Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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I think this would be a great thing to not do.

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Kind of like a hybrid sailboat
  [vote for,

Instead of sails to push boats via wind, why not mount a big windmill on the boat where the mast would go, and have the windmill charge a capacitor or a fuel cell / battery? You could use the power to drive an electric motor that turns a propeller. Then, you could set a constant speed which the motor would maintain so you don't constantly have to trim the sails- too much wind and the windmill charges the capacitor, too little and it draws on it. You could even sail directly into the wind for a while, which isn't possible on a normal sailboat.
Madcat, Jul 24 2003

Similar concept. http://www.halfbake.../Electric_20Galleon
[2 fries shy of a happy meal, Oct 04 2004]

(?) Windmill Boat http://resources.mh...es/windmillboat.htm
[Amos Kito, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 21 2004]

(?) Another Windmill Boat http://electron.ato...klimber/jrwindm.htm
[Amos Kito, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 21 2004]

(?) Actual working windmill boat http://foxxaero.hom...com/indrad_007.html
photo of 36 foot catamaran w/direct drive wind turbine [birdbrainscan, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 21 2004]

(?) New page for jrwindm http://www.atomic.n...klimber/jrwindm.htm
Amos' 2nd link broke - I found the site moved here [birdbrainscan, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 21 2004]


       I like the idea.
See Bungstons anno (6th) [link]

       Believe it or not, it's patented!   

       I found a couple of [links]. The first is a generator system. The 2nd one drives a propeller directly, and addresses some of the concerns I'd have about it.
Amos Kito, Jul 24 2003

       Someone once told me (so it's hearsay) that one of Jacque Cousteau's boats ran on a simillar system. He used a windmill to power either a generator, or the propellor directly. I also remember the idea being shown on the movie "Waterworld".
Payback, Jul 24 2003

       I'm an avid sailor and I've often puzzled over whether this could work. Well, someone has made it work. See the link "Actual working windmill boat." Very little text detail online, except to say that "it performs best going straight into the wind." It is not so far from the principle of a sailboat tacking upwind - extract some power from the wind to push the hull - but it avoids the requirement to tack diagonally.
birdbrainscan, Jan 30 2004

       OK.. this will work!   

       Picture a catamaran with 4 VAWT...   

       You can mount 4 Vertical Axis Wind Generators http://www.helixwind.com is one example.They are omni directional and can generate 5kw.   

       I'm sure one could make a 45' helix shaped wind turnine from sail material to push a high power generator of 100kw.   

       Power a flywheel stabalizer: ie. http://seagyro.com have the best ride and pull power as needed from the gyro / battery banks.   

       Power the catamaran with a pair of tractor pusher motors from http://www.re-e-power.com/   

       sail into the wind in comfort ;)
Shapharian, Sep 13 2007

       Isn't it called running when you are sailing into the wind?
quantum_flux, Sep 19 2007


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