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Solent Whisper’ : a 5.9m sailing catamaran with a cutting-edge hydrofoil system

vendredi 12 septembre 2014La Rédaction

Toutes les versions de cet article : [English] [français]

Southampton Solent graduate Geoff Holt, the first quadriplegic sailor to sail solo across the Atlantic, has unveiled the University’s latest exciting technological development – an innovation which could change the face of small boat inshore racing - the ‘Solent Whisper’ - a 5.9m sailing catamaran with a cutting-edge hydrofoil system.

Designed and built using the state-of the-art yacht design and engineering facilities at Solent’s Warsash Maritime Academy and city-centre campus, the catamaran’s technology has already attracted attention from world-class sailors during sea trials this summer.

The revolutionary new hydrofoil system provides stability, ease and safety, which along with an affordable projected purchase price, has the potential to offer America’s Cup-style sailing to the masses. The craft’s easy and stable sailing style also mean it could prove popular and accessible for disabled sailors.

Primarily designed with ease and safety in mind, Solent Whisper has also exceeded expectations on the speed front. It comfortably achieves over 25 knots and it can ‘fly’ on its foils in as little as five knots of wind.

The new hydrofoil technology is the brainchild of Ron Price, a Solent yacht and powercraft design graduate who is now Senior Lecturer in Naval Architecture at the University’s Warsash Maritime Academy.

The prototype is the result of months of hard work made possible by the technical experience, support and skills from colleagues across the University and the state-of-the-art facilities at both the engineering workshop at the maritime academy and the composites lab at Solent.

“I was very fortunate to have access to the incredible skill and knowledge of the engineering technicians, the support of staff, and use of the superb facilities at the University,” says Ron.”

It is hoped that a retail production version will be available for the London Boat Show in January 2015.

“We are engineering the boat in a way that the design is smart enough to keep the production costs low,” he says.

“I’m hoping that my design ideas will make inshore and small boat racing more accessible and affordable for the average club racer, those who sail for pleasure and people with disabilities,” adds Ron.



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