America's Cup

Discussion in 'Sailboats' started by Guillermo, Feb 18, 2006.


Which one is going to win the Louis Vuitton Cup?

Poll closed Jun 5, 2007.
  1. Luna Rossa

    3 vote(s)
  2. Emirates New Zealand

    6 vote(s)
  1. Guillermo
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    Guillermo Ingeniero Naval

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    D'ARTOIS Senior Member

    Quite good. Thanks a lot for the link. Good reading material!!
  3. Jolly Roger
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    Jolly Roger Junior Member

    Americas Cup

    Thanks for sharing Guillermo. Very good paper.
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    RANCHI OTTO Naval Architect

    Thank you very much Guillermo.....
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    BOATMIK Deeply flawed human being

    Thanks for posting this - an excellent evaluation of the AC rules changes by a man who really knows - I wasn't aware of it at all.

    I would however like to make some comments about the changes and where this rule is going.

    Do the changes make the class:


    So it looks like the various teams are going to be spending millions of dollars finding what fillet at the hull/keel juncture will give them the advantage.

    The revamp of the rules in the article above aims to limit still further the types of boats that fit the rule compared to the previous generation.

    Certainly it seems like it is quickly becoming a rule that defines a certain "type" of boat.

    More conservative with the upshot that racing will be tighter. Will it end up being like the IOR - so strongly type driven that racing will be very, very even and just a little boring with the elimination of the boats that played the corners of that rules - the Smackwater Jacks, the Waveriders, the Police Cars.

    I am much more interested in the corners than the middle ground. Whether a new fillet for the hull/keel juncture is developed holds my attention very little.


    There seems to be a certain illogic here.

    If it is all about making the boats as EVEN as possible - why not race one designs? It seems very strange to be spending stupendous amounts of money on developing boats that will be even more similar this time around.


    Some of the most interesting inshore racing I have seen has been amongst the Volvo 70s - it translates really well to television when there is any wind at all. The boats appear fast even to the casual eye. There is a real feeling of danger. Crew mistakes are very costly.

    And all of this is because the boats are really hard to handle.

    I know that it takes a highly technical and concerted approach to get an AC class yacht around the course, but it all appears to dull and well within the capabilities of the crews - in the sense that you get the feeling that they all WILL make it round the course.

    The boats should be allowed to be fast rather than being the slowest boats for the buck that are being built these days.


    Make a rule where the boats push the frontiers in every way. Where the limits of control are sometimes exceeded, where there is a sense of risk in design terms too. Where there's no point in drawing an overcanvassed fragile boat optimised for the light stuff because it may not last if there is a blow.

    My rule suggestions.

    Fixed Maximum length


    Unlimited Sail - configuration and area.

    No restrictions on appendages - period.

    Big points penalties for not finishing a race

    A decently high upper wind speed limit for racing similar to what the rest of us have to deal with in inshore club racing.

    No hiking from the crew - the canting keel/foils/or whatever will do a much better job.

    No concavities between the waterline and sheer. Sheer to be a fair continuous curve or straight line in all planes

    No changes in principal dimensions during a series to prevent changing the boats to suit different conditions by changing masts/keels/displacement.

    I am bored with this controlled experiment that they call the America's Cup - let's have the fear and danger of Formula One Grand Prix. The public will tune in in the hope of some real mayhem and those of us interested in design can get back into real speed producing factors (do I have to mention the hull/keel juncture fillets again? Sheeeeesh)

    A report of one of the Volvo inshore races - feel the excitement from a nicely written bit of reportage - and the high drama of boats that are fast and hard to handle

    Best Regards
    Michael Storer.
  6. Doug Lord

    Doug Lord Guest

    Amerca's Cup

    Michael, I 100% agree with you-you've hit the nail on the head! The introduction of movable ballast(supported by Coutts) would be a huge improvement- keeping the America's cup on the leading edge of technology is(should be) the essence of the of what it's all about.
    I'd also like to see return of nationalism that would require -at least- that the whole crew be from the country of origin of the challenge.
  7. RHough
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    RHough Retro Dude

    To have wide open racing, you need only the Racing Rules of Sailing (no exclusions) and perhaps a size limitation. Minimum 60ft LWL - max 90ft LWL?

    I think a couple of 60-90 foot cats or tris might make for some good racing.

    As far as F1, every effort is made to reduce the possibility of mayhem. True fans don't go to races looking for gore. F1 is very restrictive. this year all the cars must use V-8 engines, the internal dimensions of those engines is limited further than just a maximum displacement. F1 teams spend millions to find the fastest fillets (aero packages).

    Go back to Nationalism? To prohibit what? So the country that has the patent on XYZ is the only one that can use it? Shall we go all the way back to the boat must be built in the challenging country and sail to the race on her own bottom? How does that make for better racing?
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    BOATMIK Deeply flawed human being

    Hi Randy,

    Good to run into you again!

    1/ Once sail is derestricted all boats will be built to the maximum length possible - so the length requirement is purely to keep expense in check.

    2/ America's cup should continue to be for monos. Maybe it is my traditional side talking :). It is a class - so you won't find multis racing for the 505 world championships either. Also multihulls will clean up the monos with a lot less of the drama - and I think sailing needs more drama.

    3/ Good points about the restrictions to cars in F1! But maybe "mayhem" and "crashes" is a case of me overstating the case!!! But AC needs an injection of drama and making the boats tricky by pushing the boundaries of speed producing factors is a way to do it.

    I suppose a counterargument to your point is that despite the restrictions in F1 motorsport is that despite the restrictions F1 cars are extremely difficult to race and are on the limits of control the whole time. There is a chance of things happening suddenly - whether it is an overtake or a slide off the course.

