Panoramix

Next VOR on IMOCAs?

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3 hours ago, Francis Vaughan said:

All well and good to go for the fully authentic experience, and I can understand the allure of film in some ways (I have a small fortune invested in medium format film equipment that largely sits idle now).

Just sold my old Hasselblad as it's been gathering dust for way too long. Still have MF digital

Banning modern digital cameras is just dumb and pointless. Might was well ban modern wet weather gear, clothes and haircuts.

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8 minutes ago, hoppy said:

Still have MF digital

What did you go with? I am still debating on making the jump when funds allow. Technology still moving too fast I think, but there is some temping stuff about (at eye watering prices.)

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10 minutes ago, Francis Vaughan said:

What did you go with? I am still debating on making the jump when funds allow. Technology still moving too fast I think, but there is some temping stuff about (at eye watering prices.)

Phase One 645 DF with P40+ back. Would love the XF & an IQ3 100 back, but that's the same prices as the racers I want...

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Digging a bit deeper into this Imoca/VOR thing I have been looking to see who actually runs the Vendee Globe race. It seems reading from the VG website ...

https://www.vendeeglobe.org/en/news/19262/putting-down-early-foundations-essential-for-2020

That it is "SAEM Vendée" with budget for the 2020 race and shareholding as follows.
SAEM Vendée Budget : €12.4M including more than €5M from the Département (Vendée area) around €4M from Sodebo who are the historical and exclusive partner of the race and originate from the town of Les Sables d'Olonne. (Considering the scale of the event, not a whole lot of money)
SAEM Vendée is the majority shareholder at 56%, Les Sables d'Olonne at 17%, the Region at 12% and some 30 private shareholders at 15%.

SAEM cooperates closely with Imoca which is the class association for the box rule 60 foot boats but SAEM and Imoca are entirely separate entities as far as I can see, and presumably the Imoca class association is paid for by a subscription from each of owners of the boats which are kept in class?
Equally whilst they may conform to and financially support the Imoca class association, the Imoca 60 owners/skippers/sponsors all independently finance and manage their own campaigns and the designs of the boats are all decided by the owners and skippers who hire the architects of their choice. And all the boats are different except for a few important details (keel/mast, safety and reliability considerations) which are dictated by the Imoca class association.

Considering the way Imoca 60 racing works, unlike the VOR there is no "big budget" overall organiser for all the races.
Whilst I know it is reported that "Imoca and VOR are in discussions", Imoca and VOR are not equivalent decision-making entities.
Given the real world complexity and widely differing financial stake of all the individuals who compete with Imoca boats, and given that they are all primarily intended for and specifically designed for, single handed operation, I just cannot see how it can be in the interests of an existing Imoca owner to enter his/her Imoca in the VOR. And it is boat owners and their sponsors and not any central organisation, that is actually investing the lion's share of all the money which goes into the Vendee Globe and all the other Imoca races.
I know some of the Imoca skippers and I know a little bit about how some of their projects are financed, but I cannot imagine their sponsors being interested in or able to finance a crewed, multi-stop RTW campain because to be practical it would mean building a new and completely different boat (unsuitable for the VG!) and the budget would be orders of magnitude bigger. Many small French companies can and do justify an Imoca/VG campaign. A race like the VOR is only going to be worthwhile for much bigger "global market" companies, not many of which are currently involved with Imoca projects.

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28 minutes ago, staysail said:

I know some of the Imoca skippers and I know a little bit about how some of their projects are financed, but I cannot imagine their sponsors being interested in or able to finance a crewed, multi-stop RTW campain because to be practical it would mean building a new and completely different boat (unsuitable for the VG!) and the budget would be orders of magnitude bigger.

I can't get my head around it either.  And yet, the majority of IMOCA skippers voted for the proposal.  There must be more to it that we know.

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10 minutes ago, southerncross said:

I can't get my head around it either.  And yet, the vast majority of IMOCA skippers voted for the proposal.  There must be more to it that we know.

Exactly! I am baffled. Imagine finishing a Vendee Globe in Feb 2021 and being ready to start a VOR (in the same boat?) and with a fully trained crew, in October 2021. I must be missing something!

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1 hour ago, staysail said:

Exactly! I am baffled. Imagine finishing a Vendee Globe in Feb 2021 and being ready to start a VOR (in the same boat?) and with a fully trained crew, in October 2021. I must be missing something!

Think about it differently. How about finishing the VG knowing that you can offset some of your costs because your boat is already chartered/sold for a VOR. 

Admittedly this is only going to work for a few of the entries. 

Then I guess Alex will be one of the skippers aiming at a VOR. Can't think who else. Gitana maybe, but they are not currently looking at the VG. 

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6 minutes ago, Potter said:

Think about it differently. How about finishing the VG knowing that you can offset some of your costs because your boat is already chartered/sold for a VOR. 

Admittedly this is only going to work for a few of the entries. 

Then I guess Alex will be one of the skippers aiming at a VOR. Can't think who else. Gitana maybe, but they are not currently looking at the VG. 

Looks a bit far-fetched to me as a secure foundation for the the future of the VOR. And what about the practicalities of sailing a single handed boat with a crew and no autopilot?

Just can't see that a skipper, having just sailed rpound the world alone, would, within a few months, want to do it again, with extra people on board and over a much longer period, and with all the extra hassle of managing a crew and a number of heavily commercially pressured stop-overs.

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May be the VOR will go back on a 4 years cycle. That will leave a year and a half between events.

I think that the skippers voted because they thought that it would be viable for them to do the 2 events. Before this some of them use to do the Barcelona race which had low media exposure, so presumably they hope to use the same kind of financial setup to stand a chance to get their hands on the VOR trophy. For the IMOCA skippers it is all about getting good enough value for money for their sponsor so that they can participate.

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1 hour ago, Potter said:

Think about it differently. How about finishing the VG knowing that you can offset some of your costs because your boat is already chartered/sold for a VOR. 

Sold would be the only useful answer. It isn't coming back in any useful shape that you will be wanting to trust your life to it for another solo RTW race. And for it to be saleable, it would be a compromised design for the VG you just sailed. And what are you going to sail for the year your boat is away if it is chartered? VG might be the main game, but there are other races to be done.

Right now IMOCA owners have a healthy ecosystem of boats moving down the order, the top end feeding the system, and skippers with modest means being able to campaign an older boat affordably, and nobody paying full price for upgrading, as they already know there will a buyer for their boat, often someone trading up. It was the threat to this stable system posed by a flood of second hand IMOCA compatible VOR boats hitting the market that was one of the reasons MT's ideas were treated so coolly. 

This is another problem with closing up some compatible relationship between IMOCA and the VOR. The boat ecosystems are very different. IMOCA depends for its success on a steady supply and demand for older boats up and down the fleet. The VOR doesn't work like this, and attempts to make it do so (Delta Lloyd, Sanya) didn't work so well.  What worked to reduce costs wasn't campaigning an old, off the pace, boat, but the OD system, and the logistical saving that presented. Costs dropped, but teams could sail to win at those lower costs. That is important. I would say 5 out of 7 boats in the VOR entered with a realistic hope that they might win the race. The VG has nothing like such a proportion. More like 2 in 7. That makes for a very different set of attitudes to the boat you are prepared to sail.

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5 hours ago, hoppy said:

Phase One 645 DF with P40+ back. Would love the XF & an IQ3 100 back, but that's the same prices as the racers I want...

The Phase One would suit me brilliantly - will take a heap of the weird and specialised lenses I have accumulated. The new backs look brilliant. Heck, get the Achromat as well for a fully authentic B&W feel :D   Keep buying them lottery tickets....

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I'd like to know more about the upcoming "no diesel" rule IMOCA decided on.

