Sydney-Hobart 2006-Battle of the Canters

Discussion in 'Sailboats' started by Doug Lord, Nov 23, 2006.

  1. CT 249
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    CT 249 Senior Member

    Doug, so you really think that the non-sailing public think that one of these pics is more exciting than the other? Why? What is it, exactly, that makes one of them significantly more exciting? Obviously we're after info on hte boats, not the fact that one is taken from a helicopter and therfore shows more wake astern, or the fact that one was taken on a grey day and the other on a sunny day.

    How many of the non-sailing public could tell the difference between a movable-ballast boat and a boat with fixed ballast? I spent a lot of my time in the crowd on Boxing Day listening to comments. Only the sailors could spot differences between boats of similar size. Two years ago I watched the start with two European high-performance sailors; they couldn't tell the difference between the canter and the conventional boat, because there is simply no way of telling them apart unless you are very close and at certain angles, or unless they have briefly canted the hull.

    Given the fact that telling a movable ballast boat from a fixed ballast boat is extremely difficult, why is one so much more exciting to look at? I'll bet the average non sailor would not find one of those pics more exciting - please tell us why they would. More spray? The bow-up angle on Peg seems more exciting than the bow-down attitude on Alfa.

    By the way, re "Movable ballast on big boats is NO DIFFERENT than movable ballast on dinghies: if you say that Wild Oats is a "power boat" then you must also say that every trapeze dinghy is HUMAN POWERED. And many of us know that both of those positions are absurd....."

    Movable ballast on big boats is VERY DIFFERENT to movable ballast on dinghies, simply because of the fact that the dinghy crew use their personal physical effort to physically shift the ballast. The maxi crew uses an engine to physically shift the ballast. To say that they are the same is just like saying a bicycle rider is the same as a motorcycle rider, because both move the bike. We know a bicycle rider is different because they use their personal physical effort to move the bike, rather than an engine. It's just the same with powered moving ballast v crew ballast.

    And I do actually say that dinghies are human powered - when I'm coaching Laser sailors I say that a Laser is part human power and part sail power upwind, because there is a tremendous amount of physical movement. However, HUMAN power is an utterly different thing in a sport to ENGINE power. A HUMAN moves the ballast in a dinghy, a MOTOR moves the ballast in a canter, therefore one is HUMAN powered and the other is MOTOR powered.

    Doug, regardless of the rights or wrongs, have you looked at the number of posts that support your view and compared it to the number of posts that attack your view? Have you considered that your style or tactics may be wrong? Your posts are normally answered by a barrage of posts attacking your position. This does not look very good for the style of sailing you like. Your style (complete with criticism even of people like Rohan and FoilR for not doing enough to promote Moths!) may actually be damaging the boats you are championing.

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  2. usa2
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    usa2 Senior Member

    CT- i am pretty sure both those boats use waterballast.
  3. CT 249
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    CT 249 Senior Member

    Nope, sorry. I checked before and after posting the pics. Peg 77 has no shifting ballast; I was there when she was rolled out at Macca's and I've checked on the 'net.
  4. usa2
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    usa2 Senior Member

    my bad, sorry.
  5. CT 249
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    CT 249 Senior Member

    No worries, mate.

    Actually when I was triple-checking, I came across this comment from Gavin Brady after sailing a TP52; "I thought the Volvo 60 was nice to sail
    downwind but this makes that seem like a dinosaur."

    Ooops! Not so good for powered movable ballasters when a fixed-keel TP52 makes them look like dinosaurs. But of course the VO 60 isn't a canter unlike Alfa, Goats etc.
  6. Doug Lord

