Of rigs and sails
YACHT CLASS N°9 (June-july-august 2017)
One just had to think of it, VPLP designed it and Marc Pajot took up its advocacy : a yacht with a winged rig, both "reefable and furlable", and electric engines. She is "piloted" with buttons and is purposely as sober as possible. A new generation of hybrid units was born.
Text : Alain Brousse et Emmanuel de Toma - Illustrations : D.R
Since the studies of the aerodynamicist Manfred Curry, back to the early twentieth century, and especially thanks to the improvements of aircraft wings, we know now that the sails should be rigid and thick enough to reach their best performance. Despite many successful rigid wings on units designed for speed records, folding them back afterwards remained a challenge... VPLP architecture studio, which has collaborated since 2010 to the design of BMW Oracle, the winner of the 33th America’s Cup, has just developed what may be a revolution in the sailboat world, and even for all vessels : a sailwing with two "reefable and furlable" flaps. Fully automated, self-supporting and 360° revolving, this rig can adjust the impact of the wing to all speeds for an optimal propulsion. According to its designers, this rig, named Oceanwings, will be ultimately offered roughly at the same price as a performance one. The first tests on a seven-metre trimaran, in cooperation with the ADEME (The French Agency for the Environment and the Control of Energy) validated the device reliability. Oceanwings is based on the intrados principle of an aircraft wing, with one difference : it works vertically !
Originally, this rig was part of a larger project... Let’s head back in time to the Monaco Yacht Show 2015. Marc Van Peteghem (VPLP) unveiled the layout of an 80-metre unit fitted with this Oceanwings system and met Marc Pajot who immediately saw a pleasure application, but on a 40-metre. Marc Van Peteghem was quick to conceive the Komorebi 130’ for this former participant of the America’s Cup, endowed with his invention, Oceanwings (mast height : 22.40 m), twice as efficient as a traditional rig, provided that there is little or no heel. Hence the choice of a multihull : a large central hull stabilized by two aft "runners". On the renderings, Komorebi looks like a "trendy" trimaran, in particular with her slightly reversed bow. Her two "wing-masts" make her look like a boat from another world. Her maximum speed will be around 15 knots and on a "flat calm", she will be powered by electric diesel engines. Her program : the offshore pleasure yachting. Thus, she will feature two decks, the main one (living and dining room, four guest cabins and a master) and the lower one (beach club, sauna-hammam, kitchen, dressing room, four crew cabins and a forward garage for two tenders and two jet skis). Of course, Komorebi has a flybridge with a large sundeck and wheelhouse. A new generation of yachts is definitely born and answers the current specifications : a minimal consumption and pollution.
- Overall length : 40,30 m
- Max beam : 6,50 et 12,20 m
- Draft : 2,50 m
- Air draught : 31,20 m
- Laden displacement : 250 t
- Material : alu (coque) et composite (superstructures)
- Propulsion : 2 x 450 kW
- Max speed : 15 nds
- Cruising speed : 12 nds
- Architect & designer : VPLP Design
- Marketing : Pajot Yachts Sélection (Saint-Tropez)