Sail-World.com : Volvo Penta sets America’s Cup vessels precisely on station
Volvo Penta sets America’s Cup vessels precisely on station
Volvo Penta will be providing the engines, drives and dynamic positioning systems for a new class of support vessels for the America’s Cup racing events.
The six new custom 13.9m (46-ft) power catamarans, which were designed by Australian naval architects One2three and built by East Asia Composites, made their debut at the America’s Cup World Series events held in San Francisco in August and October 2012. The twin Volvo D6-330 engines and IPS450 pod drives are linked to the Volvo Penta’s onboard GPS for precise position keeping when serving as a course marker, even in strong currents and wind conditions.
'One2three designed the boats to meet the specifications of the America’s Cup Race Management (ACRM),' said Steve Quigley, managing director for One2three. 'The design brief was to create a vessel that would be used as an actual rounding mark of the course, be capable of accurately maintaining station and remotely monitored for position, and also provide a visually pleasing and stable platform for camera crews and a ‘ringside seat’ for VIP spectators close to the fast-paced action.'
Virata 5 - Volvo Penta
'The resulting design took advantage of the dynamic positioning control system and excellent maneuvering features of the Volvo Penta IPS drives on a hull shape that is specifically designed to be seakindly under all weather conditions and highly efficient at speed,' Quigley added.
'The main deck is arranged for full walk-around capability with 360-degree viewing.'
Helmut’s Marine Service, which is preparing to celebrate its 25th year as Volvo Penta’s servicing dealer and Power Center in San Francisco, provided pre- and post-race servicing, commissioning and technical support. 'The great service team at Helmut’s went above and beyond the call of duty to ensure the new marker boats performed flawlessly throughout the series,' said Ron Huibers, president of Volvo Penta of the Americas.
'The captains were very pleased with the Volvo Penta propulsion and dynamic positioning systems, which enabled them to keep the boats precisely on station without anchor lines,' said Helmut Ahollinger, president of Helmut’s Marine Service. 'This is a tremendous improvement over the smaller outboard boats used in the past, which needed constant manual maneuvering to hold a steady position. And, unlike fixed buoys, the marker vessels can easily and quickly be repositioned as needed to alter the race course for changing weather conditions.'
The America’s Cup World Series is a professional circuit that brings world-class racing teams with cutting-edge wing-sailed catamarans flying at speeds over 30 mph to international venues. The 2012-2013 series stops in San Francisco, Venice and Naples, concluding in September 2013. The series champion will be crowned based on cumulative scores from all of the events.
One2three was formed in 2005 and is an independent design house with experience in commercial and private vessels. The company employs 10 naval architects and experienced draftsmen at offices in Sydney and Fremantle, Australia.
Designed specifically for the America's Cup Race Management, this is a VIP-spectator vessel that also functions as a course marker. The catamaran hullform allows a large stable viewing platform positioning spectators and camera crew close to the action in a comfortable setting.
Twin Volvo IPS drives are linked to the onboard GPS unit to allow the vessel to hold its position as a course marker.
Photos courtesy of ACRM.
Length, overall: 13.9 m
Length, waterline: 12.9 m
Beam, moulded: 5.5 m
Depth, moulded: 1.65 m
Draught: 0.67 m
Class: EC Recreational Boat
Structural Design: Lloyds SSC (G2)
Built: East Asia Composites
Launched: Nov 2011-June 2012
Name: America, Deception, Relentless, Starts and Stripes, Puritan, Enterprise