For those on the cutting edge of technology the shift in platform choice to wing-sail catamarans in the America’s Cup may have reduced the number of sail-handling systems to develop, but it has created new opportunities for innovation in hardware solutions across a multitude of entirely new applications. Foil and wing-control systems, for example, have been designed, fabricated and evaluated for the past two years and more, with this year’s start of competition being the final test for their efficiency, reliability and ultimate contribution to performance.
The Emirates Team New Zealand squad are famously uncompromising on demanding the best from their equipment, so it’s no surprise that their relationship with UBI Maior Italia has evolved to be an even tighter fit. Development is more than just a process at Maior Italia, it is an inherent part of the culture at this small producer of custom and semi-custom hardware – focused exclusively on meeting the high demands of highperformance yachts.
The process starts with describing the system and its load parameters, and from here the company’s technical team go to work developing 3D models of the new product through the use of specialised CAD software to use a finite element method (FEM) approach to optimise dimensioning, well before the production of the first prototype. This helps define the parameter space and all the material choices for the job at hand.