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  #1  
Old 07-31-2012
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speed vs wind

I am new to sailing- can a sailboat travel faster than the wind? Hypothetically, if the hull speed is 7kn and the winds are only 4kn can the boat go 5 or 6 kn?
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Old 07-31-2012
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Re: speed vs wind

On a broad reach, a sail powered vehicle can exceed wind speed. It's been done on ice and salt flats or paved surfaces, but to my knowledge not on water. Or maybe only on land. I remember reading about a windmill sort of contraption that used wind power to drive the wheels mechanically. I don't recall the details, but think this moment that its claim to fame was its ability to exceed windspeed directly upwind. (In all cases, the apparent wind is the issue. Dead downwind, you can never exceed windspeed. Upwind, though, the v-squared relationship is beneficial, although aero drag also increases at that same rate.)
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Old 08-01-2012
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Re: speed vs wind

It is absolutely possible to out sail the wind. I can think of any number of boats that can do so regularly at all points of sail. While I don't think it is possible to sail directly downwind at faster than the wind speed, it is possible to make it to a leeward mark faster than the wind, by jibeing downwind.

Take a look at
Extreme 40
AC 45
VX One
Pretty much any off shore record breaker in the last 15 years
Almost anything with a canting keel
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Old 08-01-2012
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Re: speed vs wind

The 72ft cats in the Americas Cup are advertised to be able to make speeds up to twice that of the wind.
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Old 08-01-2012
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Re: speed vs wind

Almost any performance cat and many performance monos can do this.

BUT you posted this in a cruising and liveaboard forum. Only a miniscule % of boats that are truly cruised as liveaboards can do this.

My fast old lady propably could do it on a beam reach but only AFTER I unloaded the lockers of 400 FEET OF CHAIN AND TWO OF THE THREE ANCHORS all the spares, the 300 books, the 150 galls of water the 70 galls of diesel the Tohatsu 18 the AB dink the dodger etc etc. It is a cruiser, paint the water line higher!
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Last edited by TQA; 08-01-2012 at 09:37 PM.
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Old 08-02-2012
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Re: speed vs wind

Quote:
Originally Posted by boatingcruising View Post
I am new to sailing- can a sailboat travel faster than the wind?
Yes, see:
Sailing faster than the wind - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Last edited by eyytee; 08-02-2012 at 09:20 AM.
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Old 08-02-2012
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Re: speed vs wind

Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeWhy View Post
I remember reading about a windmill sort of contraption that used wind power to drive the wheels mechanically. I don't recall the details, but think this moment that its claim to fame was its ability to exceed windspeed directly upwind.
I guess you mean the Blackbird:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blackbird_(land_yacht)

It went directly downwind at 2.8 x windspeed, and direclty upwind at 2.1 x windspeed:
DownindRecord


Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeWhy View Post
(In all cases, the apparent wind is the issue. Dead downwind, you can never exceed windspeed. Upwind, though, the v-squared relationship is beneficial, although aero drag also increases at that same rate.)
A conventional sail craft can neither go directly upwind (at any speed), nor directly downwind faster than wind. Using rotors, like the Blackbird, you can do both.

Last edited by eyytee; 08-02-2012 at 09:21 AM.
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Old 08-02-2012
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Re: speed vs wind

The other part of this discussion is what you mean by wind, true or apparent.

In winds under about 7 knots, upwind and close reaching, my boat routinely goes faster than the true wind. Of course, the apparent wind is closer to 11-12 knots at the time so that is why it is happens. Its is much harder to exceed tru wind speed when the wind is beyond a beam reach.

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Old 08-02-2012
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Re: speed vs wind

See
for a simple video demonstration. Be sure to check the links since he has done other videos with more detailed explanations.

edit: actually the links weren't readily available, so here's the other one:

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Old 08-03-2012
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Re: speed vs wind

I think more relevant to conventional sailboats are those two animations, showing a downwind velocity made good greater than true wind speeed on broad reach:


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