A massive amount of research, design and construction time went into my current boat. The development process is ongoing – the goal is to be competitive by being innovative (rather than by being particularly skilful or having deep pockets). The ideas started coming together during a summer workshop called Designing the Dynamic at RMIT – focussing on understanding and modelling some of the complex systems around sailing boat design. I was introduced to Bernard Smith’s writing and the purity of his concept for the ideal sailing boat – basically an airfoil and a hydrofoil pulling against each other and connected by a tensile thread – the aerohydrofoil.
With this in mind and within the constraints of the moth class, this design aims to prioritise the functions of ‘things below water’ as lift and side-force generating hydrofoils and ‘things above water’ as thrust generating aerofoils. The hull and fittings all count in the second category and the design aims to use these fixed elements to work as aerodynamic devices, generating lift in conjunction with the sail.
Considering the lack of development time available, the boat is going quite fast. However the larger manufacturers still manage to stay a couple of steps ahead of me, and limited time on the water has meant that my skill level has remained pretty consistently low. Further development is needed! But based on current performance I am very confident in this concept.
Photos: Beverley Chew