Maltese Falcon ... hit or miss?

Discussion in 'Sailboats' started by Stephen Ditmore, Jun 29, 2006.


Maltese Falcon, hit or miss?

Poll closed Jun 29, 2007.
  1. A triumph!

    35 vote(s)
  2. Interesting

    58 vote(s)
  3. Uninteresting

    4 vote(s)
  4. A truly stupid concept and a complete waste of time

    7 vote(s)
  1. brian eiland
    Joined: Jun 2002
    Posts: 4,962
    Likes: 184, Points: 73, Legacy Rep: 1903
    Location: St Augustine Fl, Thailand

    brian eiland Senior Member

    Lunch with Tom Perkins

    Rather interesting little article that has just appeared in the May 2013 issue of ShowBoats magazine.
    "From Sailing Dinghes to a Game Changing 289-Footer, Tom Perkins' Yachting Life Mirrors His Meteoric Rise in Business"

    One little aside I found interesting as well was 'his attraction to classic and performance cars;

    "While I owned them, I really loved them, but when I sensed that the bottom was about to fall out of the market, I sold them all for vast sums of money. It was a good decision. Today I own just ONE classic, a 1954 Gullwing Mercedes 300SL in perfect concours condition"

    I've had that same attraction for that particular car :cool:
  2. brian eiland
    Joined: Jun 2002
    Posts: 4,962
    Likes: 184, Points: 73, Legacy Rep: 1903
    Location: St Augustine Fl, Thailand

    brian eiland Senior Member

    1 person likes this.
  3. Doug Lord
    Joined: May 2009
    Posts: 16,675
    Likes: 341, Points: 93, Legacy Rep: 1362
    Location: Cocoa, Florida

    Doug Lord Flight Ready

    Really nice, Brian! Tried to go to the company that took the video to see the "drone" but not possible-at least under the name "".
  4. Earl Boebert
    Joined: Dec 2005
    Posts: 383
    Likes: 55, Points: 28, Legacy Rep: 302
    Location: Albuquerque NM USA

    Earl Boebert Senior Member

  5. sharpii2
    Joined: May 2004
    Posts: 2,025
    Likes: 195, Points: 63, Legacy Rep: 611
    Location: Michigan, USA

    sharpii2 Senior Member

  6. Angélique
    Joined: Feb 2009
    Posts: 3,003
    Likes: 329, Points: 83, Legacy Rep: 1632
    Location: Belgium ⇄ The Netherlands

    Angélique aka Angel (only by name)

    This one works for me...

    Reason, this site requires ‘‘www.’’ up front of ‘‘’’

    Some sites require ‘‘www.’’, most don't.


    PS - - Here's the drone.... (translate from Italian to read the site)


    Last edited: Aug 1, 2013
  7. brian eiland
    Joined: Jun 2002
    Posts: 4,962
    Likes: 184, Points: 73, Legacy Rep: 1903
    Location: St Augustine Fl, Thailand

    brian eiland Senior Member

    Dynarig, a form of a Wingsail?

    Most of us have been treating the Dynarig as a modernized square rig. But in reality this rig has a lot in common with wingsails.

    That said I wanted to reference a little 'blog' that SAIL mag recently sent out:
    Have Wingsails Gone Mainstream

    I will be expanding on this subject soon, ...some new ideas on alternative dynarig configurations.
  8. sharpii2
    Joined: May 2004
    Posts: 2,025
    Likes: 195, Points: 63, Legacy Rep: 611
    Location: Michigan, USA

    sharpii2 Senior Member

    Read the article.

    I have to disagree.

    The dynarig has far more in common with the square rig than it does with wing sails.

    First off, it's a single sided sail.

    Second, it has two luffs (and two leaches).

    Third, for that reason, it does not have an optimal airfoil cross section.

    Fourth, because it it is single sided and does not have an optimal airfoil cross section, it is not suitable for the high performance sailboats that wing sails work best on. By high performance, I mean boats that can sail faster than the wind powering them.

    It does resemble a wing sail to a certain extent.

    It also requires the high tech materials science that a wing sail requires.

