New catamaran for the America’s Cup

The America’s Cup is arguably the most prestigious sailing race, attracting the world’s top sailors, innovative yacht designers and heavyweight sponsors. The organisers describe the Cup itself as “the oldest trophy in sport with a rich heritage and history dating back to 1851.” The next Cup event takes place in 2013 in a new class of boat called the AC72, a wing-sailed catamaran. Not surprisingly, Richard Sauter of Sauter Carbon Offset Design (SCOD) has come up with a new design that’s fit for the big showdown. Some details and pictures of Mr Sauter’s cutting-edge catamaran:

DynaWing AC72, the only AC72 challenger designed not to capsize

The DynaWing AC72 34th America’s Cup Challenger has a Schooner Rig featuring a hybrid Wingmast and boom furling mainsail combination that delivers a dynamic range of power options from a full sail array with Wingsail emulation efficiency to a gradual reduction of sails down to Wingmast reefing.

DynaWing AC72 advantages over Oracle AC72 Wingsail

• Under full power the DynaWing Schooner rig at the much lower height of 32 meters has the same sail area as the 40 meter Wingsail rig, but with a greatly reduced heeling moment.

• The boom furling mainsails provide dynamic loading specifically aimed at tailoring the heeling moment when racing at high speeds in strong winds.

• With a 4:1 aspect ratio each hybrid DynaWing mainsail retains the same level of efficiency under full load as the single 40 meter Wingsail. However, when overpowered the DynaWing mainsail can shed the load while arriving at still higher aspect ratios.

• Airflow through the full complement of schooner sails can be further optimized by the independent adjustment of the DynaWing mainsails.

• The longitudinal mass of the vessel has a better distributed lower center of gravity that reduces the risk of Pitch Polling.

• The AC72 DynaWing Schooner rig shown here weighs and costs about the same as the AC72 40 meter Wingsail rig and is seen as the best way of safely getting the most power at wind speeds that may vary from 5 to 30+ knots.

• The DynaWing AC72 Schooner rig is easier to transport, easier to erect and can be reefed rather than dismantled when moored.

• The required technology employed in the design and construction of the DynaWing AC Schooner rig is readily available.

• The DynaWing AC72 Schooner rig is applicable and compatible with existing AC72 sail options. It adheres to the present design parameters of the AC72, the length, beam and total sail area.

DynaWing AC72 Specifications

Length : 22m
Beam : 14m
Draft : 4.4m
Mast Height : 32m
Displacement: 5,700 – 5,900 kg
Sail area : 2 Wing Masts – 260 sq..m total
Gennaker : 320 sq..m+


Related blog post:

America’s love affairs with boats

One Reply to “New catamaran for the America’s Cup”

  1. nuttyrave

    Well, it certainly makes sense in a certain way, the lesser wetted surface of the catamaran platform and the absence of keel has historically made the type better suited to reaching and running, and modernday cruising catamarans are usually forced to put on the engine to go upwind. But with extra fin area (provided by the daggerboards when they are not hydrofoiling) means you can add fore-and-aft sails for added upwind performance (keep headsails, add a mast and a mainsail, or better: a wing). While I believe that Mr. Sauter’s proposal is valuable in addressing this potential, I expect testing/tuning the venturi effect performance in wind tunnels might be extremely time consuming with no garantees because the developped surface would be smaller.

    For the first iteration of AC27 America’s Cup, I expect the foils to be *FAR* more critical, but maybe Mr. Sauter’s proposal will receive interest in the next one. This time however the wings are pretty complex already, with two sets of flaps and the relative size of those varies from Luna Rossa to Oracle, so the best single wing design it is still out there I suppose.

    To watch. With interest.

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