Would You Consider Sailing, But Without Sails?

Discussion in 'Sailboats' started by Ocean Deep, Feb 18, 2014.

  1. Ocean Deep
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    Ocean Deep Junior Member

    I've had this idea sitting in my head for some time, and thought this is a good place to ask.


    Yachting, but without the sails, just a quite large wind generator to get power from. As an example of size, and wind speed; A 35foot diameter turbine, gives 6kw with a 16mph wind speed.

    I realise that this would totally change the sport of sailing.

    I have thought out all the sizes needed, regulation, batteries, controls, etc, and a few more positive sides that are not at first obvious.

    I'm going to drop an article in here, just to give an idea of why I think this could work.


    One of the reasons for this idea, was to enable people with disabilities to get into sailing, but to be able to do so unaided.

    Hope I'm not wasting your time here.

    Would You Consider Sailing Without Sails?
  2. Baltic Bandit

    Baltic Bandit Previous Member

    I don't see how this aids folks with disabilities to sail, unless you are talking about using the power of the turbine to in turn provide power to control the rudder and turbne angle. But I don't think this would be faster than a normal sailboat of that size - I suspect actually it would be slower because of the weights involved
  3. Ocean Deep
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    Ocean Deep Junior Member

    Hello, Baltic Bandit, and thank you for the post. I was thinking that there wouldn't be a need to be running around the boat, a lot less physical work involved. Maybe it couldn't even be called sailing.

    I was thinking it would be more suitable for long distance cruising, with spare power for other things while moored.
  4. Baltic Bandit

    Baltic Bandit Previous Member

    Well you can pretty much set up boats today with systems controllable from the Cockpit with membrane sails and roller reefing. Take a look at what the big WallyBoats do:
    hydraulic furlers and winches, self-tacking genoas and swept spreaders means no running around either.

    It would be a much more tender boat than a modern membrane sailed boat, you would have a great deal of difficulty getting any sort of LLoyds certification for it because of the weight aloft and increased chance of failure and it would be quite a bit noisier than a membrane sailed boat (just the low frequency "whoop whoop" of the blades is an issue).

    And of course you also have the whole issue of the danger of the swinging blades. Consider how unsuccessful the UnaRig (or whatever its called where the main and theJib are on fixed booms and the whole sail plan rotates to stay at an optimal trim angle) has been despite a lot fewer complexities.
  5. TANSL
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    TANSL Senior Member

    Many years ago, probably more than 60, were used some vertical, rotary, cylinders which, using the magnus effect, generate a force that moves the boat. Beware do not go to discover America again.
  6. Baltic Bandit

    Baltic Bandit Previous Member

    And a set were built by the Gougeons IIRC for the "sky seeding" experiment to increase global albedo as a way of reducing global warming. but the magnus effect results in very very very slow boats
  7. upchurchmr
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    upchurchmr Senior Member

    There have been several wind generator boats built.
    Sorry I don't have the references but there were threads on this forum several years ago.
    One of those delt with sailing directly into the wind, which was demonstrated on a NZ or Austrailian boat, since converted to sails.
  8. messabout
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    messabout Senior Member

    Please continue to think about alternative methods, Ocean Deep. This idea has been thoroughly done and found wanting. That is not to say that we should abandon notions for improvement as you have suggested.

    Meanwhile the conventional sail rig is more efficient, more proven, and more familiar.
  9. tom kane
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    tom kane Senior Member

    A conventional sailing rig is expensive and requires more attention and maintenance than some form of motorized propulsion like a diesel engine and you can take a direct course with a power system but if you like playing sailors just for fun or sport then you will stick to old fashioned sailing with all of it`s frustrations.
    I would prefer the easy way to travel and anything to reduce time and effort in getting there would suit me fine. a nuke powered boat I would love..provided it was safe for me and the community.
  10. Baltic Bandit

    Baltic Bandit Previous Member

    Actually the old Square rigs required much less attention and maint. In fact most of the controls and structures on them were developed precisely for minimal maint. since they were dealing with limited supplies (onboard) of Hemp and cotton.

    Now if you are looking for disabled sailors - sure you need power, but not for cruising. And if you want to reduce passage making: fly and charter
  11. Skyak
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    Skyak Senior Member

    When the task is controlling and propelling the boat I am on my answer is NO.

    The reason I don't like your proposal of windmill power is the large moving parts -dangerous kinetic energy, and the dependence on complicated systems. There are too many ways to fail with parts that can not be repaired/replaced at sea.

    The idea of putting sailors with disabilities on this safety hazard makes it even more unrealistic.

    I have contributed to threads that do what you are proposing -with professionals for the purpose of showing what they can do, but you are way off with your 'better way' proposal.
  12. Ocean Deep
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    Ocean Deep Junior Member

    I don't recall calling anything a better way. I only see this as giving options.

    I don't see it as complicated either, from what I can see, there would only be three moving parts.

    As for Kinetic energy, carbon fibre would keep the weight down.

    I wasn't talking of putting sailors with disabilities on this, just giving them the choice. I think a person needs to be able to choose his or her own destiny, it's not for someone else to make the decision for them.
  13. The Q
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    The Q Senior Member

  14. Baltic Bandit

    Baltic Bandit Previous Member

    OD, carbon keeps the weight down, but your KE is still high because at the end of the day, its the KE transfer that gives you the driving power. If you go with a rotating cylinder, you still need an input power source - the Gougeon bros used electric motors http://www.westsystem.com/ss/assets/Uploads/Projectbrighterworld.pdf

    but even built of carbon, that's not a rig that's going to do well in gale force winds.

  15. Ocean Deep
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    Ocean Deep Junior Member

    I've looked at the WallyBoats, all good stuff that.

    The LLoyds certification, I hadn't thought about, but I think anything new or different would have a problem there. I could, or rather can, drop the generator part to almost deck level, but was keeping it simple, by doing this the rotors can be lifted higher, for safety.
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