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Unregistered 30th November 2007 12:48 AM

JIM DRAKE says "outside the box"
Hi Jim,
hi all others

I read the article in the brochure (also copied at the end of this email) written by JIM DRAKE.
It really sounds very good, but there is a part I dont understand, maybe is a bit complicated and says this...what does this means?:

"But don't bet on "The Box" holding. The fin's function can be transferred to a surface piercing cavitating inclined plane and the sail's drive can be increased by lowering its center-of-effort to the harness hook - borrowing from its cousins, the kite-board and the kite. "Outside The Box" for sure but it will first appear on the pages of a Starboard catalogue."

Here the complete article, maybe the context help to understand what Jim says...I am not sure if he say he is going to take some concepts from Kite design for new boards or viceversa...or maybe other explanation.


In my other career, "The Box" was called the "flight envelope", the irregular shaped map of altitude vs. speed within which an aircraft could fly - outside of which it could not. For example, at sea-level a modern fighter plane has to be going about 50 mps (100 knots) to fly at all and can't go faster there than about 400 mps without breaking up. At higher altitudes, it can accelerate to around 600 mps and climb to about 20 km before it runs short of lift and thrust. Different aircraft designs, of course, have different "flight envelopes." Helicopters and blimps fly just fine at zero speed but are no match for a fighter at high speed. "Pushing the envelope", i.e., "The Box", is what the aerospace industry has been steadily doing the past 100 or more years beginning with the Wright brothers and, before them, the Montgolfier brothers. A noted anomaly, however, is the X-15. It flew three times faster and three times higher than any manned aircraft - before or since. The only exception, the SR-71, it still beat by twice and twice, respectively. That's what I mean by "Outside The Box."

What does this have to do with windsurfing and Starboard? Quite a bit. Thinking and working "Outside The Box" is what Starboard does for windsurfing better than anyone else.

As one example, Starboard is moving the wind speed needed to windsurf "Outside The Box" and down to Zero. And when this happens, the number of eligible sites multiply -- the sand in your eyes disappears -- the size of bikinis shrink and their numbers rise. A sure-fire formula.

How does Zero happen? The first step has already been taken with Serenity. In winds as light as 1.0 mps and the flat water that goes with them, Serenity slips along at a remarkable speed without you noticing. Pump if you like for more speed or more exercise -- your choice. The next step springs from the origins of windsurfing and surfing: 1) standing and 2) using what nature provides to move. The stand-up paddle -- SUP -- is as logical as it can be. Why didn't we think of it before? And then there's the sail. Physics does not say that sails can't both power and glide. That's what birds do already - and in Zero wind, by the way.

What about stepping "Outside The Box" in the other direction -- The high speed direction? Here again, the conventional approach - in this case, high wind, small (special) sail, small board and special fin -- has run into the side of "The Box", at about 50 knots. Even if not, it will shortly when the fin can no longer be kept from cavitating. But don't bet on "The Box" holding. The fin's function can be transferred to a surface piercing cavitating inclined plane and the sail's drive can be increased by lowering its center-of-effort to the harness hook - borrowing from its cousins, the kite-board and the kite. "Outside The Box" for sure but it will first appear on the pages of a Starboard catalogue.

"40 years after the original Skate, his creative spirit is still in top gear. Jim, dear father, we wish you a happy 40th birthday. Thanks for everything you have brought to windsurfing." Wind France, May 2007

Jim Drake

crazychemical 30th November 2007 04:00 AM

in my opinion (and thrust me, i'm a laymen in physics no more then you are, more of a chemistry guy ;)) the box wont hold because of continous process. The function of the fin can be reduced to a mere point of plane departure whereas the sail is the driving power. In speed now we take fins into much more account: a good fin = good final speed. However, should we lower the point of effort of the sail to the harneshook like they have in kitesurfing (all pull of kite goes to you body through 1 point of effort whereas a sail will still pull on your arms in different angles etc) we could handle bigger sails and thus achieve higher speed without having to adapt our fins. They'd just be a planing departure point of the board .... That means that 'the box' of good sail + good board + good adapted fin no longer holds that well and you ascend from the box.

my recon ... but i may be way off

Unregistered 30th November 2007 06:59 PM

The fin's function can be transferred to a surface piercing cavitating inclined plane
I am not an expert in this field or in any field.
Here is my non expert reading of it.

The 'box' is bounded by the limitations.
The fin limits the board to speeds below 50 knots.

