Wing sails for cruisers?

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by river runner, Oct 21, 2011.

  1. river runner
    Joined: Jul 2011
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    river runner baker

    The 2010 America's Cup proved how much better, than a conventional sail, a wing sail can be. I was wondering how suitable a wing sail would be for cruising boats?
    On the one hand, you can't shorten sail. But on the other hand, you can de-power by just easing the main sheet. Seems like sail handling would be much easier and probably safer. There is also an adage that a fast cruiser is s safe cruiser, because you are "out there" for a shorter time, and therefore less likely to get caught in a storm.
    Thoughts on this?
  2. Doug Lord
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    Doug Lord Flight Ready

    Probably not a good idea. Wingsails are used to increase speed by reducing drag. A "normal" rig can be set up to automatically depower in gusts, with the right design. They are very fragile and relatively heavy compared to a "normal" rig.
    I would think you would want a rig that is easy and quick to reef as the number one priority?
  3. jehardiman
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    jehardiman Senior Member

    Doug nailed it. Weight, cost, ease of maintaince, ability to reef and furl all outweigh any marginal (and that is what it is...marginal...better at some things, worse at others)performance value. Remember, crusing is not about high stress getting there fast.
  4. Eric Sponberg
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    Eric Sponberg Senior Member

    You have to be able to douse the rig completely, certainly when you put it in a berth or on a mooring, and also in storms, and you can't do that with a rigid wingsail. In the America's Cup, all the competitors have an "idle crew" on the boat whenever it is not sailing, and their full-time job is to make sure that the boat does not get blown over. So there is a crew on board every night just for that purpose. You can't afford to do that with normal boats.

  5. Petros
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    Petros Senior Member

    You also have the very practical matter of getting it sold. For most buyers, if it does not look like a conventional sail boat, it will not sell well.

    I have thought of ways to have a foil shaped sail that can be reefed and stowed, it makes the rig more than twice as complicated, more parts, etc. For recreational boating I am not sure that would go over well, and it would be outlawed by most racing rules. So it is just an expensive hobby.

  6. outside the box

    outside the box Previous Member

    Just for what it is worth.
    This has been worked on far in advance of the Americas Cup (far in advance as in Years) helping to normalize the public perception of firstly Multihulls in general and secondly the wing sail being discussed as perhaps normal..... watch this space often all it takes for something we see as impossible to become accepted as normal or impossible to become possible is a technology change/discovery or more importantly public perception to be changed of a potential product to be accepted as the norm... Look at the automotive industry for example how often do we see a new car shape design/model come out and think oh yuck how could they do that or worse you would never see me in one of those then next thing everyone has one and more often than not they are the accepted norm ;-) the human element is the number one element of a products success "Good Revolutionary or Bad" many products in the market are far from the best but a very good marketing campaign have the human element accepting them as the norm and presto they become number one.....
    For example we have a product/design coming to market over the next year... it has been in design/development for 14 years and has only now had the right set of events that will help it's success,
    Event number one... material product development has helped, by carbon type building products etc being somewhat accepted as a norm in a build as a suitable product keeping strength up and weight down increased supply for demand has brought carbon costs down to a public acceptable mark.. Thank the Automotive, Aeronautic and Marine industry's for this.
    Event number two... public perception that a craft can have more than one hull and not fall apart or kill you.... Thank the Americas Cup Extreme 40s for publicising Multihulls wiping out in what looks like the end of the world to the public next thing they are up and going again.... ok a team did it but alas the public perception becomes that wasn't as bad as I first thought...
    Event number three... The public are wanting more for less... everywhere we look there are discount store's discount chains selling products that at best should never have been made, throw away shopping, buy it today use it tomorrow then throw it away.... so this has created the public mentality you do not have to pay alot to have what you want, or save for that matter, to have it.... so cost of product is always a huge part of acceptance....
    Event number four.... timing is everything a slot at either side of the right time for release will see anything new crash and burn "Good Revolutionary or Bad" just for what it is worth never say never......
    "NOTE" (the graphic attached is not our product coming to market) it is just an example of the fact the possible solutions to the thread topic has been worked on for years ahead of the Americas cup.....

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