Self-righting multihulls. How ?

Discussion in 'Sailboats' started by xarax, Sep 6, 2006.

  1. Aramas
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    Aramas Grumpy Old Man

    Capsizing is an inherent vice of multihulls and every kind of monohull except for ballasted yachts, just as sinking is an inherent vice of ballasted yachts.

    Just live with it. You can come up with ways around it, but then you'll have a boat designed for self righting rather than sailing. If an engineer put their mind to it, they could build a cat that could launch itself into orbit. Unfortunately, it wouldn't be much good for anything else.

    A sailboat is a sailing machine. Every feature you add detracts from its original purpose, and makes it heavier, slower, more expensive and usually, uglier.

    Are you a sailor or a gadgeteer?
     
  2. xarax

    xarax Previous Member

    The ocean floor is full of gadgets, unfortunately...:) :) :)
    I wish the problem could be so easily wiped out from mind Aramas...As a sailor I respect the elements, and I fear having to rescue my live or other people s lives starting from un upside down situation...
    Fearless sailors ceased to evolve thousands of years ago, so they left no descendants, you know...:) If one wishes to sail even when the sea becomes angry, one has to be in a calm state of mind, and I suppose that a self righting hull offers that ilussion of safety that calms the back of our minds ...
     
  3. sysfx
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    sysfx Junior Member

    I'm, a sailor wo has nothing against improvements. We'd still be sailing square riggers if it wasn't for them.

    Watertight well designed ballasted boats self right. Multihulls should self right too. Well designed proas are natural self righters, while cats and tris aren't, but this does not mean that we should stop researching and dreaming.

    Light weight materials, new electronics, airbags and other developments continually improve the possibilities to find a self righting configuration for tris and/or cats. The previously mentioned self righting 23 ft tri is a good example and it is already sailing. I guess it still requires development, but no technological break through.

    A self-righting tri would be faster than a sled, more stable and equaly safe. It would eliminates the last rational reason to race and cruise sailing monohulls. It is definitely worth being developed.

    I will keep dreaming.
    Luiz
     
  4. tonygirsh
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    tonygirsh New Member

    Hey! I just came up with the design for a self-righting multihull. I got the idea and decided to make a small test model. I found some foam and wood and quickly made something to test the concept. It didn't quite work. But then i did a little mod and it worked perfectly. no matter how id throw it in the water it would bob right-side up- seemingly as quickly as would a keeled monohull. Every part of this design is buoyant though. So what do you think? am i too optimistic? How big of a market for a self righting multihull is there? Or as the other poster said - that modern multis are so unlikely to capsize that there's no need for one?
    The self righting feature wouldn't be otherwise just extra weight, it would have a function in normal situations as well and add comfort. And it wouldn't be ugly. I don't want to give the idea away just yet. it is not protected yet. As other posters said they got a provisional patent for their idea. Maybe i need to do this first? but even then id have to get it to market or fully patented within a couple of years... and it takes longer to do anything in boat market, right? Anyone able to help me with financing a patent? or fund its commercialization? Hep build it at least? If so, maybe we can work together on this. If you seem genuinely interested i can show/tell you the design.
     
  5. xarax

    xarax Previous Member

    How big of a market for a self righting multihull is there?
    Well, smaller than the tiny market of the multihulls, that s for sure ! :)
    modern multis are so unlikely to capsize that there's no need for one?
    If you would calculate how much people pay to insurance premiums, all over the world, just in case of the most unlikely events in the universe, you would be surprised !
    Actually, filling a patent application in US and EU in not so difficult a task as people tend to think. It might be useful to the inventor, to clarify his design in his own mind, too.
    Financially, for the specific market, I think it is a luxury that will not pay its money back.
    My personal opinion in the matter of patents, is this : Great ideas should not be protected, because they are a gift to humanity...Small ideas make no difference, and no big money, too ! So, who cares ?
    I would just publish the idea and let it float, or sink, in the flow of time...If I were an able manager and capable to become other people s money collector, I would go forward to a small company, etc. Otherwise, I would try to have another idea , and then another ! :)
     
  6. Steve W
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    Steve W Senior Member

    I owned a Macgregor 36 cat that originally had a well thought out righting system that apparently worked incoporating a masthead float, a few fixed points,the spinnaker pole and a big water bag. This system, like every other i have read of including the G32 cat was NOT self righting,it would require considerable input from the crew.The masthead float had been removed long before i bought the boat and i have never seen one in the wild that had retained it, why? because capsize is so rare. The big capsize fear is largely brought on by seeing all the beach cats and cutting edge large racing cats and tris screaming around with one or two hulls in the air and then,suprise suprise,occasionally they flip but these boats have huge sail areas far beyond what most cruising multis, cruising multis very rarely flip due to wave action,its almost always too much sail and the conservativly rigged ones have excellent safety records,Wharrams and most of the early english cats come to mind. Most monos dont capsize due to wave action either, consequently virtually no powerboat of any type is self righting yet i have never seen any discussion of trying to make them so.Yes occaisionally they do go over and stay upside down just like a multi, often with loss of life but it is rare.
    Steve.
     
  7. Doug Lord
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    Doug Lord Flight Ready

    I think a truly self-righting(automatic), small, high performance multihull could be a great boat for the less physically fit and perhaps for disabled people that have a need for speed. I've come up with an idea of how to do it that might work here: http://www.boatdesign.net/forums/mu...ast-small-multihulls-self-righting-35654.html I'm going to build a model to test the concept...

