Saturday, April 21, 2012

Spring Theory

Recently finished some rudder tooling so I should be on the water again soon. Have also been spending some time with CAD looking at foil shapes, which one might convincingly argue is a waste of time, especially as things drawn on backs of napkins seem to have less drag than their full-on professionally designed CFD counterparts.

Latest numbers from the tank suggest the foil I put together with Greg in 2007 is still some distance ahead of anything else upwind; hard to know about the top end performance but if I had to choose a high camber section vs. a reflexed flap, well, I guess the answer to that question is pretty obvious by now.

Rudder tooling being done I'm on to a new mainfoil, for which purpose I put together a parametric Rhino file to define the lifting surface so I can tweak it until the last possible moment. Perhaps by then Nick Flutter will have the poor man's CFD figured out enough to give it a whirl, but frankly if the accepted math is at all representative of the real world it should be a big leap forward from what I'm sailing (or not sailing) at the moment.

This all leaves much to be desired on the boathandling front, and sailing is certainly enjoyable. I look forward to getting back on the water soon, but in the interim I have to say designing and building my own stuff is a fascinating counterpart, and one of the greatest things about Mothing.

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