Should be a lot of fun for VOR if that includes generators. :lol:

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40 minutes ago, Chasm said:

I'd like to know more about the upcoming "no diesel" rule IMOCA decided on.

Should be a lot of fun for VOR if that includes generators. :lol:

I think that the idea is that hydrogenerators can now do the work.

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1 hour ago, Francis Vaughan said:

This is another problem with closing up some compatible relationship between IMOCA and the VOR. The boat ecosystems are very different. IMOCA depends for its success on a steady supply and demand for older boats up and down the fleet. The VOR doesn't work like this, and attempts to make it do so (Delta Lloyd, Sanya) didn't work so well.  What worked to reduce costs wasn't campaigning an old, off the pace, boat, but the OD system, and the logistical saving that presented. Costs dropped, but teams could sail to win at those lower costs. That is important. I would say 5 out of 7 boats in the VOR entered with a realistic hope that they might win the race. The VG has nothing like such a proportion. More like 2 in 7. That makes for a very different set of attitudes to the boat you are prepared to sail.

I don't think that it works to think in percentage. If at the start of the VG there are 8 boats out of 30 which can win, that is still more than 5 out of 7. All the boats that are there for the "adventure" still help to finance the race and attract media attention making in turn the race more viable financially for everybody. There is a reason why Alex Thompson tries to help non French competitors to take part, he wants more media attention from other countries. The less boats the harder is is to make it work and the VOR has been declining since less and less boats started.

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2 hours ago, Potter said:

Think about it differently. How about finishing the VG knowing that you can offset some of your costs because your boat is already chartered/sold for a VOR. 

Admittedly this is only going to work for a few of the entries. 

Then I guess Alex will be one of the skippers aiming at a VOR. Can't think who else. Gitana maybe, but they are not currently looking at the VG. 

A bit of a gamble to invest in a Volvo race that soon after the VG knowing the level of attrition in the fleet. 

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42 minutes ago, mad said:

A bit of a gamble to invest in a Volvo race that soon after the VG knowing the level of attrition in the fleet. 

Yes, but quite common, well occasionally it happens that a new IMOCA is sold prior to the VG start, based on return condition of course. 

You are right, big risk for the VOR team, but potentially big returns and savings. 

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7 minutes ago, Potter said:

Yes, but quite common, well occasionally it happens that a new IMOCA is sold prior to the VG start, based on return condition of course. 

You are right, big risk for the VOR team, but potentially big returns and savings. 

Be interesting see which end of the envelope they’d optimise the boats for at design stage, removable ballast tanks, different foils, sails etc?? 

If it ever happens? 

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A top IMOCA after the last VG was going for around €3m. That seems pretty high compared to a secondhand VO65 or even a secondhand VO70 back in the day. And you would need to spend another mil on optimising for full crew, safety and media equipment, not to mention a whole new set of sails for training and another for the race.

Add foil development to this and you don’t get change from €5m just to get the boat to the start line, let alone anything else. Makes a VO70 look reasonable.

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3 hours ago, Panoramix said:

I think that the idea is that hydrogenerators can now do the work.

I think so too but I'd like to know the details. The IMOCA fleet knows how to do it.

OTOH the amount of hydrogenerator use in the VOR is ...pathetic.

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The VOR guys think that the drag is too much. Since they are required to carry fuel, engine, alternators etc the benefits of using it are greatly reduced and the drag is high.

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1 minute ago, Chimp too said:

The VOR guys think that the drag is too much. Since they are required to carry fuel, engine, alternators etc the benefits of using it are greatly reduced and the drag is high.

But if hydro generator use is compulsory (without an alternative) then ALL boats suffer the same drag at some point - so drag is not really an issue.

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2 hours ago, Chimp too said:

A top IMOCA after the last VG was going for around €3m. That seems pretty high compared to a secondhand VO65 or even a secondhand VO70 back in the day. And you would need to spend another mil on optimising for full crew, safety and media equipment, not to mention a whole new set of sails for training and another for the race.

Add foil development to this and you don’t get change from €5m just to get the boat to the start line, let alone anything else. Makes a VO70 look reasonable.

In which case a boat that can do both events, without requiring a huge and expensive refurb and remoding is going to look a little different than the ones we’re used to looking at. 

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42 minutes ago, mad said:

In which case a boat that can do both events, without requiring a huge and expensive refurb and remoding is going to look a little different than the ones we’re used to looking at. 

Do both and be competitive in either is the trick. Hard to see how that could work as the requirements are so different.

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44 minutes ago, Sailbydate said:

But if hydro generator use is compulsory (without an alternative) then ALL boats suffer the same drag at some point - so drag is not really an issue.

If compulsory. All depends on the power usage of each boat. The less time it is down the better, unless it is permanently down. But that apparently produces more drag than the keel fin and bulb together

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So, integrate the hydrogenerator into the keel bulb .

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5 minutes ago, Chimp too said:

Do both and be competitive in either is the trick. Hard to see how that could work as the requirements are so different.

I’d welcome the idea, just to see the design changes that spring from it. A little like the AC, agree with it, or not? It’s going throw some great innovations out there, and possibly a lemon or two.  

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3 hours ago, mad said:

Be interesting see which end of the envelope they’d optimise the boats for at design stage, removable ballast tanks, different foils, sails etc?? 

If it ever happens? 

There was some talking that thanks to foils boats will become narrower as they won't need as much hull stability. So may be we will see narrower boats with 2 sets of foils. A set of foil with lot of extra Righting moment optimised for reaching and the VG and a set optimised for all round use for the VOR.

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28 minutes ago, Panoramix said:

There was some talking that thanks to foils boats will become narrower as they won't need as much hull stability. So may be we will see narrower boats with 2 sets of foils. A set of foil with lot of extra Righting moment optimised for reaching and the VG and a set optimised for all round use for the VOR.

Would you be happy setting off around the world based on the hull stability be more dependent from foils? 

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2 hours ago, Sailbydate said:

But if hydro generator use is compulsory (without an alternative) then ALL boats suffer the same drag at some point - so drag is not really an issue.

 

1 hour ago, Chimp too said:

If compulsory. All depends on the power usage of each boat. The less time it is down the better, unless it is permanently down. But that apparently produces more drag than the keel fin and bulb together

The power consumption by media devices alone probably precludes the compulsory use of hydro/no diesel. 

Possible to adopt on a SH boat if they are happy not being competitive i.e. not having to cut consumption to make that scenario work. Remember they are not always doing 15k+. I recall Conrad having to regularly go black to have sufficient power and he had a very efficient hydro plus solar.

On a crewed boat I can't ever seeing diesel going as there is just too much power required. In fact power assistance beyond just keel canting will probably be part of the future when things like appendages become more complex, possibly going smaller boats/crews etc.

There is also the safety aspect of having sufficient auxiliary power, particulary with no rig, noting without it Vestas would probably be spending the rest of its life in the Falklands.

That said some sort of diesel hydro hybrid where diesel is for emergency  use may change things as the hang of the back style hydro has too many limitations.

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37 minutes ago, mad said:

Would you be happy setting off around the world based on the hull stability be more dependent from foils? 

I think that it is actually safer, a narrower boat is more stable at high heel angles (tend to start somewhere beyond 45º) than a wide one and will be less likely to stay inverted.

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4 minutes ago, Panoramix said:

I think that it is actually safer, a narrower boat is more stable at high heel angles (beyond 60º) than a wide one and will be less likely to stay inverted.

Can’t see that being a selling point some how! :wacko:

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4 hours ago, Sailbydate said:

But if hydro generator use is compulsory (without an alternative) then ALL boats suffer the same drag at some point - so drag is not really an issue.

