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Old 07-02-12, 04:01 PM   #1
jsharr
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Foo Sailers, Anyone watched any of the AC45 catamarans?

I was flipping through the channels yesterday afternoon and came across an America's Cup qualifying event where they were racing the new AC45 class catamarans. I did not like the cats back in the day, when they used them to "bend" the rules and the race was sailed in a court room, not on the water.

I was not expecting to like them, and I was surprised to find that not only did I like them but I schemeing and dreaming and trying to find a way to get a ride on one. The boats are incredibly fast and nimble. They will accelerate to top speed in around 8 seconds. Yesterday they were sailing 21 knots in 11 knots of breeze. Also like the new confined courses that keep the boats close together. Also enjoyed the electronic monitoring that showed when a boat had sailed off course or fouled another boat.

I cannot wait to see what the big cats do in the real AC racing.
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Old 07-02-12, 08:38 PM   #2
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yeah... that WAS cool - looked like a bunch of near misses, but I suspect it was more the camera angles?
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Old 07-03-12, 08:52 AM   #3
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yeah... that WAS cool - looked like a bunch of near misses, but I suspect it was more the camera angles?
Those boats are so nimble and react so quickly to changes in wind speed that in the hands of the best sailers in the world, they can be sailed very close to the limit. You were watching the very best helmsmen in the world yesterday. If they do not pass as closely as possible, they are giving up ground on the course. They hold their course until it is apparent that they cannot cross ahead of the other boat without fouling them, (making the boat that has rights change course) and then do a rapid ducking manuever.

We do the same thing when we race, just not quite as close. When I am sailing my boat, I try to cross less than one boat lenght astern of a competitor if at all possible. If I know the other skipper, I will go closer than that if I trust him to hold his course and speed.
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Old 07-03-12, 09:03 AM   #4
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21 knots? That's about 24 mph....that's pretty swift.
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Old 07-03-12, 09:15 AM   #5
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21 knots? That's about 24 mph....that's pretty swift.
That was in 10 knots of wind. In big air, they go 40 knots or more. The most amazing thing is how quickly they left the windward hull. Watching them sail was unreal from the viewpoint of a monohull sailer used to the constraints of a displacement hull. Heck, I have sailed on quite a few planing boats, but watching these new solid wing sail cats is mind blowing.
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Old 07-03-12, 09:24 AM   #6
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Old 07-03-12, 09:27 AM   #7
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dang...those things are flat out haulin ass.
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Old 07-03-12, 10:40 AM   #8
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wow
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Old 07-03-12, 10:45 AM   #9
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21 knots? That's about 24 mph....that's pretty swift.
That's fast enough to ski behind, not sure if they have the hole shot is strong enough to get me up though.
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Old 07-03-12, 11:14 AM   #10
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They're truly incredible machines but I don't think a small boat sailor like me could even work the wenches on one.
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Old 07-03-12, 11:18 AM   #11
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That's fast enough to ski behind, not sure if they have the hole shot is strong enough to get me up though.
they can accelerate to full speed in about 8 seconds. I think they could get you up on problem.
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Old 07-03-12, 11:19 AM   #12
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they can accelerate to full speed in about 8 seconds. I think they could get you up on problem.
8 seconds is a long time to drag behind a boat. That's a lot of strain.
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Old 07-03-12, 11:19 AM   #13
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They're truly incredible machines but I don't think a small boat sailor like me could even work the wenches on one.
I see what you did there.

Wing sail does not take too much force I would imagine. Headsail is tiny. Jinaker is pretty big, but they seem to be trimming the sails with one trimmer and one grinder, so I think you could do it.
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Old 07-03-12, 11:22 AM   #14
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8 seconds is a long time to drag behind a boat. That's a lot of strain.
Full speed is over 40 knots. You could hit 20 knots much quicker I would think. You might have to turn in your skinny ski for a fat boy, but it is doable for sure.
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Old 07-03-12, 11:23 AM   #15
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I see what you did there.

Wing sail does not take too much force I would imagine. Headsail is tiny. Jinaker is pretty big, but they seem to be trimming the sails with one trimmer and one grinder, so I think you could do it.
This reminds me of some parties back in the college days.
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