'The fin's function can be transferred to a surface piercing cavitating inclined plane'

Fins are vertical and stop work when they cavitate.

The article seems to suggest that an inclined cavitating surface could provide a opposing force (lift) better than a vertical cavitating fin.

Have I missed something?

LK 2nd December 2007 02:58 AM

A Hypersonic type without fin and maybe with spoiler :-)

Thats outside the box

crazychemical 2nd December 2007 06:29 AM

i think we're missing out on a system here ..
step by step:
whats the proposed box? high winds, small board, small adapted sail and special fin
first two are inevitable, second two are variable but will reach there limits (sails break, we can't pull them back anymore etc .. fins break and fins will give us a few more problems)
so what are the solutions?
first off: what are the basic functions of our 'variables'
1) sail = powerdrive, engine, force
2) fin (this is where it get technical) = a vertical piercing in your board designed to help inclined plane which in it's turn will allow you to go much faster using much less energy (how this works ... well i read stuff about pressure differences that are caused through the driving of the 'piercing' though the waterarea which are then transferred into a vertical lift or something)
now, what are the limitations of that same fin?
it will at a certain point come to a point where it's resulting force = 0 and you won't be able to increase the speed anymore without further adaptation which would mean a status quo of your speed and therefore a limit to you box. Even if you increase the driving force of your sail by lowering the point of labour to your harnesshook and allowing you to controle bigger sails in more wind, you will at some point hit the boundry of your fin. The question Jim Drake now faces is how to get beyond that point.

plausible? it does sound a bit more likely then a HS with a spoiler and no fin (no offence to LK, he makes good remarks on other stuff)

Philip 2nd December 2007 07:27 AM

Fin control in a straight line is one thing. Turns are another. Get the fin wrong for stronger winds and you get either spin out or tram tracking. Anything that gives the control back to the shape of the board during turns also has to be a good thing.

The pressure differential idea is good. So a technology that exploits what in car racing is called downforce, in the right place, without increasing drag would be a good thing. To the uneducated, like myself, these objectives seem mutually incompatible with a craft that planes like a WS; but then again my knowledge of hydrodynamics is pretty basic.

Unregistered 2nd December 2007 09:56 AM

Hey Jim, Tiesda would be good to hear some from you....

sounds interesting, really...

Unregistered 2nd December 2007 08:50 PM

can one go outside the box
by simply defining the box can one go outside a box???
the x-y coordinates of a simple box system need defination, as such outside the box is an unmeasurable.
even a 3 d box with a 3rd parameter on another axis ie Z axis must be defined to be measurable, and as such makes a theoritical "box" initially , with an unknown edge, BUT as soon as the 1st parameter defining now a new axis is measuresd , this new point of data define the edge of the new box ....
any "better "data may extend the edge of the box, but by virtue of the measurement will always be on the edge at the most extreme but never outside the box...

do i make sense or am i on dope. ??

i think Drake means extending the box not getting out of it , as that cant be done ...


crazychemical 3rd December 2007 12:10 AM

the box being a mathematical structure i think is somewhat true, but on the other hand it may be, i believe, compared to philosophical 'paradigma's' by which everything is defined. Being part of one paradigma is no definate state if you have the need to exceed it, or go underneeth it. Transending a paradigma though, only means you fall into another one.
In that aspect though, you could say that you never manage to fall out of a paradigma and therefore you're also never able to get out 'the box', you just transend to another one...
A box is limited by it's factors, in this case fin + sail + board ... they have their limits; find the solution to transend those limits by whatever means you need and then you eighter transend into another box with new parameters or you expand the old boxes limits untill you hit another utter limit. eighter way, you're no longer in the old box, it's a new one because it has a new shape, or new parameters.

Philip 3rd December 2007 08:53 AM

What Crazychemical has to say makes sense. Science produces working hypothesis that produce the goods until their limits are found. With the arrival of Newtonian mechanics it was thought that it was only a matter of time before humans understood how everything worked. But it hit the wall. Later came Quantum Mechanics that explained how sub atomic matter worked with the 'laws' of probability. And so on. The points of 'equilibrium' are transitory.

With the aerospace industry the box is the flight envelope which significantly changed with the advent of computerised control systems. A modern jet fighter is 'unstable' hence its agility and can be flown because of the onboard computer thingies. Not an option for WS!

Anyway, I am sure that we all look forward to Jim Drake's latest break-through for WS.

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