Nov 3, 2005, 8:09 PM
Post #43 of 63
Re: [Teaky] Which boat is faster?
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I think the white boats are faster. They cool the water down and do not absorb the heat from the sun. Therefore the water is cooler and closer to freezing temperature. The more the water is like ice, the slicker and faster it is. Thus, a white hull and the black sails will be the fastest. I think you can only get that color combination in the Beneslow, but I could be wrong.
Now if all three of the boats are white with black sails, then the one with the red spinnaker will be the fastest. We all know red cars look the fastest (e.g. Ferrari), and the same applies to red spinnakers. That is also why I carry a red bag - it makes me look fast and therefore I am fast.
I think you are just jerking my chain, but if you are truly serious, let me explain in more detailed, yet in common, everyday language and terms that anyone can understand.
If we analize your suggestion, it would become readily obvious that if one has a black hull - just like the black sails, the hull and deck will absorb heat. I know (professionally) of few materials that contract when heated. Even simply high school physics would show that materials expand when heated - some more than others. Thus, if a hull/deck takes on absorbed heat by the very laws of nature, it MUST expand. I think if you give this extra thought you will concur.
Now - if you do agree that most forms of plastic (reinforced glass, fiberglass or carbon) will expand when heated by their modulus of elasticity following numerous and common physics lab examples, then I would submit the following...... it is really a black hulled boat that will be faster.
If you disagree, then think for a moment about how most all of our handicap rating systems work. If a boat is measured at a specific weight, along with other parameters of course, it is assigned a specific handicap number. Reading of any sailing forums will demonstrate that the weight of the boat (displacement) plays a critical part in the assigned handicap rating - too many have been caught changing weight (displacement) after the numbers are assigned - causing much anguish and grief for many race committees.
OK - so, if by logic you agree that a boats handicap rating is influenced by it's displacement, and if you agree a boat hull/deck will expand when heated, I suggest that the heating of a black hull compared to a white hull will cause the black hull to expand a greater percentage than an identical boat with a white hull. This proven basic rule of physics would then proceed to prove out the theory that if a boat "grows" (expands) when heated, the waterline length will change and become larger. This larger waterline length will change the amount of draft of a dark hull colored boat. Draft and waterline play an integral part on the boats actual displacement, which will also change as the hull "grows" bigger. Now if the hull "grows" bigger it will sit higher in the water and have less displacement. Less displacement of two identical boat hulls would suggest the one with lesser displacment might be faster. (and perhaps weigh less - but that is a different discussion). So in the end, the growth experienced by a dark colored hull contributes to it's actual enlargment, which in turn acts upon the assigned values of the handicap number assigned.
The concept of this "growth" is a naturally occurring phenomenom that is supported by many rules of physics. I have heard (rumor perhaps) of a boat in Chicago protesting an identical boat but with a dark hull, for being of different displacment than it was when the handicap certificate was assigned. The boat was painted after measurement a dark navy blue. This color contributed to it's suggested change in performance. Prior to posting this response, I checked a few protest postings for Chicago area yacht clubs, but was unable to come up with a direct quote. Along with trying to post this technical information that a layman could understand, I am having doubts as to whether or not you are trying to contribute to the knowledge of sailing - or if you are simply trying to offer a bit of humor. Currently it is difficult to tell.
Also your lack of knowledge is apparent by your suggestion that only a "Beneslow" (sic) is the only boat to have that color combination. Anyone involved in sailing would easily recognize that in the late 1970's Hobie Cat offered a 16 foot race boat called and marketed as the "WHITE KNIGHT" model. It came with white hulls and black main and jib. This combination was the forerunner of todays efforts and experiments in the evaluation and testing of black sail materials. The boat was marketed as a "race" boat and many proved to be very fast. Because the boat/class was a strict one-design, the use of black hulls to compliment the sails were not provided by the factory as they knew and realized that the hulls would "grow" in proportion to white colored hulls and wisely didn't enter the market. I am sure the fall-out due to protests within the Hobie 16 Class would have been a great embarrasment to both Hobie Alter and his sons. Imagine buying a white hulled Hobie 16 only to find out the guy next to you with black huls would have a longer waterline (therefore faster) catamaran than yours. This would have been disaster for Hobie Cat and they were wise in their decision to refrain from marketing black hulled catamarans. Soon after, the Tequila Sunrise sails were introduced, based on similar testing but while they were bright and eye-catching, they never performed as well as the old BLACK KNIGHT model.
While I am guessing that red Ferrari's have had their share of wins, dark blue Ford Cobras routinely put it to the Ferraris for several years until Ford exited racing. Truth be told, the change in size of race cars due to dark colors does not have the same positive effect upon their weight or displacement like it does with a high speed yacht. Also keep in mind that Dale Earnhardt was practically unbeatable driving his black Chevy, and of course we have aviation uses of black in the various new fighter aircraft. If you stop and think (if you are really serious) even red is a darker color than white - so in boats it could be quite possible that red is better than white (but still no where near as good as black).
Please rethink your response as I am sure you will see your errors.