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As everyone prepares to watch the America’s Cup, a bunch of Americans have been getting out on their small cats. 50 A-Class boats sailed in the annual Florida Winter Series with the series finishing at an event at St Andrews Bay YC in Panama City.

The US A-Class hired Nick Bowers of Kettle Cinema, just back from leading video analytics for Emirates Team New Zealand for their development phase, to provide technical analysis for the sailors at the regatta. This is a short clip of his work.

This event is one of the those unknown but excellent regattas, with a perfect venue and incredible Southern hospitality. It even raised about $10K for Next Generation USA, America’s all-American youth team going to Bermuda.

M32 skippers and crew, GC32 and America’s Cup Youth Team members, ex Olympians, Volvo 65 sailors, but mostly a bunch of amateurs that want to have fun and go fast all get together to sail here every year.

The regatta gave $3500 in cash prizes as trophies, donated by B&C Technologies. At least one sailor took home $500 and we are guessing that is one trophy that won’t sit on the shelf and collect dust.

The A-Class put together a short brief to answer questions about the fleet here. Pegasus Racing is big into the A and now the Devos family is getting two.

Worlds in 2020 for the A-Class will be in Florida and is forecasted to have 20 countries and 200 boats attending. The US and Canadian fleet is already scheming for how to dominate it.


May 24th, 2017

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Rán [pronounced rahn], an Esse 750 fractional sloop, #30 of 35, built in 2016 and the only Esse in the US, splash-landed in San Diego last month with new owner John and Tracy Downing.

A 24’ Swiss manufactured two-person lake racer, the boat is constructed with a carbon hull, deck, mast, boom, and rudder, weighing in at around 2116 pounds.

Esse Boats collaborated with Italian designer Umberto Felci on the design as they did with their 850 and 990 models.

Rán is the name of the long, black-haired Viking goddess known for dragging sailors to their death in her net, down to her palace beneath the sea (she is also known among the Viking gods as throwing the best parties, and who can blame her for wanting sailors as her party guests?).

How will this lake racer handle large wakes from military ships, ocean tidal currents, and salt-water spray? Locals can look for her racing debut during the popular San Diego Bay Beer Can Series. They started off with a very respectable 4th in class tonight against the Flying Tiger 10s – who finished 1-2 – and a Melges 32 in 3rd. 

— Mary Hardy


May 24th, 2017

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What’s not to love about this beautiful shot taken by very talented Christophe Launay from his home town of Kerroch, France. Summer travel, anyone?


May 24th, 2017

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The guy who nearly killed the C-Class with his wing sail design has a new appreciation for the development race in Bermuda.  Here’s longtime SA’er and Cogito builder/skipper Steve Clark reflecting on a potential game changer at the America’s Cup.

I just got schooled in a previous thread for not knowing that The defined “illegal actions” had been removed from Rule 42 in this event. Which pretty much opens the door for unlimited kinetics or human propulsion as long as it is attached to the wing, sails, rudders or daggerboards or is otherwise an “act of seamanship.”

This has completely changed my view of the event. Instead of viewing the athletes as providing power to “normally” adjust the sheets,  pull the boards up and down and provide enough juice to adjust the AoA of the main foil, it is now clear that the metabolic energy of the grinders can be used to propel the vessel by pumping the wing or other actions. Some have already poo pooed this, but I think it is significant and gives ETNZ a huge edge.  Previously, I believed that an efficient control system and forgiving foil design could compensate for the lack of pure horsepower.

Earlier, 800  watts was sighted as the  power premium of 4 cyclist versus 4 hand grinders. What was not given is the duration and intensity of the pumping. It is clear from the videos that the grinders are not pumping  all the time and are not pumping hard all. Of the time. The cyclist, on the other hand, seem to be spinning the cranks 100% of the time. Does anyone want to hazard a guess what the difference in energy production during the course of a race is?

I expect this advantage to manifest itself most in marginal foiling conditions, where ETNZ will foil sooner and longer, and also on the down wind legs where they should be able to foil deeper at the same or better speed.  If they can trim faster, they will accelerate off the starting line faster.  Finally they should be able to tack and gybe  faster simply because the human power will buffer the loss of aerodynamic drive. One horsepower isn’t much, except when it really matters.

Let me be absolutely clear, I do not regard this as cheating.  It is absolutely within the rules as written, but not within the rules as understood by fools like me who thought they knew the rules. I could believe the simplification was done to avoid another charge of cheating against Oracle by ETNZ.  I know how hard it is to police kinetics, and it has become customary in many classes to have a wind speed at which the Race Committee can declare “game on” but this is different. ETNZ deserves a golf clap for taking advantage of this opportunity.

If anyone can quantify the difference between the arm grinders time producing x power and the cyclists producing y power, I think it would inform all of our appreciation of the events to come.