The props on them are pretty fragile and I imagine if using HGs was compulsory there would be a lot of prop failures in light winds with long and lengthy struggles to change them. 

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8 hours ago, mad said:

Be interesting see which end of the envelope they’d optimise the boats for at design stage, removable ballast tanks, different foils, sails etc?? 

Interesting comment from Quentin Lucet below.

On 4/13/2018 at 8:42 AM, southerncross said:

« We no longer have to rely on a hull shape to come up with a powerful boat. To build a fast boat, we no longer need a heavy bulb and a lot of ballast; you just need a foil, which produces the same effect ", explained Quentin Lucet, who gave us an inkling of what lies ahead. « The boat is going to be lighter, easier to handle, requiring a smaller sail surface to achieve speeds equal to or above those of the previous generation."

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1 hour ago, littlechay said:

The props on them are pretty fragile and I imagine if using HGs was compulsory there would be a lot of prop failures in light winds with long and lengthy struggles to change them. 

On a serious race boat the Watt & Sea numbers are emergency or back up at best. The Oceanvolt propulsion/generator system Conrad Coleman had while very efficient produced a lot of drag. 

While targeted environmental messages from participants like Conrad's and TTTOP are very effective, RO's imposing diesel bans on a fossil fueled built carbon structure the size of a whale is pretty disingenuous and a message with no bite.

Pulling diesels out of race boats smacks of the sort of environmentalism that is a luxury of the latte-sipping rich. They tend to see the working classes employed in industry and third world countries being the ones to take the pain on big issues like climate change and sustainable energy.

A diesel ban could in fact be a move that is quite counter productive.

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10 hours ago, Francis Vaughan said:

The Phase One would suit me brilliantly - will take a heap of the weird and specialised lenses I have accumulated. The new backs look brilliant. Heck, get the Achromat as well for a fully authentic B&W feel :D   Keep buying them lottery tickets....

I wish they made digital backs for the old medium format Hasselblads, Mamaya and Pentax.  The lenses and other mechanisms are exceptional.

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13 minutes ago, jack_sparrow said:

On a serious race boat the Watt & Sea numbers are emergency or back up at best. The Oceanvolt propulsion/generator system Conrad Coleman had while very efficient produced a lot of drag. 

While targeted environmental messages from participants like Conrad's and TTTOP are very effective, RO's imposing diesel bans on a fossil fueled built carbon structure the size of a whale is pretty disingenuous and a message with no bite.

Pulling diesels out of race boats smacks of the sort of environmentalism that is a luxury of the latte-sipping rich. They tend to see the working classes employed in industry and third world countries being the ones to take the pain on big issues like climate change and sustainable energy.

A diesel ban could in fact be a move that is quite counter productive.

RIght! The most bang for the buck, energywise, is to use diesel as the primary fuel source. Unless their boats are build using no electricity that is traceable back to carbon fuels at all then they are not on a carbon free footprint. The cleanest way to sail around world and remain carbon neutral would be in a wooden boat with wooden nails, flax, hemp or cotton ropes and sails etc. etc... that could be done carbon neutral - any other way is BS.  

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In many ways, I think a yacht that qualifies and is competitive in as many offshore race formats could be highly desirable.  There is nothing saying that the same sailors have to be aboard for solo, double handed or fully crewed events.  In fact a circuit that had singlehanded, fully crewed men, fully crewed women, mixed crew, doublehanded, mixed doublehanded races in more or less rapid succession on fleet of similar boats could be the ultimate team event, providing more texture than the current Volvo or any of the short handed races.  Remember that Taberly sailed the maxi PenDuick in the OSTAR single handed without modification when he had no specialized yacht for the race. I expect one could configure a Volvo 65 for short handed sailing pretty easily. More rollers and an autopilot and you are 90% there. Probably easier than figuring out where to accommodate 8-10 bodies on an IMOCA 60.

SHC

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4 hours ago, jack_sparrow said:

On a serious race boat the Watt & Sea numbers are emergency or back up at best. The Oceanvolt propulsion/generator system Conrad Coleman had while very efficient produced a lot of drag. 

While targeted environmental messages from participants like Conrad's and TTTOP are very effective, RO's imposing diesel bans on a fossil fueled built carbon structure the size of a whale is pretty disingenuous and a message with no bite.

Pulling diesels out of race boats smacks of the sort of environmentalism that is a luxury of the latte-sipping rich. They tend to see the working classes employed in industry and third world countries being the ones to take the pain on big issues like climate change and sustainable energy.

A diesel ban could in fact be a move that is quite counter productive.

Hmmmm. You are right of course, Jack. It's a bit like subsidising the hell out of EV's to ramp up fleet numbers, then having to burn a shit load more brown coal to generate the electricity to dive them.

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4 hours ago, jack_sparrow said:

On a serious race boat the Watt & Sea numbers are emergency or back up at best. The Oceanvolt propulsion/generator system Conrad Coleman had while very efficient produced a lot of drag. 

While targeted environmental messages from participants like Conrad's and TTTOP are very effective, RO's imposing diesel bans on a fossil fueled built carbon structure the size of a whale is pretty disingenuous and a message with no bite.

Pulling diesels out of race boats smacks of the sort of environmentalism that is a luxury of the latte-sipping rich. They tend to see the working classes employed in industry and third world countries being the ones to take the pain on big issues like climate change and sustainable energy.

A diesel ban could in fact be a move that is quite counter productive.

That might be true in Trumpland but most of the sponsorship money comes from Europe and China where firms need to appear to be doing something for the environment. After Volswagen, everybody is running away from diesel engines. IMOCA is an owner class and the owners need to find sponsors. 

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5 hours ago, jack_sparrow said:

On a serious race boat the Watt & Sea numbers are emergency or back up at best. The Oceanvolt propulsion/generator system Conrad Coleman had while very efficient produced a lot of drag. 

 

True comparison. I know several people who use Watt & Sea units on cruising boats and they are happy enough... 300W & 600W versions (there is now a pod version but with the same fragile prop [nightmare]). Of course shaft alternators are nothing new. Run a big enough water wheel and you can generate any amount of power but you have to overcome the drag somehow; or everybody uses the same device and then the competition comes down to power management - manage your power better and use the generator less = go faster.  

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1 hour ago, Panoramix said:

That might be true in Trumpland but most of the sponsorship money comes from Europe and China where firms need to appear to be doing something for the environment. After Volswagen, everybody is running away from diesel engines. IMOCA is an owner class and the owners need to find sponsors. 

Pano that is probably exactly my point. 

The chattering classes world wide, but particularly those in countries devoid of natural resources that espouse that view on environmentalism but conveniently turn a blind eye to those, many less well off who rely on shit been dig and pumped up to makes stuff they consume by the truckload. That includes their central heating at home and at work, the materials that built both and the city they live in. 

It is also in the carbon fibre fossil fueled  Dreamliner that takes them and their family to an exotic third-world tourism destination the other side of the orange to holiday in comfort, yet despising that country's right to have the same standard of living they enjoy. 

Those are the people you speak of who are making potential sponsorship  investment decisions based upon their environmental credo demands. Their sponsorship options will of course include F1 motor racing in Billycarts I'm sure.

When I see pressure from those environmental exponents leading to RTW race boats being built out of paper mache that has come from plantation timber, harvested and manufactured using solar powered equipment and put together with pine nut rivets, glue from cockroaches and rats and a bunch of boatbuilders who have cycled to work,  I will no doubt probably change my view.

By extension the crew will naturally be wearing a new model PFD from Spinlock made out of kapok and hemp.

Meanwhile I won't be hanging by my nuts waiting for mankind to do a 60,000 year evolutionary back pedal over low environmental impact things called sporting and human endurance endevours.

There is bigger environmental fish to fry and it isn't diesel engines or not in RTW race boats.

