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dcnblues

Member Since 07 Mar 2010
Offline Last Active Apr 17 2014 06:55 PM
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Posts I've Made

In Topic: ***AC 35 Boats***

09 January 2014 - 05:46 PM

Yeah, I'll concede as well. Well done, Chris 249. I hope you'll forgive my conclusions (which were largely based on the prominent quotes I used) as excusable.

 

I also agree with Francis Vaughan that these discussions don't count for much. Except that SailingAnarchy is the best sailing forum I've seen, and we've also seemed to all agree that the AC is a management contest as well as what happens on the water. I'd certainly think that monitoring prevailing opinion and attitude on prominent and relevant forums would be part of competent management. And certainly most would imagine LE as a hands-on person with a need to feel in control. I wouldn't completely discount the possibility that interesting threads such as this one don't either get reported on, or even possibly viewed directly by the guy making the rules. And possibly influencing him. It's certainly possible as well that there are upper and mid level management (not to mention crew) that lurk in these threads.

 

Because let's face it, we're interesting. :)

 

I think that what draws me to the AC is the new. We've gone from a country where you once could do anything, as long as it wasn't specifically illegal, to one where you can't do anything UNLESS it's already specifically legal. Being out on the water is symbolic of escaping that. Add technology that's actually new (as opposed to fully mature tech applications like motor sport, flying, or really most any competetion out there) is fun and reinforces the hope that things can still get better. So I like these debates, and offer thanks to everyone who's made this thread so entertaining.


In Topic: ***AC 35 Boats***

09 January 2014 - 05:40 AM

That was business and war . . . . This is sport . . . . There is a difference . . . . There is a reason racing bikes have a hard weight minimum (and recumbents are banned), and sliding oar locks are banned from shells, and various aerodynamics are banned from javelins, and all sorts of restrictions are placed on F1 . . . If you don't understand the difference it would be best if you stick to business and war because you will ruin sport.

 

Excellent points. Which is why I feel the winning yacht club in AC should exclude themselves from being nothing but 'sport.' Olympic shells are slower than sliding rigger designs. Keeping costs down is fine, but you don't want to loose too much technology and speed. What's the first word in the Olympic motto, after all? (It's 'Faster'). Limiting speed is NOT what the America's Cup should be about. If you want Athletic competition that interacts with a specific environment, it really needs to be unlimited or I loose interest. I stopped watching F1 when they banned racing slicks and went with grooved tires. Seriously? Grooved tires? When you're trying to slow the vehicles down, you're changing the rules in the wrong direction. 


In Topic: ***AC 35 Boats***

08 January 2014 - 09:50 AM

This always felt like an authentic portrayal of sailor's attitudes which had to be pervasive in the 19th Century. From Tai Pan, set in and during the founding of Hong Kong in 1841. I feel the same sort of attitude when people argue about powered systems aboard an America's Cup boat (and to be clear, I'm still talking about using power in the handling of systems, not direct propulsion (except for wind-generated / battery stored, which I do think would broaden the definition of sail power):

 

 

Culum’s respect increased. Very clever, he thought. He was staring idly westward at the big island of Lan Tai. “Look!” he cried suddenly, pointing just south of it. “There’s smoke. A ship’s on fire!”

“You’ve sharp eyes, lad,” Struan said, swinging the binoculars over. “God’s death, it’s a steamer!”

The ship was black and lean and ugly and sharp-nosed. Smoke poured from her squat funnel. She was two-masted and rigged for sails, but she wore no sails now and steamed malevolently into wind, the red ensign fluttering aft.

“Look at that belly-gutted, stinking fornication of a Royal Navy ship!”

Culum was rocked by the vehemence. “What’s the matter?”

“That bloody iron-festering whore—that’s what’s the matter! Look at her steam!”

Culum stared through the glasses. The ship looked harmless to him. He had seen a few paddle ships like her before. The Irish mail packets had been steamers for ten years. He could see the two giant paddle wheels, amidships port and starboard, and the billowing smoke and the frothing wake. There were cannon aboard. Many.

“I can’t see anything wrong with her.”

“Look at her wake! And her heading! Into wind, by God! She’s steering due east. Into wind. Look at her! She’s overhauling our ship as though Blue Cloud’s a pig-rotten brig in the hands of godrotting apes—instead of one of the best crews on earth!”

