Insane question about sails - SailNet Community
 2Likes
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 34 Old 09-14-2015 Thread Starter
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 5
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 0
 
Insane question about sails

OK so full confession, I've never sailed anything and I have only a very rudimentary knowledge of how it's done. But here's my problem: I am writing a novel in which I have nine people stranded on a boat with no motor and no sail. They do have a large piece of fabric on board, and they've got some poles they could use to rig something up, but not really any way to attach the poles to anything.

My question is, if they were clever enough, could they somehow rig up a sail and use it to steer the boat, or are they doomed? The sail would most likely have to be hand-held.

Thanks and please be kind, I'm a know-nothing.
GiddyUpGo is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 34 Old 09-14-2015
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Colorado
Posts: 919
Thanks: 80
Thanked 24 Times in 24 Posts
Rep Power: 6
 
Re: Insane question about sails

I am also a know nothing but a rigged sail would provide propulsion with the direction dependent on the wind. A rudder of some type would be needed to provide direction. Just my opinion from logic.....
Rocky Mountain Breeze is offline  
post #3 of 34 Old 09-14-2015
Senior Member
 
SchockT's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: North Vancouver, BC
Posts: 2,265
Thanks: 4
Thanked 54 Times in 51 Posts
Rep Power: 9
 
Re: Insane question about sails

Well, they could rig up a makeshift sail to propel them downwind, but whether they can actually steer the boat depends on what type of boat they are on, and what other resources they have to create a makeshift rudder. If they got lucky and found some rope floating by they could even lash their home made mast in place so they don't have to hold it.

I am sure we could come up with a feasible design for your story!

2011 Jeanneau 39i Azura
SchockT is online now  
 
post #4 of 34 Old 09-14-2015
Senior Member
 
dhays's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Gig Harbor, WA
Posts: 736
Thanks: 3
Thanked 8 Times in 6 Posts
Rep Power: 10
 
Re: Insane question about sails

Quote:
Originally Posted by GiddyUpGo View Post
OK so full confession, I've never sailed anything and I have only a very rudimentary knowledge of how it's done. But here's my problem: I am writing a novel in which I have nine people stranded on a boat with no motor and no sail. They do have a large piece of fabric on board, and they've got some poles they could use to rig something up, but not really any way to attach the poles to anything.

My question is, if they were clever enough, could they somehow rig up a sail and use it to steer the boat, or are they doomed? The sail would most likely have to be hand-held.

Thanks and please be kind, I'm a know-nothing.
They could easily rig up something that would blow them downwind.

Unless they could rig the poles as a mast, boom, and maybe gaff, they can't do anything but be blown downwind. If they could, and had a rudder of some kind, they might be able to go a bit off of dead downwind.

I hope this isn't a major component of your story however, because without some basic knowledge it will be hard to make it believable.

Find some place local with small sailing dinghies and take some sailing lessons. It will teach you a lot in a hurry.

Dave

Dave
▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬

47⁰20'11.7" N
122⁰35'20.8" W
M/V Kinship, North Pacific 43
Formerly
S/V Legacy, Catalina 400 MkII, Hull #328
dhays is offline  
post #5 of 34 Old 09-14-2015 Thread Starter
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 5
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 0
 
Re: Insane question about sails

Thanks for all the quick replies. It is a major part of the story, but I don't need to really describe the mechanics of how they're doing it, I just need to know what's possible given the resources they have.

I could give them a rope, if they need one. In fact, I'm the omnipotent being in this scenario, so I could give them anything they need, as long as I don't make it too easy on them.

A rudder might be possible, too. If this was your story, and you needed them to have some way of propelling the boat and at least a limited way to move in one direction or another, what supplies would you give them?
GiddyUpGo is offline  
post #6 of 34 Old 09-14-2015
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 2,029
Thanks: 2
Thanked 66 Times in 64 Posts
Rep Power: 17
 
Re: Insane question about sails

They could have limited steering downwind easiest.
Attached Thumbnails
jury rigged boat.jpg  

"Just call me TB"
capttb is offline  
post #7 of 34 Old 09-14-2015
Senior Member
 
pdqaltair's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Deale, MD
Posts: 3,752
Thanks: 4
Thanked 132 Times in 130 Posts
Rep Power: 12
 
Re: Insane question about sails

I suggest sailing a small boat. Why write about what you do not know, wasting the reader's time?

Writing full-time since 2014
Author--Rigging Modern Anchors

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

"Keeping a Cruising Boat for Peanuts"
"Faster Cruising for the Coastal Sailor"
"Singlehanded Sailing for the Coastal Sailor"
pdqaltair is online now  
post #8 of 34 Old 09-14-2015
Junior Member
 
Friend of Ned's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 14
Thanks: 1
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Rep Power: 0
 
Re: Insane question about sails

If you are exploring the idea of having the 9 survivors hold a makeshift sail without rigging and possibly travel in a manner something like a windsurfer, it would make the story interesting and exciting but not very feasible.
Friend of Ned is offline  
post #9 of 34 Old 09-14-2015
Beyond The Pale
 
Erindipity's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 300
Thanks: 3
Thanked 29 Times in 23 Posts
Rep Power: 6
 
Re: Insane question about sails

The problem with this type of Story is that it's already been done many times, from the Real, (Bligh), to the Far-Fetched, (Tom Hanks and his BFF Volleyball.) I can only assume that the story needs not much in the way of Nautical detail, there are more important things afoot... um... afloat.

An obvious starting point is the canvas Boat Cover, and some Oars. Three Oars make a Tripod, and the fourth is the Yard. Life Jackets having served their purpose, the webbing can be used to lash it all together. Another Oar or two will make a serviceable rudder. (Note that Bligh used both Sail and Oars for Propulsion, as needed. Also, he had a Compass, rare on small boats of these sort, and he knew how to use it.)
This Boat just may have a small Anchor, and some Anchor Line. Use the Line to keep the Sail in order, and use the Anchor to keep the Crew in order.

That's just about it. Propulsion, Steering,and an Anchor Of Doom.
Now the Story can get on with Bravery, Inventiveness, and a little bit of Cannibalism, when called for.

¬Erindipity
Erindipity is offline  
post #10 of 34 Old 09-14-2015
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Posts: 530
Thanks: 0
Thanked 3 Times in 3 Posts
Rep Power: 20
 
Re: Insane question about sails

Sounds like an interesting story line.

Curious..... If they don't have a sail or a motor, how did they get to the place where they're stranded?
Quickstep192 is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

By choosing to post the reply above you agree to the rules you agreed to when joining Sailnet.
Click Here to view those rules.

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the SailNet Community forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
Please note: After entering 3 characters a list of Usernames already in use will appear and the list will disappear once a valid Username is entered.


User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in











Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Help - Question about sails penguin1 General Discussion (sailing related) 4 01-25-2013 05:20 PM
‘Kind of insane' local woman sails to Hawaii NewsReader News Feeds 0 09-05-2011 11:30 PM
‘Kind of insane' local woman sails to Hawaii NewsReader News Feeds 0 09-05-2011 11:20 AM
‘Kind of insane' local woman sails to Hawaii NewsReader News Feeds 0 09-04-2011 11:10 PM
‘Kind of insane' local woman sails to Hawaii NewsReader News Feeds 1 09-04-2011 06:11 PM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome