Nice, even if I doubt they can beat a full crewed Ker 40, at least if half of the time is upwind sailing. With nasty weather and upwind the ker would be much faster and a lot less stressfull.
Thanks for posting, it is a very interesting boat designed by one of the hottest new design cabinets : Schickler Tagliapietra
Just look at some of his other designs….nice
Schickler Tagliapietra | IRC and Box-rule Archive
The KuKa is a kind of super class 40, an open 40 with foils and canting keel. It has a big beam and is light, very light, with not a big ballast ratio but with a huge draft to compensate:
Length 12.80 mt
beam 4.60 mt
Draft 3.50 mt
Displ (light) 3'200 kg
Upwind SA 116 mq
Downwind SA 218 mq
They say about the boat:
The project began with a simple set of parameters:
• Capable of Rolex Middle Sea Race and Rolex Fastnet Race, together with other ocean courses of comparable length.
• Monohull sloop around LOA 12.9 m, but final size dependent on build facility limits.
• No regard for rating whatsoever.
• As light as possible, period.
The initial discussions centered on weight and what “no rules” really means. The IMOCA 60’s were often used as a reference. It was decided that achieving Design Category A for the purposes of CE/ISO certification and ISAF OSR Category 1 was appropriate. This would make the boat a proper ocean racer, just a level below the deep trans-ocean racing of the IMOCA’s. A transatlantic race will likely still be attainable for this boat, with some upgrades.
Options to achieve the lowest possible weight initially touched on the simplicity of the design:
• Canting vs. fixed deep draft keel
• Fixed mast vs. rotating wing mast
The power to weight of the canting keel proved unbeatable with technology today, for the regattas in question. The efficiency of the rotating wing mast, enhanced by a boat that would sail more like a catamaran than like a fixed keel mono, was too attractive to be ignored. …
To get the lowest possible weight of the primary hull and deck laminates and unprecedented approach was taken. We decided to build the port and starboard sides, the central hull, and the deckhouse and cockpit each in the largest diameter autoclave available to us. This gives access to huge pressures during cure and allows one to choose prepreg’s with far higher fibre to resin ratios than is normally possible. This is exactly the kind of construction techniques ruled out in the America’s Cup, the VOR, and even IMOCA yachts, except for the masts and appendages. Because we were working at a reasonable scale, the costs were not explosive. The weight savings were unattainable any other way. It goes without saying that bowsprit, foils, and mast would also be produced in this same hi-tech fashion.
To capitalize still further on the lightest techniques possible, core material from aramid honeycomb was chosen. It is truly super core, with properties that allow the designers to reduce weight still further. Aramid cores, though hard to master, have higher stiffness and strength than conventional foam cores, but at about ½ the weight per square meter.
.. The primary focus was how hard the boat could be driven. Deck immersion in waves was considered to be a crucial factor. If it was possible to reduce deck immersion and heeled drag at the same time, all the better. In the end, this study showed the value of rocker, as much as it did volume distribution forward of the mast.
.. As it stands, if Kuka were an IMOCA 60, it would be 15% lighter than the nearest competitor. There is nothing like it on the race course. It is wide for its length, 4.6 m wide for 12.7 m LOA. It is has a considerable sprit and an upwind sailplan almost exactly the same as a Class 40, at a fraction of the lightship weight. Kuka has been a unique project, the best challenge we have been presented with to date, and likely for the foreseeable future.
Doug Schickler – ST Yacht
The boa tis going to make the Fastnet and I really want to see what he can make against the ker 40.
I am at Sant'Andrea Marina fitting out my boat and there are some interesting boats that makes this place their home: Among them some big Swans and the Silver Chiller, an interesting all carbon Corsair 37, a famous boat and winner of many races:
SILVERCHILLER | Corsair 37 RS Carbon Trimaran