Apulian engineer Benito Misurale is a volcano of ideas. There are those who have called him “crazy” in the past and those who, like the Dutch shipyard Royal Huisman, have shown interest in his work (and required him to translate the patents into English). Especially regarding a patent the engineer obtained in 2004, concerning a mobile bilge ballast system that would result in several advantages (and which we explain below). Many designers laughed at him behind his back: “Now I am trying to remember the names of all the solons who mocked me to write to them and give them advice: buy a sturdy rope of about twenty meters and a Danforth anchor of about thirty pounds. Roll one end tightly around one’s neck and the other around the anchor, then, cast off where there is at least 3,000 meters of seabed“.
PATENTS EXPLAINED BY THE AUTHOR
It is difficult to explain in detail his patents, which came to the editorial office accompanied by a very detailed and ultratechnical roundup of drawings: so we asked him to explain them to us one by one, pointing out the potential benefits for the sailing world.
THE SAILBOAT THAT BECOMES A MOTOR BOAT (AND VICE VERSA)
“With this Patent, dating from 9/24/2004, three remarkable advantages materialize on a sailboat.” According to Misurale, it is the idea behind the Royal Huisman shipyard’s Dart 80, which you see in the photo opposite (unveiled last year, so 10 years later), which features the same hull for both the sail and motor models:
“1 – A sailboat will be able to sail with the sail plan always perpendicular to sea level, up to wind Force 7 on the Beaufort scale, by means of a movable whole-bread bilge ballast for boats 20 mt and up and with trapezoidal-shaped longitudinal bar ballast for boats less than 20 mt.
2 – The hull will be similar to that of motor boats, i.e., planing and the transom will have a width equal to or greater than the maximum beam, with the undoubted advantages of greater lift and more habitability with respect to a master cabin.
3 – A collapsible centreboard, in two sections, will allow motor navigation even in shallow water and the possibility, by retracting a part of it, to have less friction when moving forward.”
THE HYDRODYNAMIC TEST TANK
“With this 2011 Patent, which I believe is one of the flagships of my inventions, one has the possibility of obtaining perfect boat hulls because the strictest and most infallible judge is its natural element: ‘water.’ All at very low cost as no designer or pool of designers IN THE WORLD will do better.
This tank makes it possible to simultaneously see the result of the hydrodynamic profile of the entire living work of the scale model with a special system: rudders, propellers, drift, etc., of both sides of the boat by means of a camera that films the opposite side of the one being watched and transmits it to a repeater screen facing the viewer, allowing, as the result of the test is recorded, it to be reviewed countless times from the comfort of your seat.
One of the many merits of this tank is the possibility, if the first test of the model exhibited negative turbulence at hydrodynamic advance, if after appropriate modifications, its hydrodynamic profile improved or worsened and so numerous times until perfection was achieved: perfection. The water circulation in this pool can reach 80 km/h and above, and the test can take place either with inclined gait of the boat on either side and either with moderate or high swell and combined with the previous two gaits.”
THE TELESCOPIC DRIFT
“With this 2007 Patent, two significant advantages materialize on a sailboat:
1 – A multi-section drift will allow for the ability to sail with the necessary projection in relation to the wind strength, moment by moment. In the design of the vessel it may be sized longer than necessary in anticipation of major storm events because, at maximum extension, it will counteract the overturning moment to a greater extent. On swaths with carrying winds, placing a table at the point where the drift is attached will allow it to be fully retracted into it. In that case there would be no protrusion of the drift.
2 – A water ballast, in special pockets or other types of containers, along both sides of the boat would allow the boat to sail with the ballast upwind, dosed on a schedule by appropriate electric pumps, in only the amount needed to counteract the force of the wind at that time and not with the entire ballast. In conclusion, in headwinds the boat could sail: with the drift fully retracted and without ballast. Having said that, one cannot but agree that this condition, to date, is not present in any vessel and, therefore, represents “THE MAXIMUM ADVANTAGE IN PERFORMANCE, FOR A SINGLE-HULLED BOAT, NOT OBTAINABLE WITH ANY OTHER SYSTEM.”
“Very shortly,” Misurale concludes, “I will file another patent concerning a new sail system that will disrupt current sail systems.”
If you have been intrigued by Benito Misurale’s projects, you can contact him at this email: firstname.lastname@example.org