Need for simple and cheap offshore racing

Discussion in 'Sailboats' started by Milan, Jun 14, 2006.

  1. Milan
    Joined: Apr 2005
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    Milan Senior Member

    Two days ago, I went to Rotterdam to see the Volvo ocean race stop over. I enjoyed the day, extreme 40 class is really spectacular, some of the legendary boats from previous times were present, and present generation Volvo ocean race boat is really impressive. But when I saw enormous complexity of the boats and astronomical costs necessary to take the part in the race, I taught about different kind of the race, cheap and simple.

    Boat speed is relative, it's difficult to compare different boats and over the years all sorts of rules are tried to classify the boats, according to displacement, length, sail area e.c.t. Speed is measured by all sorts of coefficients, but I never heard that some one tried the most important coefficient - money / speed ratio. Suppose that we organize offshore race in the boats classed by the costs. 100 000 Euro class, 200 000 E class, 300 000… All teams have to build the boat for the fixed budget, material bought from central storage space, realistic market prices, same for all teams. Number of the crewmembers fixed. They have to maintain and repair the boat by themselves, with materials and tools carried on board, no outside help allowed aside from the crane to take the boat out. Just one set of the sails allowed for the duration of the race. Multihull and monohull classes are kept apart. That's all, no other restrictions, sail area, rig types, displacement, length e.c.t. are totally free. Race course around the world chosen to combine running and beating, so, successful boats have to be good in different conditions.

    What do you think, what kind of boats would be most successful in such race? I think that these types would give most valuable inspiration for designs of the cruising boats.
     
  2. dimitarp
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    dimitarp Junior Member

    Hi,
    The money/speed ratio for small boat is much smaller compare with big sail boat. The best pisition will be for wind surf, little money high speed. Some peaople already sail over Pasific na Antlantic with windsurf.
     
  3. SailDesign
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    SailDesign Old Phart! Stay upwind..

    Consider the costs of safety equipment, supplies and spares to last around the world. That alone may well sink a smaller budget. And then consider the fact that a slower boat will need a higher budget for these things, as it will be at sea longer.
    The cost of running a campaign like this is actually not that high, considering...
    Steve
     
  4. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    Read "The Common Sense of Yacht Design" by Herreshoff. He devised a money/boat rating system in 1936.
     
  5. sharpii2
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    sharpii2 Senior Member

    How about this, Milan:

    19X1 CLASS: of small ocean racing sailboat

    RULES: General

    Length No longer than 9m (formerly Open)
    Beam Open
    Draft 1.00m (3.25ft) Including centerboards and dagger boards
    Sail Area 19.00sm (203sft) Maximum with largest sails set.
    Displacement Open*

    * At least enough to support a 455kg (1000lb) payload and a 7.68kg/sm (1.6 lb/sf) minimum Hull, Deck, and Cabin wt.

    Stability Self-Rescuing from a 180 deg. capsize. Having the ability to be righted by the skipper in storm conditions with no outside help, within 5 minutes or less.
    Or

    Having a Righting Arm equal to 2/5ths the Height of the Center of Area of the Sails measured from the Water Line.

    RULES: Specific Restrictions

    Freeboard No less than 0.5M or 1/3rd the Beam, which ever is more, at lowest point.


    Keel a.) Must not have any bulbs or wings projecting foreword of the leading edge and the leading edge must slope back 1cm for every 4cm it goes down.
    .
    b.) Must be able to withstand 3 gravities of side loading and 6 gravities of vertical loading.

    Cabin a.) Distance between cabin sole and inside of roof shall be no less than 1.12m for a fore and aft distance of no less than 1.21m and a side to side distance of no less than 0.92m

    b.) Cabin sole must be at least 0.61m wide and no less than 1.22m long if the boat has a birth or 2.0m long if it doesn’t.

    Cockpit
    a.) Is not required.

    b.) Can be I/4th as long as boat if it is self draining (drains out of the boat in less than 2min.), or 1/8th as long if it isn’t.

    c.) Must be no closer than 1/8th the boat’s length from the transom or stern point or open at the back if it is any closer, if it is self draining, or no closer than 1/4th the length from the stern point or transom if it is not. Non self draining cockpits must have full height water tight bulkheads at both ends and one way valve freeing ports 1/8th the hull beam above the waterline.

    d.) Must have no more than half the volume of the hull region it occupies.
    #

    This is something I thought up a few years ago. I even posted it, but did not get much interest.

    Boats built to this rule might still have carbon masts (they are well on their way to becoming standard anyway). And maybe even canting keels, but the draft restriction might go a long way to discourage them.

    Tell me what you think.

