Wild Oats XI fitted with DSS!

Discussion in 'Sailboats' started by Doug Lord, Aug 14, 2013.

  1. redreuben
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    redreuben redreuben

    It's ironic, I think the whole diesel power thing is a total joke, but at the same time I hope she sees off the foreigners !

    I would like to see an Aussie "yacht" win though.

    And this is the beauty of the "Hobart"

    Don't expect to see the ORMAS on telly though
  2. P Flados
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    P Flados Senior Member

    The sad thing is that large mono canting keel boats do not really need an engine for a reasonable amount of keel cant.

    Just use the technology that most recently was used for mast canting on the C Class champion.

    Keep the desired amount of cant reasonable, release the keel can restraint (hydraulics most likely) to let the boat heel over right before a tack/jibe, lock it down, and then make your turn. You are getting canting benefit with no engine.

    Probably a key to doing something like this on a purpose built boat would be to design in the ability to safely operate at very high heel angles.

    If it is just about performance, I actually like the concept of:

    • a fixed keel
    • a boat design to operate safely and comfortably with lots of heel
    • a canting mast using the same no-engine scheme above.

    You should be able to get a similar performance gain with the security of a fixed keel.
  3. CT 249
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    CT 249 Senior Member

    It's not too easy in practise. Years ago I was lucky enough to talk to Frank Cammas just after he finished a Transat. The ORMA 60s normally tacked their canting mast in this way but he noted that the boat was very hard to handle on the "old" tack due to the weather helm caused by the mast canting to leeward.

    In a similar fashion, the water-ballasted maxis and 60s could (in my very limited experience) be quite difficult to handle before a tack or gybe, when the ballast was being allowed to run to leeward on the "old" tack. The level of pre-tack heel on the more radical boats (Open 60s, in contrast to say a Volvo 60) was enough to make them fairly cumbersome around short courses. I suppose canting a keel by heel would be faster but in reality how fast can you let one go down before you have difficulties with stopping it gently enough?

    So (IMHO) gravity canting would have to be possible but cumbersome. Of course, that's fine in that it's simply another design tradeoff, but you do end up with boats that are so dissimilar that the racing becomes much more down to lack and conditions rather than a test of sailing skill.

    Ironically for all the claims that shifting ballast is new, it's ancient and was pretty standard in the 1800s. That was also a time when sailing was largely restricted to pros and the super-rich; banning shifting ballast was a major step in democratising and popularising the sport.
  4. NoEyeDeer
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    NoEyeDeer Senior Member

    My 2c: I already know Wild Oats can set fast times to Hobart. Now I'd like to see a sailing boat set a faster time than Wild Oats. That would make things interesting. :D
  5. bpw
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    bpw Senior Member

    I was thinking more along the lines of something like a t-top fishing boat with a pair of 250 hp outboards on the back...much cheaper and easier way to put the hp into the water than mucking about with sails and shifting big bits of lead around.
  6. CT 249
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    CT 249 Senior Member

    As noted by No Eye Deer, the Vendee and Volvo are miles from being "the biggest" in terms of participation. Sure, they are the longest and may have the biggest media presence, but there are 50 times as many boats in the Fastnet and probably many more pros and more money being spent.

    It's interesting that the Volvo fleets sagged in numbers when they moved towards movable ballast. There were 23 boats in '89, when the fleet was ruled by IOR and there were boats like the little Beneteau 50 La Poste involved. The Volvo 60s were brought in as a cheaper and simpler alternative to the giant ketches next time around, but the numbers declined.

    Look at the trend; 23 entries, 14 entries, 10 entries the first year it was just movable-ballast boats, then 8-7-8-6.

    Sure, there are many factors involved in fleet numbers. But the era of movable ballast boats designed to rules specific to the Volvo has seen fleets about 40% of the size of the era when boats were designed to the same rule as the standard weekend ocean racers of the world. And the era when the Hobart attracted almost all of the world's canting-keel supermaxis has seen the Hobart shrink at a time when the comparable ocean races like the Bermuda and Fastnet are getting record fleets.

    Sure as hell looks as though shifting ballast is doing nothing to attract more boats.
  7. NoEyeDeer
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    NoEyeDeer Senior Member

    My 2c: it'd be nice to introduce a rule for the Hobart that automatically disqualifies any boat that starts an internal combustion engine after the starting gun (and before the finish line, obviously).
  8. Doug Lord
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    Doug Lord Flight Ready

    Neither does the price of tea in China ,as best I can tell.
  9. michael pierzga
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    michael pierzga Senior Member

    Its money. You make boats too expensive and the fleet dies out.

    Even at club level the boats have become to expensive to race. Locally as an owner operator, you wouldn't stand a Chance against sponsored programs sailing the same boat.

