Spring is in the air here in the northern latitudes - the ice is melting, trees are budding, and the forums are becoming more active. Some recent threads of interest:
Bionic Broomstick: Skip launched his 14’ proa on March 13 at Lake Somerville, Texas, for a successful first sail (nothing broke!). The boat is highly experimental and features a buoyant “floil”, stem mounted rudders and a cambered panel staysail. The Broomstick is Skip’s test platform for a larger camp cruising proa.
Simplest Proa Rudders: Dave Culp muses on how to achieve counter-rotating rudders with a minimum of moving parts. A great thread that has taken a life of it’s own via the creative solutions presented by forum members.
Herbie: The Volkscruiser Proa: Your editor attempts the impossible: a simple, safe and fast multihull that is also cheap and easy to build. It is a proa, of course.Read Article
Not multihull or America’s Cup, but probably the most inspiring sailing story of the year:
“…Seeking a more sustainable way to get his grain to market, the Vermont farmer Erik Andrus conceived the Vermont Sail Freight Project to find out if this model could work again today. In April, he raised more than $15,000 on Kickstarter to build a 39-foot-long plywood sail barge named Ceres (after the Roman goddess of agriculture)...
Thomas Heatherwick explains a boat design commission to transport tourists and locals along the Loire river between Nantes and Saint-Nazaire.
Unlike a traditional two-hulled catamaran, the boat will have a single hull that folds back on itself and stretches over to form an infinite loop. This makes space for two diagonal viewing decks from which passengers can look out towards works of art along the river banks.
Thanks to Paul D. for the link.Read Article
Here are a couple of new boat designs with rigs that harken back to the days of working sail. The trimaran is a Dick Newick design for a cargo/passenger lug rigged schooner, for the Vaka Fanāua project, the second is a 60m yacht designed to evoke the romantic image of a dhow.Read Article
Frank Smoot is the ultimate DIY sailor. He began his sailboat design career in 2009 with this and has progressed to this in only two years. His latest is the most ingenious small trimaran I’ve ever seen. If he continues at his Moore’s Law rate of improvement he should be building America’s Cuppers out of plywood/epoxy in about 6 months. Story via Small Trimarans. See more at DIY-Tris.comRead Article
I found this electric-powered mini-camper by architect Jay Nelson at Tiny House Blog. I like the faceted, polyhedron style, all done up in plywood, plexiglass and epoxy. See more of his work at JayNelsonArt.comRead Article
Malcolm Smith always has something really tasty cooking in his workshop. His latest project is a force-balanced design utilizing a ‘ring wing’ that he calls the ArcSail. The concept has huge potential for boats both large and small, and I’m very pleased that Malcolm has opted to share it with us at Proafile:Read Article
I have a longstanding interest in pneumatic (pressurized) engineering structures. Blame it on Jacques Cousteau and his Zodiacs making a strong impression at an early age. For boats, inflatable hulls make all kinds of sense, being unusually light, strong, tough, and repairable. I even made a concept sketch of an inflatable hulled proa.
Here is Kurt Heiligenmann’s design for an inflatable beach cat - the Smartkat. Hate the name (I always hated the Smart Car because it implied that whoever purchased it was also “smart” and conversely, those of us who didn’t were less so), but this boat really IS brilliant. A 14’, 93 lb. rocket that fits into two canvas bags - store your beach cat in the closet, under the bed, or take it on your next flight to Ibiza.Read Article
Imagine a robotic, wind-powered whale that “eats” oil spills. After visiting the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in June of 2010, a young engineer named Cesar Harada, decided to leave MIT in Boston to develop just such a vessel. Protei is unmanned, autonomous, relatively inexpensive and open source hardware (anybody can use, modify and distribute its designs), making it a potentially powerful weapon in the battle to clean up the Gulf of Mexico.
Video from Motherboard TVRead Article
Preparations are underway for a 150 mile journey from southern France to Corsica in a sail balloon. High flyer Stéphane Rousson is planning to pilot Zeppy 3 across a stretch of Mediterranean waters using only the power of the wind and a curved carbon foil based on the chien de mer by Didier Costes. ~Gizmag