Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Windless Sailboat

A Sailboat that propells itself with a giant built in fan.
  [vote for,

Basicly install a large fan behind the sail so that you can have wind with you at all times, and vary the speed at which you travel. I made a small model of this a long time ago for a grade school science project and it seemed to work well. Baked perhaps???
DorkRawk, Jul 31 2003

Gentle Ben http://www.timstvsh....com/gentleben.html
remember that weird boat thing? like a sail-less boat? [neilp, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 21 2004]

Windless Boat with Fan. http://www.manateew...ges/propellerth.jpg
But this fan will get wet if you're not careful. [Amos Kito, Oct 04 2004]

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       welcome. +1 . I just like the cut of your jib :)
po, Jul 31 2003

       The force of fan would be in the opposite direction of the force of the sail. I suspect you have invented a very expensive, complicated barge.
DeathNinja, Jul 31 2003

       ? DN this is when there is no wind <burp> - whoops, sorry.
po, Jul 31 2003

       Did you have the fan pointed backwards?   

       [po] Think about it. If the fan is blowing toward the sail, then the fan is pushing the boat backwards. The fan-wind is hitting the sail and pushing the boat forwards. The boat goes basically nowhere. It would better to just turn the fan around use the fan to propel the boat (like those swamp boats in Florida)
DeathNinja, Jul 31 2003

po, Jul 31 2003

       This might work like thrust reversal on a jet, "...a method of mechanically deflecting the exhaust stream of a gas turbine forward externally, to act as a braking force when the aircraft lands..." Some of the fan's air stream is deflected backwards by the sail, pushing the boat forward.
FarmerJohn, Jul 31 2003

       I think someone has been watching too many saturday morning cartoons...
Freefall, Jul 31 2003

       this has all gone a bit Gentle Ben, [DorkPark]
neilp, Jul 31 2003

       FarmerJohn saying it might be so has got me wondering now.
Maybe the coyote was on to something. (looks around for Acme. catalogue)

       Agree with [FJ] - could only work as thrust deflection. Not the most efficient system. Reasons for use in jets not relevant here:   

       (1) ordinarily, jets point backwards
(2) Deflection is faster, more linear and lighter than engine pivot
(3) You don't need high efficiency
(4) Jets cannot reverse thrust in same was as a prop

       Maybe [DorkRawk] was baiting the Bakery?
FloridaManatee, Jul 31 2003

Zimmy, Jul 31 2003

       Nobody's mentioned the fact that you'll need a REALLY long extension cord...
Cedar Park, Aug 01 2003

       (smacks forehead)
snarfyguy, Aug 01 2003

       The boat itself is injection molded from custard, and then petrified and coated with polyeurethane.
DeathNinja, Aug 01 2003

       //a bit Gentle Ben//
neilp, I thought of Gentle Ben, too. But it must have been "Flipper", shirely. That show would degrade into an airboat chase in the last five minutes. No windless sails, though.
Amos Kito, Aug 01 2003

       Maybe they were windlass sails.
FarmerJohn, Aug 01 2003

       No, I think you're just winding us up, [FJ].
8th of 7, Aug 01 2003

       Well, I gave a bun for the simple fact that Blowing One's self is the dream of Everyman!!!
Poopback, Aug 01 2003

       Uhh, speak for yourself
DeathNinja, Aug 01 2003

       While I agree that this idea wouldn't work well on regular sailboat, there are instances where a wind-powered vehicle can go faster then the wind that's powering it. Sailboards especially come to mind. Granted, it's only capable while sailing across the wind, but it is still possible. This being said, I'm pretty sure that a very powerful fan mouted some distance away off either the port or starbord side (left or right), would in fact cause the sailboat to go forward. Of course, this would primarily be due to the sail redirecting the "thrust" from the fan to blow out the stern of the sailing vessel, but it would work.   

       Of course, after all this, it'd be much, much more effcient to just mount the fan to the stern and turn the thing into a fanboat when the wind's not blowing. Or even better (and likely more efficient), just use a regular marine engine powering a propeller, as most medium to large sailing ships have.   

       Poopback: The only real question is if you could, would you spit or swollow?
Payback, Aug 03 2003

       In certain angles to the wind, a sail acts as an airfoil as well as just something for the wind to push against. The shape of the distended sail, plus the airflow over the curved forward surface creates "lift" in the direction the sail is angled. Some sail boats have actuly been built with ridged air-foils as opposed to traditional fabric sails. They work quite well when sailing across the wind. This being said, a sailboat could likely move with this sort of device, but it would be far more efficient to just have a regular out-board motor attatched. (see Payback's annotation.)
Jawzx, May 02 2005


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