Sailboat beats Dublin Bus

Dublin Bay entrance This isn't the best time of year for sailing in Ireland but the weather cooperated on Saturday. We sailed my friend's boat to Dun Laoghaire to have it assessed for a possible trade up. This was the least amount of wind I'd sailed in in Dublin, about 15-20 knots out of the west veering west-southwest. Eyghtheen-24's aren't the fastest sailboat design on the planet, but we averaged a respectable 5.7 Miles/hour. It took us about 2 hours and 13 minutes to travel the 12.7 miles across Dublin bay.

Ideally we would have taken the DART back, but the weirdly planned upgrade project makes it impossible to DART from Dun Laoghaire to anywhere north of Connolly station for 18 months of weekends. So we took Dublin Bus from Dun Loaghaire to near the GPO, walked to the number 42 bus stop and took the 42 bus home. Because of the DART problem, traffic in Dublin was terrible so this journey took more than 2 1/2 hours. This made me wonder why no one has taken advantage of high oil prices and reintroduced sail assisted ferries for locations such as Dublin Bay where the wind is nearly always strong. A modern sailing catemaran could probably cover the distance twice as fast as my friend's sailboat, which would certainly make it competitive with Dublin Bus.

Update: Of course I'm not the first to have thought of this, a hybrid wind and solar powered ferry is already operating in Sydney.

Update: To put things in perspective, (and put me in my place!) Ellen MacArthur sailed 27,000 miles around the world, averaging 14.5 mile/hour 350 miles/day to set a new world record. Way to go Ellen! This is an awesome acheivement which isn't very well understood by today's narrowly focused sports media. The timesonline.co.uk article I linked to seems to have transposed multihulls with monohulls in a few places. Multihulls
    can
capsize and when they do it is nearly impossible to recover. One transoceanic multihull sailer had to cut his way out from the bottom of a multihull a few years back. Another thing you'll notice about multihulls is that the mast must be thicker and stronger to compensate for the fact that the boat can't "heel over" to absorb some of the energy of wind gust. Imagine putting an enormous sail on a telephone pole sized mast and then hearing the mast creak in a rapidly rising wind. Do you take the sail down? If something breaks, there is no one around for a thousand miles...
Comments:

Post a Comment:
  • HTML Syntax: NOT allowed
About

bnitz

Search

Archives
« April 2014
MonTueWedThuFriSatSun
 
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
    
       
Today