SK 2--18' Canting Keel

Discussion in 'Sailboats' started by Doug Lord, Mar 4, 2012.

  1. CutOnce

    CutOnce Previous Member


    Around this forum, "I've just gotta start a thread" excitement is often based on promotion of complex features that augment performance in some limited conditions without consideration for cost. For some reason, real market success, happy clients, actually establishing sustainable racing fleets and value don't seem to register on this forum as all that important.

    Features (canting keels, various lifting foils, mechanical moving ballast, etc.) seem to generate more excitement than value, performance across all conditions (including summer long drifting), resale value, best competition crew pools and worldwide acceptance.

    Sailboat design isn't just about the next possible breakthrough for getting someone's name in the record books using a one-off design. That leading edge stuff gets 98% of the attention and 2% of the sales volume. I just can't force weekday night PHRF races to have enough wind to make the canting keel useful here. We often drift and drink beer.

    I wish the builders and designers of the SK2 all the success in the world but I just have some trouble seeing the concept reach critical sales mass. I think that most buyers would rather sail in a big fleet of VX-One Designs, Vipers and the like, have the extra money for replacement sail budget, travel campaign budget, crew/beer bribes and (perhaps much easier) trailer transport.

    I'd love to hear from the builder's giving their take on the market potential, the target customers and some head to head comparisons on the water with other boats targeted at the same buyers. Anyone can get excited about features, but I get excited by the substantive reasons why people think their designs will succeed in the market.

  2. Doug Lord
    Joined: May 2009
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    Doug Lord Flight Ready

    New Technology

    This is a boat design forum where I try to present new boats, new ideas, and new technologies that have a great deal of potential , like the SK-2, DSS, the Trapwing for disabled performance, small, single handed boats , the new scows, curved foils for monohulls and multihulls and other technologies that are changing, or could change the face of sailing as we know it. The SK2 is one of the classiest small designs to come along and is designed to be sailed by just two people-not two 195lb gorilla's either. Designs reflecting new technology have the potential to help more people get into sailing, improve performance, improve seakeeping, make sailing more fun, open up sailing to more disabled people and on and on. A shortsighted, retro view of all new technology simply deprives one of the understanding of the incredible, vibrant and exciting design innovation sweeping mono and multihull sailboat design and development.
    I celebrate new technology, new thinking, innovation and development because of their potential "for real market success, happy clients, actually establishing sustainable racing fleets and value"!! As well as their potential to allow performance daysailing and cruising, improved boathandling in tough conditions and more. It's an exciting time with big changes in performance sailboat design becoming more and more mainstream. Innovation in sailboat design is one of the most exciting avenues of development for a design forum to explore-it is simply an expression of optimism that says: no,we have not seen it all before! Exciting stuff for exciting times.....
  3. CutOnce

    CutOnce Previous Member

    If the ideas presented were actually new it actually would be interesting.

    A teacher once told me that credit for innovation is directly proportional to the obscurity of the source of inspiration. She meant that as long as no one figured out where (or who) you got the idea from, people would believe you "invented" it. In a mature science such as naval architecture, most ideas have been tried many times by multiple independent "inventors" who were unaware of each other's efforts. It is a conceit to believe that only one person of many trying to solve a problem can arrive at one particular solution. Most "innovators" never bother with filing patents on ideas they arrive at, as they assume others have reached the same conclusion.

    DSS has been in development and discussion for over five years. And that is the most recent development quoted. My sister's Cheoy Lee trawler had active fin stabilisers back in the 1970s - doing much the same job in a different application (roll plane trim adjustment using water flow acting on horizontal subsurface foils). Anyone who has kayaked in serious (Class 4 and up) white water has used a laterally deployed paddle to provide roll plane righting moment using a positive angle of attack to water flow.

    Canting keels have been around since at least 2004. The CBTF version appeared around 2006. I personally would not be shocked to find out Nat Herrishoff or Olin Stevens had ideas like this somewhere in their years of work. They lacked the precision technology to implement engine-driven high speed hydraulics (and sailors of that period would never have tolerated diesel stench as a mandatory requirement for tacking).

