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Since 2007 OC have been using Router modelling software originally developed as a routing analysis package by one of the teams in the Volvo Ocean Race. It was used then primarily to choose the sail wardrobe for the different race legs. It can however also be used to create data for use in cruising yacht design and passage planning. Router uses polars and cross-over information developed by a VPP or a sailboat’s own data, combined with actual historical weather data (GRIB files) and then allows modelling of the yacht on passage between two points, with the software calculating the optimum route. Depending on how the data is input and outputs selected we can investigate sails required, engine use and fuel consumption, wind force/direction and more. The graphic is of passage statistics for our 20m explorer yacht Qilak from Europe to Montivideo, via the Cape Verdes.

However, OC primarily use Router to compare the speed of different racing yachts for a range of races during the design process. The candidate designs have different sail plans, hull and appendages. During design and again on the water we also use Router to analyse either which sails to prioritise building or which sails to carry on the boat for a particular race. An example of which is shown here: This is the first half of the Melbourne to Osaka race, where we modelled an existing yacht (not an OC design) with a brief to optimise the sail wardrobe, limiting the number of new sails that had to be purchased and carried on the race. We modelled twelve years of races using historical weather data. One result of the analysis was that we were able to identify significant weather pattern and average wind speed changes that were centred around where the year was in terms of the El Nino cycle.

Router combined with WinDesign VPP is a cutting-edge powerful tool for new designs. Also, for a fraction of the cost of a new sail, at the most basic level (without wind tunnel or CFD) OC works with sail makers to review the suitability of sail designs within an existing wardrobe, helping owners invest wisely in their next sails; contact: OC RACING

Router is also a useful passage planning tool for long distance blue water cruising yachts and superyachts. It is cost effective, with a user interface that is not a black box, allowing input and review from sailor, sail maker and project team. If you think that Router may be applicable for what you have planned contact: OC CRUISING for a discussion.

For information on similar services we offer go to: NAVAL ARCHITECTURE

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