The Science of Sailing
Our founder, Peter van Oossanen (or ‘Piet’ as we call him in Dutch), handed over the reins of the Van Oossanen group of companies to Perry van Oossanen and Niels Moerke in 2012.
But that didn’t mean he left the world of boats, ships and yachts behind him. On the contrary, it gave him the opportunity to devote himself to a lifelong ambition – writing a book on his favourite subject: The Science of Sailing.
Now available in four parts – the ultimate reference work examining the intersection of hydrodynamics and aerodynamics – from hull to sail, from bow to stern, from theory to practical design:
- Part 1: “The Attainable Speed Under Sail”
- Part 2: “The Origin and Nature of Fluid-Dynamic Lift and Drag”
- Part 3: “Phenomena and Drag Originating from the Boundary Layer”
- Part 4: “Phenomena and Drag Originating from the Air-Water Interface”
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The Science of Sailing Part 1
Ships that are partly or wholly dependent on the wind for their propulsion are unique in the sense that fluid dynamics plays a vital role in their design. Both aerodynamics and hydrodynamics, the science of the motion of air and water around bodies, determine the speed potential of a sailing craft. The flow of the wind around the sails, together with sail area, sail disposition and sail shape, determine the level of the propulsive force while the flow of water around the hull and the hull appendages, together with their size and shape, determine the level of the force resisting forward motion, and the force resisting sideways drift caused by the wind on the sails.
The Science of Sailing Part 2
Equations were derived in Part 1 which revealed that the speed of sailing craft is primarily governed by the values of the aerodynamic- and hydrodynamic lift- and drag forces. It is thus important that those involved in the design of wind-powered boats, yachts, and ships, have a thorough understanding of the origin and nature of fluid-dynamic lift and drag and, furthermore, possess knowledge on how to obtain high levels of lift and low levels of drag.
The Science of Sailing Part 3
Part 3 of the series “The Science of Sailing” is dedicated to the topic of viscous drag. Viscous drag is the prime component of hydrodynamic drag for most sailing craft (and most other boats and ships). Its assessment is still surrounded by notions and assumptions that are at best only partially correct – notwithstanding the fact that the study of this subject has been ongoing since William Froude presented his paper entitled: “The Fundamental Principles which Govern the Behaviour of Fluids, with Special Reference to the Resistance of Ships”, in 1875.
The Science of Sailing Part 4
Part 4 of the series “The Science of Sailing” covers the phenomena and drag that arise from the fluidity of the water surface. Topics that are dealt with are wave causation, the wave pattern generated by the hull, wave drag, running trim and sinkage/rise, breaking waves, spray, wind-generated waves and spectra, motions of sailing yachts, wave-added drag, surfing behaviour, cavitation, ventilation, and the effects of limited water depth.
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