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Can a cat boat be built with a blow out hinge flap to prevent a blow over?

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Old 11-10-2011, 01:01 PM
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Originally Posted by iamjoe View Post
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?
This is all well and good, but what about a roll? Or a big stuff that sinks the boat and knocks out the occupants? A safety capsule would work in both of these cases and in the case of a big blow over (which does not happen nearly as often). Those drag racing guys have some disgusting crashes and just get up out of their floating capsule and walk away. Plus, as has been previously stated, a capsule works all the time, in every scenario. An air foil only really works in one.

I would throw money at that LONG before i would throw money at a computer controlled air plane wing. It is simple, it is much easier to implement, and the technology is already there.
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Old 11-10-2011, 01:16 PM
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This is all well and good, but what about a roll? Or a big stuff that sinks the boat and knocks out the occupants? A safety capsule would work in both of these cases and in the case of a big blow over (which does not happen nearly as often). Those drag racing guys have some disgusting crashes and just get up out of their floating capsule and walk away. Plus, as has been previously stated, a capsule works all the time, in every scenario. An air foil only really works in one.

I would throw money at that LONG before i would throw money at a computer controlled air plane wing. It is simple, it is much easier to implement, and the technology is already there.
I totally agree.
A cat is an aerodynamically unstable craft. An aeroplane is an aerodynamically stable craft. Yes, there are aerodynamically unstable aircraft, generally for military purposes. They are compared to throwing a dart arrow backwards. The aircraft wants to turn but the on board computers keep the plane stable.
So it is theoreticly possible to have an on board system that prevent flips on cats but the engineering cost will be on military proportions.

A good safety cockpit will probably give the most bang for the buck if engineered the right way.
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Old 11-10-2011, 01:40 PM
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I totally agree.
A cat is an aerodynamically unstable craft. An aeroplane is an aerodynamically stable craft. Yes, there are aerodynamically unstable aircraft, generally for military purposes. They are compared to throwing a dart arrow backwards. The aircraft wants to turn but the on board computers keep the plane stable.
So it is theoreticly possible to have an on board system that prevent flips on cats but the engineering cost will be on military proportions.

A good safety cockpit will probably give the most bang for the buck if engineered the right way.
Maybe, maybe not? First, rollovers are a completely different animal. Not what we are talking about and creating a "save-all" isn't realistic. The can of worms would then fly open and people would be looking for a solution to Two boats running into each other because of driver-error.

Capsules would certainly work, but they would only do part of the job; they save the lives (which is paramount and the whole idea), but they don't save the hardware. The boat in yesterdays disaster to pretty roughed up. While it probably "could" be repaired, will it ever really be right? I don't know the answer to that.

As for the cost, I disaagree with engineering be of military proportions. We're talking about a series of parts that should be at least semi-available. Besides, how economical does it need to be considering the job it does. I certeainly am not picturing a device that would sell for peanuts....... High-tech = high dollars

Think of the impact it could have if it was able to be retrofitted!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 11-10-2011, 01:59 PM
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You have a good point in saving the hardware. This is very popular in the automotive industry these days and the insurance company's are extremely happy about that. It also saves lives.

But in my opinion, the boat racing industry have some very basic safety issues to address before moving to active safety systems.
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Old 11-10-2011, 02:07 PM
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Originally Posted by iamjoe View Post
Maybe, maybe not? First, rollovers are a completely different animal. Not what we are talking about and creating a "save-all" isn't realistic. The can of worms would then fly open and people would be looking for a solution to Two boats running into each other because of driver-error.

Capsules would certainly work, but they would only do part of the job; they save the lives (which is paramount and the whole idea), but they don't save the hardware. The boat in yesterdays disaster to pretty roughed up. While it probably "could" be repaired, will it ever really be right? I don't know the answer to that.

As for the cost, I disaagree with engineering be of military proportions. We're talking about a series of parts that should be at least semi-available. Besides, how economical does it need to be considering the job it does. I certeainly am not picturing a device that would sell for peanuts....... High-tech = high dollars

Think of the impact it could have if it was able to be retrofitted!!!!!!!!!!!!
Did you not read the beginning of the thread? Everyone who knows the sport agrees that by adding ridiculous amounts of expense to it will only serve to push it further underwater (no pun intended). Especially if said super expensive retrofit only serves to prevent ONE kind of accident, one extremely rare kind of accident that only happens in fast cats. What about canopy vee hulls?

So yes, a capsule could be considered a save all. It could protect in canopy vessels of every speed and in every kind of accident, be it blow over, collision, roll over, stuff, ect. Pretty much the only time they are a danger is in case of fire, and even then they are designed to resist fires for a certain amount of time and have on board oxygen for time spent underwater.

