For many years man has been looking for a way to enable a boat to sail directly into a headwind without having to tack. It was always thought that this would be impossible, but we have seen footage of several 1/10th and 1/20 scale models and a 2 man catamaran, powering into headwinds on water.
Rotary sail catamaran prototype
The models are the work of Peter Worsley. He has concluded that to be able to sail in any direction and especially into the 'eye' of the wind it is necessary to have a rotating sail to capture the wind's energy, then to use it to drive an underwater propeller. Peter's prototype boats (2 man catamarans) use a horizontal axis wind-turbine (windmill) with six blades in a 7' 6" diameter rotor, to give a swept area of 12 square feet. The rotor assembly is designed to align itself automatically to head into the prevailing wind.
According to Peter his tests have been successful. He has patented the general layout of his craft (pat. no. 2286570). Video footage of Peter's boats operating may be seen on his website http://www.oceanblueone.com/rot.htm.
We have seen videos of a number of Peter's development craft in operation - all of which head into the wind with various degrees of success, the most impressive of which have better stability and control. Our conclusion is that there is a future for this kind of craft and that more development could yield practical applications.
LINKS & REFERENCE
Alternatively, you can contact Peter at: Peter.Worsley@ntlworld.com
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