“But what’s wrong with that?”

“Everything. Now a steamer’s in the Orient. She’s done the impossible. That rusty, iron-hulked, machine-powered, Stephenson-invented pus-ridden harlot has sailed from England to here, against all the sea’s disgust and the wind’s contempt. If one does it, a thousand can. There’s progress. And the beginning of a new era!”

Struan picked up the empty wine bottle and hurled it against a rock. “That’s what we’ll have to use in twenty or thirty years. Those bitch-fornicating abortions of a ship, by God!”

“It is ugly, when you compare it to a sail ship. To Blue Cloud. But being able to sail into wind—to forget the wind—means that it’ll be faster and more economic and—”

“Never! Na faster, na with the wind abaft the beam, and na as seaworthy. And na in a storm. Those smellpots’ll turn turtle and sink like a stone. And na as economic. They have to have wood for the boilers, or coal. And they’ll be nae good for the tea trade. Tea’s sensitive and it’ll spoil in that stink. Sail’ll have to carry tea, thank God.”

Culum was amused but didn’t show it. “Yes. But in time they’ll improve, certainly. And if one can sail out here, as you say, a thousand others can. I think we should buy steamers.”

“You can, and you’ll be right. But damned if I’ll buy one of those stenchfilled monstrosities. Damned if the Lion and Dragon’ll fly one of them while I’m alive!”

“Do all seamen feel as you do?” Culum asked the question carelessly, warmed inside.

“That’s a right stupid question! What’s on your mind, Culum?” Struan said tartly.

“Just thinking about progress, Tai-Pan.” Culum looked back at the ship. “I wonder what her name is.”

... Later the steamer passed close enough for them to read her name. It was Nemesis. H.M.S. Nemesis.

-Tai Pan, James Clavell

 

 

"Na faster, na with the wind abaft the beam, and na as seaworthy. And na in a storm. Those smellpots’ll turn turtle and sink like a stone. And na as economic. They have to have wood for the boilers, or coal." So that's why there probably wasn't a steamer in the sovereign cup.  Though I'm surprised that they did get one all the way to Asia as early as 1840. The real Nemesis: http://en.wikipedia..../Nemesis_(1839)


In Topic: ***AC 35 Boats***

08 January 2014 - 09:15 AM

I stand by my original comment: "As though they wouldn't have used hydraulics in 1851 if it had been available." It wasn't available in any practical sense, but if I hopped into a time machine with a genset and some large hydraulic winches, and went back to 1850 Britain, I'm guessing I would have found a buyer who would want to use them in the sovereign cup. You're free to disagree.

One must remember that in the original race, there was no DOG or protocol.   It was just "bring it on".  The rules as we know them came from NYYC and the owners of America.

 

I'd have to check, but they may even have accepted power boats of the day in the sovereign cup since they were so slow and un sea worthy... but I'd have to verify my dates.  But in those early days, it wasn't obvious which was faster... or even reliable.   It was just that one could go without wind if you could keep the contraption running.  But this changed quickly later and hence the need for Dogs and protocols.

 

Thank you, that's pretty much the point I'm arguing. Even if the deed of gift prohibited axiliary power (and it doesn't), previous to that, the race around the Isle of Wight, the hundred guinea cup, the sovereign cup - whatever you want to call it - was about finding the fastest boat designs, and didn't have the prohibitions that came along 40-80 years later.  There may have been gentleman sailors in 1850 who hated seeing steam technology challenge their aesthetic and orthodoxy, but they would never have insisted that the fastest boats on the water should be limited because of it. I feel the same way now.

 

 

I am guessing that a modern winch could rip those old boats apart pretty quickly.  So if your time machine doesn't kill you, please be careful!

 

I did say 1850, giving myself a year to refit the hypothetical cutter getting the winch upgrade. :mellow:


In Topic: ***AC 35 Boats***

07 January 2014 - 08:51 PM

I stand by my original comment: "As though they wouldn't have used hydraulics in 1851 if it had been available." It wasn't available in any practical sense, but if I hopped into a time machine with a genset and some large hydraulic winches, and went back to 1850 Britain, I'm guessing I would have found a buyer who would want to use them in the sovereign cup. You're free to disagree.