We are talking about saving lives here, not saving a boat. I bet both Bob and Jeff would care less about their boat if they had walked away from that one. I know I have walked away from banged up cars and motorcycles with little thought as to how bad the damage was to them because I was not hurt or dead.

Just a thought.

P.S. I think that some sort of gyro controlled air foil would be bad ass, but I dont ever see it becoming anything more than a very limited novelty.
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Old 11-10-2011, 02:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Gripenland View Post
You have a good point in saving the hardware. This is very popular in the automotive industry these days and the insurance company's are extremely happy about that. It also saves lives.

But in my opinion, the boat racing industry have some very basic safety issues to address before moving to active safety systems.
Ever heard of crumple zones? Modern cars are designed to basically destroy themselves in an impact to absorb as much energy as possible, leaving the passenger compartment intact. Hardly could be considered "saving the hardware".

I do agree with your second statement though.
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Old 11-10-2011, 02:13 PM
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Another point to be taken. I began racing in a V in 1999. At the worlds in Key West, Big Thunder was there. I do not know what year boat it is but it definately is 12 or more years old. More recent hulls may have better designs for the occupants, I do not know. But in the late 90's we were racing in open V bottoms. Later came enclosed canopies. I agree that capsules are the way to go until something better comes along. After looking at the boat it seems to me that the force from the water took out the canopy. A capsule, most likely would have prevented this loss.
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Old 11-10-2011, 02:15 PM
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I am well aware of crumple zones since I design them and other passive safety systems for a living.
I was talking about collision avoidance by auto braking for an example.
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Old 11-10-2011, 02:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iamjoe View Post
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?

Unfortunately some of the analogies dont transfer that well. With the reference to nascar and the safety flaps on the roof this works because we are keeping the car in two dimensions and in contact with a known constant, the pavement. It works incredibly well because it deals with just a few basic conditions and limited variables. With aircraft automated control works because it stays within its element of aerodynamics in three dimensions, at altitude there is also plenty of room for error. High performance boats, however, deal with far to many variable elements. Aerodynamic and hydrodynamic elements of the boat along with local wind coupled with the highly variable nature of the surface of the water make the math involved a lot like trying to reverse entropy. It becomes very complex and problematic to detect and control. I also would think a lot of the conditions you are trying to "sense" would also closely mimic general race conditions and it would be difficult to eliminate false readings. The best method for safety is cockpit development, Linder and Luhrs gave us the start but I'm not sure how much official work has been done beyond that. I know canopies have evolved but i dont know if there are any current day guidlines that deal with the speeds we see today.
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Old 11-10-2011, 02:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Philm View Post
Did you not read the beginning of the thread? Everyone who knows the sport agrees that by adding ridiculous amounts of expense to it will only serve to push it further underwater (no pun intended). Especially if said super expensive retrofit only serves to prevent ONE kind of accident, one extremely rare kind of accident that only happens in fast cats. What about canopy vee hulls?

So yes, a capsule could be considered a save all. It could protect in canopy vessels of every speed and in every kind of accident, be it blow over, collision, roll over, stuff, ect. Pretty much the only time they are a danger is in case of fire, and even then they are designed to resist fires for a certain amount of time and have on board oxygen for time spent underwater.

We are talking about saving lives here, not saving a boat. I bet both Bob and Jeff would care less about their boat if they had walked away from that one. I know I have walked away from banged up cars and motorcycles with little thought as to how bad the damage was to them because I was not hurt or dead.

Just a thought.

P.S. I think that some sort of gyro controlled air foil would be bad ass, but I dont ever see it becoming anything more than a very limited novelty.
Phil pass that over here



Lets say the area of the boat – 46 ft long x 10ft wide (unless you have the exact width) – the lift area (tunnel) is probably 42 x 6= 252 sq ft. The lift area of a cat is a captured ground effect area which creates drastically more lift than a standard wing at altitude. However the sponsons will also provide some lift and this would take the area to well over 400sq ft. This boat with 4 engines probably tips the scales in the 18-20,000lb range with I imagine a pretty ugly CG. The CG in typical boat operations is set based on contact of the water on the stern (concrete at that speed) once lifted it is like putting 5000pnds on the tail of a Cessna. She ain’t goin to fly.



An F-16 with a take of weight of 27,600lbs and a wing area of 300sq ft takes off at 130-148mph. That’s a controlled take off with specific climb angles. We have all been to the air shows were the pilot will tail stand the plane and go straight up. A controlled blow over.




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