    I don't expect anything less from the world's premier monohull racing class.

    4/ I didn't mention the nationalism idea but agree with Lorsail - as far as the crew and maybe designers - build 'em anywhere, get gear from anywhere.

    Or get rid of the current sham country thing altogether and just be honest about the multinational nature of the boats - name em for the sponsors.

  9. usa2
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    usa2 Senior Member

    i think it should remain for mono's also, just because it wasnt meant to be a multihull event. But i think there is no need for canting keel boats in it because:
    A) sailboats should not rely on engines, especially in the America's Cup.
    B)Canting keel boats would be horrible match racers, and cannot get into tacking duels (witness the Cape Town VO 70 inshore race- the boats chose to sail a long tack out to the edge of the course and tack once rather than tack many times up the center of the course because they would be slow and inefficient if they tacked a lot).
    C) it is possible to make a monohull that is "fast' (relatively) and exciting enough to enliven the current AC conditions without a canting keel. The Russell Coutts 44 is fixed keel, and sails upwind at 8.5 knots(?) and has sailed downwind at 18.5 knots in 22 knots of wind.

    They should let them hike, not optimize the boats so much for upwind work, and give them a high SA/D ratio.
  10. Doug Lord

    Doug Lord Guest


    Nah-if these boats are to reclaim their rightful position at the pinnacle of monohull design then they need movable ballast. Don't like canting keels? Ok, lets go with on-deck sliding ballast like the Bethwaite "Maxi Skiff".
    There is no reason in the world why canting keel/sliding deck ballast boats can't match race-if they are designed for that!!
    AC boats may be able to use batteries like Schock 40's especially as the world gets more serious about developing energy storage-but ,personally, I don't care if they need the engine to move the lead or not-they'll be the most spectacular monohull SAILBOATS ever designed-as they should be.
    Did we legalize hydrofoils yet? Gotta do that!
    And we need a TEAM USA(or Team X ) in order to trully capture the public imagination-the Corporate multinational crew/team is a travesty.
  11. RHough
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    RHough Retro Dude

    Match racing requires a different mindset and different boats than fleet racing or ocean racing.

    Good match racing requires that the boats be very close in performance. One designs or very restricted rules make for such boats. I agree that the IACC rule has created boats that are not ideal match racers.

    Boats in the corners of the design box will only win if that day's conditions favour that corner. The IACC rule is so type-casting that one corner of the box is favoured in all conditions. Longest, heaviest, most sail area ... sound familiar? All mono's in displacement mode tend to get long, skinny and heavy. The only reason not to go with that is if the boat can plane.

    Once boats start planing, the design game becomes interesting again, but the match racing would suck.

    The Cape Town inshore race was great fun to watch, but not a very good race. ABM did a horizon job on the fleet. The Melbourne inshore was a better race, but not exciting from a speed/crash and burn viewpoint.

    Much of the drama in the VO this year was created by forcing the boats to sail short handed. Maybe the only rules needed are manual power and 11 crew. The designers could build anything they want as long as 11 guys have to manhandle it around the course. It would be interesting to see what size would end up as optimum for a 11 person crew, match racing in all weather. 40 -50 feet? What innovations in boat and sail handling would we see?
  12. bhnautika
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    bhnautika Senior Member

    Maybe it’s not the boats that deed changing but the race coarse (track). Throw in some more corners, directions and different lengths. That should test crew and boats in handling and acceleration. They would have to be tough as well.
  13. SuperPiper
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    SuperPiper Men With Little Boats . .

    Listen guys, I am really on the fence on the issue of motor-assisted sailing.

    First, I agree that running a motor to sail a boat just does not seem right. And, I also agree that using a motor to charge batteries for auto-pilot or for trimming or for de-salinating water may be equally wrong.

    But on the other hand, I am the short, skinny, 4-eyed guy from high school that never made the basketball or volleyball teams. And if the rules of sailing create types of boats that require mules to "power" then I will be left out of another sport. No, I will never make it to the America's Cup. But the public appeal comes from the "I could do that" factor.

    So, the alternative has been discussed here before: tap some of that boat speed for power transfer. Use a prop-driven something or other to cant the keel and winch the sheet. Use wind power. Use solar power.

    Let's not type set the sailors the way we have type set the boats.
  14. RHough
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    RHough Retro Dude

    Short, skinny, 4-eyed guys don't tend to do well at shot-put or hammer-throw either ... what's your point?

    The beauty of sailing is that there are crew positions and classes where brains can compete with brawn. The AC is an excellent case. Room for both 250# grinders and 120# drivers, bowpersons, tacticians, navigators. A winning AC crew has to be a combination of Jocks and Geeks, no need for power assist.

    If you want to be world class at something that you do not have the physique for, there is not much that can be done. If you focus your energy into skills you have, you have as good a chance as anyone else to be world class. No need to change the rules or make a mockery of sport.

  15. Doug Lord

    Doug Lord Guest

    la la land

    "no need to change the rules or make a mockery of sport"-Wow! Maybe you should tell that to the disabled people who sail the Martin 16 using servo controlled rudder and sheets ?!
    Randy, you should really stop using the "rules" to justify your anti-power assist crusade. The RRS provide for the use of power assist by any one design class including new wild ,exciting IACC boats. The use of that kind of technology has produced the most astounding monohull ocean racing performance ever seen and would do the same in the America's Cup. It's really simple in my mind: 1) the Racing Rules of Sailing allow it, 2) it allows big boats to use the same basic physics as small trapeze boats to go real fast. 3) these boats would be extraordinary crowd pleasers both within and without the existing sailing fraternity-they would grow the sport! 4) they would represent the pinacle of this era in technological monohull sailboat design.
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