Got an answer for this legend?  Hit him up in the thread.


May 24th, 2017

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Who doesn’t want to be this dude, at least for this experience?


May 24th, 2017

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Marine Engineering 105: Why My Boat Costs What It Costs? 

Pricing out a new boat is the no-win gig in yacht design. Resolving down the cost of materials, labor, and design into a figure you can plan for, is like finding longitude before clocks. It takes time, patience and a whole lot of luck. For the first time, we break down the two methods we use to price new builds.

They may not be as slick as Truecar, but they work. And they’ll make you a better boat shopper right now.

Pricing dreams is the no-win gig in yacht design. No matter how hard we try, we never seem to be able to get away from the hard fact that the magic of enjoying a boat only displaces a fraction more than the frustration that comes with pricing that boat.

It’s not rocket science as to why new boats are hard to cost out: The only thing posing more variables when building a yacht, is the owner’s evolving expectations in creating that yacht. Assisting clients in pricing their priorities is tricky.

We have evolved two methods to get at an early approximation for the cost of a new build: One, based on the cost of labor, plus a cost-of-materials factor. And, two, a flat price-per-pound ratio that expresses cost through a boat’s displacement.

Here’s the story on each way to price a new boat, thanks to Stephens waring Yacht Design. Check it.


May 24th, 2017

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Stolen from FB… Whattaya got?


May 24th, 2017

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Building an AC50. Southern Spars Big Pimpin’.

Southern Spars have been building some of the best masts in the world for more than a quarter of a century, and for their first few challenges outside the realms of masts and rigging they haven’t lowered their sights even a fraction.

Equipped with some of the best minds and hands in the world of composites, in mid-2016 the company set out to flex their design and manufacturing muscle outside the world of carbon spars. The first challenge they took on was revolutionising track cycling wheels for the New Zealand Olympic Track Cycling Team. Southern’s R&D and production teams produced a set of 32 wheels, which helped the NZ team set the fastest opening lap of a velodrome ever recorded at sea level and take home a silver at Rio.

Even before the wheels had been delivered the second challenge appeared on the horizon. Southern Spars’ co-founder and head of sales, Mark Hauser, got a call from Kevin Shoebridge, Emirates Team New Zealand’s COO. The contract for building Emirates Team New Zealand’s yacht for the 35th America’s Cup was up for grabs.

‘I absolutely knew we could do the job,’ says Hauser. ‘We are perfectly set up, we’ve got one of the best carbon fibre manufacturing plants in the world, and some of the best guys to do the job.

‘Our relationship with Southern goes back a long way,’ says Team New Zealand CEO Grant Dalton. ‘This is our sixth campaign together, so we knew that we could trust them to deliver. Their skills in carbon manufacturing – be it masts or anything else – are of the absolute highest standard. Producing the rest of the yacht at Southern Spars became a natural choice because of the experience and skills they have on offer.’

Southern were already building two of the complex 23.6m wings for Emirates Team New Zealand when it was confirmed that they would build the most technologically advanced yacht that New Zealand – and potentially the world – had ever seen. At this point progress on the first wing was very advanced. It was delivered well in advance of the raceboat so that it could be used in training and development on their 45ft test boat. Read on.


May 24th, 2017

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And so it begins. My Santa Cruz 33, (currently Mondo) soon to be Anarchy 3, came out of the water today at Shelter Island Boatyard, not looking half bad! Of course, half of it actually does look bad, but surprisingly not all of it! Obviously we are putting a new bottom on the boat, blasting this hideous old paint off and using Pettit Vivid White. Stripes will be painted gray and hull will be brought back to life as well. We will repaint the inside and again, Pettit has just the stuff.

The cockpit and deck layout are going to need a ton of revamping, so Scott Dalin from SD1D Rigging will be stripping all the gear off the deck and cockpit bits, we’ll lay down some Kiwi Grip over the shot nonskid, and we’ll replace the old gear with an entire Selden arsenal. We are really impressed with the performance products they make – who knew?

The rig is currently in cruise mode, so we are ditching the Profurl, the strong man mainsail track, and replacing the standing rigging with original spec rod rigging.

Every single halyard and sheet is going to be from Marlow Ropes, and having used their lines exclusively on the Melges 32, we can tell you it is really nice stuff. Strong, long lasting and soft to the hands.

We are unsure about what we are doing about electronics/navigation (but we can tell you it won’t be race geek), and are open to suggestions….

We are getting ready to huddle with OneSails Australia to plan the sail inventory, and will let you know what we are going to build for the SoCal racing and day sailing we are going to do..

That about covers it for now, but as we get into the work we’ll get you pictures and reports about the progress… – ed.


May 23rd, 2017

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Most haven’t been on one, now’s your chance. Thanks to Keith Brash.


May 23rd, 2017


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