Heavy Lifting

We all want our boats to be more stable, but how can this be accomplished? The conventional solution is to hang more ballast off a deeper keel. Think more progressively, and you’re talking about water ballasting, which, while effective, also adds extra weight. Go sci-fi, and you’re canting your keel to windward—which is very effective, but is complicated, accident-prone, and still depends on
Author:
Publish date:
Social count:
0
Heavy_Lifting_StoryImage

We all want our boats to be more stable, but how can this be accomplished? The conventional solution is to hang more ballast off a deeper keel. Think more progressively, and you’re talking about water ballasting, which, while effective, also adds extra weight. Go sci-fi, and you’re canting your keel to windward—which is very effective, but is complicated, accident-prone, and still depends on weight. Plus, you need extra underwater foils if you want to sail a straight course.

The Dynamic Stability System (DSS) is such a simple concept it’s amazing it has not been tried before. The system, which has been patented by UK-based yacht designer Hugh Welbourn and has undergone five years of R&D, uses a simple retractable horizontal “wing” foil (located on the boat’s maximum-beam section just above the waterline) to create lift when deployed to leeward when the boat accelerates. In theory, the faster the boat sails, the more lift the DSS generates. The DSS Web site (www.dynamicstabilitysystems.com) claims that the system offers greater speed, simplicity, comfort, and safety than other stability-enhancing solutions, while simultaneously requiring less draft and displacement. According to Welbourn, all that’s required is a ballast keel that provides a baseline of stability (a minimum angle of vanishing stability); all other stability will come from the DSS.

Heavy_Lifting_StoryImage2

The system is IRC-legal, can be retrofitted to both cruisers and racers with a minimal loss of interior volume, and also works to reduce rolling and pitching. It could also reduce costs—less lead is needed in a boat’s ballast keel, plus for larger boats the DSS is simpler to build and maintain than a canting-keel or water-ballast system. Welbourn claims that, unlike other stability-enhancing systems, the DSS is fail-safe; if it should stop working, the boat—which is already self-righting—simply reverts to “normal” mode.

The DSS has been tank-tested and is currently installed on a remote-controlled boat, a Brisbane-based Boatspeed 23, a 27-foot sportboat, and a 40-foot offshore racer. An existing 94-foot Wally is considering a retrofit, and a new 150-footer under construction will likely also use the system. While some questions remain—for instance, how much drag the foil creates—the thinking is certainly progressive and could prove to be the next biggest thing in sailing since the advent of laminated sails, if it works.

Related

GG17-SAONA47-DX0796

Boat Review: Fountaine Pajot Saona 47

Here’s a riddle: What is less than 50ft long, has two hulls, three big cabins and four decks? Answer: The Fountaine Pajot Saona 47. In fact, it may even be five levels if you count the large engine rooms. This boat is a “space craft” in every sense of the word.DESIGN & ...read more

RichardBennettMIDNIGHT-RAMBLER3249x202

Storm Sails: Do you Need Them?

Many sailors embarking on ocean passages will take along the obligatory storm jib and trysail, with the vague idea that they may come in handy. Few sailors, however, have a real understanding of how and when to set them.It doesn’t help matters when we hear from seasoned sailors ...read more

IntheWater(1)

Boaters University Unveils Rescue Course

Boaters University has just announced its latest online course, Safety & Rescue at Sea, taught by Mario Vittone, whose name you might recognize from the pages of our sister publication, Soundings Magazine and his Lifelines blog.Mario Vittone is a retired U.S. Coast Guard rescue ...read more

IMG_20170920_132819

How to: Installing New Electronics

I had been sailing my Tayana 42, Eclipse, for a few years without any installed electronics on board. I’d gone pretty far up and down the New England and Mid-Atlantic coasts with paper charts, the Navionics app on my Android phone, a hand-bearing compass and the ship’s compass. ...read more

02-Douglas-Adkins---Coriolis---Orcas-Island-KevinLightPhoto

A Phoenix-like Concordia

Cutting a fine wake on the cobalt-blue waters of West Sound on Orcas Island, Coriolis sparkles like a diamond. Her lovely silhouette is offset by emerald forests that frame the ocean, within spitting distance of the border with Canada. Seen up close, this Concordia yawl is a ...read more

IMG_1051

The Latest Boat Trends from Dusseldorf

The world’s biggest boat and watersports show, held in Düsseldorf on the banks of Germany’s Rhine River each January, is the place to scope out emerging trends in the boat design and building.What would be the new trends for 2018 and beyond? Hint—sophisticated electronics figure ...read more

TOTW_PromoSite

SAIL's Tip of the Week

Presented by Vetus-Maxwell.Got a tip? Send it to sailmail@sailmagazine.comGood ConnectionsI wish I’d had a dollar for every time I’ve cobbled together an electrical fitting with a “that’s good enough” shrug. An old shipwright once taught me that “good enough is not good enough” ...read more

tides2

Gear Test: Tides Marine Sailtrack

Gravity is an important force at work on a sailboat. It keeps the boat upright, it makes the anchor drop to the bottom, and it makes the mainsail slide neatly down the mast to be flaked and put away at the end of the day… until it doesn’t.In the case of dropping the mainsail, the ...read more