    Its money
  10. Skyak
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    Skyak Senior Member

    Sailing certainly needs to address cost in the big picture, but money isn't everything. Money is not a bigger determinant of outcomes in sailing than in other big time sports -football, baseball, basketball, auto racing, horse racing... The driving force is larger amounts of money in fewer hands that want to WIN in a big sport spectacle. I am not opposed to boat industry talent getting some of this big money. I also like to see the sport progress and develop new technologies. Where I think it goes wrong is in equating records achieved today under less stringent rules with heroic achievements of the past. If you look at the examples above, other sports leagues have managed and protected the pedigree at the same time they raised the price. With this in mind I think it is a big mistake to count boats burning fossil fuel to get around as sail boats. I think canting keel boats are better classified with multihulls than monos and should be in a development class.

    What I don't want to see is a schism in wind powered boats. Prohibiting some craft from participating just because they are faster is bad for everyone. Wild oats needing a diesel engine to run it's hydraulics is insulting. If you are spending that much to go fast you could take on the task of harvesting enough energy from the wind water and humans to run the boat. Wind, wave and solar power are all well worth the development.
  11. michael pierzga
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    michael pierzga Senior Member

    Money... Simply look at the Volvo ocean race . The high cost of entry was hollowing out the fleet. Now they sail one designs .

    When the cost of competing is so high the cost of failure is even higher.

    One design or campaign cost caps are the answer.

    I prefer prefer cost caps. Tight budgets encourage inovation .

    Unlimited budgets encourage circus freaks
  12. NoEyeDeer
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    NoEyeDeer Senior Member

    I agree about the engine, but I don't think it's really going to be practical for a racing boat to try and generate power from wind and water generators. The extra weight and drag and complexity, in comparison to the power generated, would be problematic. However, I see no reason why they couldn't use human-powered hydraulics al a AC72. I'd be fine with WO racing with human-powered hydraulics, since in principle that's no different to a human-powered block and tackle.
  13. groper
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    groper Senior Member

    yeah, and take it one step further - why not run a diesel engine, and use it to drive a motor.... a hydraulic motor...this is all the same as whats used to move the ballast thus far correct?

    Well, take the same engine, drive a generator, and drive an electric motor - which powers the hydraulics...

    Now take the same motor, to drive the electric motor, and instead of driving hydraulics, drive a propeller instead....

    Now the take the same engine, forget the other redundant gear, and just drive the damn prop directly...

    Whats the difference in all this?

    I guess the only thing separating the issue and keeping the stewards happy, is the use of a propeller or not...

    a sail is simply a static foil, as opposed to a propeller and thus a rotary foil...

    perhaps we could use the energy generated by an engine to deliver power via another means, such as electromagnetic propulsion, or perhaps a small nuclear reactor instead with a steam turbine driving a huge air fan which blows on the sail for more legal power...

    Ah sheet.... i could go no forever :D
  14. CT 249
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    CT 249 Senior Member

    You make some good points, but IMHO you SHOULD stop some boats from participating because they are faster - every "equipment racing" sport does so, and every class in sailing does so. Why can't the Hobart do it too?

    You mentioned auto racing as an example; that stops F1 cars from participating in NASCAR, and it stops Le Mans Sportscars from participating in Aussie V8 racing and the Formula Ford Festival. It's very similar to the way the Hobart stops multis from racing.

    If motorsport used the "we can't stop them because they are faster" approach then there would be no races just for stock cars and no races for motorbikes - but they don't because they allow each type to race by itself. Why can't monos do the same?

    And it CAN be bad for people if much faster boats race. How many Hobarts or similar races have you done? Would you like it if you arrived in a typical small-club, having done well, and found that the party was over and the big boats had already left for home days before? Would you enjoy trying to compete on corrected time with a 130' trimaran if you had a 30' IRC boat, or vice versa?

    Can those people who say "you shouldn't restrict entries" please point to a comparable sporting event that doesn't restrict entries? As noted earlier, even events like the Dakar Rally (which allows bikes, trucks and cars) doesn't put them off at the same time and ensures that there is no "overall winner", so that's a very different situation to starting multis off with the monos in the Hobart and acclaiming one boat as the line honours winner.

    As you said, many other sports make stringent efforts to ensure that the equipment rules allow the legends of the past to be compared to the current stars; it's a pity that has been lost in offshore racing.

  15. michael pierzga
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    michael pierzga Senior Member

    To Stop them racing is a crude way to address the issue. Excluding them from fleet trophies is better.

    First to finish in fleet...not first circus act across the line.

    Circus acts add a level of excitement and media coverage that host club find advantageous.

    Remember there are two entities in a regatta..the competitors and the organizing club.

    Both need to be considered.
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