    =========================

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    Tony, if you've got a workable idea-congratulations! Be very careful how you interpret results from a model-weights that are too heavy or too light can throw off the function of the model as compared to full size. There are thousands of less physical and/or disabled people that would love to be able to sail fast. Does your concept work in a high performance version? If you're interested in getting a patent you need to see a lawyer immediately and disclose the idea to get the earliest possible date-and to get realistic info on the process. With my attorney a disclosure doesn't cost a cent.
    I have several patents and they have been a good way to spend money-these days there are fees that begin after three years and so many ways for large companies to steel your work that I doubt I'll ever file again. The whole system is geared toward wealthy inventors.
    Your system could help a bunch of people and only you can decide on whether to proceed with a patent. I've just come up with a very simple idea for a self-righting small trimaran for very high performance sailing and I'm not even going to consider a patent-but that's me. Good luck and take a look at the above thread.....
     
  8. sysfx
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    sysfx Junior Member

    I second xarax's advice. Publish the idea, benefit from the open discussion to save development time and money and then evaluate the next step.

    Nowadays there is one interesting possibility for a proper self righting system: the AC45 circuit(s). Those are expensive and fragile boats that will be sailed to the limit in many venues and WILL capsize, so the organizers will certainly have a big floating crane available in each venue. If the cost of implementing your idea is significantly less than that of the crane, the organizers midght be interested. Also, their wings should float.

    Good luck,
     
  9. tonygirsh
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    tonygirsh New Member

    thanks guys. I really appreciate your responses. I am tempted to post the idea, but maybe later. first i want to see if i can get some kind of protection for the idea- just in case it could be worth something. not to make it hard for someone that wants to build their own boat- if you want to build your own boat, or have it built with the idea -no problem. But on the other hand if it can be profitable, id like at least a small slice of the pie... you know...maybe enough for my own ocean crossing cruiser. .
    Thinking about the idea a little more though it seems like it may not be so practical for large boats - best for ~20' or smaller . We'll see.
    Doug, can you tell me about your lawyer? Cause the patent lawyer in my town charges a heck of a lot. thanks
    thanks again
     
  10. Doug Lord
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    Doug Lord Flight Ready

    =====================
    Tony, sending you a PM with the lawyers name. Due to some recent trouble with a stalker on this forum any information on people I deal with will be kept private-as much as possible.
     
  11. sysfx
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    sysfx Junior Member

    This further reduces the potential profits.

    Judging by the few features disclosed, it could be a system based on releasing a shroud in a capsized (not turtled) cat. If this is the case, it already exists.

    For decades the Supercat/ARC cats have been using a righting aid system that becomes a self-righting system by adding a few inches to the wire length that holds the released shroud. SC/ARC cats have sealed masts to avoid turtling.

    But then, the same system could work for big cats, so maybe you have something better in mind. I sure hope so.
    Good luck!
     
  12. Doug Lord
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    Doug Lord Flight Ready

    ======================
    I think it is very important to distinguish between whether the crew rights the boat themselves-which some call "self-righting" or whether the boat automatically rights itself like a keelboat. The latter seems to me to be the way to go for the sake of allowing more people to sail safely. To have true self-righting capability AND high performance* in a small trimaran is the Holy Grail-at least to me......

    *For what it's worth, in the thread I referenced in the previous post, I arbitrarily defined "high performance" as being equivalent to of faster than an F18 catamaran.
     
  13. CutOnce

    CutOnce Previous Member

    Hi Tony!

    I'm psyched you have a new idea that may revolutionize cat sailing. All sailing can stand some new ideas to open it up to new people.

    Converting ideas into money is another game entirely. General ideas can not be patented - clear implementations of ideas in the form of a specific plan of a specific product can be patented. Patents are a legal protection only valid in the territories where people respect such things, and a great part of the world has no respect for the US Patent and Trade Office and it's counterparts in other countries. The other problem with patents is that they are only worthwhile if you can afford to defend them. Not only do you have to pay the patent attorneys, the patent agents and all relevant filing fees, you have to pay the attorneys yet again every time someone attempts to breach the patent. Basically, 99% of patents are big money makers - for patent attorneys - not inventors.

    Establishing clear title to a patent isn't always easy - if you work in technical and creative trades or in product management roles, most employment contracts contain clauses assigning all work product while employed to your employer. Many end user license agreements and acceptable use policies also happily assign rights to your ideas to their authors. Even here on boatdesign.net you have ALREADY assigned in a binding agreement unrestricted distribution rights to any and all posted material to the owners and agents of the website.

    Intellectual property is an oxymoron much like political intelligence or organized chaos.

    What matters in my opinion is execution and establishing the art, design ownership, copyright and implementing your ideas in the real world.

    Most patents are issued with minimal due diligence done by the patent office searching for prior art. This means that although you may receive letters patent for your concept, there is no guarantee there is not already an established patent that may invalidate yours. Jurisdictions all operate differently as well.

    Personally, I would not bother with the expense until such a time as you have confirmed real world function and real world financial interest in supporting the concept. Your resources (especially at this stage) are better spent clearing up these two question marks first.

    I've been down this road a few times in the course of my employment and have yet to see a single patent actually make money through intrinsic value of the letters patent. Your mileage may be different though.

    --
    CutOnce
     
  14. tonygirsh
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    tonygirsh New Member

    Thats a pretty cool idea sysfx, but with the concept i have in mind it just self rights all by itself. Like if i use it on my windrider rave i am hoping, in case of a nose dive pitch pole, it would quickly right itself and i can continue sailing, all while i keep sitting in the cockpit (might need a seat belt). As far as getting a patent - for now i just want to get a provisional patent. after that i can disclose the idea to anyone. thanks again for all your responses
     

  15. idkfa
    Joined: Sep 2005
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    idkfa Senior Member

    If you are willing and able to take the product to market, then patent.

    You will NOT get paid royalties by another, they will work around or just ignore you, sue me.
     
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