The only other big cat i can remember blowing over like Big Thunder is Cat Can Do in a Kilo Run back in the late 90"s.
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These types of fin/ foil ideas had been in the back of my mind for a while, ( like everyone else, who hates reading the stories of these accidents)
While Im no aerodynamic engineer, and unfortnatley I have not mastered the CAD program, based on my remidial knowledge, I believe there are two computer controlled fin type systems With pressure sensors that could be developed.
Are there any resources or engineering firms willing to at the very least create a blueprint and CAD of these ideas?
Siide note, what/ When was the accident that mandated the hatch and oxygen systems?
Also, Perhaps a HANS device would be apllicable as well or a Leatt
I recall another I think with a 50 foot cat in Australia I think that went over crossing another boats rooster, that one landed upright and the guys where all set. There is outside and inside video of that.
GLH your prior post was well said about no perfect scenario. The X-Cat series in Dubai, also had a boat kite over and both driver/throttleman were fine.
If you really want to address the safety issue then capsules would be the way to go. In drag boats no one would drive them without one. I have witnessed many horrific crashes with the driver walking away or having minor to moderate injuries. In drag boats you have speeds in excess of 150MPH on a frequent basis.
Capsules work and you do not have foils and the like to contend with. It is a static safety feature meaning it works as soon as your strapped in....from the first corner to the checkered flag.
I could see this feature incorporated into a big cat or even big v-bottom for that matter.
The number of racers are diminishing year after year at least in Key West already. (I'm sure the fact that they have to deal with that marketing major Carbonnel might be a big factor also... but let's not get off point!... That felt good!)
As far as I know, the wing at the bow is not allowed in the race circuit. There is a cost to consider. Some of the big boys may have the $, many will not.
The same concept could be applied to tabs also. Software and a gyro, computer no biggie. The actual mechanics and speed of "wing" operation is the costly part. A stealth fighter would not able to fly with out computer control.
However. With added boat control, pitch, leveling etc. comes the attorney and insurance BS. Speeds may even escalate, and then a weekend boater have an accident and insurance co's, attorney would be all over the design.
Discussing this a few years ago with recent new boat builder they told me that the legal issues not worth the implementation.
Perhaps be in the race circuit above certain speeds/size, HP ? etc. should be allowed.
Last edited by PARADOX; 11-10-2011 at 10:37 AM. Reason: sp
But all this lets not forget makes racing more and more expensive and out of reach of even more people than it is now...
You would entail needing new boats or serious mods to the boats currently racing.
Take out any boat racing in Key West older than three years or had not had a MAJOR refit and you will only have 5 boats left this weekend.. approximately.
The Unlimited Boats have Ron Jones building capsules for them and they are not a one time use item.
If you recall and I'm sure you do in the past all the offshore boats were open cockpit. Now mandated all boats to have full canopies.
The evolution of the offshore racing would also have a transition. This means that all new models would be required to have capsules especially in the 850 and above classes.
NOTE: This versus some nonsense computer controlled foil. The capsule works for all circumstances when the occupants are in trouble.... barrel roll, kiting, equipment failure.
The capsule could be a break away type which could be incorporated into an existing hull. The Drag guys destroy entire boats and engines and still would never dream about not having this feature.
As for costs let's face it the teams are not racing for money or purse.
The solution exists it is up to those that are involved to determine what levels of risk they are willing to accept and undertake.
Last edited by kap328; 11-10-2011 at 11:07 AM.
You certainly don't have to go very far to see that a similar concept has been designed, perfected and has saved countless injuries and dollars.
Nascar adopted the roof-flap several years ago. While it is much more simple then what a device for a boat would need to be, it works every time.
I don't think Cats are designed to run the fastest when they are teetering on blowing over. The way I understand it is that a Cat will run the best if the tunnel provides lift to both ends of the boat. The bow will lift more because this is the point of entry for the air providing the lift. But, the aft is designed to lift as well, so the entire hull creates less drag and the speed increases. I think the trick is to control the aft lift so the props keep biting and the forward motion isn't disrupted.
On paper, it seems pretty simple, but in the real world there would have to be a lot of single components working together.
Regardless of how it happens, there has to be a particular angle of attack that is the point of no return, which is when the boat can't be saved. The trick is to design a device that senses both the angle of attack, wind velocity and the forward speed that can deploy and retract very quickly or slowly, depending on what condition it senses but ultimately deploy at a set angle less than the poit of no return.
For example, in yesterdays disaster, the device would sense that the boat had strong forward motion, a rapid change in wind-speed (assuming a gust of wind caused the blow-over) and reached the point of no return quickly. It would deploy quickly to aerodynamically place weight on the bow and bring it back down to earth, but would also have to retract fast enough so the boat doesn't stuff.
On the other hand, it would have to very particular as to when and how far it deploys. There was a post the other day about "hanging it way out" or something similar. That boat was certainly hung out there, and the last thing they needed was to be slammed nose-in to the wall of a swell.
Unfortunately, time and money is all it takes. I would think that a flap, hinged to thr rear/opening to the front, fairly large in size with the ability to sit flush with the surface of the tunnel, set with a series of very strong actuators that would be computer-controlled and hooked to quick sensing angle sensors, wind and speed sensors (and structurally supported) would do the trick. I don't know what you make the flap with (carbon fiber?) or where you get the actuators, but I'm sure that they can be had. As far as the computer, how hard could it be to program something so simple. As for the sensors, the aviation sector could provide those.
In my opinion, ALL of tha Cat manufacturers should put their heads and their money together and come up with something that will come as standard equipment. After all, with the kind money that the buying public who support these companies spends on these boats, it would be a gesture that would bring a ton of press and truckloads of goodwill (not to mention the creation of a most brilliant customer preservation program), it would pay off for them in the end.
Just think, a story about how a series of competitive businesses teamed up for the overall saftey of their customers? Forbes, Wallstreet, World-wide exposure for a "feel-good" story about competitors teaming up etc.
With disaster, sometimes comes opportunity! Maybe some of you guys that have the dough would like to enter into what could be a lucrative enterprise? I'm game for sure on this one!!!!
I wonder if theres an app for that?
Last edited by iamjoe; 11-10-2011 at 11:56 AM.
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