    Bob
     
  6. solrac
    Joined: Feb 2006
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    solrac 100% sudaca

    sharpii2: nice, very nice.
    just one sole question, why on a 9m sailboat 19.00m2 max sail cloth? isn't too poor for an ocean racer?
    As I can gross-estimate, on a 5/6ton displacement ship, that will compromise final speed to no more than 4/5knots...
    as you stated :" small ocean racing sailboat", on that speed range, ocean crossing would be a little impractical (on a 60-80miles/24hs basis, compared to the 250-300miles a day for a VOR70 atlantic crossing will ressemble Christophorus Columbus trip...:D )
    I used to sail for years on a wooden boat lenghted 7.65mts, with metal oars who had about 22.0m2 (12.00 mainsail+10.00m2 guenoa, not to mention another 20.00m2 spinnaker) sail cloth without any problem.
     
  7. Milan
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    Milan Senior Member

    Yes, I have that book. If I remember well, ( I will look tonight at home), I think that L. F. Herreshoff's goal was to provide a way to objectively compare overall characteristics of the very different types of boats in the sense of boat for money basis. I have less ambitions, I don't try to compare overall characteristics, (much to complicated), my focus is on open ocean average passage speed / costs.

    I realize that I didn't formulate my taugths in the beginning of the thread very clearly. I'll try to better explain what I mean - there are all sorts of reasons why people race across the oceans. One very real and valuable gain for broader boating community from racing are technological break throughs, new materials, equipment, construction techniques, e.c.t. Racing provides test bed for the new stuff. Proven, successful products eventually get accepted in the mainstream.

    Now, that's all very well, but I think that it would be vary valuable to all of us if we could also test what is the most cost effective use of conventional technology. Question wouldn't be "make the fastest boat of certain length", no, it would be a quest to design the fastest boat for certain amount of money. Which boat is faster, mini transat boat, complicated and expensive for her size, with a canting keel and every thing carbon, or few meters longer, simple plywood boat, with fixed keel and aluminum mast? Is it faster to have smaller sail area built from the most expensive sail cloth or larger sail area from much cheaper dacron? These are kind of real world dilemmas that need to be thoroughly tested to provide very valuable lessons for the cruising boat community. That would probably lead to quite different designs than current norm. My guess is that successful boats in described race would tend to be relatively large, trim, with very long waterline, and big, divided sail plane, something similar to Pen Duick II.

    Milan
     
  8. sharpii2
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    sharpii2 Senior Member

    Thank you Slorac and Milan for looking at my idea.

    The reason for limiting the sail area was to limit the boat size effectivly without dictating hull dimensions. Only draft and length are limited. And length was limited very reluctantly. The idea is encourage the disign for efficiency over brute power (which seems to be the norm today). With only 19 sm of sail to play with and a required 'cargo capacity' of 454 kg, one is going to have to use much different thinking to get the best out of this package.

    I think sail and rig design could make great strides under this proposed rule.

    In order to get the vessel weight down to an acceptable level, ballast is going to have to be sacrificed (expect a lot of flanged and bulb keels). Once that's done, the Rig height will now have to be limited as well.

    I have tried a few preliminary designs for this rule to see for myself if is possible to come up with a decent performing boat. My Plyboats(r) program calculates hull skin area, so by creating various hulls from it, I was able to calculate hull weights.

    I found that all up displacements of 1000 to 1227 kg well within reach with a little careful planning. The ballast weight would be 20 to 25% of that. This gives us a max SD of 16.5 to 18.9 with the boat fully loaded. By todays standards, this is not a lot of sail, but it is hardly skimpy.

    50 to 60 NM/day is a fair guestimate of average speeds, especially in a very bad doldrum situation. Average speeds of 70 to 100 NM/day seem more likely with the availability of gps, satellite connected lap top computers, and up to the minute weather maps.

    My guess is that the average race would take one to two months for distances of around 3,000 NM. Scaled up versions of this class could be used for around the world races, if this approach were to become popular. A 2x76 Class, perhaps.

    Thanks again for your interest.

    Bob
     
  9. sharpii2
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    sharpii2 Senior Member

    I have to say I certainly love the spirit of the idea.

    The problem is, that in practice, it could become much more complicated. There could be some severe disign biases due to the matterials available at this 'central store'. And who gets to determine what 'reasonable prices' are?

    Is 'reasonable' in France the same as reasonable in, say, Croatia.

    This race could easily become one of not skippers, designers, and builders, but one of accountants and lawyers. I just see too many opportunities to cheat (and protest).

    Having the crew have to build their own boat is a great idea. I love it! And I imagine you came up with it to get around vastly different labor costs. Very clever. Maybe I should make that a stipulation in my own proposed class.

    But the costs of matterials fluctuate from year to year. And sometimes wildly.

