Preliminary Design Investigation for the development of new hull shapes for America’s Cup Class catamaran AC-62

Author(s): 
Michele Stroligo (Luna Rossa Challenge)

CHALLENGE - The AC62, a catamaran with a rigid wing profile sail and foils, is the yacht used by Luna Rossa Challenge to compete in the 35th America’s Cup in June 2017, in Bermuda. The procedures and the results of a preliminary design investigation for the development of a new hull shape are presented.

SOLUTION - Modern design techniques such as optimization and computational fluid dynamics have been extensively used in this investigation with the goal to improve the hydrodynamic performance. The yacht was investigated in displacement and skimming modes. Since the investigation was in a preliminary stage, to speed up the process, a single-objective function is chosen. Optimization platform modeFRONTIER has been used to create a workflow to handle the automatic parametric modification of the hull shape and the CFD simulation using STAR-CCM+. The optimization process is driven by NSGA II genetic algorithm, available in modeFRONTIER. 

BENEFITS - In skimming mode, improvements were substantial with a drag reduction in the 12-22% range. The optimized hull has also confirmed its success during accelerations and takeoffs, due to the catamaran starting the foiling phase about 5 seconds earlier which provides an advantage in terms of speed, distance traveled, and agility. 

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