TP52 moulds have been put to good use recently but with a bit added on top. With the 2017 Rolex TP52 World Championship coming up, a decade after the first Rolex TP52 worlds in 2006 in Miami and after so much development of boats and class racing over the years, maybe a good time to weigh in?
A TP52 is of course more than a set of numbers, but then again to get an idea what you are actually looking at or reading about numbers do help. The length overall of 15.85m and beam of 4.42m result in a hull area including the transom of just under 85m2 and a deck area of just under 59m2. Depending on build quality a Nomex cored hull will weigh 500-550kg, a Nomex cored deck 210-240kg and the internal structure just over 300kg. Then taping the lot together plus some items like composite chainplates, stanchion sockets and so on will add another 50kg for a total weight of the composite construction of 1,050-1,150kg.
If not restricted by the TP52 structural guidelines I would say theoretically one can build up to 10 per cent lighter, but either at considerable added cost using ultra high-modulus carbon and optimised Nomex cores or at reduced strength or a very unproductive combination of the two. There is no way one can build lighter, stronger and cheaper by for instance using foam cores as I still see suggested every now and then. Photo thanks to Max Ranchi
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