    Other than that, it is clearly a square sail rig with just two differences:

    One, it has no bow lines or braces, and two it furls along a vertical axis, rather than a horizontal one.

    Oh. And there's a third difference:

    It develops its lift exclusively over a vertical axis rather than a horizontal one and a vertical one.

    Arguably, it's far more of an updated square sail than a wing sail.

    I also disagree that wingsails are enough of an improvement over more conventional sails to make them a suitable replacement on most sailboats.

    They are good for high performance sail boats because they can work at a much lower angle of attack than conventional sails. This allows them to be sheeted closer to the wind, which is a prime necessity for boats which always sail a high fraction the wind speed.

    Slower, heavier boats (like the boats most people sail) need greater lift, never mind lift/drag ratios. They also need this lift centered as low as possible, so it heels the boat less.

    The wing sail, by its very nature, has its CA quite high up the mast and requires quite a tall mast for its area and drive.

    It also usually requires an unstayed mast, which limits the materials the mast can be made of.

    In short, the wing sail is always going to be more complex and expensive than a more traditional sail.

    So the hull that sports it had better be worth the trouble and expense.

    I wouldn't be surprised to see a good number of higher performing multihulls sporting them, for this reason.
  9. brian eiland
    Joined: Jun 2002
    Posts: 4,962
    Likes: 184, Points: 73, Legacy Rep: 1903
    Location: St Augustine Fl, Thailand

    brian eiland Senior Member

  10. CT249
    Joined: May 2003
    Posts: 1,281
    Likes: 102, Points: 63, Legacy Rep: 215
    Location: Sydney Australia

    CT249 Senior Member

    It's fascinating to see how often the whole "wingsails are the coming thing" stuff comes up. It's been several decades now that the same mantra has been repeated, and it only takes a few clicks to see the same sad old rubbish repeated.

    I looked up the Sails article....well, there's a classic example of why no one buys advertisements (whoops, sorry, sailing magazines) these days. What a lot of BS. They claim that "conventional" rigs must have sails that are triangular - what a load of tripe. Then they claim that an elliptical or semi-elliptical shape has less induced drag - not really, "shape" is not loading, and secondly that ignores heeling moment.

    The Sail article claims that an X Wing "will get you up on the plane in no time" despite the fact that all the available info shows that they are actually dog slow.

    They rant on about AC wings, when AC wing designers actually say that thin aerofoils can be MORE efficient in many ways.

    Beneteau and Wally both trumpeted that they were trying wings years ago - what has happened? What has happened to the boat-on-boat trials I thought Omar was going to give us about five years ago? Time and time and time again we are subjected to people loftily trumpeting their own superiority in rig design, who then act like cowards when it comes to actually putting their claims on the line in simple objective tests, like turning up to a race against comparable craft.

    The thing that is depressing about all this is the sneering contempt that writers and others demonstrate when they talk of wings. They cannot stop arrogantly dissing those who dare to use "conventional" rigs, despite the fact that these "mainstream" wings have yet to live up to any claims in publicly released objective trials.

    I own three wingmasts and umpteen sails with wing-like luff pockets, so it's not as if I'm dissing this sort of idea - but the over-the-top claims and worst of all the sneering arrogance shown by some wingsail promoters and many in the press is pretty annoying.
  11. JosephT
    Joined: Jun 2009
    Posts: 856
    Likes: 107, Points: 43, Legacy Rep: 218
    Location: Roaring Forties

    JosephT Senior Member

    CT249, understand your frustration. The larger wingsail rigs are going through the typical market challenges:

    -Mass production + plenty of spare parts available
    -Acceptance by the general public (lots of prejudice remains)
    -Competitively priced

    Nigel brings up this last point in the referenced article. “...bizarrely, the main obstacle in getting the rig to market might be one of cost. When you look at a conventional rig on a production boat, you’d be hard pushed to find a cheaper way of spreading out the required amount of sail to drive the boat along."

    Thus far that's been the biggest obstacle in my opinion.
  12. CT249
    Joined: May 2003
    Posts: 1,281
    Likes: 102, Points: 63, Legacy Rep: 215
    Location: Sydney Australia

    CT249 Senior Member

    I have never seen any proof that there is such a problem with prejudice. In fact any look at sailing forums sees people are very enthusiastic with what they see as the potential of wing sails.