    Doug Lord Guest

    CT, your example is not even close to being descriptive of the facts. The bicycle person is actually turning the wheel of the bike providing motive power just like the engine is to the wheel of the motorbike. There is a HUGE difference between your example and what happens on a sailboat using movable ballast(legally).
    Neither the movable ballast on a dinghy or the movable balast on Wild Oats cause the boat to move(within the rules). The anti techno's that disparagingly refer to these movable ballast speed boats as "powerboats" are pushing a pitiful
    catch phrase for a technology that allows big boats to do exactly what dinghies do.
    You say what is done in dinghies and what is done on Wild Oats is very different and so it is in a very limited way. But they are far more alike than they are different from a sailboat standpoint: both using movable ballast to generate power to carry sail; neither going anywhere without wind. And calling a magnificent sailboat like Wild Oats a "powerboat", implying that the engine provides motive force, is insulting ,demeaning and just plain wrong!
    CT, have I considered that because a small group of anti-techno's frequently make negative comments about the technology I champion or me personally that maybe I should shut up? Hell no!
    This is not a popularity contest; it is a discussion(sometimes) of serious issues concerning movable ballast( or foiling or whatever); I seem to be the only one speaking on behalf of the technology as it is applied to
    big boats and disabled sailing and thats fine. I'm one of the only people speaking about the incredible opportunities available to designers with hydrofoils for monohulls-that's fine too.
    I also said Maximus was using CBTF 2 years ago-and I was right!
    More people that like these technologies should speak up but they probably get discouraged looking at how some of the anti-technos respond to me-more likely than not going personal when their ideas run out of steam. Too bad........
    Chief Ostlind-The rig doesn't give a hoot whats under it: a canting keel, two or three hulls, or a belly full of lead-just so long as it is designed and built properly for the RM developed by whatever means. There is absolutely no association whatsoever between canting keels and rig failures-or at least there shouldn't be. The science of rig design and construction for a given RM has been around generations longer than have canting keels. The only area I can see any possible guilt by association is in the fact that the masts have come down on racing sailboats....
  7. CT 249
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    CT 249 Senior Member

    The facts are that the way the ballast is moved is very different. You said "Movable ballast on big boats is NO DIFFERENT than movable ballast on dinghies".

    It is obvious that moving ballast via human physical effort is very different from moving ballast via engine power. The fact that moving ballast does not act as directly on moving the boat as moving a wheel on a bike does not detract from the fact that the way of moving OF THE BALLAST in the two examples is very, very different.

    I did not say that you should "shut up". I said that maybe you should change your style of argument. Surely if you are spurring people to come out on forums and attack the technology you are trying to promote, you should consider that you may be going about your argument the wrong way.

    And specifically, what are the differences that makes the pic of Alfa so much more exciting than the pic of Pegasus? Simply "yes really" is not all that convincing as a detailed logical argument.

    Having (unlike you) often seen these boats, I have to say that I don't think the average person would think that they are very different to earlier boats (size apart) and therefore their "revolutionary" status may be over-rated in some ways.
  8. Chris Ostlind

    Chris Ostlind Previous Member

  9. foilr
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    foilr Yes I've sailed one.

    Alfa 1 or 2?

    CT, I thought Alfa 1 was a fixed-keel 90'?
  10. CT 249
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    CT 249 Senior Member

    Yep, that's the fixed-keel but shifting ballast (water ballasted) 90 in the pics. The pics of the canting 98 I found showed her going a lot slower (see below), so it wouldn't be a fair comparison to a fixed-ballast boat. Actually I find the canter to be a good looking boat, prettier than the 90, but the 80 remains my favourite for looks.

    I also posted the pic of the fixed-keel water-ballasted 90 because I was interested in seeing how many people, and which people, would apparently assume that it was the 98' canter. It seems that some other people didn't realise which Alfa they were looking at, which may indicate that the canters don't look all that different.

    I've always thought if we want to get the public to look at boats to increase sponsorship, we should do some tests to see what looks interest them. I wonder whether the public would rather look at a canter, a Swan, an IOR boat, a classic Metre boat, a schooner, a tri, or what.

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  11. RHough
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    RHough Retro Dude

    Ummm ... the public ... hard to say but non-sailors don't quite get it:

    Bruno: What cha watchin?
    You: The Volvo
    Bruno: that don't look like any Volvo I've ever seen ... looks like a boat.
    You: Sorry, the Volvo Ocean Race, these boats are racing around the world.
    Bruno: Really? That's cool. How fast are they going?
    You: (excitedly) Sometimes over 30 knots!
    Bruno: How fast is that?
    You: Almost 40 miles an hour!
    Bruno: (after a pause) OH ... got a beer?

    Bruno drives to work every day at speeds that are almost twice that of a VO70. That they can be racing at that speed is beyond his comprehension.

    Another day:

    Bruno: Hows that Volvo race thing going?
    You: Its getting interesting.
    Bruno: What happened?
    You: Abn Amro Two just got by Pirates for second!
    Bruno: How far ahead is the leader?
    You: Only 75 miles!
    Bruno: Oh ... you got Speed Channel?

