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 Ż 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:
Cammas and his team are no longer the rookies of this race, but the probable winners. And with this victory Cammas joins the legendary French sailors and has deserved a place side by side with Tabarly.
What impresses me most, beside the very different sailing categories and type of boats in which he excels is that he is so young to have won so much.
When he skippers a crew, on the Volvo, or in the Jules Verne Trophy, he is always one of the younger guys. That is not natural, the captain is normally among the older and more experienced.
Believe it or not, he opted for sailing as a career leaving behind is other passion, music: He is also a classical piano player.
As it was expected is a one class boat designed by Farr.
I don’t like the idea of a one class racer for the main sailing ocean crew event (by the same reasons it would be very poor if F1 was raced with identical cars). The reasons presented regarding costs are not convincing (the boat only costs about 30% of the total costs) and the choice of Farr as the designer is odd. Farr boats have been beaten on this and on the last race by JK boats.
Listen to the questions. There are some interesting ones like: if a boat has a design problem, all boats will have the same problem and there is no way to test sail these boat before the race in what regards the conditions and length of the race. Another interesting one is “how was made the choice of the designer for the boat?” I guess the guy could be more specific and ask why they choose a designer whose boats have not managed to win a single VOR in the last years instead of the one that has won all last VOR races?
Another interesting one is ôhow was made the choice of the designer for the boat?ö I guess the guy could be more specific and ask why they choose a designer whose boats have not managed to win a single VOR in the last years instead of the one that has won all last VOR races?
Guillermo Atadill visited us here in Chile, and I asked him about the new OD VOR and why Farr and not Juan K, and he answered that all was Farr lobbying, very dark business. He is not happy about this decision.
For the ones that like racing, particularly solo racing is good to remember that the ôSolitaire du Figaroö is on. This is a true classic where many of the best solo sailors come to compete.
It is not an expensive race, it is raced on Figaro 2 that can be bought used not for much money. However is easy to fill ridiculous on this race given the very high quality of the racers (they are all professionals).
For instance on the first leg Jean Pierre Nicol was only 34th, Anthony Marchand 35th, Lobato 27th, Thomas Ruyant 18th , Jeanne Gregoire 16th, Morvan 12th. All these guys (and ladies) are winners of many races.