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38 minutes ago, littlechay said:

True comparison. I know several people who use Watt & Sea units on cruising boats and they are happy enough... 300W & 600W versions (there is now a pod version but with the same fragile prop [nightmare]). Of course shaft alternators are nothing new. Run a big enough water wheel and you can generate any amount of power but you have to overcome the drag somehow; or everybody uses the same device and then the competition comes down to power management - manage your power better and use the generator less = go faster.  

Chay I actually had a large W&S hydro on a quick warm water Expedition style boat. I could not fault the engineering other than the regulator was a bit flakey, so my suggestion to cruisers is carry a spare along with props. Slower race boats like the 40's don't have as many issues, plus their charge source options are limited.

I ditched it even though it performed because it was a secondary charge source behind large alternators matched to a large LFP bank (that reduces tankage) and while great during trade wind sailing was superflous around the ITZC where motoring every few days is inevitable and was a PIA for storage. I carry some "put up take down solar" to take the sting out of 24/7 electrical loads (I like to eat and shower well) as I hate junk on the trunk for both athestic and windage reasons when it gets sporty.

I love diesel as married to a decent power generation source and storage like LFP I can't think of a better energy source for propulsion and stored energy for anyone who likes to go light and quick being a cruiser or racer.

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In the grand scheme of things, the few thousands litres they will save won't matter but the teams will do applied research that may well be useful in the future for applications useful for everybody. Multiplast use their expertise gained on race boats for stuff ranging from airplanes to wind turbines. 

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23 minutes ago, Panoramix said:

Multiplast use their expertise gained on race boats for stuff ranging from airplanes to wind turbines. 

Pano you are on the money and I will pull something out of my arse which I rarely do but years ago the aircraft builders went to large carbon spar makers for both design and production advice. 

As many top end spar makers are private it is hard to guage but my guess is some in terms of revenue make more money making bits for aircraft, wind turbine companys etc than they do from making sailboat shit that was the genisus to their start up.

Sailboats is where mankind starting thinking beyond that tree at the end of the meadow, whether it be by the Vikings or making a large and or quick plastic boat or its bits in plastic stuff.

Though we can't forget the farmers and graziers back through the ages, otherwise we would all be dead, or eating bark.

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1 hour ago, jack_sparrow said:

There is bigger environmental fish to fry and it isn't diesel engines or not in RTW race boats.

Of course, 100% of the carbon foot print is non--essential.  Nothing to see here.

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8 hours ago, littlechay said:

RIght! The most bang for the buck, energywise, is to use diesel as the primary fuel source. Unless their boats are build using no electricity that is traceable back to carbon fuels at all then they are not on a carbon free footprint. The cleanest way to sail around world and remain carbon neutral would be in a wooden boat with wooden nails, flax, hemp or cotton ropes and sails etc. etc... that could be done carbon neutral - any other way is BS.  

Anybody want to check the footprint for the whole fleet, from plug and mould build, to materials used in manufacture, right up to flights for shore crew and families? 

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50 minutes ago, mad said:

Anybody want to check the footprint for the whole fleet, from plug and mould build, to materials used in manufacture, right up to flights for shore crew and families? 

Maybe the VOR carbon footprint equivalent is say just a collection of houses in one street in a middle class first world city of your choice. My carbon footprint calc might be wrong by a street or to. The carbon footprint of those small number of households, who walk downhill from their homes probably exceeds that of entire low lying nations threatened by sea level rise such as Polynesia and the Maldives etc. 

The ones to be drowned first are understandably feeling a tad pissed off and under represented on the world stage.

More ironic on a area basis is large and greater populated slabs of say China, Europe and the US that are actually more at risk to going under with greater dislocation than those low lying remote island nations, though national leaders are not quick to acknowledge that due to the politiks.

Sorry .. enough...blame the poster who brought up the prospects of diesel engines being banned on RTW race boats, which is just dribble if given any serious consideration.

 

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It is a bit surprising that the "diesel/no diesel" discussion is so much about emotion and so little about science and engineering. Like Jack I have no sympathy for those environmentalists who live in electrically heated houses and drive their air conditioned new SUV to an airport car park and travel half way round the world on a jet plane in order to attend a climate change conference!

There are a few obvious facts. After many years of development the modern diesel engine is, in scientific terms a pretty efficient means of converting chemical energy in gasoil into work and heat, and gasoil has a large amount of energy in it per kilogram. If you need to carry an electrical energy source with you then gasoil and a diesel generator really cannot be bettered. Also, if you don't use any stored energy to propel the boat, and you load the boat with all your stored energy needs for your trip in the form of gas-oil and food, then you don't need to abstract energy from the environment and all the energy you do get from the wind can be used to propel your boat. Anything you do to produce energy from the environment whilst sailing such a boat will inevitably slow you down.

If you could practicably do away with your diesel and its fuel you would save a substantial amount of weight, and weight reduction will enable you to reduce the drag of your hull, so there is the obvious trade-off. Can you save enough weight by cutting down on fuel and engine weight and can you compensate for the reduced use of stored energy by generating all or at least some of it from the environment as you go along? With the present state of development the answer is "No". None of the Imoca skippers I have discussed this with want to rely on hydrogenerators, windmills, solar panels etc. although these things have their place as alternative, supplementary, power sources. Most simply like to use the engine all the time and hope it doesn't go wrong!

Having said all that, Conrad Coleman has shown a Vendee Globe can be completed without using diesel, and at the present state of the art, compared with the maturity of diesel engine boat propulsion and power generation his type of marine electric generation and propulsion system is primative and in its infancy. I would guess that when sailing at 25 knots a race boat like an Imoca is probably extracting about 300 kw from the environment. That is just from guessing that a similar hull at the same sort of weight might go at that speed using a somewhat bigger outboard engine than that and that engines are "inefficient". If just one percent of that power is diverted with 100% efficiency to electricty generation that gives 3000 watts!

Forgetting the "green warrior" aspects of all this, with advancing battery technology and if electric propulsion and the regeneration technology can advance and become efficient it could be possible in the not too distant future for an all electric single handed Imoca to be lighter and faster than one with a diesel engine and fuel. There is something attractive about the idea of not having to carry the weight of a diesel engine and its fuel.

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2 minutes ago, staysail said:

It is a bit surprising that the "diesel/no diesel" discussion is so much about emotion and so little about science and engineering. Like Jack I have no sympathy for those environmentalists who live in electrically heated houses and drive their air conditioned new SUV to an airport car park and travel half way round the world on a jet plane in order to attend a climate change conference!

There are a few obvious facts. After many years of development the modern diesel engine is, in scientific terms a pretty efficient means of converting chemical energy in gasoil into work and heat, and gasoil has a large amount of energy in it per kilogram. If you need to carry an electrical energy source with you then gasoil and a diesel generator really cannot be bettered. Also, if you don't use any stored energy to propel the boat, and you load the boat with all your stored energy needs for your trip in the form of gas-oil and food, then you don't need to abstract energy from the environment and all the energy you do get from the wind can be used to propel your boat. Anything you do to produce energy from the environment whilst sailing such a boat will inevitably slow you down.

If you could practicably do away with your diesel and its fuel you would save a substantial amount of weight, and weight reduction will enable you to reduce the drag of your hull, so there is the obvious trade-off. Can you save enough weight by cutting down on fuel and engine weight and can you compensate for the reduced use of stored energy by generating all or at least some of it from the environment as you go along? With the present state of development the answer is "No". None of the Imoca skippers I have discussed this with want to rely on hydrogenerators, windmills, solar panels etc. although these things have their place as alternative, supplementary, power sources. Most simply like to use the engine all the time and hope it doesn't go wrong!

