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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest > General Discussion (sailing related)
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  #1  
Old 08-30-2010
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An Interesting Idea

While I only know of this working on cruise ships, because as far as I know they are the only ones to ever have them;Has anyone tried or heard of someone trying to add stability to their boat by installing a number of fins onto their boats hull projecting outward?
Now all I am putting out there is the idea, not the materials or dimensions. Physics dictate that a stream lined object (like a ships hull) is not very stable in a liquid enviornment when wind and/or waves are added. By stable, I am referring to pitch and roll motion of course. If you were to do nothing but add some sort of fins on both sides of the hull, even if those fins remained fixed, it would add substantial stability to cut down on rolling and pitching. This is the exact reason why some of the latest cruise liners have these attached.
Not many people want to pay and arm and a leg to travel an ocean on a rolling boat, even if the weather is foul (Forgive the Hasty Generalization). While ships use a variety of methods from weight, to layout to even gyroscopes on some of the earlier stream liners, I just read of the "Independence of the Seas," the largest most luxurious liner on the planet, having these fins protruding the ships side. The only difference is scale. Also, the fins can move up and down like flaps on an airplanes wing depending on current to add even more stability to the vessel.
***Please for the sake of the idea expand your mind to multi-hulled vessels or even power boats, I understand anything coming off a sailboats hull makes it harder to keel and thus would most likely affect sailing performance***
So what do some of you think? Could this be something coming down the line in the future to more boats of smaller sizes? Do those of you who have extensive sailing, perhaps in higher latitudes where weather and seas are often fiercer, see a place for such an idea or is this sort of add-on only simply unfeasible for use on smaller vessels or sailboats all together?

Last edited by trisstan87; 08-30-2010 at 12:00 PM. Reason: word change
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Old 08-30-2010
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Stabilizers are the norm on power boats/yachts over 30' or so. Luckily for sailboats, we've got great build in stabilizers: the keel and sails. For a quick example, we were doing a delivery (motoring a sailboat)... went off watch in calm seas, woke up in crappy lumpy seas breaking from three different directions. We continued to motor, but rolled out a working jib... the boat's motion smoothed right out.

Last edited by puddinlegs; 08-30-2010 at 12:09 PM.
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Old 08-30-2010
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Ok, when I read about it I thought it was an interesting design idea if nothing else. I understand with the Keel and sails on smaller boats you would never really need the added stability of fins what with the hit you would probably take on sailing ability. I was envisioning this sort of idea on luxury type cruisers that are 50+ ft.
It's very interesting to read about ship layouts in relation to how stable they are at sea and in rough waters. Cool stuff!
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Old 08-30-2010
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Here's an interesting vid...

YouTube - Quantum Stabilizers- ETE- fin installation, shows our yacht stabilizer fin mounting system

... I think the above are found on this little boat:

YouTube - Perini Navi - SY Maltese Falcon 88 meter
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Old 08-30-2010
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Canting Keel

Ocean racers have incorporated canting keel designs for a number of years. The canting keel can be pivoted to windward using a hydraulic ram to control/optimize the angle of heel. They are pretty much the norm on boats such as Open 60s and Open 70s. More here: Canting keel - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
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Old 08-30-2010
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Bilge keels have been around forever. The performance version of a bilge keel would be the dagger boards used in conjunction with canted keels on some boats to prevent leeward slip.
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