Well it is not a fiberglass boat and is made of wood or plywood if you want.
Not many boats are built like that and RM is the only boat builder with a significant production that make the boats that way. Lots of smaller French boat builders use plywood but mostly for smaller sailing boats.
I have said that things in the VOR promised to be interesting. Well, look at this:
Strong gale force winds in excess of 45 knots have joined forces with six metre waves in a gang-attack against the fleet that has left sailors and boats reeling in pain.
But the fleet has remained defiant said CAMPER skipper Chris Nicholson who is amazed by the punishment the Volvo Open 70s are enduring.
Nicholson admitted some surprise to have survived the battering unscathed up to this point. “So far we haven’t broken anything which is almost surprising given how hard we have been coming off these waves,” he said.
“When we get 45 knots, above 35 knots, we are slowing the boat down a bit to get through it. It should stay at 25 to 30 knots (of wind) tonight and then slowly ease back into the low twenties. So we have to just get through tonight with everything in one piece.”
Despite the tough conditions Nicholson said the CAMPER crew had made few concessions and were pushing hard whenever possible despite the almost impossible environment on deck.
“(On deck) you can’t stand up. If you move anywhere you are crawling around on your hands and knees clipped on. Every little job that we take for granted normally is now a bit of a procedure.
“Everything has a high level of difficulty with it. Just to go over to the leeward side of the boat to ease a sheet the driver has to ease up a little bit otherwise that person gets washed down the deck.”
Back on the race Telefonica due to that brilliant move (I confess that it did only seem odd to me at the time) is leading, Camper is following, Groupama is recovering and overtake Puma and they are all pushing hard.
The ice limit was moved up and that is a pity because the big downwind winds are now off limits
The ones that find that some of the sailboats I post here looks like spaceships will be right regarding this one. This one does not like to a sailboat at all and probably that has to do with being designed by aerospace engineers.
Take a look:
Even the name seems more appropriated for a fighter jet than to a sail boat: V-44 Albatros
They say about the "boat":
v-44 Albatross has ‘three axis control’ similar to a conventional fixed wing aircraft. At high speed, the boat is effectively flown at very low altitude using active control in all three axis.
The three axis are:
1. yaw from foot rudder pedals controlling the rudder;
2. roll from control stick left / right movement, similar to ailerons on conventional aircraft. The aerodynamic design enables roll control without lift cross coupling;
3. height above surface from control stick fore / aft movement controlling overall lift / power of wing-sails.
There is no other sailing boat which has this degree of active control. The benefit of this approach is to give prolonged periods of the hulls remaining completely free from the surface of water, minimising a major drag component.
The boat can sail on both port and starboard tack; the wing-sails and keels roll through 90 degrees as the v-44 turns through the wind.
The maximum speed of the boat is the cavitation speed of the keel. This is maximized by using a cambered keel section and transposing between two keels as the boat tacks.
The skipper is able to actively maintain a boat speed just under the cavitation speed of the keel across a range of sailing conditions.
One of the most interesting guys on the next vendee Globe is Alessandro di Benedetto. He passed directly from a Miniclass racer to an Open 60. That's like going from a Kart to a F1.
Alessandro has completed recently a circumnavigation solo and nonstop with a mini class racer and not an easy one. He lost its mast at midway, jury rigged and without outside help finished the circumnavigation under jury rig as if it was a minor problem. A resourceful gay to say the least and a hell of a sailor.
Compare both boats and look at the happiness in his face just looking at his new big toy:
And on this race hecan see some very interesting boats that don't appear much if at all on these part of the world. Look at the Firefly 850 a One Design fast cat for coastal racing or weekend cruising, a Mark Pescott design:
"The beauty of what we've got is that, when it's fully developed, a company will be able to go out and buy what is a standard carbon-composite material, lay out the shape, put it through the curing process and have a structural battery," ...
In order to achieve this BAE said it had "merged battery chemistries into composite materials".
"You take the nickel base chemistries and there are ways you can integrate that into the carbon fibre," . …
"The goal, and we are still working towards it, is to have a material that isn't significantly more expensive than carbon fiber,"
However, the power density of the batteries, the energy they can store for a given weight, is currently quite low - about a third that of a car battery….
"You need a battery chemistry that will last for many decades, you basically can't just take a wing off and throw it away as you would a mobile phone [battery]," Mr Penney said.
This is just awesome and I guess that the reporter did not understood the potential of the new technology….quite low? The guy is crazy they talk about 1/3 of the energy that can be stored for the same weight on a car battery, that is huge. If a hull of a 36ft boat is entirely made with this kind of composite it means we will have a 3 to 4 ton battery. That means the capacity of a wet lead battery of 1ton on a boat.
I want one of those, one boat that has a huge batery that can work for decades that weights nothing and that after fully charged will permit the use of an electric engine for days.
I guess that will solve the battery problem on electric engines for sailing boats.
Even compared with lithium batteries the hull of a 36ft boat will have the capacity of a huge battery, a 400kg lithium battery is a lot. And that is now; I bet they will manage to increase that efficiency at least for the double in the next years.
I guess that the solution for the autonomy for electric sailboats is found. What they really not found yet is that technology has an enormous potential on the boat industry.
Now they only need to create sails that work as solar panels to have a perfect set-up for a really efficient sail boat. The technology for that is not far.