High-Speed Sailing

Vessel Name: Sailien
Vessel Make/Model: Experimental/custom
Recent Blog Posts
28 September 2013

The America’s Cup

I watched, with interest, the videos of the 34th America’s Cup. At last we have fast sailboats engaged in a competition that is fun to watch. The virtual images (such as course boundaries, distance grid lines, separation between boats, etc.) overlaid on the real images really helps to keep the race [...]

31 August 2013

100 Knots for Hydroptere?

The latest news from Hydroptere is that they have plans for a 100 knot sailboat. This was posted on 26 Aug 2013, so look for that date at this address. http://hydroptere.com/en/the-news/last-news/

17 November 2012

Aptly named Sailrocket, blasts off!

While yet to be ratified, Sailrocket posted an average speed over 500 meters of 59 knots. I will not be surprised if they increase their record into the 60 knot range during this record attempt.

02 January 2012

More drag for VSR2?

I want to start by pointing out that the whole VSR2 team has done a stellar job and has demonstrated conclusively that the forces that drive a sailboat can be aligned for roll stability without using ballast and without using any down-force. (Trifoiler achieved roll stability by using down-force, but [...]

18 December 2011

My analysis of Sailrocket

I copied a diagram of VSR2 (wing doesn’t show well) and added in the major force arrows that apply. Be aware that these arrows are not correct in terms of scale (length) and some of their locations are guesses, however I believe I’m correct enough for us to learn something about what VSR2 has been [...]

23 October 2011

60 is within reach, what’s next?

I have been watching Sailrocket’s progress with great interest and there’s no question they have a winner. I fully expect to see them reach 60kt in the near future. Sailrocket has now demonstrated what I first learned with my models and again with my full-sized prototypes, that if you get the forces [...]

Kite-boards -- more about

14 November 2010
Speaking of kite-boarders frequently keeping it under control, I recommend a visit to You Tube and search "Rob Douglas record run 50.54" and "Taro Niehaus SA record run 8th Oct". Note that in both cases the runs end in impressive crashes; I understand that Douglas did break his wrist in a later crash (by then he had upped the record to 55.65 knots).

When we look at a kite-boarder powered up (either on video or a still photo) we can see the relationship between the airfoil (kite) and the hydrofoil (board). That relationship is very close to what I've been advocating for years with Sailien. Their vertical mis-alignment of the sailing forces is about 2 feet (the distance the control lines are above the board). That unbalance is compensated by the sailors' weight hiked out to windward and heavier sailors will have an advantage. Additionally, the sailor has to hold all the power of the kite and transfer it to the board, so strength is a major factor in high-power conditions.

For those of you who have had doubts about the workability of a "force-aligned" craft, such as I have been advocating with Sailien, take note of the above. My view at this time is that windsurfers are no longer competitive because their vertical misalignment is too great (the distance from the center of effort of the sail to the board).

Kite-boarders could easily increase their speed (with no increase in wind-speed) by figuring out how to attach the kite control lines to the board, so the pull is directly at the board. By doing that, weight and strength would no longer be an issue and all the power of the kite could be applied to the board at all times. Naturally some means of control and balance would have to be worked out. The next step would be to enclose the kite-sailor's body in a streamline fairing and kite-boarders would be nearly unbeatable in smooth water conditions (assuming they survive the run -- lol). Note that Richard Jenkins is essentially doing just that with his record seeking sailboat Windjet (Greenbird, if his current sponsors stay with him for a sail record attempt. His ice record attempt apparently fell through due to poor ice this last winter, but I sure wish he'd give us an update on his website.)

I'd get involved with the above described kite-board set-up if I could earn money at it (essentially replace my current job). My main interest, however, is to develop a practical sailboat that can be sailed under "any" wind condition and which can be scaled to any size. My interest in the sailing speed record with Sailien is to ideally make a craft that can break the record on one tack and then jibe and break it again on the opposite tack. Those of you that have been reading this blog for a while, know that I've been claiming I've already developed how to do this, both at the model stage (as demonstrated on my You tube video) and with my full-sized prototypes (I haven't published video or stills of the advanced prototypes). All I'm lacking is a more efficient prototype, which has been hampered by limited funds.

Gallery Error: Unknown Album [1:]:4431
Sailien's Photos -

About & Links