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The Progression of the Sail Boat from Past to Present and beyond

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The Progression of the Sail Boat from Past to Present and beyond Abstract - Objective one Sailing has been around for a long time through history, the sailing boat has been used for trade, travel and the might of war. During the great periods in history the sailing boat has adopted more advanced technologies to dramatically improve performance. To describe this continuing change I have decided to report upon the progression of the sail with a design prospective, looking at the materials used and the general shape and design of the boat through history. This is a nice opportunity for the reader and I to figure out the changes and uncover the design break-throughs, because I am a keen sailor and would enjoy strengthening my design understanding of the sport. I will also try to include the trends and popular designs that influenced the market to see what made them superior to the competition. This report will therefore look at the success of the design progression and conclude with a personal overview on the current situation. - Objective Two In order to compose this project I will need to research into the topic. Sailing is very broad so I will not really have any problems in tracking these sources. For example the appendix shows I used a great number of websites and books. I was even lucky enough to find a program on Channel 5 about the latest materials used in sailing. However because there were lots of sources I had to be careful not to include lots of irrelevant information. In order to help me with this I made a plan for my project and then individually researched each part. The plan mainly consisted of the main headings for the project. To keep me on schedule I developed a time map so that I would have to work at a certain pace. ...read more.


Exemplars of these materials were Kevlar?, Twaron?, Pentex?, Spectra?, Mylar?, Vectran? and Carbon Fibre, however these materials are used in the lamination process to enhance the strength and capabilities of the sail. From both graphs above it is possible to see that the most useful material for sailing is the PBO (Zylon?), because of its high modulus, surprisingly it is higher than Aramids like Kevlar, and its high flex strength. The disadvantage is that the material is far more expensive due to the marketed profits. Carbon Fibre another liquid crystal polymer has similar properties, but again is expensive. From looking at the comparison graph above you can also notice that no material has all the correct properties, which supports the idea of having laminated sailcloth to create a superior cloth. 2002 and Beyond The sail-racing world today is the leading development body for sailing performance, all the component designs are accomplished using computers, these are then computer generated and tested even before production starts. The companies spend millions on development projects and keep their plans strictly secret. This attitude however has allowed the sailing industry to experience the best developments in the history of sailing. For example the most professional racing boats use carbon fibre masts as these bend more and have super strength, because of the individual strength of fibres. These masts are also aerodynamically tested to achieve the best design. The hull design has also transformed to reduce turbulence in the water and cut the boats drag; this has been achieved by reducing the weight of the hull and the shape of the hull. The latest hull is a composite of Kevlar, foam and epoxy, which is baked in a huge oven. The strength of the hull is maximised by using strong structural designs like the honeycomb structure. The rig on racing yachts has also changed dramatically and is due to change even more drastically over the next decade due to better manufacturing methods. ...read more.


I feel this report has also exposed the other roots that sailing has to offer like leisure curses and racing, which still remain popular today. Also bringing the sail to land yachts and skating yacht has increased demand for investment in the industry. From the knowledge and experience I have harnessed I feel there are a few points that should be commented on from a fresh perspective in view of maybe shedding new issues for discussion in the broad industry. Firstly I would like to explain the compromise between the controllability of the boat and the power from the sails. The sailing world shows both to the extreme from Norfolk Broad sailing yachts with excellent handling to the 'Yellow Pages' record breaker for the quickest boat. Since humans will always want to go faster the next area for development will probably be a boat that is a similar the design of the Yellow pages' boat, but one that is able to tack. This would open a new class of racing boat and I feel it would be popular as the races would be faster and unconventional. This may also help develop areas of hydrodynamics for other water going vessels. More particularly I would expect the range of composite materials to expand and ranges such as North sails' 3DL sails to become more durable so they will be incorporated into the every day sailcloth class. This would improve the speed of leisure cruising. With sail also comes an ethos, this atmosphere in my opinion is very discriminate against the people who live in land with no easy access to large inland lakes or the sea. I feel the yacht clubs are too expensive, maybe not to those who live on the coast that can make use of the facilities like free boat hire and races. The clubs do not allow for those go every other weekend by making the prices cheaper. This means many inland residences are not attracted to sailing, because it is too expensive. If the clubs were cheaper and boat storage was cheaper then the market would be over double. ...read more.

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