    The problem is probably simply that we have seen NO proof that wingsails work better in the ordinary type of boat that almost all of us sail. Sure, wingsails work in multis, but there are good reasons why they can work in multis and not in monos.

    We have seen decades of claims, hype, and propaganda - but we have NEVER seen any simple objective independent boat-on-boat testing to prove the claims that wingsails work in monos. We have seen several independent objective tests that prove that they do NOT, and we also have lots of examples to prove that wingmasts only work in certain circumstances.

    Racing sailors are incredibly fast at picking up new technology that works in their context. When I was a kid there was a time when a new Half Ton class boat had a racing life measured in less than a year at top level. But we will pick things up instantly if those who are promoting them just stop talking and start winning. Why don't the wingsail hypesters put their designs on the line and race them? The Ilan sail has been hyped for about a decade now. Surely they could have ONCE turned up to ONE regatta in all that time! It's not that hard to just enter a race and show the results you got. If these rigs are as fast as claimed they should win easily.

    The fact that people are not prejudiced in favour of the normal sloop rig is demonstrated clearly by the sort of craft that are popular. The most popular classes in the world have unstayed rigs, one of them a sprit. The most popular cats in the world have wing masts, and they are among the most popular of all sailing classes. The two most popular two-person dinghies in my country have wing masts. If people were so prejudiced they would not sail "unconventional" rigs in their tens of thousands.
  13. Gary Baigent
    Joined: Jul 2005
    Posts: 3,008
    Likes: 125, Points: 63, Legacy Rep: 509
    Location: auckland nz

    Gary Baigent Senior Member

    Nearly all the IMOCA 60 recent designs (and a number of older ones as well) have wing mast rigs - so they work on monohulls as well as multihulls too. But of course those fashionable (and unbiassed) IMOCA blokes - what do they know?
  14. CT249
    Joined: May 2003
    Posts: 1,281
    Likes: 102, Points: 63, Legacy Rep: 215
    Location: Sydney Australia

    CT249 Senior Member

    What they know, being smart, is that an IMOCA 60 is a very different sort of boat to the typical Beneteau, IRC or ORC boat, or a typical dinghy - you know, "the ordinary type most of us sail". Even years ago they felt very, very different even to a Volvo 60 which was probably the closest design to them. It's just common sense that what works in an IMOCA going across oceans would not necessarily work in a Fireball, TP52, Benny 40 or Farr 1020 going around the buoys.

    I quite clearly wrote that wingmasts work in some classes, as I know very well because I own three of them and I race in one of the world's most popular wingmasted mono classes. The IMOCA 60s are obviously among those classes because of the conditions they sail in and other aspects of their design, but they are not the sort of boat that you see in big packs around Cowes, Sydney or Auckland on a weekend race.

    Wingmasts work in some circumstances in monos, as in NS14s, Tasars and IMOCAs, but not in many other monos - the type that most people race. It's pretty simple.

  15. gggGuest
    Joined: Feb 2005
    Posts: 833
    Likes: 26, Points: 28, Legacy Rep: 76
    Location: UK

    gggGuest ...

    Surely wing masts will "work" on more or less any boat. Work as in stand up and hold sails up. Like any other style of equipment they bring a range of features and characteristics which will have advantages and disadvantages in different cicrumstances.

    In dinghies for instance they bring to the party quite different bend characteristics which have some advantages and also some pretty big disadvantages. Aerodynamic benefits seem to be fairly marginal in most situations. Its interesting that they've only really stuck on the NS14 which is an extreme case with unusually slippery hulls and smallish sails. If I built a wing mast and put it on my IC next season it will work all right, as in the boat will have much the same sort of speed as it does now with a fairly conventional pole mast.

    On the other hand I remember Alex Vallings saying to me that the trouble with developing new ideas is that if you are competing with standard kit developed to say 95% of potential then either you need to get your new concept to a pretty high percentage of potential first time out or else it needs to be a really big advance. And even then there's the problem of working out whether Bill won because of his boat speed or in spite of his lack of it.
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.