Modification and optimisation of existing yachts

This is an early example of many modification and optimisation services we've undertaken on sailboats originally developed by other design offices.  In this case we were asked to review the sailplan, keel and rudder design principles and provide a cost-effective work plan of changes to improve the performance of this 12 metre yacht. We chose this project to highlight as an example because in terms of boat type it is as far from the base line of racing yacht that we are well known for as one can imagine. As such it is indicative of our ability as naval architects to work from first principles and provide design and engineering solutions across a range of problems and sailboat classes.




The yacht is Tom Blackaller's twelve metre USA 61 from the 1987 Americas Cup in Freemantle. The yacht was purchased to compete in the 150th  anniversary Americas Cup regatta in Cowes the and the new owner required the appendages updating and a review of the sailplan and sail design. No drawings existed of the original hull, nor were there any polars or sail cross-overs.



OCD created a hull, appendage and sailplan model from measurements and developed a complete performance profile for the yacht. A waether study was commissioned for the West and East Solent for the month of August and this was fed into our vpp race modelling software, the results being provided to the sailmakers. As a result of this, we elected to not change the keel/bulb, modified the forward canard and designed a new rudder some two thirds of the original area and to a modern high aspect design.
 

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