Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Sailing faster than the wind.

I've always admired the physics of sailing: "Both the 113-foot American trimaran, USA 17, and 115-foot Swiss catamaran, Alinghi 5, have been clocked sailing at 15-30 knots (17-35 m.p.h.) in 5-10 knots of wind. And both are displacement hull boats that slice through the water like an aircraft carrier, rather than sliding across the top like a racing hydroplane.

The multihulls can do that because they are very light for their size, with a small amount of their hull surfaces in contact with the water; don’t have wide, heavy keels hanging underneath, and can carry huge amounts of sail area."

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