Design № 179
WHITBREAD MAXI "The CARD"
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This is one of four "Maxi" yacht designs from our office for the 1989 Whitbread Round the World Race. This design is a non-exclusive design in that it is our own interpretation of the best boat for the race and is not designed to any clients particular requirements.
Eighteen months ago we embarked on an enormous research program for these new designs. This was made possible by organizing a joint program, sharing costs, between ourselves and our initial three clients.
This now allows a new client to gain the advantage of this research without the necessity of an early start and at a greatly reduced cost.
Our new design has more length, less beam, more stability and sail area, and lighter actual displacement than the last winner UBS SWITZERLAND.
A substantial improvement has been achieved by working on a wide range of areas, starting with the UBS design and our extensive experience in all sizes of IOR designs since. These areas include:
A. Careful optimization of proportions to improve performance relative to rating, confirmed by extensive tank testing.
B. Development of faster hull shapes through tank testing. These included 15 separate tests with 8 foot models with different basic shapes and many variations in shape and trim.
C. Development and utilization of a very sophisticated method of analysis of tank testing results to link into a velocity prediction program and a race course program that enables time around an array of courses to be predicted for an extensive range of style and size of yacht to assist in choosing the optimum design.
D. Extensive large scale tank testing and computer analysis of keel planform shapes, volume distributions, and section shapes (profiles) to sweep away the guesswork currently being utilized by other designers and develop keels of substantially less drag. This test program utilized a 16 foot model and tested 11 different keel configurations.
E. A construction research program that examined and tested a massive range of materials and combinations. This started with obtaining real world achievable properties of a wide range of available fibers from various manufacturers, then tested different combinations of materials and fibers in complete shell laminates, and finished with destruction testing of laminates and even full size panels of the side and bottom of a maxi including frame structures.
This has yielded a considerable saving in weight over what were already the lightest maxi structures without compromising strength, which translates directly into performance through lower pitch inertial and considerably less resistance due to smaller volume (lighter) keels for a given stability.
F. A great deal of effort in design of deck shape, and deck and interior layouts to simplify, lighten and lower the center of gravity of components, including working with manufacturers and suppliers on better solutions, to lower the overall center of gravity without sacrificing sailing efficiency or reliability.
G. A careful analysis of rig proportions and engineering to develop rigs that are faster for this race and substantially reduce weight aloft to further improve performance.
The result of this is that we can say with confidence that we have developed a new design which is far superior to our designs which won the last race, and our research indicates that our new Design 195 is capable of sailing around the new Whitbread course 7 to 12 days faster than UBS could, depending on actual wind conditions and rig proportions. This order of performance improvement has been indicated by separate analysis using both the model test results relative to a base boat very similar to UBS and separately by a math model VPP program using the design's final characteristics, and those of UBS.
The construction of the boat is carbon/Kevlar composite with Nomex and PVC foam core used selectively for various effects in weight (relative to cost), stiffness, strength and overload failure mode.