Wednesday, October 13, 2010

New AC45 catamaran class takes shape

[Source: BMW Oracle] Boat No. 1 slated to hit the water in December.

America’s Cup Regatta Director Iain Murray today inspected production of the new AC45 catamaran class.

The AC45 is the little sister with attitude to the AC72. Both classes are fundamental parts of the transformation of the America’s Cup.

A one-design wingsail catamaran of 45 feet, the AC45 has been created to fulfill three roles:
- Fast-track teams for the 34th America’s Cup to a common level of catamaran sailing and wingsail technology at the outset of their campaigns.
- Provide a class of boat for the 2011 season of the new America’s Cup World Series.
- Provide a class of boat for the Youth America’s Cup commencing in 2012.

The first catamaran is slated for launching around Christmastime in Auckland, New Zealand. Sea trials are planned immediately afterwards with representatives from potential challengers to the 34th America’s Cup invited to participate.

AC45 construction at NZ Core Builders facility - Hull moulds preparation. Warkworth, 12 October 2010. Photo copyright Ivor Wilkins /

“The America’s Cup is now starting from a completely clean sheet of paper,” said Murray during his visit.

The rights to the design and administration of the build, sales, service and competition are vested in America’s Cup Race Management (ACRM), the independent race management authority for the 34th America’s Cup.

“The change to catamarans will see competitors racing round the track at 20 to 40 knots. It is going to be very fast and exciting. The event needed big changes and now it is happening,” added Murray.


The AC45 was designed and engineered by BMW ORACLE Racing on behalf of the America’s Cup community. Manolo Ruiz de Elvira led the hull design development, Scott Ferguson the wingsail development, and Dirk Kramers the structures team.

Mark Turner and Tim Symth of Core Builders, Warkworth, created production tooling for the hull platform and wingsail, and will produce the initial batch of boats in collaboration with other New Zealand marine industry specialists including Cookson Boats and Hall Spars NZL. Steering and daggerboard assemblies have been sub-contracted to C-Tech Carbon Technology and Craig Stirling Composites Engineering.

The AC45 is a versatile, one-design class with controlled costs and ease-of-maintenance a priority. The hulls and cross-beams are designed for simple and fast assembly to accommodate the active racing schedule.

The one-design wingsail consists of two elements. It is a scaled down concept of the 223-foot tall wing that powered BMW ORACLE Racing’s trimaran USA to victory in the 33rd America’s Cup Match.

The wing will have simple, manual control systems. There will be two headsail options, a gennaker and jib, but no Code 0 headsail.

“The AC45 is small enough that it doesn’t need hydraulics. The loads drop quickly when you get down to a boat of this size,” said Ian Burns, design team coordinator for BMW ORACLE Racing. “There aren’t even grinder pedestals. The winches will be powered by top-handle grinding.”

AC45 construction at NZ Core Builders facility - Hull moulds preparation. Warkworth, 12 October 2010. Photo copyright Ivor Wilkins /

Keeping with the simplification theme, the AC45 will have straight daggerboards. No articulation beyond raising and lowering is permitted.

Crews are likely to number five at an average weight of 85 kilograms (approximately 187 pounds) to fit the AC45’s future role in the Youth America’s Cup.


Cookson Boats and other key suppliers have been engaged to work with Core Builders to ensure swift production of the first batch of boats at a rate of two a month. Another designated boatbuilder in the USA or Europe is envisaged.

Boats will be delivered in sequence of ordering.

After use next year in the ACWS, the AC45 will be used for the Youth America’s Cup, a series to be run in 2012 in conjunction with the ACWS.

Labels: , ,


At 3:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The rights to the design and administration of the build, sales, service and competition are vested in America’s Cup Race Management (ACRM), the independent race management authority for the 34th America’s Cup.

Who owns ACRM - George Schuyler ?

At 3:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

good to see that things are moving

At 5:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rumor is you have to buy a boat for €1M from ACRM. ACRM is controled by who??? The million dollar question.
Or are the teams just paying for the design and build groups for BOR... something smell either way.

At 5:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That is going to be a wicked boat!

At 5:52 PM, Anonymous Michel said...

Pierre, do you have any video from the shipyard down under ?

At 8:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

In-house design and build development.....hmmm... that their two sail numbers for AC34, as it qualifies as a SURROGATE, right?

It certainly would if another team attempted to do the same trick........

At 4:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You already have time to come back to mono hulls and save the Cup .

How many Teams Yet ...maybe 4 ???? Looks like there is a lot of attraction with this format

At 5:31 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oracle , don't build to many Cats ..maybe with 4 Cats is already enough . Honestly this Cup does not look big fun at all and to be honest , don't see many pro sailors motivated with it also . Unfortunately this guys will kill the Cup if they don't change quickly . Remember the Admiral's Cup was big event long time ago ...this could happen to the Cup if they don't stop hitting it

At 5:33 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

TNZ and Artemist , don't loose $$$ and fun with this bloody Cup another TP and keep having fun and close racing

At 5:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Woever wants to have a different kind of AC needs to beat BMWOracle first. That's how this game is played and whining is not going to change anything...

At 5:38 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mate , we understand what you say . Someone has to beat Oracle in order to get the event back to a normal path . We know this are the rules ..but in the same way as when a president does a shitty job , citizens complain ..this is what is happening here . 70% of the sailing world don't see fun at all in this format , and this is why there are so few challengers ( maybe 4 and some supported by Oracle ) the rest are only wishes
Cat is not the answer for close racing . The speed excuse doesn't work since if you watched the 33rd Cup on TV , you never noticed they where going so quick because of their big size ...To be fair a TP52 in the breeze gives much more feel on speed than the bloody AC Cat ....After having wait so long after the 32nd Cup till the 33rd got sorted the sailing world don't deserve this kind of joke . My 2 cents into it

At 5:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I need to cover a big garage ....maybe after the Cup I can buy few wings really cheap to build my roof

At 5:47 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oracle is smoking Opium ????
What the hell are this guys thinking
They think they can sell this crazy event to the sponsors and public ???
I know some marketing guy from Oracle is desperate searching potential challengers ......
If this would be a reasonable format with a reasonable budget Teams would be crazy to jump in after so many years lost after the 32nd Cup. If RC is not being able to read this , is maybe because he got blind like many politicians

At 5:55 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like Catamarans a lot .. but not for the Cup . The Cup spirit has been in mono hulls since 1851 apart from 2 DOG and this is what we want to see

At 8:20 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whining was exactly how BMWOR won the cup, having said that you're right, it's not the way it should be done.

At 8:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank God for Cooksons. Best Boatbuilders in the World. Those Oracle guys would be lost without them.


Post a Comment

<< Home