Autonomous sailing boats are robotic vessels that use the wind to drive and can operate the sails and rudder without the need for human intervention. The purpose of the development of these vessels is constructing boats without crew, enabling full independent sailing, safe navigation and implementation of long-term tasks at sea.
The most important systems of autonomous sailing boats are: long-term planning waterways, depending on weather conditions, short course routing depending on the current data from sensors, collision avoidance and control system for manoeuver execution.
Using fuzzy logic for programming the control system for the management of the actuators, has proven to be a very suitable tool for the transfer of expert knowledge of experienced sailors in computer programs in the form of simple IF-THEN rules.
The aim of the research, presented in this work, is to propose a new sails and actuators setting, and a management system based on fuzzy logic. We propose the development of an autonomous sailing boat with three different front sails and the possibility of changing the size of the main sail. The possibility of using different sail settings depending on wind and waves conditions at sea, extends the period of high performance (maximum speed) sailing. An autonomous sailing boat with this sail settings, represents a more realistic model of standard sailing boat used for ocean travel.
Simulations of a sailing boat with three different front sails and the possibility of changing the size of the main sail, has shown that the use of fuzzy logic in the control system, that operates the actuators, is meaningful and opens the possibility for the development of faster, more stable and energy-efficient vessels.