Sail

Successful control!

We put larger (and lighter) tails on the wings as well as a proper windvane and got back in the water on Oct 22, again at Greenlake. We got the boat to reach, run, and even sail to windward under some measure of steering control. We still have the leash on it because the control is still dodgy, and the range is not wonderful. 

The weather has conclusively turned here in Seattle (it snowed both today and Friday), so we're going to spend our time working on software and planning for the around the world boat and our fundraiser to pay for it. 

Sail Testing

There was more wind than predicted this afternoon, so we had the opportunity to get the sail boat in the water for our first successful sailing test! 

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The boat sailed under its own power, responded to remote commands, and we successfully retrieved it. However, it's going to take a lot more practice and some modification to get good, predictable control of the boat.

There are a couple of reasons for this. First, it's just a plain hard boat to steer. The steering response is quite different from any other boat. Second, the wings have too much inertia relative to the size of the tails, which makes them hard to control in relatively light and changeable winds like we had today. Our next steps will be printing some bigger tails (moar powah!) and moving up our plans for a third wing revision. 

In other news, we're looking at MOOS-IvP for building the next software generation, and it looks good.