolling, you have to show some evidence of this supposed split - and you'll have to be able to show enough evidence to go against the example of guys like Amac, who is a world champ dinghy designer and sailmaker, world champ (IIRC) board sailmaker, dinghy worlds runner-up and masters worlds winner in boards. Or the guy who was the top windsurfing pro in Oz, 2nd in the Tornado worlds, national champ in Mirrors, 2nd in the Hobart, and (IIRC) 1st in the 18 Foot Skiffs.

    How in the world can you say that such people don't know about boards and boats, or are biased against one of them?


    My family has been in cats for three generations, my fiance is a Tornado worlds competitor, most of our kids started sailing in cats, so I'm not biased against them. I feel that the exclusion of cats from the Games was a very unfortunate choice, but one with a logical basis rather than bias. In fact, after having spent a few years mainly sailing cats, I tend to think there's at least as much bias from cat sailors against monos as vice-versa.

    So the exclusion of the cats does not have to show any bias from the mono sailors of ISAF (hell, if they favoured the boats they sail and the ones the average sailor races, the Games would still be full of leadmines).
  8. C 249
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    C 249 Junior Member

    Sure, hybrids are tough and often very successful. But hybrids can also often have the weaknesses of each species and none of the strengths. There's been no evidence shown to indicate this hybrid would be one of those that work.

    Sure, I've thought of a rudder on a board; there have been such boards, created by some of the many who know both dinghies and boards, and they've worked quite well. But it was only for occasional use (tight mark roundings) and such an idea is quite different from trying to create a hybrid that combines the worst of each type. What the ruddered windsurfers do highlight, of course, is that people WILL often take the best ideas from boats and boards and put them together. They just don't throw the wrong bits together.

    BTW, from a windsurfing point of view, you could say that there's nothing minimalist about a Formula board, with its huge and complex rig, vast width, and massive and expensive fin. And the class is struggling in many places, with a very marked drop in sales and sailors. While fantastic in many ways, in other ways they are not an act to follow.
  9. Hansen Aerosprt
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    Hansen Aerosprt Junior Member

    Seems to me the driving force behind hybrid dinghy/windsurfer development is a lack of interest in learning to windsurf, which given today's equipment, is misdirected or misinformed. Once you have a handheld rig, the modern windsurfer (in its many forms) is the ultimate development and there is no need to revert back to rigging and rudders. If you are not interested in a handheld rig, then you have to build a boat and learn to sail it. A high performance one-man dinghy is more difficult and strenuous to sail than a Formula board and considerably more expensive. You will get tired and wet either way. IMHO, there is not much to be gained by combining the two other than applying any associated technology that may be furthered by either form and used by the other.
  10. bistros

    bistros Previous Member


    You done a superb job of pointing out C 249's obvious frustration at communicating with you. The examples are obvious.

    The point you've missed is that although the tone of his comments could be seen as frustration, anger and disrespect, you have failed to acknowledge that much of what he says may be technically true. I stopped responding to your thread a while ago because I determined that you seem to lack the ability to accept that there may be value to what other people are saying.

    Putting things quite simply, C 249's technical comments are reasonable, match my experiences quite closely and are in line with those of industry leaders.

    Excess smiley faces, deafness and persistent argument in a discussion forum like this will quickly reduce the number of people willing to read and help with your posts and ideas. I think your lightweight, reasonable performance design brief is interesting - but your dismissal of other's opinions is not interesting. Your behavior is quite like Doug Lord's - if you don't want people's feedback, don't ask for it. If you think your idea is superior to most others, build it and prove so, rather than argue about theoretical issues.


  11. C 249
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    C 249 Junior Member

    Thank you, Bill.

    Yes, those comments of mine (which may well seem unreasonable when posted out of context as Xarax has done) did arise out of frustration.

    Take the comments about catamaran experience - they were posted simply to show that I didn't bring an anti-cat bias to the discussion. Surely that was a reasonable thing to do.

    The comments about my background were made in reply to Xarax's comments that only he was old and wise enough to know the truth about IOC politics, corruption and African sailing.

    It is bloody hard sometimes to work out how to respond on forums. Looking at all those derogatory comments by Xarax towards dinghy designers was pretty hard to stomach. But getting involved and then having to try to justify the input was even worse!

    Xarax, in the past we've got on reasonably well on this forum. I'm quite prepared to remove all my posts on this thread, if you will do the same.

    PS - It is not "boastful" to show that you have a proven background in technical matters (ie wishbone use) on which to base your knowledge
  12. Doug Lord
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    Doug Lord Flight Ready

    Xarax, C(T) 249 has a history of decrying new technology: he was one of the loudest critics in the Moth class of those who wanted to add hydrofoils. He said it would go nowhere and destroy the class. So,take heart, he's been very,very wrong.....
  13. xarax

    xarax Previous Member

    Life is too short. Sometimes some of us are right, sometimes some of us are wrong, but we are all on board of the same small sailboat, and, if we are to save our souls, we have to keep it afloat.
  14. bistros

    bistros Previous Member


    It is noteworthy that the Moth class as it was pre-foiling has fundamentally been destroyed. CT 249 was very, very right about that. The new foiling class that has emerged from the ashes is quite new, quite strong and very interesting. There is little of the old Moth in the new though.

    Interesting that your contribution to the discussion is restricted to slagging another member and not stating your opinion on the posted design brief. I'd be interested in what YOU think about Xarax's ideas.

    Doug, it is the boat design issues we need to focus on here, not the people.

    I think that if Xarax were to concentrate on the very light cartoppable , easily stored two man sailing dinghy, and try to incorporate some of the simplicity of the sailboard he would probably have a winner here. What can WE do to help him get the design out of his head and into the shop?


  15. xarax

    xarax Previous Member

    My gut feeling tells me that the combination of,
    a) lightweight, strong, flexible or stiff, modern materials, and
    b) recent advances in both sailing crafts, the sailboard and the single handed sailing dinghy
    make room for something in between those crafts, a sort of a hybrid, which would be
    a) a little lighter and simpler than the dinghy ( a little heavier and more complex than the sailboard ), and,
    b) a little easier to sail, ( not so demanding of the quick, balanced and precise movements by the sailor), than the sailboard.
    My crystal ball tells me that we will see such a craft in the next decade ( if the sea is not boiling at that time,,,)
    The possible hybrids are quite many, but I guess that, if there would be any survivor, it would be no more than one...The space is too narrow for more !
    Such a craft can have ;
    A) a rudder or not ( A1, A2)
    B) a mast that: is fixed on the deck (B1) , or, is connected with the deck (B2) with a joint that enables the mast to swivel : longitudally (B2a), laterally (B2b) , or in both those planes (B2c), as the sailboard mast.
    C) a boom which the sailor holds by his hands (C1), or not (C2)
    D) one, two or three hulls. (D1, D2, D3)
    There are 2 X 4 X 2 X 3 = 48 such combinations...Some of them would die just after their trial, ( the 12 {A2 -(B1 or B2b)} for example), some of them a little afterwards, but I bet that one, at least will survive for good ! Searching in the internet, I found this old (1992) US patent that is, theoretically, a possible survivor, and I cited it in this thread, to provoke some arguments. I tried to maintain a regular flow of messages from my part, but I failed to respond to people in a productive way, and I feel sorry that this thread had the bad luck of so many others...Now, the internet chat has some advantages, one of them is that we can delete anything we regret we wrote : Scripta non manent ! And we can always start back from the beginning !:)
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