Every America’s Cup has its own design rules, influenced by the defending champion. The next one in Bermuda this summer will see a 50 footer (down from 72 in the 2013 Cup) and have a crew of 6, instead of 11.
Oracle Team USA revealed this week its vessel “17”
“The new America’s Cup Class boats are foiling, wingsailed catamarans, 15 meters in length and capable of reaching highway speeds approaching 100 km/h. In addition they are extremely maneuverable, making them ideal match racing platforms.”
“We know there is still speed to be found between now and May 26 when racing begins”
60 mph and maybe more – whoa!
“America’s Cup Class catamarans use lift generated over a hydrofoil suspended under the hull—like a wing under water—to boost the boat up out of the waves and make it fly. Instead of pushing its hull through the water, the yacht skims the surface, riding on what look like little feet.
The result? Where the old boat could only “fly” when going downwind, Oracle has nearly perfected how to rest on its foils no matter the conditions.”
According to the Oracle USA team
“Over 15 designers and 50 boat-builders have contributed to the design and build of “17”, with more than 85,000 man-hours accumulated to date. Team partners like Airbus, BMW, Parker and Yanmar have provided technical expertise and support.”
One of the Airbus contributions is “the use of brand-new microelectromechanical sensors or MEMS. Typically used to monitor aircraft wings, the company developed a special version of the sensors to return information on the boat's wing. Eight strips containing a total of 400 sensors were applied to the wing during testing, which were able to reveal information about the conditions found at the top of the (75 foot) sail versus the bottom.”