    For instance: the price of GRP is closely tied to the price of oil. And the price of aluminum seems tied to the price of natural gas. The price of carbon fiber is probaly tied closely to the amount of military procurement from year to year. Then there is inflation to consider. Tying your costs limits to a certain weight of gold might seem old fasion, but will probably be a good way to automatically adjust for inflation.

    Then there is the problem of previously built boats. What about last years yachts? The crew can't build them this year, can they?

    But their is still a certain elligance to your idea. I just wish it could work out that way in the real world.

    Bob
     
  10. sharpii2
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    sharpii2 Senior Member

    Canting Ballast 25 footers.

    Canting ballast is such an effective way to increasing sail carrying ability that I fear it would be last to fall victim to the cost cutting knife. Look at how fast those Volvo boats go. Or even the Mini's.

    The Canting Ballast is, I am afraid, a new permanet standard for racing yachts.

    I dread the day they start showing up in 'performance cruisers'. And they will.

    The only way to keep them out of your proposed class would be to either directly outlaw them, or make them ineffective by some other class rule or stipulation. (Limiting max draft and max sail area is the approach I took).

    I think that the days in which cruising yachts can gain much of anything from the doings of the racing community are long gone. Even fully battened mains were seen first on one design multihulls and some custom designed cruising mono boats. Later they appeared on racers.

    The pure racing community is starting to take off on a different tack where performance is everything.

    As well they should.

    Their needs are different and so will their boats be.

    Bob
     

  11. Milan
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    Milan Senior Member

    "… The reason for limiting the sail area was to limit the boat size effectively without dictating hull dimensions. Only draft and length are limited. And length was limited very reluctantly. The idea is encourage the disign for efficiency over brute power (which seems to be the norm today). With only 19 sm of sail to play with and a required 'cargo capacity' of 454 kg, one is going to have to use much different thinking to get the best out of this package…"

    Why not leave the size of the boat free, especially length? Even if let free, size wouldn't get very large as sail area is limited. That would probably lead to very narrow, graceful boats similar to old square meter classes.


    "...There could be some severe disign biases due to the matterials available at this 'central store'. And who gets to determine what 'reasonable prices' are?..."

    "Central store" should be situated in one of the major boat building regions where all possible materials and equipment are easily available on the short distance. The Netherlands would be a good place or France for example. Reasonable price" would be price at chosen date in a central store.

    "… the costs of matterials fluctuate from year to year. And sometimes wildly…"

    Yes, that's bit tricky, but still, in general, proportional price difference between different materials usually doesn't change that much. For example wood for strip planking is considerably cheaper then foam for sandwich construction and it will stay that way, wire rigging is cheaper then rod rigging, galvanized wire cheaper then stainless, aluminum cheaper then carbon, block and tackle cheaper then winch and so on.

    "...Then there is the problem of previously built boats. What about last years yachts?.."

    I would just let them compete, if everything is OK new ones should be faster as there will be a development process.

    Some way of compensating for the inflation is indeed essential, I like your suggestion to tie the costs to the gold.

    "… Canting Ballast 25 footers…"

    I'm not so sure they would dominate, as they are expensive, difficult to built and maintain. Reliability should be major issue in this race as the crew must repair everything by themselves. And price wise, I think that for the price of latest mini transat boat you can build 9 - 10 meters simple plywood boat with fixed deep keel, plenty of sail area and water ballast tanks instead of canting keel. Although less efficient then canting keel, water ballast system is much cheaper, simpler and more reliable. And size counts, so that plywood boat might be faster then transat boat.

    I wouldn't outlaw anything, I would hope that tight budget and need to keep everything long lasting and easily reparable will sort things out by itself. If some one finds a way to make canting keels economical and reliable I would be the first one to use them, but I doubt that it will happen soon.

    "…The pure racing community is starting to take off on a different tack where performance is everything…"

    I'm not against high performance, on the contrary. There are different ways to reach high performance, I just prefer simple, economical solutions over complex and expensive.

    "…I think that the days in which cruising yachts can gain much of anything from the doings of the racing community are long gone. Even fully battened mains were seen first on one design multihulls and some custom designed cruising mono boats. Later they appeared on racers…"

    I think it's at least partly so because lot of racing is so far from the real world. It there are no rules at all, for example for sail plan, it may lead to great variety. There are many possibilities. If costs are considered, maybe even some forms of gaff sails could become competitive again - much larger area of the cheap gaff against more efficient but also more expensive and there fore smaller Bermudan?

    Last week I saw interestingly re-rigged Freedom 40 in action. Mix of old and new ideas. She had two carbon masts, fully battened sails with very large roach and sails were attached to the masts by pieces of rope with a big gap between sails and masts. Boat sailed really well to windward. Sails had very similar plan form to traditional Dutch short gaff sails.

    Milan
     
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