Having said all that, Conrad Coleman has shown a Vendee Globe can be completed without using diesel, and at the present state of the art, compared with the maturity of diesel engine boat propulsion and power generation his type of marine electric generation and propulsion system is primative and in its infancy. I would guess that when sailing at 25 knots a race boat like an Imoca is probably extracting about 300 kw from the environment. That is just from guessing that a similar hull at the same sort of weight might go at that speed using a somewhat bigger outboard engine than that and that engines are "inefficient". If just one percent of that power is diverted with 100% efficiency to electricty generation that gives 3000 watts!

Forgetting the "green warrior" aspects of all this, with advancing battery technology and if electric propulsion and the regeneration technology can advance and become efficient it could be possible in the not too distant future for an all electric single handed Imoca to be lighter and faster than one with a diesel engine and fuel. There is something attractive about the idea of not having to carry the weight of a diesel engine and its fuel.

Its all just 'lip service' bullshit.

Look at the amount of energy and carbon foot print required for the epoxy, carbon fibre, core etc used in building the boats, masts and sails.

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8 minutes ago, mad said:

Its all just 'lip service' bullshit.

Look at the amount of energy and carbon foot print required for the epoxy, carbon fibre, core etc used in building the boats, masts and sails.

Be fair. I'm not considering the "green warrior" aspects and am not in favour of electric propulsion for "environmental" reason. All I am saying is that if the electric technology gets good enough I can see no reason why an all-electric Imoca cannot become lighter and faster that a diesel one. It's carbon footprint might well be worse.

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We seem to have had this discussion about electric versus diesel before.  Not much has changed I think.

For the VOR, clearly Volvo Cars are going down the EV road, and for them to start talking up electric makes sense. The VOR is a marketing platform for them, and a link with the new range of EV and hybrid vehicles they have planned is obvious. Indeed, with the next race some years away, they will already be thinking in terms of those vehicles they will have on the market at that time.  Not what they sell now. 

Quote

Now, the time for the reemergence of electrification has come. At Volvo Cars, we have worked with electrification for forty years, and now we are taking that work to its natural conclusion. By 2019, all new models will have an electric or hybrid option. Our entire model line-up of vehicles will move into electrification, and between 2019 and 2021 we will launch five pure electric models. All models will be fully electric, plug in hybrid cars, or mild hybrids where a battery helps a conventional engine achieve greater fuel economy.

For Volvo AB, their busses are pushing the electric and hybrid message hard as well,  albeit behind the takeup for cars. Again, by the time of the next VOR, their offering is likely significantly advanced. Trucks will be interesting. Elon has announced his truck, and the interest in the industry is high. The economics for some uses make buying his truck a winner from the get go. (Not much at all in others, especially very long distances.) No doubt Volvo, Mercedes, Scania, etc will all be working hard on their offerings. In three years time we may expect a very different playing field. 

As discussed before, IMHO, for the foreseeable future there is zero chance a VOR boat will go to sea without an emergency diesel capability. Energy density, and energy portability wins hands down. 

Carbon footprint is BS of the highest order. Its a sport. If you sincerely want to reduce the carbon footprint of a sport for environmental reasons you don't set to sea in the first place. There is sod all you can do in life that doesn't emit CO2. Steel, aluminium, making glass fibre, all emit it. But the cost in energy of running a race is huge. Not to mention the energy costs running all those browsers decoding videos of the race worldwide. Going down the carbon footprint route is just plain silly. 

However, IMHO, (and very much just MHO) there is a nice purity to any sailcraft that can sail or race without the need for other power sources. There is just something that jars about needing a diesel for day to day operations on an otherwise wind powered race boat. So, why not? There are some interesting tradeoffs possible in performance for the crew. We can open the stored power can of worms for winches. If the boat has a maximum crew of six, the difference between a boat that can be sailed with two on deck but generating winch power from a hydro-gen versus one that needs three on deck but no drag from the hydro-gen; might make for some interesting thoughts about the tradeoffs. Especially if those same powered winches are there for sail changes. 

As always, numbers would help. The added energy needs for running winches is something I have little idea of.  Obviously it will vary significantly across different conditions. There is some hope that when the demands are high the boat is travelling faster enough to match that demand.

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Come on people...
This is sponsored sailing. It is all about the message.
Not the right message, no money, no sailing.
Diesel is a no go at this time. (Not just VW, everbody is cheating on emissions. All major makes have been caught with the same or similar software.) Hybrid is yesterday. Electric is the hype.

So electric it is. Sense or no sense does not come into play. Money please is where it starts and ends.

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BUILDING AN IDEAL PROJECT: A DELICATE BALANCE

12 TUESDAY DECEMBER 2017, 9:25 

At least three years of the next Vendée Globe, interested sailors are busy. Time flies, and even those who have the assurance of being questioned on key issues: to what cost and with what partners, which team and of course what boat?

"The ideal project is one where humans involved in this great adventure that is the Vendée Globe feel good, which is a true sharing with partners and, of course, the public" . Sophie Vercelletto, co-manager with Roland Jourdain Kairos, speaks neither boat nor technology. His company bought the former boat Safran,one of the last babies of 2015, and the fact sail under the name "Sails and You  " clever wordplay to say how urgent it is ... to let time do well things.

"It's a boat to maturity, it will be in the prime of life," she predicted. For build, fix, validate and reliable to feel good with a new IMOCA takes time. Beyou (3 e of the last edition) is one of two skippers known to date, with the Briton Alex Thomson, to embark on such a venture. "Our timing is almost perfect, I think! Building a boat is more or less a year or a year and a half. And new winning projects will be those who will run at best the Route du Rhum 2018 and, at least, the Transat Jacques Vabre 2019. One thing is sure, put the boat in the water year of the next Vendée Globe is extremely short . "

The Bank Populaire- VIII Armel Le Cléac'h, winner of the last world tour, had not had anything maturation time. Launched in the summer of 2015, the VPLP-Verdier design certainly had finished second in the Transat Jacques Vabre few months later, but encountered mishaps. Above all he was one of the first IMOCA trimmed foils, the major technological innovation of the last edition. Their use while still the great unknown. Since then, the experience has been there, science taking care of the rest.

"We work especially on foils but also the overall balance of the boat. Our IMOCA will be different from those that existed previously, " emphasizes Beyou. For if some three years seem long to think about the evolution of a world tour, that's if everything goes smoothly. If the prototype breaks, time spent to repair or rebuild can engulf expertise on water and finance originally dedicated to the evolution of the IMOCA. "That's why we chose to be the first at work, even copied. One should always be a step ahead, "acknowledges Beyou .

Currently engaged in the Volvo Ocean Race, the time of the outbreak of his new IMOCA, the skipper of Charal acknowledges: "  We entered another dimension. Eight people, we went to thirteen working on the project, which our research . And if we want to win the Vendée Globe, we have to look at what produced the winner of the last edition, program, and inspire us. But I'm not Armel (Le Cléac'h) and our partner is different. " Suffice to say that budgets can not be of the same importance. One of Beyou would amount well below the EUR 5.5 million per year funding announced for all sailing partnerships by Chantal Petrachi, the communications director of Banque Populaire. What would remain high given the galaxy of the Vendée Globe.

