Tested to the Extreme!
The prototype mast has gone down while flying two hulls under gennaker. The boat was fully loaded up with four 80–100+kg guys onboard, none of whom sustained any injuries. After stabilising the rig on deck the crew made their way back to dock under motor. The aim with the prototype mast was to test it to extremes before commencing full production, so we are happy to announce we have ticked that box and ready to move forward.
The reason for failure has been attributed to the capability of the boat to be sailed hard at high angles under gennaker. The boat has a stunning righting moment 15% higher than initially estimated. The One Design (A3) gennaker is a flat furling sail, (yellow, pictured above) which allows you to sail very ‘hot’ to power up, build speed and lift the main hull going ‘wild’ in medium breeze. This does however create much larger compressive and torsional forces in the mast when compared to sailing normal angles downwind. With the addition of curved foils in the floats the dynamic load goes up even more because the lift they provide enables you to push the boat much harder.
During the test sailing period (Aug–Oct) we have observed and recorded this and even before the breaking of the prototype we revisited the laminate plan for subsequent masts. And so concludes the test period, our goals have been acheived and now we look forward to some great class racing in the near future.
The SeaCart Test Sailing Team