    To Bruno, racing is 200 MPH not 40. It is 15 cars on the lead lap at Daytona after 490 miles, not 7 boats that can't even see each other spread over 300 miles of ocean.

    Sailing is not a very good spectator sport.

    The Cup races in Perth did a great job. The on-board cameras and the weather made it LOOK like a race. They gave the impression of speed and both boats were in the frame much of the time.

    The Quokka (sp?) Internet coverage of one of the Whitbreads was excellent. IIRC at one time there were over 30,000 people logging on daily to participate in the virtual race to pit themselves against the real boats.

    By comparison the Internet coverage of the last Volvo sucked.

    Some of the in port races in heavy air were pretty good. Big boats wiping out made good viewing. However, the big canters are not very tactical. They are too ponderous... 12 second tacks?

    Ocean races are best watched with daily text updates to your cell phone. :)

    Otherwise it is about as exciting as cricket, or watching paint dry.

    Two hour race events are about the limit if you want the Brunos to watch them.

    Bruno might watch a Hooters extreme 40 series if it was sailed in warm water and the crews looked like this:

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  12. Doug Lord

    Doug Lord Guest

    Geez, Mr. Ostlind-I thought you'd find that humorous being from the "Gangster School of Design" and all. It was not intended even remotely as an insult.....
  13. PI Design
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    PI Design Senior Member

    I agree - except about the cricket. Its not boring, its dispiriting (at least, for an Englishman).
  14. Chris Ostlind

    Chris Ostlind Previous Member

    Now that you've had your poorly conceived and written comedy interlude, how about you answer some of the issues involved in our conversation? I haven't been rude to you. The issues have been kept on-point and I've addressed all your positions.

    Have you run out of gas, Doug? Are you without a single answer as to why the canters are repeatedly dropping their rigs and other boats of the same size and sail area are not? Do you not have the capacity to fairly admit that there is a problem?

    You see, it's questions like this, when they go unanswered by you, which show you to be something less than a deep thinking person on these matters. You have a terrific grasp of the front end loaded techno bits, but you fail to see that for every zippy new techno bit added to a boat, there's another, equally potent set of issues with which to contend. The failure rate of rigs on these new boats is alarming, to say the least, and your failure to come to terms with that issue is a crushing blow to your self-appointed position as the techno guru of Crushing.

    I can't imagine where you go for solutions when your own exercises in boat design hit a wall. It would seem that they would just sit there, unresolved, because you refuse to see that you've arrived at a technological stone wall of your own limitations. Have you had any experiences like that in the past with your own boats?

    There is a path to clear air, Doug. It's called critical thinking and it starts first in your own head.

    Drop the comedy schtick. (You’re not any good at it anyway, so it’s no great loss) Start addressing the issues as other, more practiced, critical thinkers than yourself present them. Emulate their process in these matters until you formulate a path of your own and join the ranks of discussion members who are gracious and humble with their intellect and experiential knowledge.

    The road is clear, Douglas, get on your Vespa and Ride!

    Your hopeful friend,


    PS: if this was alarming for you, please forgive me. I'm taking a very technical correspondence course through the Comedy Store nightclub in L.A. and I was up all night writing a new act.

  15. CT 249
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    CT 249 Senior Member

    Randy, I actually reckon the cricket is an example that indicates that sailing could become a reasonably good spectator sport, if done in the wrong way. Nothing happens in cricket, and it happens slowly; just like sailing. But the commentators on ABC (Aust.) and BBC radio are true experts who can give an insight into the game and intersperse the slow bits with opinion and memories of other matches, booze-ups etc.

    My girlfriend has only recently been exposed to cricket, now she's a major fan; and her gung-ho approach to sport can be summed up by saying she did the Tornado worlds offshore in her second year of sailing. I wonder if sailing could be made into a spectator sport with the right commentators and with the right style - not with the overblown overhyped under-thought style that tends to be used now.

    PS - Doug, does the canter in post 115 really look incredibly exciting, to the naked eye, compared to a conventional boat. In what way, please; wake? Angle? And exactly how did the water-ballasted 90 look more exciting than the fixed-ballast 77?? Wake? Bow-down angle?

    Remember, much of the justification for bigger boats with power is that they are more exciting to the public. Would you be so kind as to inform us, with details, how they are more spectacular.
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