    Moveable ballast has been around since the first few boats sailed. Displacement boat trim has always been adjusted by moving ballast. Side to side ballast being actively changed on tacks appeared in sandbaggers in the mid to late 1800's.

    These examples and their citations took a couple minutes to find - and in all probability there are examples of much older prior art in each case.

    The SK 2 is a very nice example of a variation on the eight year old canting keel idea. Is it innovative today? Not really compared to how Aqua Quorum was.

  4. Silver Raven
    Joined: Oct 2011
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    Location: Far North Queensland, Australia

    Silver Raven Senior Member

    Mature Science

    Gooday - 'C-O' I've been in this 'forum' & others in 'Boatdesign' for just a few days now. I've not heard anyone - as yet - with the exception of yourself - make any complaint or suggest anything wrong with this particular 'forum', its format, its agenda or where or how it's going. To the contrary - we all enjoy this subject matter & place. Does that tell you something ??? Don't like it here - well then - Please feel free to go & start your own. We'll all appplaud.

    I would respectfully suggest - that YOU - take a 'measurement of yourself' at least 6 times, listen & watch - what - we in here are all about - & either - enjoy our company & our chosen subject matter or - start another subject heading about what your want to talk about & I'm sure all those in here & all the other 'forums' that are interested in your choice of subject will join in your discussion area.

    I'm sure we will not come into your - 'forum' area and make false & incorrect criticism - whic is what you have done.

    Doug & many others in the place are far to polite to argue with you however if you wish to have one - I'll make myself available but not in this 'forum' area.

    Why don't you get your 'techers' to assist you in how to - discuss a subject - how to make a comment - how to do so without an unnecessary &/or improper implied rudeness - how to accept other peoples discussions without wanting to change them ??? They might be able to also show you how to appreciate that there are 'new ideas presented & that they are also very interesting' regardless of your own personal negative opinion.

    If you don't like this 'forum' place - don't nock-it & tell us we are wrong - - start your own heading & enjoy like minded people in your own created area.

    Have a grand day & do enjoy sailing, smilin & 'sundowners' - - in your self created new area, Ciao, james

    PS> Oh - by the way - if Naval Architecture is a Mature Science then Gawd help us all & if the definition of mature is - what you've displayed in your post then we are all destined to go backward for the next 50 years.
    What 'Class A' kayak's or their paddles have to do with this 'forum's agenda' - totally looses me. Start yet another 'forum' heading for that subject as well. Again Ciao, james
    1 person likes this.
  5. Andy
    Joined: Aug 2003
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    Location: Edinburgh

    Andy Senior Member

    Maybe a better question would be how to bring the technology (in this case the whole boat) down in price to a similar point as the VX. That would be progress. Maybe Vinylester construction with less carbon and Kevlar (the 14kg difference with the VX gives plenty of scope for this), cheaper daggerboard construction, I dunno what else (Winder Fireballs cut their costs significantly by retooling with only 3 molds for a complete hull and deck IIRC, not sure of the structural arrangements here or if this could work, maybe Roel could comment). Personally I'd have given more flare to the hull, bringing the beam closer to the VX and providing more righting moment from the crew and keep the boat drier. Then it would probably be faster than the VX, which would justify some of the price difference. The photos of the SK2 I've seen also show it dragging it's stern through the water much more than the VX (which seems to be wider and flatter). Maybe the narrower SK will behave better when heeled. It'd be interesting to hear Roel's take on this, and the reasons behind the vertical topsides?

    Edit: You could simply add little winglets to the deck and keep the hull as is?
  6. CutOnce

    CutOnce Previous Member

    I doubt there is a huge amount of room to move on the pricing of the SK 2. Material costs are what they are, and the people behind the design should be able to make a profit on their efforts. I'm certain the designers chose their scantlings carefully as this is a high performance design.

