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Dirtboy 10-21-2010 06:10 AM

Wind powered vehicle speeds much faster than wind; downwind!
Anyone who'd done any Iceboating knows you can get over 3 times windspeed on a reach but downwind? I didn't believe it until I saw it; pretty impressive:

A Long, Strange Trip Downwind Faster Than the Wind | Autopia |

They are shooting for 3+ times windspeed, directly downwind. Watch the 3 minute video to see it go and the 7 minute video interview of the inventor ............... it's pretty cool.


sailingdog 10-21-2010 06:27 AM

very cool... but the rig is impractical for your average sailboat

Dirtboy 10-21-2010 07:51 AM


very cool... but the rig is impractical for your average sailboat
Couldn't agree more. It's not a thing of beauty but it is form follows function to amazing results. The fact that it creates apparent wind and then uses that aparent wind to increase speed ......... if you carry that thought through, it could potentially continue to accelerate to amazing top speed.

Before you say that's not realistic ........ I remember when respected scientist calcualated, HP, traction and aerodynamics to determine that dragsters would never exceed 150MPH in the quarter mile.

How'd you like that thing spinning from the top of the mast????

Put that rig on a cat you might have a pretty fast boat; deadly fast!

Doubt it'd work too well upwind.


rmeador 10-21-2010 09:14 AM

This is really cool. I'm surprised the article mentions so many academics still don't believe it even in the face of such evidence.

johnnyandjebus 10-21-2010 06:43 PM

Very cool!

I am confused, ice boats regularly travel faster than the wind, as the OP said. When they proposed the challenge of faster than the wind did they mean propeller driven? or in a downwind direction? Did I miss that in the interview?

He did say stupidier than the internet, he doesn't include sailnet in that statement, does he?

Thanks for posting,

Dirtboy 10-21-2010 08:56 PM

Ice boats can see speeds over three times wind speed on a broad reach but downwind they don't exceed the wind speed. Most ice boaters tend to reach downwind, crisscrossing the lake much like tacking but using the aerodynamics of lift to exceed wind speed and arrive at their destination much sooner than the straight downwind route.

I've only iceboated a few times but I can tell ya, scared the hell outta me. The ice isn't smooth at 100 mph and they are so percise one wrong move can have you upsidedown and sliding for a looooong way. I even tried ice skating behind it once ....... ahhhh youth!


scottyt 10-21-2010 10:20 PM

what drives me nuts with this whole thing is it not a sailboat or an ice boat. it is a wheel driven vehicle, using the wind to turn the wheels. it is not and never will it be a sailing vehicle, the only way i will ever truely call it a faster than wind sailing vehicle is if they disconnect the wheels from any driven power.

steel 10-22-2010 12:12 AM

Can I use sails to power the propeller on a boat?

chrisncate 10-22-2010 01:00 AM

Hmm, mast steps might be a problem here..

No windvane either..

Dirtboy 10-22-2010 05:56 AM


it is a wheel driven vehicle, using the wind to turn the wheels.
Yep, it's a wind driven vehicle. However, before you saw the video I think you would swear any wind driven vehicle would never be able to achieve twice or three times wind speed going straight downwind. Am I right or wrong? I don't recall anyone calling it a "sail powered" vehicle. The only thing it has in common with a sailboat is the power source: wind. That, however, puts it in an exclusive group that also includes our beloved sailboats.


No windvane either..
It did have telltails, streaming forward at first the rearward as the machine exceeded wind speed.

I know it's not a sailboat and may not be appropriate for this forum, I'm just a sucker for cleaver ideas and the people who see them through.

Will it ever have any use on a boat? Who know's? The future is full of surprises and someday we may find out that everything we know is wrong.


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