Aerodynamic optimization of a sail-plan of a boat

Salvatore Zappia (University of Pisa)

CHALLENGE - This thesis presents the results of an optimization study of the geometry and layout of the sail-plan (genoa and mainsail) of a 12 meter prototype boat called Mefistofele. The goal is to maximize the ratio between boat speed and sail-plan surface, considering different upwind sailing conditions.

SOLUTION - ProEngineer Wildfire and STAR CCM+ have been used to generate the geometry and perform the aerodynamic simulations. Software integration has been implemented using modeFRONTIER where the parametric geometry is modified regarding input parameters and the CFD results are extracted automatically. The genetic algorithm MOGA II is used to obtain the optimal results.

BENEFITS - The optimization methodology implemented using modeFRONTIER enabled to find the optimal sail-plan considering boat speed, sail-plan surface and regatta rules. With the optimized configuration Mefistofele managed to sensibly improve boat performances. The boat Mefistole won first place in the race Coppa CNL with a 3 minute lead in comparison to the boat arriving in second place.