And the others ? Skippers wanting to be, there are many! To make the sweet dream of designing, or at least imagine these machines from another world. "Do you know what it means Kairos in Greek? This is the time qualifier, the favorable time, that of timely opportunity. For us, time and human time performance. That would be 2018, the year where everything happens " , said Sophie Vercelletto, whose company smoldering skipper Morgan Lagravière who after his 3rd place with Eric Peron on the Transat Jacques Vabre, intends to continue its momentum, especially the Route du Rhum. "2018 is the year where links are forged, are wedged in the team skipper and with new partners. I encourage partners to come and join us, now is it all happens! " If she exclaims. "For 2019, it will navigate, browse and navigate . The Vendée Globe is already tomorrow. "

https://www.vendeeglobe.org/fr/actualites/19255/batir-un-projet-ideal-un-equilibre-subtil

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5 hours ago, staysail said:

 I would guess that when sailing at 25 knots a race boat like an Imoca is probably extracting about 300 kw from the environment. That is just from guessing that a similar hull at the same sort of weight might go at that speed using a somewhat bigger outboard engine than that and that engines are "inefficient". If just one percent of that power is diverted with 100% efficiency to electricty generation that gives 3000 watts!

Forgetting the "green warrior" aspects of all this, with advancing battery technology and if electric propulsion and the regeneration technology can advance and become efficient it could be possible in the not too distant future for an all electric single handed Imoca to be lighter and faster than one with a diesel engine and fuel. There is something attractive about the idea of not having to carry the weight of a diesel engine and its fuel.

A boat doesn't extract energy from the environment, that would be against the conservation of energy law as to respect this basic law the boat would need to store or beam this energy somewhere. A sailing boat just uses wind, wave and sun to overcome friction which then transfer back most of this energy as heat in the air and the water. I said most of this energy to take into account marginal stuff like navigation lights and radiowaves which are emitted by the boat.

On the other hand a diesel engine release in the environment energy that was stored for million of years under our feet. The consequences aren't the same.

Beyond the sponsorship aspect for the skippers it must be better to sail without having to rely on a noisy, smelly an unreliable piece of kit even if they will sail a tad slower.

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55 minutes ago, Panoramix said:

A boat doesn't extract energy from the environment, that would be against the conservation of energy law as to respect this basic law the boat would need to store or beam this energy somewhere. A sailing boat just uses wind, wave and sun to overcome friction which then transfer back most of this energy as heat in the air and the water. I said most of this energy to take into account marginal stuff like navigation lights and radiowaves which are emitted by the boat.

On the other hand a diesel engine release in the environment energy that was stored for million of years under our feet. The consequences aren't the same.

Beyond the sponsorship aspect for the skippers it must be better to sail without having to rely on a noisy, smelly an unreliable piece of kit even if they will sail a tad slower.

Kinetic energy equals 1/2xmxV^2. Sailing boat doing 25 knots (v) and weighing say 8 tons (m), has a simple and calculable amount of kinetic energy compared with when it is at rest when its kinetic energy is zero. Where do you think it came from if the boat hasn't extracted it from the environment? And how do you think it can overcome friction if it has no energy? and yes we do know the laws of conservation of energy and the laws of thermodynamics.

I like the idea of going electric because I don't like noise, and quite often these Imocas have diesel tank leaks which must be a nightmare, but with a box rule boat I like to see the minimum possible number of rules. If the rules allow any form of aux powering and I can choose between diesel engine plus alternator and an all-electric boat, and both were equally reliable, I would go for the one which offered me the lowest overall weight and the highest sailing speeds.

An really open rule would encourage innovation and if and when electric is "better", Imocas would adopt it for good racing reasons.

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True that while underway there is some kinetic energy in the boat but presumably sometimes soon after the finish line you stop the boat and the kinetic energy is gone. A sailing boat hasn't got energy to overcome friction, there is just some wind/wave energy which is transformed into heat through friction. The boat doesn't "have" or store the energy in between (unless you have special arrangement such as a hydrogenerator transforming wind energy into electricity that is then stored into the boat batteries before being released through an electric motor).

Diesel is a special rule as you authorise auxiliary power just for some things (for IMOCAs why should you allow it for canting the keel but not for winches) Hydrogenerator is simpler, you shall propel and power the boat just with wind, waves and sun and you can store some of this energy.

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6 minutes ago, Panoramix said:

True that while underway there is some kinetic energy in the boat but presumably sometimes soon after the finish line you stop the boat and the kinetic energy is gone. A sailing boat hasn't got energy to overcome friction, there is just some wind/wave energy which is transformed into heat through friction. The boat doesn't "have" or store the energy in between (unless you have special arrangement such as a hydrogenerator transforming wind energy into electricity that is then stored into the boat batteries before being released through an electric motor).

Diesel is a special rule as you authorise auxiliary power just for some things (for IMOCAs why should you allow it for canting the keel but not for winches) Hydrogenerator is simpler, you shall propel and power the boat just with wind, waves and sun and you can store some of this energy.

You can take a horse to water ...

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1 hour ago, Panoramix said:

On the other hand a diesel engine release in the environment energy that was stored for million of years under our feet. The consequences aren't the same.

Without getting into a long and tedious argument about physics, you are missing a couple of core points.  Environmental issues have nothing to do with the energy released from fossil fuels, and when talking about the Earth's energy budget - it isn't a closed system - for all useful analysis purposes, sail boats are solar powered. The common point when discussing the two is all about atmospheric CO2 levels, not about the energy in the boat. 

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Ever looked at the energy consumption requirements to extract a kilo of carbon fibre from the precursor? I have and ignoring the resin production and consumables the diesel consumption is irrelevant. Looking into o this even wi d turbines manufacturing is a joke. So a sponsored sailing event is best to avoid on a green front if being realistic

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20 minutes ago, Francis Vaughan said:

Without getting into a long and tedious argument about physics, you are missing a couple of core points.  Environmental issues have nothing to do with the energy released from fossil fuels, and when talking about the Earth's energy budget - it isn't a closed system - for all useful analysis purposes, sail boats are solar powered. The common point when discussing the two is all about atmospheric CO2 levels, not about the energy in the boat. 

You are completely right about the CO2 being the main culprit, I got carried away writing about the consequences...

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One of the objections to these canting keel raceboats is that a diesel engine runs in the background to shift the ballast. If this was, instead, achieved with batteries charged by hydrogenerators, I believe one of the objections could be muted.  So one might still have an fossil fuel auxiliary, but it would not be used in the generation of energy to sail the vessel.  Managing the energy would be a new feature of the race, and would lead to the development of better protocols and practices.

SHC

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You can manage energy all you want re using the keel. No one, TO DATE, has demonstrated hydrogen capability to produce the necessary energy to produce fresh water for a crew with sufficient margin of energy remaining.

End of discussion.

The only folks who keep pushing the no diesel burn design criteria are folks who don't give a rats ass about crew comfort and safety. If you did, you'll worry more about the logistics train's environmental impact than how much energy is being used to keep 9-11 people alive.

For me? I'd rather see the logistics train reduce their environmental impact than force off shore sailors to make do with even LESS fresh water. I'd rather they have diesel heated air in the cabin to reduce condensation and thaw out, I'd rather they have the radar always on and the communications gear powered up - than some touchy feely virtually ZERO impact nonsense while a single diesel truck carrying support equipment burns thru more diesel ferrying the hull from Italy to Spain in one trip than the Volvo boats during an entire leg.

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Canting keelers are stink boats that will not work without adding more fossil fuel.

That's not sailing.

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Seems like there is a big difference in energy consumption between IMOCA and VOR65 just by the boats are raced.  Not including the water production for an entire team but the energy required to kant a keel during 60 or so gybes along an ice gate in the SO compared to the relatively few gybes on an IMOCA, for example would seem substantial.

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4 hours ago, Chimp too said:

Ever looked at the energy consumption requirements to extract a kilo of carbon fibre from the precursor? I have and ignoring the resin production and consumables the diesel consumption is irrelevant. Looking into o this even wi d turbines manufacturing is a joke. So a sponsored sailing event is best to avoid on a green front if being realistic

Exactly the point I made awhile ago here, or maybe another thread today.  It’s all bullshit and lip service. 

