Skip to main content

An EU - New Zealand Research Collaboration to Develop Synergies and Make Cutting-edge Breakthroughs in Yacht Engineering

Final Report Summary - SAILINGFLUIDS (An EU - New Zealand Research Collaboration to Develop Synergies and Make Cutting-edge Breakthroughs in Yacht Engineering)

Sailing Fluids is a research program that aimed at strengthening a research partnership through staff exchanges and networking activities between three European research organisations and a research organisation in New Zealand. The experienced senior researchers involved in the present proposal are leaders of research groups in the area of Yacht Engineering. These research groups are:

1. The Institute for Energy Systems of the School of Engineering, University of Edinburgh, UK
2. The School of Marine Science and Technology, Newcastle University, UK
3. The Yacht Research Unit, the University of Auckland, New Zealand
4. The Fluid Mechanics and Energy Research Group of the Ecole Navale, France

The four research groups involved perform research, teach, and deliver consultancies in the field of yacht engineering. All of these groups have specialist expertise, laboratories, and numerical model ling tools, which are complementary to the other groups.

In particular, in Edinburgh there is a specialist expertise in sail aerodynamics and computational fluid dynamics; at Newcastle University in towing tank tests, cavitation tunnel tests and design and construction of small crafts; at the Yacht Research Unit in wind engineering, sail aerodynamics, computational fluid dynamics, optimisation for yacht race routing and strategy, optimal planning under un certainty, wind tunnel tests, pressure measurements on sails and sail shape detection; at the Ecole Navale in yacht and sail dynamics, fluid-structure interaction, hydrodynamic instabilities and transition to turbulence, full-scale force and displacement measurements on sailing yachts, cavitation tunnel tests and PIV measurements.

The project has enabled long-term collaborations between these groups; it has been highly and equally beneficial to each of them in terms of knowledge transfer and it has enable new collaborative cutting edge research. The secondments, the engagement, and the benefit to each group were balanced between the three groups.

The project was broken down into five work packages: (1) A numerical and experimental study of the aerodynamics of sails; (2) a study of the unsteady Fluid Structure Interaction on sails; (3) computer program development for the design and operation of competitive sailing yachts; (4) study of the hydrodynamics of slender hull forms, focusing on the development of side force; and (5) a management and dissemination work package.

Each of these work packages has been successful and has enabled significant advances in yacht engineering.