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 [...]

Some notes on Sailien

28 April 2011
I thought I’d provide a bit more info on where the Sailien project has been. So far, all I’ve posted is about 25 years old. The R/C model was videoed in 1986, the early prototypes were from 1988, but have been obsolete since late 1990. What happened?

Well the early configuration has a bit of a flaw, which is: If the airfoil gets back-winded with enough wind force the craft will capsize. I knew this was a potential problem as early as the model stage, but it never occurred. At that time and during all the sea trials of the first prototype, I thought it would be possible to set the craft up so it would self rotate out of any trouble. I actually was successful until I made the second prototype. See images at this address: http://www.geocities.com/aerohydro/othercraftframeset.htm.
This prototype had an aerodynamically cleaner airfoil and leeward structure than the first; powered-up it “flew” but when tacking close to the wind, it liked to rotate into the wind, which would backwind the airfoil. Eventually it capsized from getting back-wind and I realized it was time to eliminate that problem.

In the autumn of 1990, I cut up the existing prototype and by April of 1991, I started sailing the improved prototype. Instead of a wing, I had a windsurfer sail and set it up to rotate 360 degrees. It worked great and the problem of getting the fixed airfoil back-winded was eliminated. I now had complete control of the craft under any orientation relative to the wind. I still needed only two controls to sail the craft: a steering wheel to rotate the keel (360 deg.) and a steering wheel to rotate the sail (360 deg.). This is the same control set-up I’ve been using since the model stage. I will continue these notes.

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