The Volvo Ocean Race 2014-2015 started yesterday with a In-Port-Race in Alicante, Spain. A new designed One Design – VO65 will be the sailing boat for this year.
A canting keel is a form of sailing ballast, suspended from a rigid canting strut beneath the boat, which can be swung to windward of a boat under sail, in order to counteract the heeling force of the sail. The canting keel must be able to pivot to either port or starboard, depending on the current tack.
The canting-keel system utilises two opposing hydraulic rams, and is very similar to the style of system used successfully on the VO70s. As with the VO70, the system has been designed to operate safely with only one ram to ensure complete redundancy. FYD worked closely with the hydraulic experts at Cariboni in Italy to ensure that the geometry of the canting system resulted in a concept that is light and with a low centre of gravity, while still being relatively simple and inexpensive to produce. Hydraulic supply ports were also located in such a way as to be sympathetic to the needs of the sailors onboard, with good access and visibility.
In keeping with the conceptual philosophy of the rest of the yacht, the design brief for the VO65 required the appendage package to be significantly less costly than that of a Volvo Open 70 (VO70), with equivalent or higher safety factors… and a similar performance envelope. Although at the outset this seemed like a tall order, without the rigid constraints of the previous VO70 rule we found numerous fruitful areas to explore that delivered excellent return on investment in terms of performance improvements without additional cost or reduced robustness.
The VO65 keel fin is machined from a solid steel forging and is designed to comply with all of the stringent structural requirements of the previous VO70 rule. In addition, the fin meets or exceeds all the requirements of Germanischer Lloyd’s (GL) new Guidelines for the Structural Design of Racing Yachts over 24m including keel torsional strength and a complete fatigue assessment.
After reviewing the proposed stopover ports for the 2014-2015 edition of the Volvo Ocean Race, the organisers decided that an increase in maximum draft from 4.5m to 4.7m would be acceptable. This extra 200mm of draft allowed us to increase righting moment without increasing keel weight, giving the boat a noticeable performance improvement without incurring any significant extra cost.
Innovative features of Volvo Ocean 65
- Keel: The maximum draft has been increased from 4.5m to 4.7m. This allows an increase in the righting moment while decreasing the keel weight, giving the boat a noticeable performance improvement.
- Keel Pin: The new boat has an inclined keel pin axis that will be positive for performance: creating a large vertical force on the keel fin, creating lift and reducing the displacement and the amount of drag.
- Structure: There are eight bulkheads inside the Volvo Ocean 65 – compared to a typical number of four on a Volvo Open 70. The increase means a stronger and more solid structure.
- Reverse bow: The reverse bow is mainly a cosmetic feature, in the most photographed area of the boat, but it will also help keep water off the bow.
- Water ballasts: In the Volvo Open 70 there was only one water ballast in the stern. The Volvo Ocean 65 has two aft water ballasts and one forward water ballast.
- Onboard media packaging: There are five fixed camera positions and two uplink points, which will combine to give coverage from all angles. The camera and mic point in the companionway hatch will get right in the faces of the sailors. Cameras can be remote controlled and directed, while new microphone locations and systems will enhance voice recording. Key to the project is that the cameras and microphones now have much better protection from wind and water, enabling interviews in the cockpit.
For more details please visit Volvo Ocean Race boat page