Reply to post: Re: The most expensive dick swinging contest in history

Apollo 11 @ 50: The long shadow of the flag

bombastic bob Silver badge

Re: The most expensive dick swinging contest in history

"Europe learned to sail properly by watching the Polynesians do it"

Well maybe not *ENTIRELY* but 'm sure that the Polynesians had perfected many of the tiny details. Outrigger canoes tend to have high stability and like a catamaran can handle crosswinds well. As such, you can tack at 90 degrees and not capsize. Tall ships designed for trade winds can't really do that without a really deep keel and as such you wouldn't be able to go into port with it.

But maybe as much as 2000 years prior to that, there were triangular sailed craft, clear evidence of which apparently dates back to the 1st century BC (according to 'teh intarwebs'). This was alluded to in the movie 'Ben Hur' as the Roman ships had square sails, and after Ben Hur rescues the captain, the captain asks him what shape the ship's sails are that he sees, and he said something like "It's a square sail. It's a Roman ship".

So anyone using a triangular sail would be doing so because of its advantage when tacking. But you can't make a TALL ship that way, not without making it a catamaran or outrigger. It's just different application of different ways of getting the job done. Fast downwind (tall ship with square sails) or fast tacking (catamaran or outrigger with triangular sails).

so what does this have to do with moon exploration? Not a whole lot, really. Except it's probably worth pointing out that people have GOOD IDEAS ALL OF THE TIME, and when you get them together on a single project, you can do some REALLY COOL SCHTUFF... like go to the moon!

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