Wing Sails

Discussion in 'Multihulls' started by CatBuilder, Jan 16, 2011.

  1. CatBuilder

    CatBuilder Previous Member

    Ok so how much does one of these cost?

    Do they have manual versions that aren't all computer controlled?

    It is worth a serious look to me because I wouldn't have to buy 10's of thousands of dollars worth of hardware, sails, etc...

    Opinions on safety and ability withstand hurricanes?

    Fitting to an existing catamaran design?
     
  2. New Dawn Fades
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    New Dawn Fades Junior Member

    I don't know if there are, but I know it would be easy to control one with a wind vane attached to the wing so it could read angle of attack to the wing and adjust accordingly.
     
  3. CatBuilder

    CatBuilder Previous Member

    Right... that makes sense. Some manufacturer of them up your way in Seattle/Hawaii's website said they used the equivalent of "trim tabs" to control the angle of attack. Theirs were controlled by computer, but maybe there is some way to control them a bit more manually and set them... interesting idea.
     
  4. New Dawn Fades
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    New Dawn Fades Junior Member

    Sure, that's the easy way, have the wind vane control trim tabs. There are two types of trim tabs, called either servo, or anti servo.

    It may need to have power assist if the control surfaces are not aerodynamically balanced, and I'm not so sure you could make them aerodynamically balanced.
     
  5. uncookedlentil
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    uncookedlentil Junior Member

    Check out this site, seems the technology is getting deteched, is that a word?, and my prediction is that it's on it's way towards being the next major refinement.

    What we all need to keep in mind is the KISS principle to technology and design if it's going to work in the real world.

    http://www.superyachttimes.com/editorial/13/article/id/4189
     
  6. daiquiri
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    daiquiri Engineering and Design

    Don't know what "KISS principle" stands for, but the Omer wing sail sure has one important feature which the others are lacking (as far as I know): lowering and reefing characteristics.
    That has been so far one important negative feature of wing sails in general - the fact that they were producing aerodynamic forces even when one didn't want them.
     
  7. uncookedlentil
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    uncookedlentil Junior Member

    That'd be Keep It Simple, Stupid. ;)

    I guess people aren't as mean to engineers, designers, and inventors these days.
     
  8. catsketcher
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    catsketcher Senior Member

    It doesn't work

    Sorry to rain on the parade but wings don't work on cruisers - or any boats that aren't C class cats or similar.

    Just finished watching some races of the Moth worlds where a wing was present and sailed by an awesome sailor - one of the very best and he didn't do that well. When I was hanging around asking lots of questions there were two guys working on the wing. Everyone else was still to rig up.

    Then there is the huge amount of time and money put into wings by Walker Planesail. Look them up. They went bankrupt a couple of times. They had the control flap idea on their tris. The boats were very expensive and didn't go fast. Walker was a nasty guy and sued a mag that dared publish the stats of a test sail. I was not sad to see them fail.

    The AYRS, Walker, and others have done wings a lot in the last 40 years. They are not around for a very good reason - for a multiude. Get onto the AYRS site a buy a few of the relevant mags.

    As I see them wings haven't worked because they are heavy, complex, fragile, time consuming to repair and maintain, slow (strangely they can be slow unless they are multi element and well adjusted) can't be reefed and costly.

    Then again of you want to have a go on your own - go ahead

    cheers

    Phil
     
  9. catsketcher
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    catsketcher Senior Member

    The Wally thing is interesting but I wonder if the C class people would call it a wing. It is single element and seems to me more of a ribbed sail than a wing. It would be intriguing to see of the WOW sail of the same area as the traditional rig would be faster or not.

    The idea of tickened sails was done in 1987 in 12 metres. They didn't find it was worth the worry. Charles Heisdeck the tri did it at the same time.

    Remember you will spend most of your time offshore trying to slow the boat once the wind is past 15 knots so ease of use and economy should be paramount in rig design for a cruiser.

    cheers

    Phil
     
  10. uncookedlentil
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    uncookedlentil Junior Member

    Quite possibly, this rig doesn't belong in a narrowly defined ''wing sail'' discussion, but the designer is calling it a ''soft wing sail'', and perhaps we can go with that.

    http://omerwingsail.com/
     
  11. Pericles
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    Pericles Senior Member

    It is over 3 years ago since Ilan Gonen last posted on this forum.

    http://www.boatdesign.net/forums/sailboats/soft-wing-sail-18422.html

    It looks like he has been successful with his project, catsketcher's comments about suitability for cruising yachts notwithstanding. The video clip on his site is worth watching. Sailing downwind with the sail pointing back into the wind.

    http://omerwingsail.com/

    How often do we get advance notice of an idea and then learn that the idea has been adopted and put into production? I think this forum can chalk up a first, but I am open to correction.

    Perry
     
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  12. Pericles
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    Pericles Senior Member

  13. tspeer
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    tspeer Senior Member

    Yep. There's just no way any credible designer would ever think of putting one of them wing thingys on a cruiser.
    [​IMG]

    The technology does need work - I'll grant you that. But the work is being done. The guys at Harborwing are making a lot of progress towards making the offshore wingsail practical.

    Like many pioneers, Walker made some good decisions and some bad ones. I think his design was too dependent on electronics. It doesn't require electronics to control a wing - it can be done with purely mechanical controls. I also think the small-tail-long-arm approach of Harborwing is better than the big-tail-short-arm approach of the Walker Wingsail.

    In 1876, this was written of the catamaran, "The model of the Amaryllis evidently would not do for a sea going vessel, and nothing in the way of the practical 'improvement of naval architecture ' which yachts and yacht clubs are supposed to promote, can come out of a flying proa." And yet, today we know the catamaran is a very seaworthy hull form when it is adapted to the purpose and not pushed to the limit as racing boats do. I suspect the same will be true of wingsails.
     
  14. CatBuilder

    CatBuilder Previous Member

    Where can one find a manually controlled wing sail? I may yet look into fitting one.
     

  15. Petros
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    Petros Senior Member

    I have considered this for a long time, there are several practical problems, and some political ones as well. All of the rules in most classes of boats assume a rather limited definition of the "sail", most pleasure boat buyers want their boat to look traditional, and since you would have to control and sail it very differently, there would be a large learning curve for typical buyers.

    But on the practical side, all of your surfaces are always exposed to the weather since there is not practical way to stow or reef them, the control system has not proven to be reliable as of yet (too complex in MO), limited adjustments for camber and twist, and I think they need a way to control the angle of attack independent of the trailing edge control.

    I have been tinkering with an idea that is fully manual (no computers required), it allows control of both twist and camber, AOA, and can be reefed and stowed. I have built several models, so it looks like it will work as I planned. My next plan is to build a small one to try out on my 14 ft dingy, or perhaps a hobie cat.
     
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