How a start-up can develop
in the yacht design decisively
Between 2000 and 2010, we sailed mainly on our lakes in Switzerland and neighboring countries on the sport boats that came on the market at that time and were in the range around 28 feet in length. For a while we were quite happy with these boats. We sailed up & down regattas and increasingly what we call "long distance regattas". In English they are called "Geographical races" - that is, up and down the lake, with landmarks or intermediate targets to round.
These races in large mixed fields take place in the summer months - the wind is mostly light, but unpredictable situations can arise when thunderstorms with sometimes very strong, gusty winds unload.
We quickly learned a lot and were to be found more and more often in the top groups with our comparatively small boats. There we fought with yachts with much higher potential.
In short, we were able to keep up well in light and very light winds. However, as soon as it freshened up, we mostly only saw this competition from behind.
At some point we began to ask ourselves how we could improve the general performance of sporting boats without having to resort to extreme measures. Catamarans or "Liberas" were never up for discussion for reasons of cost and practicality.
In the analysis we agreed that length was the issue and also mast height. It seemed that there was little that could be done except to build a big boat as well. But because we didn't want to do that, we began to think more seriously about a third essential factor - that of "stability".
Until then it was a dogma, so to speak, that stability could only be achieved with (a lot of) weight on the fin, because "over-wide" boats are unsuitable for notoriously light wind conditions.
The alternative was slimmer hulls with more ballast. A lead hull weighing 500 to 750kgs on an 8.5m boat was not attractive to us either. As long as there is no heeling in the prevailing light winds, this ballast pulls the boat down and creates additional form drag. $
Very wide or very heavy - both were out of the question for us.
If the wind picks up, the heavier sports boats benefit from their stability for the time being - but only on courses against the wind. If, on the other hand, you can maintain the optimum regatta course with more open sails, the tide turns and a light, well-shaped sports boat will reach or even exceed its hull speed much sooner and thus come close to a planing condition.
However, because we can rarely complete longer courses at these regattas with a strong enough wind from behind or the side at a strength that would allow planing, a light boat alone is not enough to have any real advantage.
So good advice was expensive!
Since I am not a designer myself, I first looked for views and opinions from the people who deal with these things professionally.
I was hoping to come across a "nugget" in my magazines and on the internet, and eventually discover the goldmine to resolve the tricky stability dilemma that monohulls are at the mercy of.
The topic "Foils" is still very new for many - we are happy to share our knowledge and experience with you.