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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest > General Discussion (sailing related)
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  #1  
Old 01-06-2012
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BattleBoats

I've had this idea rattling around in my head for a while, and I'm trying to decide if it (a) totally stupid, (b) something someone already thought of, or (c) the invention of an awesome new sport.

I remember playing a computer game as a kid that was a (very crude) simulator of battles at sea between sailing vessels. You had to try to maneuver your vessel or vessels so they were broadside to the enemy boats so you could fire your cannons. Preferably broadside to their bow so they could not fire upon you (unless they were a really large vessel with cannons at the bow and/or stern). I was thinking that this could be a lot of fun to do in real life.

I'm thinking one or two water balloon slingshot cannons mounted on either side of your boat. You'd have to try to maneuver into firing position and score some pre-determined number of hits on an enemy vessel for it to be considered 'sunk'. You could add twists, such as a certain number of hits on a sail forces your enemy to drop that sail. (Come to think of it, I wonder if water balloons would damage sails?) Standard collision avoidance and right of way rules would apply, with perhaps minimum distances between vessels to be maintained for added safety.

This strikes me a something fun to do that could develop into a real skill, and is a little different than standard racing. There would be a lot of strategy involved, trying to come up on your opponent such that they can't fire at you but you can fire away at them.

So what do you all think, is it (a) (b) or (c)?
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Old 01-06-2012
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Westbrook ct brewers yachts has pirate days in the summer. Everyone dress up and try to soak each other.
Not a lot of rules like your idea, lot of dinghy warfare.

Your idea sound fun if you could get enough folks interested.
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Old 01-06-2012
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Sounds like a great way to kill an afternoon!

Brad
s/v KIVALO
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Old 01-06-2012
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I love the idea!
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Old 01-06-2012
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I love it. A quick google search for water ballon cannons shows lots of results.

SHOULDER FIRED WATER BALLOON LAUNCHER SHOOTS WATER BALLOONS 500 PLUS FEET!
Water Balloon Launcher | Water Balloon Launchers | Water Balloon Slingshot | Water Launcher
Craft for PARENTS & KIDS: Cardboard Water Balloon/Ball Bazooka - YouTube
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Old 01-06-2012
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Yeah, that'd be a good idea. Paintball guns would be nice, but taking a hit on bare skin is too painful.

What has always made the friendly battle concept so interesting is the strategy involved. Outmaneuvering the other guy could be a lot of fun.

In the days of the ships of the line, some cannon hits were better than others. If you could "rake" another ship, that is cross his stern with your broadside, you could fire your guns individually as you passed at a right angle to his stern, and those balls would have a good chance of travelling stern to stem, smashing sailors and bulkheads, alike. With that in mind, it might make sense for targets to be placed in various places on each boat, so the more devastating hits could be recorded and awarded points.

Maybe make the targets reactive to an agent in the water balloons so a hit would show up?

Kinda dislike the idea of deliberately adding balloon debris to the waters for wildlife to choke on. Would be nice to work a way around that. Bio-degradable?
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Old 01-06-2012
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A friend and I brought a 2" gas-powered pump to a canoe trip squirt gun fight. We hid it amidships until the battle began.

We won.

I still have the brass fittings to reduce the 2" outlet down to a 1/2" diameter.

So yes, I think it's a great idea.

Regards,
Brad
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Old 01-06-2012
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Used to do this with super soakers in 420's. It was always great to cut across the fleet on starboard and hit them all while they did an emergency tack to avoid you.
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Old 01-06-2012
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A few decades ago there were some people in Vancouver who built some square rigged Sabot's (honest!) and did this sort of thing. They always got lots of ink in the local papers and magazines.
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Old 01-07-2012
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This sounds like a great idea. The grappling and boarding with swords drawn might present a problem. Have been reading O'Brien's Aubrey series recently...sorry.
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