    The biggest help in cost reducing a design comes from volume and economies of scale - not raw materials. Labour costs are certainly a factor, but it requires volume commitment to get into the low cost labour markets.

    This is one of the really tough problems in the recreational boating market - achieving enough volume to bring production costs down enough to allow pricing for attracting fleet level interest. Designers either have to have very deep pockets to "seed" the market with low-profit subsidised boats (like the Moth class Bladerider did with sponsored "ambassadors") OR they have to have a group of excited, well funded buyers to whom pricing is a minor issue and the performance gains worthwhile.

    There are not a lot of Oatley-style risk takers willing to bankroll cost-no-object rule beaters to gain a 5% performance advantage.

    Naval architecture IS a mature science, and most professional builders know that hulls will cost a particular number of dollars per pound based on the designer's scantlings. In my particular field, there is a maxim called "Moore's Law" which accurately predicted a doubling of performance every 24 months or less. I work in a immature science. Things bought today will be obsolete in less than a year. By any measure you choose, performance gains in sailing are tiny and incremental at this point.

    I've provided links to verify and support every point I've made - including a link to our Mr. Lord's own patent on Canting Keel technology. If there are any inaccuracies in my posts, please contact me offline and I'll gladly post public apologies and retractions once verified. Otherwise, stop the personal attacks.

  7. Doug Lord
    Joined: May 2009
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    Location: Cocoa, Florida

    Doug Lord Flight Ready

    Some may throw all technology in the same barrell and try to claim that there is, therefore, no innovation. It is an argument without merit and assumes an unwillingness to look at and/or understand the details:
    1) This example ,in an effort to discredit DSS, is just simply ludicrous: adjustable or fixed stabilizers have been around for years and years and have nothing remotely in common with DSS except that they both work with a foil going thru the water. A stabiliser can increase stability by causing a foil to lift up or down. DSS, is a retractable or fixed foil that lifts vertically up(only) on the lee side of a sailboat ,thereby increasing righting moment. It never lifts down like a stabiliser. It's application ,for the specific purpose of increasing righting moment on sailboats, is a new and innovative solution to adding power to carry sail w/o adding weight. It is a "foil assist" solution for monohull keelboats that not only increases RM but reduces displacement as well. It is a foil solution that operates close to the surface and as such the ONLY foil assist solution that does not increase the draft of a boat that it is used on. That aspect of a DSS foil may allow its application on small monohull daysailers as well as on multihulls in fixed or retractable versions. The devil is in the details-so often ignored by the" I've seen it all before" crowd.
    2) Canting keels have been around for years as well, but all canting keels are not the same. CBTF is not just a canting keel system it is a patented system that allows the strut used to hold the ballast to be relieved from the duties of a "normal" keel in generating lateral resistance. The twin foils on a CBTF boat generate 100% of the lateral resistance and allow the zeroing out of leeway so that the keel strut section can be smaller, with less wetted surface. This is because of the CBTF boats ability to turn it's twin foils(collectively) in the same direction, while simulataneously being able to turn them in opposite directions for steering. There have been other innovations in canting keel boat design ,including Andy Dovells fixed wings on a canting keel bulb to resist leeway and my retractible bulb mounted wings for the same purpose.
    The SK-2 is a great example of using canting keel technology to allow a larger boat to be sailed by a smaller crew. It's uniqueness is in its design details which are second to none.
    3) Movable ballast has been around since the first crew moved from one side to another. Moving loads of sandbags from one side to another was a cool way to generate power to carry sail. In the 1800's one of the Herreshoffs came up with a very unique movable ballast system that allowed a large amount of weight to roll side to side on some sort of trolley. Several versions were built which were very succesful in racing until they were ,apparently, banned.
    But all on-deck movable ballast is not the same. My Trapwing system is extremely unique with the innovation in the details, not in the fact that ballast is moved from side to side. The Trapwing system allows weight to move from side to side inside a sealed "wing". As the ballast inside the wing moves ,the wing also moves. This system is an entirely new way to move ballast because the sealed wing has more buoyancy than required to float the weight it is carrying and because the wing is supported by trapeze wires reducing the effort required to move the ballast dramatically. In addition, the buoyancy of the wing can contribute to righting a small performance boat using this system even with all the weight to leeward! The system has the potential to allow disabled sailors and physically restricted sailors to be able to sail a high performance planing monohull safely. There is no other system like it anywhere.
    One characterisic of the "I've seen it all before" crowd is an almost universal ignorance of the details of the things they think have been done before-and the devil is most certainly in the details. Yet this crowd tries to lump all innovation together under one heading which belies the facts and ignores the real innovation.