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A while ago I tried to do a back of the envelope calculation for the energy budget if you went hydro-gen. 

Here: 

tl;dr:  It is close but believable. All energy needs, including water generation and media commitments are doable. Just. 

I would probably want to revisit the thoughts with a better understanding of the issues, but the point wasn't to do the detail design for a boat, but rather to see whether the systems were within reason, or we were still so far away from viable that it wasn't worth thinking about. 

It would be really interesting to add powered winches to the budget, and work the numbers with some better understanding of the sensible margins and needs. 

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A study has been done and all things need consideration: reduce power requirements of all systems including media equipment and comms. Simplify boat systems and run a combination of hydro (more efficient solution than currently used, but not a huge investment), solar and diesel genset using diesel processed from recycled plastics. All goes to battery bank so nothing (can’t mech and propulsion) powered direct from source, all from battery bank.

unfortunately hydrogen cell not an option as getting permits to bring into the USA by boat not doable.

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2 hours ago, Francis Vaughan said:

A while ago I tried to do a back of the envelope calculation for the energy budget if you went hydro-gen. 

Here: 

Francis quick snapshot to indicate diesel is actually further off being replaced by renewables than you indicate. 

Your diesel power generation numbers are understated by around one-third and so also understates the power generated per kg of diesel.

Power storage for renewables having less generating capacity relies on greater energy storage density. Unfortunately that ignores the energy density of LFP, the battery chemistry of choice is regarded as the safe max for a RTW racing sailboat. 

There is nothing on the horizon that indicates that safety issue can be corrected with either existing or new battery chemistry having greater density. 

Reduced consumption is the only real avenue available but that is going up, not down principally because of increased media demands.

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39 minutes ago, Chimp too said:

unfortunately hydrogen cell not an option as getting permits to bring into the USA by boat not doable.

Yeah, I hear that they only like coal fired ships in the US.

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2 hours ago, jack_sparrow said:

Francis quick snapshot to indicate diesel is actually further off being replaced by renewables than you indicate. 

Yeah, I agree. The numbers were very much intended to put bounds on the question, and deliberately put renewables in the best light to push the numbers. Which is why I chose the best energy density battery, not the safest. 

Energy density for diesel was very much a raw capability number, based on thermodynamics, not any actual engine. The engine used in the VO 65, can get you say 55 kW at 10 litres per hour. So 5.5 kWh per litre or 6.6 kWh per kg. So yes, I'm almost exactly 1/3 low. (It looks as if I forgot to do the density conversion.) 

Overall, I think it is understandable why there is some enthusiasm for exploring the idea of day to day operation without diesel power, but any idea that you can dispense with a diesel motor is still in the realm of science fiction. A Mr Fusion on board would be a good answer. Bananas not so much.

htip_back_to_future_mr_fusion_replica_in 

Whilst Inmarsat are the big dog for sat comms power demand for media won't get any better. Whether any of the new entrants into the fray with constellations of LEO sats can get the power needs down is something for the future. I suspect it will only be in the margins, and I would not be holding my breath for a viable solution to appear.

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6 hours ago, Francis Vaughan said:

A while ago I tried to do a back of the envelope calculation for the energy budget if you went hydro-gen. 

Here: 

tl;dr:  It is close but believable. All energy needs, including water generation and media commitments are doable. Just. 

I would probably want to revisit the thoughts with a better understanding of the issues, but the point wasn't to do the detail design for a boat, but rather to see whether the systems were within reason, or we were still so far away from viable that it wasn't worth thinking about. 

It would be really interesting to add powered winches to the budget, and work the numbers with some better understanding of the sensible margins and needs. 

You assume that they use an off the shelf hydrogenerator but I don't think that they will. This piece of kit will be such an important part of success that I am pretty sure that they will come up with bespoke solutions to minimise drag and maximise energy production. They have the technical ability to do development, may be somebody will come up with a variable pitch solution to adjust drag and production or integrate it in the rudder.

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7 minutes ago, Panoramix said:

You assume that they use an off the shelf hydrogenerator but I don't think that they will. This piece of kit will be such an important part of success that I am pretty sure that they will come up with bespoke solutions to minimise drag and maximise energy production. They have the technical ability to do development, may be somebody will come up with a variable pitch solution to adjust drag and production or integrate it in the rudder.

I agree that the basic Watt and Sea model used here isn't the optimal approach.  The point was to use existing product and technology numbers to put bounds on the question. Not to design a solution.  

A design with lots of wizzy bits inside to manage variable pitch is all well and good, but getting one to the point where it could be reasonably expected to survive Leg 7 might be pushing one's luck. You need to factor collisions with all manner of crap into the design, and collisions at serious speed - much greater than off the shelf designs might be expected to survive. The easy answer is to just use multiple generators. Or even a range of designs. A towed generator might have some advantages in some circumstances.

However, partnering with a manufacturer to design or customise a generator for the race is probably the way to go. As interest picks up in the technology there is clear case for a manufacturer to highlight their offerings, and to offer a very high end model, one that just so happens to be the one chosen for the VOR. I'm sure much thought has been done on this already.

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50 minutes ago, Francis Vaughan said:

However, partnering with a manufacturer to design or customise a generator for the race is probably the way to go. As interest picks up in the technology there is clear case for a manufacturer to highlight their offerings, and to offer a very high end model, one that just so happens to be the one chosen for the VOR. I'm sure much thought has been done on this already.

Conrad partnered up with Oceanvolt the Finnish crowd for his electric propulsion/hydro generator. 

I recall his numbers were something like flat chat he could produce nearly 5kW or around 1/3 the total usable battery capacity per hour. Unfortunately that generation dropped off significantly at lower boat speeds necisitating a very frugal approach to loads.

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41 minutes ago, Francis Vaughan said:

I agree that the basic Watt and Sea model used here isn't the optimal approach.  The point was to use existing product and technology numbers to put bounds on the question. Not to design a solution.  

A design with lots of wizzy bits inside to manage variable pitch is all well and good, but getting one to the point where it could be reasonably expected to survive Leg 7 might be pushing one's luck. You need to factor collisions with all manner of crap into the design, and collisions at serious speed - much greater than off the shelf designs might be expected to survive. The easy answer is to just use multiple generators. Or even a range of designs. A towed generator might have some advantages in some circumstances.

However, partnering with a manufacturer to design or customise a generator for the race is probably the way to go. As interest picks up in the technology there is clear case for a manufacturer to highlight their offerings, and to offer a very high end model, one that just so happens to be the one chosen for the VOR. I'm sure much thought has been done on this already.

The variable pitch option is certainly not the easiest way forward but foils weren't the easy way forward either. May be it isn't practical, may be somebody will come up with a viable way. But that's exactly why I am keen to see them completely ban "stored energy" or to be precise "energy stored before the start", this will be interesting to follow and at the end the chances are that some form of innovation will come out of it.

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Yes, lots can go wrong testing a low budget alternative of going RTW without diesel.

E.g. One example of the problems Conrad the test pilot had (He also had solar power in his mainsail; not sure how that worked out after his dismasting.)

From Dec 2016:

Quote
Monday 05 December 2016, 08h38

I saw Arnaud on the horizon and was happy to gybe away from him in nearly 30 knots on a shift to improve my age to the east. Then inside I started to smell a faint plastic smell. Thinking maybe that the batteries were having a problem I ran my hands over all the electrical system and ran diagnostics on the computer. Everything was fine... maybe it was just a figment of my imagination! I went outside to take a reef and when I came back inside I saw black smoke and yellow flames leaping from behind the chart table. One of the solar charge controllers was burning and was in the process of taking down the entire electrical system as several important cables pass close by. I took the fire blanket and smothered the flames, ignoring electrical shocks and the burning heat in my desperation to save my boat. When the flames were gone I heard one beep from the autopilot and my world turned upside down.

