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Use of engines while racing?

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Oct 25, 2005
735
Catalina 30 Banderas Bay, Mexico
I was surprised to learn that engines are allowed during races. The Volvo Ocean 70's use an engine to move the keel. The winner (and new record holder) of the Sydney - Hobart was a CBTF (Canting Ballast Twin Foil) boat that used it's engine to move the ballast. What do you think of allowing engine assisted systems during a race?
 
D

don954

to move the ballist?

what, does it drive a hydraulic pump or something? I think they should hand crank it, it is SAILING after all... ;)
 
May 22, 2004
130
Other CS27 Toronto
Ocean racing is becoming a joke

I have seen the keel hydraulics you describe as well as for the pumping of water between port and starboard ballast tanks. Combined with the extensive use of computers for route planning I think the whole business of open ocean racing is becoming a big joke. Its great to watch the boats, and their speed is impressive but its all technology today. That's why after donating to Derek Hatfield in the past I am not planning to help him with his next Around Alone boat. Kevin
 

BobW

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Jul 21, 2005
456
Hunter 31 San Pedro, Ca
That would take a LOT of hand-cranking *yks

Wild Oats IX looked like it had a 6 cylinder diesel to run the pumps. Figure over 100 horsepower.... a whole lot of grinding ;D If you took away the engine, they'd have to figure out how to make it swing from one side to the other right as the boat starts tacking..... and the penalty for imperfection is tearing the bottom out of the boat. *yks Cheers, Bob
 

higgs

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Aug 24, 2005
3,468
Nassau 34 Olcott, NY
Pandor'a Box

I agree that using engines to take care of boat systems seems to take away from what sailing is to many of us and something about it does not seem right. On the other hand, if it is OK to run your engine to charge your batteries, why not use it to move ballast.
 
Jun 1, 2004
387
Crown 34 Sidney BC
This is an interesting thread

I think what is happening to ocean racing is similar to what happened to Formula 1 racing. The cars and everything associated with them, got so ridiculous that it lost a lot of its appeal to the average race fan. There is simply very little left for fans to relate to in its current form. There has been a resurgence however in other forms of racing, club racing at the SSCA level, etc because it represents something that is actually attainable. The cars are familiar and the costs are reasonable. That cannot be said for F1 racing. Now that we have seen blazing speeds from the 70's etc. I think it would be interesting to see a race with suitable production boats. The Clipper race is interesting because the boats are not as high tech as the Open 70's and the like. But they are still not production boats. Lets see a round the world race in a fleet of Island Packets or Pacific Seacrafts or (insert your pick of production boat here) Obviously the point is still line honours but lets put some realism back into it.
 
Jun 2, 2004
3,088
Hunter 23.5 Fort Walton Yacht Club, Florida
Kind of Like What They did to Stock Car Racing

Just as well I guess with the way cars are made today.
 
Jun 1, 2004
387
Crown 34 Sidney BC
Yeah kind of...

I follow the Volvo 70's but I really scour my local sailing rags to see how other folks do that race the same make of boat we own. Can't be helped, it is a familiarity and realism thing, the Volvo's are interesting but I'd rather read about how my make of boat whipped the fleet at the local race week.
 
Oct 25, 2005
735
Catalina 30 Banderas Bay, Mexico
My feeling

There are are a few issues for me. 1. Allowing movable ballast at all. Rule 51 prohibits moving ballast. 2. Allowing powered systems at all. Rule 52 requires that trim changes be operated by manual power only. 3. Allowing rules to be changed. Rule 86 allows some other rules to be changed. A national authority, the sailing instructions, or class rules can modify rules 51 and 52. These boats could not race at all without the changes allowed by Rule 86. The old sailing records were set by boats that did not need those changes. A multi-hull is faster than the "new" monos and does not require a rule change. I don't think that boats sailing under modified rules should be allowed to compare their times with boats that don't need modified rules. In my opinion, using the engine to shift ballast and make the boat faster is using the engine to make the boat go faster. That's motorsailing. It is not sailboat racing. Bah Humbug! If anyone agrees, I would urge you to join your national authority (ie. US Sailing) and let them know that motorsailers should not hold race records. Maybe we could have a poll on the subject? I'd be more than happy to send the results to the CYA and US Sailing.
 

Ross

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Jun 15, 2004
14,693
Islander/Wayfairer 30 sail number 25 Perryville,Md.
Does that

include meat ballast? ;) 1. Allowing movable ballast at all. Rule 51 prohibits moving ballast. I often see the weather rail lined with crew.
 
