Sailing a powerboat

Discussion in 'Sailboats' started by Fanie, May 12, 2011.

  1. Fanie
    Joined: Oct 2007
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    Location: Colonial "Sick Africa"

    Fanie Fanie

    Hi Guys,

    This is an odd one :D

    Powerboats going to sea usually have two motors in case one breaks down.

    I'm in the right forum am I :D

    As an alternative propulsion, why not use a sail ?
    What if one makes a retractable daggerboard, a flip up rudder and a sail just large enough to overcome the windage of the powerboat and a bit extra for propulsion. The boat doesn't even have to lean in the wind. Sure I know powerboats are terrible in displacement mode.

    If the boat gets in trouble - no engine, fuel problems or for which ever reason, the daggerboard can be lowered to give it a bit to wind capability, the sail goes up and the boat can at least go somewhere, even if slowly.

    The thought occurred to me after seeing a powerboat that aparently ran out of fuel, it then drifted into the surf where it was pounded to pieces by the waves. With a bit of sailing capability the boat may have succeeded in keeping out of the surf, even proceed slowly towards it's destination.

    Your thoughts on this please.

    Thanks.
     
  2. Doug Lord
    Joined: May 2009
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    Location: Cocoa, Florida

    Doug Lord Flight Ready

    sail assist

    Fanie, I think you're right on-the question is what degree of training would be required to enable a "powerboater" with no previous sailing experience to be able to quickly use the equipment. I've seen serious shortcomings in common sense among some members of the breed.
    I read somewhere in the last two years about a company offering a "get home" kite to powerboaters-I just can't remember who anymore.
    I love motorsailers-it's the best of boat worlds when done right. In a few years I'm going to build my second and last(very small) motorsailer-either a cat or tri but this time it will probably be much more motor than sail but will use some of your suggestions(assuming I still have common sense!).
     
  3. Fanie
    Joined: Oct 2007
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    Location: Colonial "Sick Africa"

    Fanie Fanie

    Hi Doug,

    Don't underestimate the 'breed' :D

    I was showed once how the sail is supposed to work and I got the boat actually going forward on my first try. A single sail cannot be that difficult, it's a matter of show and do. A few minutes should do it.

    Kites can be a bugger...

    Once a builder, always a builder. Your last one will always proceed another last one ;)
     
    1 person likes this.
  4. CutOnce

    CutOnce Previous Member

    Everything old is new again. A century ago just about all working powerboats had a mast and steadying sail to make things tolerable before the days of Dramamine. There is a world of difference in terms of comfort between a powerboat with no sail and one with. Steadying sails connect the powerboat with the environment it is usually fighting constantly.

    Few if any working powerboats worried about lateral resistance - the deep draft displacement hulls generally allowed reaching and running without the need for daggerboards or extended keels. Upwind work really wasn't in the cards, given the hull form.

    Basic sail trim can be taught in seconds. Pull the "rope" till the sail just stops flapping isn't that tough to learn.

    Taking the average power boater out in a pure sailboat for the first time, and getting them to compare the difference between slamming waves, wind and tide under power versus how a sailboat co-operates is a revelation to them.

    I know how much stinkpotters hate blowboaters (and the opposite as well), but there is a lot to learn by crossing the no-mans land in between the trenches.

    --
    CutOnce
     
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  5. Doug Lord
    Joined: May 2009
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    Location: Cocoa, Florida

    Doug Lord Flight Ready

    Steve Dashew has come up with quite a unique "get home" sail for his series of big powerboats.
    He says:
    "We’ve wrestled for years with the issue of a back up propulsion system, and have covered this in detail in previous blogs. Simply put, the odds are if you lose power the odds are it will be due to fuel problems or damage to the drive line, both of which put get home engines out as well.
    So we have concentrated on a system which could, under the right conditions, get us across an ocean without using fuel or a prop."

    http://setsail.com/category/fpb64-notes/ scroll most of the way down....

    click on image:
     

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  6. hoytedow
    Joined: Sep 2009
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    Location: Control Group

    hoytedow Carbon Based Life Form

    That's cool.
     
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