    Pictures, L to R: 1-3) Trapwing System, 4-5) KFoil-lateral resistance solution for canting keels, 6) CBTF

    Attached Files:

  8. CutOnce

    CutOnce Previous Member

    I never claimed these ideas weren't innovative at the time they were introduced. Nor have I doubted their potential or failed to understand details. Boom vangs were once incredibly innovative - and now they are an expected standard feature that has become de rigeur in performance designs.

    These ideas are no longer "new", and "new" is a critical part of innovation. Actually, the Latin word "novus", the root word for innovation means ... new.

    This definition (quoted from Wikipedia) outlines "better or more effective" and "accepted by markets, governments, and society". This is a tough framework in which to evaluate many of these ideas - especially the "accepted by markets" part. Sailboat buyers are a notoriously conservative buying public, taking refuge in fleet solidarity and well established designs. Lots of possibly viable ideas never significantly meet the criteria of being innovative because they never get built, never get bought, and/or never reach fleet status. I have some experience in trying and failing to introduce a new design, as do many others on this forum. I learned a lot from this experience and have adjusted my understanding of innovation accordingly to be more in line with the Wikipedia quote above.

    If the SK 2 had been introduced six or seven years ago, it would have had the potential to be a huge earth shaking innovation - perhaps changing the course of yacht racing. Time has passed, and canting keels have not taken over as the popular state the art in yacht design. This isn't a negative spin - it is just observation of what has happened over the past eight years. This technology appears to fit a shrinking high performance niche position (perhaps due to the recession and people having a tough time justifying costly arms races).

    I'd love to see some completely new ideas that weren't incremental refinements of old ideas. I'd love to see new ideas that actually get built, tested and in huge demand from the buying public. I really like the design execution of the SK 2 (but could not afford to buy one).

    See, it is possible to have a discussion without a personal attack using the words "universal ignorance", "effort to discredit", "simply ludicrous", "without merit", "unwillingness to look at and/or understand". I don't think anyone here is without merit, universally ignorant or simply ludicrous.

  9. Doug Lord
    Joined: May 2009
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    Doug Lord Flight Ready

    Thats just not true-the two major development classes of ocean racing monohulls have adopted canting keels 100% as have all monohull keel boats designed for record breaking.
    The SK-2 is a pioneering effort where the canting keel is designed specifically to allow the boat to be sailed by a crew of two "normal" weight people. It's design detail is state of the art and it is one of the best examples around of a relatively small boat incorporating state of the art keelboat technology.

  10. sean9c
    Joined: Jan 2011
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    sean9c Senior Member

    Of the examples you gave only record breaking really benefits from canting keels. If VOR rules said no canting keels the designers would just design boats around that requirement. Sure the boats would likely be slower but the VOR experience would be the same. Sponsors of these events are looking at marketing, canting keels are the latest whiz bang, designers want to play with them, public wants to hear about them, sponsors get convinced they have to write it in the rule, sure it's a speed generator all the boats will have to have them.
    SK2 designer just wanted to design a small canter, he could have just as easily designed the best non-canting keelboat for his chosen crew weight and built that. He just hopes the uniqueness of his canter will be a marketing tool to find buyers.
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