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Old 07-21-2006
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Even without being an aerodynamic engineer, to me this notion seems half-crocked at least. But, assuming you were able to build such a high velocity fan, light enough to have little affect on boat trim & balance, but powerful enough to produce a force great enough, it perhaps is possible.

With that said, the orientation of the "fan" would be most effective if at a beam or close reach, and at a far enough distance from the sails to produce enough low pressure on the leeward side for forward propulsion. This is where your idea becomes a ridiculous fantasy.
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