Back to the future
Posted by sailskkf, 07 April 2011 · 298 views
I have been out on an Internet adventure looking for inspiration for a small sports boat design and while browsing the wave piercing bows, wings and canting keels forums around the world I turned up this remarkable beast.. She's a 14m canting keeler concept yacht from designer Andrew Hawley. She's supposed to meet two criteria..speed and beauty. I'm not sure she's practical or that the bowsprit and the bow arrangement would actually work. But she certainly looks fast and she certainly looks beautiful.. But there is more to this boat than meets the eye and is she truly as modern as she looks?
There are significant similarities to the Aero boats designed and sailed way back in the 1930's by Olympic sailing and aerodynamics pioneer Dr Manfred Curry. He's credited with inventing the cam cleat, the cunningham (although it bears Brigs-Cunningham's name), the fully battened main and discovering that the leeward side of a sail generates 4/5th of the driving force of a yacht. So we owe a lot to him! He was also a scientist in the field of allergens - multi-talented then, he certainly knew his boats.
If you look at the Aero series of J dinghies you will see the same wave piercing bows, hugely innovative fully battened mains and beautifully worked and curved wooden gaff topmasts. If you took the wood and turned it into carbon and kevlar you would be looking at a boat from tomorrow not the 1930's!
Manfred Curry is Germany's most successful sailor, he was born there to American immigrants. He competed in the 1928 Olympics for the USA aged 28, much, much younger than the average sailing age in the event and was able to finish 10th and 6th in two classes. He is reported to have competed in more than 1400 regattas and won over 1000 of them.