Originally Posted by Pelagic
Vincent continues to impress me with his strategy to hang in with the new designs, by working the averages and fine tunings as opposed to radical changes to overcome a top speed deficiency.
This kind of reminds me of F-1 cars competing against Mercedes team.
If he comes in the top 3.... He is the winner
Regarding your question about foils, you may be interested by this interview with Riou about his foil options:
Unlike Jérémie Beyou , you haven’t chosen to equip your older generation boat with foils. Can you tell us why?
“Quite simply, because according to our studies, we wouldn’t have any greater likelihood of winning the Vendée Globe with foils than without. In certain cases, foilers may perform better than the traditional floating boats. But the difference is not enough to justify changing everything on PRB. When a study reveals that you have an advantage 60 % of the time with straight daggerboards and 40 % with foils, I can’t understand why it is worth carrying out any major work or spending huge sums of money.”
You really know your boat in her present configuration. Maybe you didn’t want to take the risk of losing that advantage you have in terms of handling her?
“Exactly. I’m lucky to have a 60-foot boat on which I have explored all that is possible within class rules. PRB is today the reference boat in the fleet, the best all-rounder. When you have the best boat in the fleet, you are bound to ask yourself why change things… On top of that I know how to handle her well. With foils, I would have had to start all over again and the timing is very tight. With her straight daggerboards, PRB has the potential to win the Vendée Globe. We had every reason not to go for foils. But I respect those that have taken that route and are fitting foils. If I was building a new boat, I would have gone for foils without any hesitation. When ocean racing, just as in the building sector, it is often harder to renovate and more costly than to build from scratch. The work itself is very complicated and not very pleasant for the shore teams.”
How much would it have cost to fit foils on PRB?
“At least 500,000 euros. We would have had to make a pair of foils, build new housing for them, fit the appendages and then reinforce the hull structure to allow it to withstand the new strains. All of that together, comes to 300,000 euros. The mast on PRB is in fact suited to a traditional boat. It would not have withstood the extra strains and we would have had to build a new mast, which represents an investment of at least 200,000 euros. The overall budget thus comes to half a million and could rise quickly to 600,000… without giving me any greater chance of winning the Vendée Globe.”
2016 Vendée Globe: Vincent makes wise, yet risky decisions | SailinGuru
Even he agrees that foils are the future and if he had a new boat
he would have foils. If you go to my blog and look at the post about the boats on the vendee globe you will see on the videos how they work. Sometimes nothing is better than too see them in action.
At first I thought that the boats would have trouble with heavy weather
but the videos show that is not the case....even if an all new apprenticeship will be needed (as stated by Riou).
Regarding the disadvantages I believe most will have to do with the rule
that limits the number of foils on Imoca (including rudders and keel). With these foils thy lose the possibility of having an almost vertical foil /taking into account the boat heel) for tracking better upwind, close to the wind
You can notice that some of the boats have a more complicated foil with a part that comes down vertically to improve upwind tractability even if not in any of the fastest (if I am not mistaken).
Foils work like airplane wings and their aim is to dynamically make the boat lighter, creating a huge lift
. It is like if the boats become much lighter. the major problem happens when for some reason (big wave) the foils lose efficiency and then the boat becomes suddenly much more heavier and that translates in a sudden deceleration.
Part of the foils work as a DSS system. At first, some years ago I thought that the system would only work offshore
in big sailing boats due to the waves and that woulds make for sudden loss of efficiency but I was wrong and there is a 46ft sailingboat (designed by the DSS developer) raising well on the offshore
regattas particularly on the med where the type of waves is the worst for that system.
It is not a big foil system like the one on the Imocas and there is no reason that in the future will not be used on fast cruising boats and I am sure it will. it is much less complicated and less expensive than a canting keel