Thursday, February 19, 2009

16-18' "Sit in" High Performance Dingh, - using on deck movable ballast

I have always wanted to sail a boat like a 2.4 Meter but with much higher performance. I suggested a concept years ago and wonder if anyone else has any thoughts on how to make something like this work.

As I envision it the wing+ballast is supported by trapeze wires-side to side movement would not require a whole lot of effort....

Just as a rough illustration here is a picture of a Melges 24 model fitted with a "trapeze power ballast system". The battery was part of the sliding ballast and that could be done on a full size version.

The idea I had was to use a molded "wing" that would have ballast slide inside it to give large RM-similar to a two handed dinghy where one of the crew is on a trapeze. The ballast could be moved by hand, foot power or electrically. The boat might have a small fixed keel. The ends of the "wing" would be slightly larger in section to provide extra buoyancy. Each side of the wing would be supported by a "trapeze" wire making moving the whole wing(and the ballast inside it) fairly easy since it all moves horizontally.

The "wing" on the model is just two carbon tubes that form a track for the ballast to slide on. To me, a molded wing
on the fullsize version would have a number of advantages including lower aerodynamic drag, buoyancy and it could be built with a slight curve.

The idea is to sit in the boat like a 2.4 meter but plane early and fast.

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