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Contents:
  1. Build an Autonomous Sailboat Using Machine Learning
  2. Sailboat To Sail Autonomously Across The Atlantic -- ScienceDaily
  3. Towards Data Science
  4. Editorial Reviews

Name required. Email required, but will not be published. Your email:. Search for:. January 23, Enjoying our content? Leave a Comment Click here to cancel reply. Related Posts Build or buy? A water-logged or capsized boat will float for hours or days and will support several persons and when clinging to an upset or wrecked boat you stand a much better chance of being seen and rescued than when swimming.

Many a man has been drowned by leaving his upset boat and attempting to swim ashore when, by clinging to the craft, he would have been saved. This was the case with two friends of the author. There were three in the boat, all splendid swimmers, and they were capsized in a sudden squall several miles from shore. The occupants easily clambered upon the overturned hull and gave little heed to their predicament, as they knew that several boats and steamers were due to pass the spot where they were shipwrecked within a few hours.

About half-a-mile distant a schooner, which was used as a temporary lightship, was anchored and finally one of the men suggested swimming to it.


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Feeling confident that he would have no difficulty in reaching the schooner he plunged overboard and swam rapidly away. Presently he turned and called to the others to follow and one of his companions did so, while the other wisely remained on the bottom of the boat. When about halfway to the schooner the foremost of the two swimmers threw up his hands and went down and a few moments later the other sank, but the sensible one of the trio, who stuck to the boat, 61 was sighted and rescued by a passing craft an hour or two later and was none the worse for his experience.

Build an Autonomous Sailboat Using Machine Learning

Always bear in mind that it takes but a very little to support a person in the water—an old pail or bucket held perpendicularly and bottomside up, an open umbrella, an oar, a thwart, a spar, a grating or even a high hat or a derby will serve to keep a human being afloat for a long time. The sailor should be able to move and act rapidly, surely and intelligently; he should possess decisiveness and judgment and should know just what to do and how to do it on the spur of the moment.

When things go wrong is just the time for you to go right and many a trivial accident has become a tragedy through people losing their heads, tangling ropes or gear, jumping about heedlessly and forgetting just what to do under the circumstances. Wherever sailboats are used for pleasure one may see foolhardy men and boys sailing under full canvas in reefing weather and trying to show off but 62 to the man who knows, such actions do not speak of skill or ability but merely of ignorance and bravado.

Before attempting to learn to sail it is well to know something of the principles of sailing and just why a boat under sail does certain things.

The former tendency is desirable and must be encouraged whereas the latter must be overcome or resisted. Many boats have enough stability to overcome the tendency to upset without any artificial aid, but as a rule sufficient stability can only be obtained by adding some weight or ballast at the bottom of the boat. When a boat is heeled over by the wind the sails act like a lever, with the fulcrum at the water line, while the hull below the water line represents the weight to be pried up.

Of course you know that the longer the lever, beyond the fulcrum, as compared to the short end on the other side of the fulcrum, the greater is the power obtained. Shaded portions indicate leverage of hull against sail. Outlined rectangles show relative stability areas. Thus the farther a boat tips over the less force can the wind on the sails exert, for with every inch that the boat heels the length of the lever decreases, as will 64 be seen by the accompanying diagram.

Sailboat To Sail Autonomously Across The Atlantic -- ScienceDaily

For this reason a boat tips much more easily when upright than after it has heeled over a bit and for the same reason a shallow or flat-bottomed boat tips more readily than a deep hull. It would be perfectly feasible to build a boat so deep that it would not tip at all, and likewise a boat could be built so heavy, or with so much ballast, that the leverage of the sails would be unable to heel it in the least.

But neither of these schemes would be practical. If the boat was built too deep it would offer so much resistance to the water that the sails could not drive it forward and if built too heavy or if it carried too much ballast, it would be slow, clumsy and the sails and masts might be carried away before the boat moved. Moreover it is not desirable to prevent a boat from tipping to a certain extent.

Many boats sail at their best while heeled at a sharp angle and the tendency to tip also serves as a sort of safety valve by spilling the wind from the sails and warning the sailor that too much sail is being carried and thus serving a very useful purpose. Hence, in order to make boats safely stable without making them heavy, slow or clumsy, various forms of hulls and various methods of ballasting are adopted. For example, if a boat is made very broad and shallow the result, when tipped, will be almost the same as if the hull was made very deep and narrow but the resistance to the water will be overcome.

As the hull is tipped up by the leverage of the masts the 65 upper side acts as a weight which must be lifted, and exerts just as great a counter-leverage as if the weight was under water. Such broad, flat hulls are very stiff, up to a certain point, and boats built in this manner are usually very fast when heeling far over, but when they are tipped a single inch beyond a certain point the weight of the raised side acts with the lever and flops the boat over in an instant.

When a hull thus shaped is provided with a centerboard or a weighted keel it becomes far more stable. Many of the fastest racing boats are of this type, a form designed to sail the very best when heeled far over with half the bottom out of water. To add to the stability under such conditions the bows and sterns are cut away for a long distance so that when sailing on a level keel the surface in contact with the water is very small, while the further they tip to one side or the other the greater the length is increased.

