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Physics of sailing

Introduction: Sailing refers to the act of controlling a vessel that is moving across a water body using the power of wing for propulsion. The act of successfully sailing a water vessel entails a lot of scientific principles worth studying. The scientific principles behind sailing vessels mostly consist of fluid mechanics phenomena of viscous fluids moving around fixed bodies (Anderson, 5). Various forces act on a sailing vessel that set it in motion and prevent it from sinking. Physics principles are used in the design of various parts of sailing vessels; therefore it is important to study the physics of sailing. This paper discusses the physics principles, including fluid mechanics that applies to sailing vessels and influences their design and operation. It reviews the forces acting on a sailing vessel and fluid mechanics of viscous fluids to detail the origin of the forces, lastly, various applications of the physics principles related to sailing a commercial uses of physics of sailing are presented and discussed. Theory: This section presents the theory behind physics of sailing. First, we start by looking at the fundamental terminology relate to sailing vessels. The main parts of a basic sailing vessel are shown in the diagram below: Hull: this is the main body of the vessel that makes a boat. It determines the basic performance characteristics of the vessel such as maximum speed and acceleration that the vessel can achieve. Also, the shape of the hull determines the resistance experienced by the vessel as it moves through water and as a result its acceleration and movement in low winds. The shape of the hull and the keel also determines the vessel’s stability which is critical to the performance of the vessel on different angles of sail (Anderson, 7). Hull speed formula: we can either describe a wave using a cosine of sine function. Using the sing function, the amplitude of the wave is 0 at the point of origin and its equation is given by: Where y is the wave’s height at a horizontal position x and A is the amplitude of the wave above the normal water surface. x is small near the origin, therefore: Sin (2?/?)x ? (2?/?)x y= A (2?/?) x the ratio of y to x is y/x = A(2?/?) As the wave passes, the general surface particle motion on the water wave is represented below: The wave’s speed through water is V; the speed of the surface particle moving in circular motion is U and the sum of the two speeds gives the net speed. Considering the type of motion involved, the ratio of the vertical speed to horizontal speed is u/v and is equal to the ratio of y to x, therefore, u/v = y/x = A(2?/?) Applying the law of conservation of energy to the surface motion of water, the two energies in this case are kinetic energy (mv^2/2) and gravitational potential energy (mgh). The energy equation is, H= 2A = the vertical distance between the crest and the trough. 2mgA = 2mvu gA= vu u= A(2?/?)v gA = A(2?/?)v^2 The speed of the surface wave, v is obtained as = This parameter is important for calculating the maximum speed of vessels among other situations. For instance, since waves of long wavelength travel faster than those of shorter wavelength, they take a shorter time to reach the shoreline. Sailors recognize that an impending storm is signaled by long waves and the storms always originate from where the waves are coming. In addition, long-wavelength waves
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