The burnt cables next to the charge controller had short circuited the auto pilot and the boat bore away from the wind and did a crash gybe with me still inside, hands full of molten plastic. The copious ballast tanks and canting keels that make these boats some of the fastest in the world also contribute to them being very unstable when things go wrong because all of their weight is on one side and after my crash gybe the boat was actively trying to capsize itself. When I poked my head out from the door the boat lying heeled over at 80 degrees, the tip of the mast only a couple of meters way from the water. As you have seen in the video I shot, I stood on the side of the cockpit to furl the gennaker and arrange the mainsail and stays so I could right the boat.

With the boat righted, I was still in a tight spot. The wind was increasing, I had a poorly furled gennaker that could flap itself to pieces and no instruments or autopilot. I had to drop the gennaker before I could secure the boat so I could start to repair the electronics. Unfortunately, the bad furling job I had done when the boat was on its side, combined with the strenghening wind, meant that it started unfurling backwards and thrashing around so that I was afraid it would take the mast down. It took me a long time to try to furl it again while sailing downwind with the helm between my knees so I could use the pedestal to control the winches but eventually I had to resign myself to dropping the twisted mess. I managed to tangle the sail around the other forestays and stop it from falling in the water. However with the sail down it still took me two hours of solid effort to control the writhing inflated mess as the wind gusted 40 knots, spray blew horizontally off the tops of the mountains heaving under, and over, boat as I danced on the foredeck with sail ties and pocket knives.

With the boat finally secure I came back inside to find everything swimming. Because the boat had spent so much time on its side the keel box had leaked hundreds of litres and I found my food bags, carefully packed spares clothes bags dripping wet or actively floating. My team and I had vacuum packed most of the equipment on the boat in thick plastic so the damage was minimal but some cold weather clothes, spare boots and sleeping bag were soaked.

I was eventually able to dig through the ashes of the fire and splice important cables back together and get the autopilot back online. I screamed with joy when the little lights danced across their screens again because the alternative was to hand steer to Cape Town and abandon the race. Now, as I write this we're back in action, surfing at 25 knots down the thundering wave crests that looked so foreboding when the boat was suffering a blackout.

And he even managed to get pics and write it up. https://www.vendeeglobe.org/en/news/16841/fire-aboard-conrad-colman-s-boat

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8 minutes ago, Panoramix said:

The variable pitch option is certainly not the easiest way forward but foils weren't the easy way forward either. May be it isn't practical, may be somebody will come up with a viable way.

Variable pitch is essential on quick race boats. The W&S race models are all variable pitch.

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3 hours ago, jack_sparrow said:

Variable pitch is essential on quick race boats. The W&S race models are all variable pitch.

Here, you go never listen to the "can't be done" crowd.

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Anybody  knows what kind of prop Conrad  was  using ? A prototype of Oceanvolt servoprop  :

https://oceanvolt.com/solutions/systems/servoprop-sail-drive/

Something  more simple ?

And by the way is there any  review/feedback on this servoprop somewhere ?    Didn't find any.

Otherwise I also think it would be good if a "no diesel" rule was part of the class (maybe except for emergency).

But I guess the tricky bit is balancing that with the will to have more direct media coverage from the boats (with the necessary gear and communication requirements), although Conrad wasn't the last one regarding videos by far,  if I remember well.

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Not sure why so much hate against EV systems replacing diesel? This is an emerging technology that potentially will make high tech offshore sailing better - quieter, more reliable, and 100% self sufficient - and a mandate in a premier event like the Volvo will drive that process forward, just like every other mandate (think fuel economy standards) has in the past, the whinging of people/industries clinging to old tech notwithstanding. 

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58 minutes ago, yl75 said:

Anybody  knows what kind of prop Conrad  was  using ? A prototype of Oceanvolt servoprop  :

https://oceanvolt.com/solutions/systems/servoprop-sail-drive/

IIRC their old SD15 saildrive, quite the standard setup other than some custom firmware/datalogging in the controller to enforce the no propulsion rule. (The folding prop has to spin to unfold.)

The big thing (reading the EN article) is that the class encourages the use of renewable energy. The actual rule change is still unclear to me but encourages != mandates.

...

There are 3 (4) rules about propulsion.
A diesel has do be minimum 37 HP (~28kW) - But there is no minimum for electric motors.
min bollard pull of 280 daN
min boat speed of 5 kts for 5 hours

That gives you minimum prop size, pitch and rpm. Energy storage follows from the 5h requirement. 

Boats also carry 20 literes of sealed emergency diesel. How far/long does that last on the average IMOCA?

...

I'd start from the OceanVolt system. Their new ServoProp looks interesting. Maybe mash it and their modular shaft system together for more peak power. I think some form of variable pitch is a must. I'd like the chance to charge fast or slow.

Overpowered? Hit the charge-a-lot button, by the time the sailchange is done the batteries are full. Heck, sounds like the place for some smart control software development. Charge in the puffs, don't charge in the lulls.

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5 hours ago, surfsailor said:

Not sure why so much hate against EV systems replacing diesel?This is an emerging technology that potentially will make high tech offshore sailing better - quieter, more reliable, and 100% self sufficient - and a mandate in a premier event like the Volvo will drive that process forward, just like every other mandate (think fuel economy standards) has in the past, the whinging of people/industries clinging to old tech notwithstanding. 

It is not hate, it is being able to compute or understand energy numbers and RTW race boats.

Interstingly those like you bellowing about mandates working and those clinging to old tech as being whingers, don't quote or come up with one number to support your viewpoint. 

Until you do that I suggest you lot are the ones doing all the whinging.

The first power stations starting nearly 150 years ago were hydro powered. It took an emerging technology called the combustion engine, not mandates to make its wider application a viable proposition.

When lithium battery systems were first introduced to the V70's, the SI's insisted on a minumum weight of Lead Acid batteries still to be carried on board. The life threatening environment of a RTW is not the place to be fucking around with either mandates or questionable technology.

Last time I looked no one had died from a motor vehicle maximum fuel consumption mandate.

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^ Energy numbers are a two sided calculation - for example, the power requirements of a lighter, more easily driven boat that gets much of it's stability from foils (which in turn can have flaps, further reducing energy demands for control) is potentially a lot less than moving a heavy keel. Obviously water making and comm gear has (for the moment) a fixed footprint, but who's to say there won't be innovation in those areas as well? My point here is that the boat and systems design can/will evolve to work with whatever system is chosen.

It's great that the combustion engine was able to surpass hydro-powered electrical generation by the end of the 19th century - but this is the 21st.

 

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22 minutes ago, surfsailor said:

^ Energy numbers are a two sided calculation - for example, the power requirements of a lighter, more easily driven boat that gets much of it's stability from foils (which in turn can have flaps, further reducing energy demands for control) is potentially a lot less than moving a heavy keel.

Fuck you learn something new every day.

Here I will return the favour..foiling RTW race boats have canting keels and do things like tack and gybe.

 

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It was thrown out by one of the designers that the new foils might do away with the need for a canting keel.  RM from the foil.  Fixed keel.

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Then we get back the the safety question of righting an inverted boat. Lightweight fixed keel is not the right answer for a turtled boat. Fine that your RM comes from foils, they are not going to get your boat back upright. Might as well just give in and go multihull.

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31 minutes ago, southerncross said:

RM from the foil.  Fixed keel.

Equals heavier and deeper keel equals heavier boats equals foils don't work or equals boats that fall over equals catastrofuck for a RTW boat. 

As Francis says you might as well go multi then or work out how to find enough energy to keep one of these on its feet for a couple of weeks and find people game enough to go outside the sight of land on one.

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