Is it a bird . . . a plane . . . or . . . ? No! It’s a World Speed Sailing Yacht!
I studied Aerospace Engineering at university and so as you’d imagine I have a keen interest in all things aerospace. When Tim Clarke from Verney Yachts first showed me his new design, my gut reaction was, “this is one strange looking plane!” This was very quickly followed by a moment of confusion and then a moment of realisation.
Tim and his team at Verney Yachts have set themselves the challenge of breaking the world outright sailing speed record using the Yacht they are designing, the V39 – Albatross:
To break the record they aim to travel at 60-65 knots (Approx. 71-76 miles per hour). Also the operation of the sail is a little different than normal. To tack, the wing-sail rotates by 90 degrees around a hinge on the hull of the boat. Even Tim has acknowledged the challenge: “the concept design phase has thrown up a really challenging and interesting set of requirements for the wing-sail structure.”
Verney have been using SIMULIA’s Abaqus software to conduct non-linear finite element analysis on the boat and wing-sail as well as conducting the overall design in SolidWorks. As you can see it has two wings (or sails!) in an “L” configuration. The wing-sails are made of a composite construction, much like an ultra-modern aircraft wing. This material choice makes the wings very light and strong, but complex.
I’ll be following Tim and Verney throughout their quest to break the world record and you can too:
Good Luck Verney!