But in every case, whether stability is obtained by great breadth or beam , by extreme depth from deck to keel, by ballast inside or outside, by fin-keel or otherwise, you should remember that the further under water the ballast is placed the less will be required. Always bear in mind that ballast or weight on the downward or lee side aids the boat in tipping, whereas the same weight, on the upper side, prevents it and that the weight placed on the high side will exert 66 many times the force of the same weight in the center of the boat. Often by sitting far out on the upper or weather edge of a boat, she may be sailed in safety through winds that would capsize her if you sat inside the cockpit.

If a plank or board was extended out from the weather side and you perched upon that the boat would be still harder to upset and it is by such methods that the natives of the South Seas sail their catamarans and proas at terrific speed and with huge sails out of all proportion to the hulls. All the above remarks refer to stability, but there is another factor which must be considered and which is known as lateral resistance , or in other words, the resistance offered to the water when moving sideways. A boat might be very stable and yet it might be worthless if it did not possess lateral resistance, for in that case it would merely slide sideways instead of going ahead and a properly designed boat must combine both stability and lateral resistance to the highest possible degree.

Deep, narrow boats have great lateral resistance but their resistance to the water when moving forward is also great and hence the lateral resistance is usually obtained by means of deep, narrow keels, centerboard or leeboards. The knife-like keel offers little resistance to the water when moving forward but great resistance when moving sideways, while the centerboard may be pulled up entirely when moving forward with a wind from the rear, thus still further reducing the friction against the water.

Towards Data Science

If the boat possesses stability and lateral resistance and is properly rigged the wind blowing against the sails will have a tendency to force the stern of the craft away from the wind and the bow towards it. To overcome this the rudder must be turned until the pressure of the water against it has enough force to balance the action of the wind on the sails.


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A properly rigged boat, if left to herself with rudder loose and sails set, will swing up into the wind of her own accord; in a few moments she will fall off, sail a short distance and again come into the wind and lose headway and will repeat this operation over and over again without danger of upsetting.

If, on the other hand, her sails are not adapted to her, if she is badly designed or improperly rigged, she will sail faster and faster, will fall more and more away from the wind and finally the sail will flop over to the other side and the boat will be upset or mast, sails and rigging will be carried away.

Editorial Reviews

Such a boat is a perfect deathtrap and should be avoided by all means. If the boat comes up in the wind quickly of her own accord you may be sure she will come about readily when required and that she will take care of herself if at any time you are compelled to leave the tiller for a few moments. As a rule this fault lies in the rig rather than in the boat itself and often a slight alteration in the shape or size of the sails or even the position of the mast will make all the difference between a safe and a dangerous boat. If the sails are too far forward a boat may have a tendency to fall off and take a hard lee helm , whereas if too far aft the boat may have such a hard weather helm that it is impossible to prevent her from swinging up into the wind.

Then again, the mast and sail may be in the right position and the sail may have its greatest area too far forward or too far aft, or the rudder may be too small. To a great many people it appears remarkable that a boat can sail against the wind, but it is a very simple 69 matter indeed and depends upon the same principles which make a kite fly, an aeroplane rise or a windmill turn. In every case the result is brought about by the pressure of the wind upon a curved or angular surface and while the boat and windmill depend upon the wind to move them and the aeroplane produces the wind by moving rapidly through still air, yet the results in each case are identical and the object, unable to move away from the wind moves against it or at right angles to it.

The wind, when striking a curved surface, glances off and exerts its force at an angle.

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The pressure of this glancing blow and the force exerted by the wind against the surrounding air as it slides off the sail, has a tendency to force the sail, or other surface, ahead. The direction in which the object is forced and the power required to move it depend upon the curve or angle which is presented to the wind. The broader the angle at which the wind strikes, the less loss of force there is and the greater the power which the wind exerts upon the sail.

Our Journey Begins - Sailboat Restoration Ep. 1

Thus, when the wind is directly against the sail, very little power is wasted and the whole force drives the boat ahead as none of the wind can glance off. If the boat is 70 brought around until the wind blows from one side and the sail is pulled in until it is at an angle, the wind exerts a combined sideways and forward pressure and the boat sails at right angles to the wind; whereas if the sail is drawn still closer towards the center of the boat and the craft is headed nearer to the wind, the wind skips off the sail producing but little forward or sideways pressure but forcing the boat almost against the direction from which the wind blows.

But if the boat is headed too close to the wind and the sail hauled in too near the center of the boat no headway will be made for the wind will then slip off the sail without exerting enough force to move the boat forward. Having thoroughly mastered these simple principles of why a boat sails you can safely start to learn how to handle your boat. Before leaving shore or the anchorage be sure that everything is in the boat and in the proper place.

There should be oars and oarlocks, a bailer, an anchor and plenty of line and all ropes should be neatly coiled where they are free to 72 run out without becoming kinked, caught or tangled. Make it a point always to keep the sheet clear and never tie it or make it fast when sailing. More accidents to sailboats have resulted from a tangled or fast sheet than from any other one cause. When hoisting sail the sheet should be left slack enough to allow the sail to swing freely from side to side, but it should not be entirely free or the sail may swing out at right angles and strike some neighboring boat or obstruction, or it may even wrap itself about the mast and cause no end of trouble.

In this position most boats sail their best and obtain their greatest speed. If the wind is directly from one side the sail should be eased off until the forward edge commences to flutter, but if the wind is over the quarter the sail must be trimmed in order to be at as nearly a right angle to the wind as possible, as shown in the diagrams.