The America’s Cup sailing trophy has always been a competition where – in addition to sailing skills - engineering innovations have a crucial impact on race results. In the multihull era of the trophy, the introduction of a new boat class has revolutionized the traditional racing boat concept. Therefore naval architects and engineers are now facing the challenge to explore new solutions and approaches to solve a completely new set of problems.
The boat must stay maneuverable while the foiling structure lifts the hulls and let the boat “fly” to reach the maximum speed. In this paper, a study on the hull shape design is presented. The hull geometry not only has a significant impact on boat handling and reliability but also affects the time required to lift the boat on the foils and achieve the maximum speed possible. To identify the best hull candidate, a preliminary design investigation has been conducted, exploiting advanced optimization techniques and simulation process automation.
Automatically driving the parametrized hull shape generation and coupling it with Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) simulation made possible to efficiently explore the design space and to enhance the over-all yacht performances. In addition, this approach allowed to inject in the optimization process the experience gained by designers during the engineering of the first multihull boat for the previous edition of the America’s Cup and leverage this knowledge to unlock the discovery of new break through solutions instead of focusing on conventional practices.