May 22, 2004
130
Other CS27 Toronto
Higgs, if they didn't have....

so much computing power and other electronics on board, they wouldn't need to charge the batteries as often. Ever see how many computer screens, printers, and digital readouts are on those 70s? Kevin
 
R

Rich

Devil's Advocate

Okay, since I'm not a fan of racing (other than that it helps segregate the hyperactive into places where they're less likely to hurt us), let me take the devil's side on this one. There are 2 basic philosophies in any type of racing, including automobiles as mentioned: you can make everyone use identical machines and call it a test of the pilot or you can allow variations in the machines to test technical innovation. The world of auto racing has become terminally boring because they've managed to squeeze out all variation in the cars; we won't get to see hybrid or rotary engines and different aerodynamic pieces raced against each other, so the technology takes a back seat (in a technology-driven sport!). The Maxis are making use of the current new ideas in sail technology, such as canting keels, complex fibers, multihulls, and ballast transfer (which are, by the way, still pretty conservative innovations). Is there no room in the sport for some racing to be a showcase for new technology? Do they really need to dumb it all down every time so the Maxi's won't have an unfair rating over you guys in the Pearson 30's? Cut'em some slack, you might be able to crank up a canting keel on a 35-footer, but on the 70-footers power assist is called for. All of these boats are owned by rich guys who know what rules they want to play by among themselves, so just let them be...
 
K

Kaizen

Caterpillar drive

Moody Buccaneer, I agree with you 100%. If you can use engine to move the ballast why not shoot the ballast water out the back and suck in fresh water from the front. I recall The Rusians were using Caterpillar drive in movie "The Hunt of Red October". What if I put on some hydro foils and a jet engine on the stern? Even if there is sails on the top, I don't think we still call that sailing. What happen to the spirit of sailing by the wind?
 
Aug 2, 2005
374
pearson ariel grand rapids
technology and sailing

I used to be an avid fan of auto racing, but now it's tons more fun to watch the local roundy rounds, it's not real anymore except at the local level, quit paying attention to nascar 10 years ago. same goes for sailing, they don't relate to real life, far more exciting to kick back and watch a bunch of hobby sailers make a run for beer. Ken.
 

higgs

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Aug 24, 2005
3,468
Nassau 34 Olcott, NY
I wonder

I wonder what effect this will have on club racing in the future. One of the reasons I did not get into bouy racing was the expense - new sails every few years, fancy fabrics that cost a lot more, etc. What will happen to the expense of club racing when this stuff filters down? My guess is it will drive up the cost driving more people out of racing. It is harder for the guy w/o money to beat the guy with money and after a while that gets discouraging.
 
Jun 1, 2004
387
Crown 34 Sidney BC
Rich, that was certainly not my point

Let the rich folks spend their cash anyway they want. I am also not a die-hard "older is better" luddite although I do favour woodworking tools made in the 1950's. :) Like Moody, I just wonder when/if there will be a resurgence of "back to basics" racing. If the Cal 40's can do it via a TransPac reunion...Hmm I'm am not even old enough to be nostalgic... Higgs, your point about the costs of being competitive in your local fleet is well taken. Some of the one design classes have some good ideas. I think Catalina 22's can only have new sails once every 2 years. How something like this could work in a PHRF fleet is beyond my mental capacity...
 
Oct 25, 2005
735
Catalina 30 Banderas Bay, Mexico
The new wave of sailing ...

Here's what next years Sydney-Hobart winner might look like ... :D
 

BobW

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Jul 21, 2005
456
Hunter 31 San Pedro, Ca
Love it, Moody!

They sure are moving some ballast!!! It actually might be worthwhile to take away the engine and see just how enterprising they could get about canting the keel. I'm thinking about a steel cable from the keel on each side to the top of the mast (stronger mast needed, of course) and then down to a BUNCH of grinders. BTW, why don't they make 'foot' grinders, like bicycles? Seems if they were really wanting to use muscle-power, they could get a guy to sit on a stationary bike pedaling WHILE he's pumping a grinder. ;D Hey, there's a new profession for Lance Armstrong! Anyway, I look at the maxi racing like I look at Formula 1. I don't think it hurts anything and lots of innovation trickles down. After all, we didn't really get anything out of the 'moon race' except innovation, right? Cheers, Bob s/v X SAIL R 8 Fixed keel, cast iron ballast, no grinders ;D
 
Oct 25, 2005
735
Catalina 30 Banderas Bay, Mexico
We got Tang!

Hold on a moment! We got Tang and Space Food Sticks out of the moon program. :D For geeks like me the challenge of moving the ballast by using sail power and human power is a good one. An "average" human can produce about 1/6 HP continuously. My calculations show it would take a team of 20 grinders about 90 minutes to shift the ballast from one tack to the other. They could grind for 90 min. to charge batteries that allow the boat to tack in 4 minutes or they could just grind through a 90 minute tack and save the weight of the batteries ... :D Real fast on a 'round the buoys race? hehehe
 

BobW

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Jul 21, 2005
456
Hunter 31 San Pedro, Ca
Or let the boat do most of it?

I reckon that if you opened the valves to move the water (with the powdered depleted uranium in suspension, of course [I'm thinking of patenting that idea, make them pay me to use it]) before you started your tack, you could start to round up as the water is rushing downhill. If you timed it just right, you would get most of the water moved before you got back to level. Same thing with the keel: If you just let it's weight do the work as you turned into the wind, it would at least get half the work done for you. Man, think of the hungry grinders you'd have ;D The big teams would probably hook them to IVs and strap them into their saddles *yks I like this idea.... why NOT do it this way? Cheers, Bob s/v X SAIL R 8
 
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