Category Racing

Gunboat G4 sea trials

The all new Gunboat G4, designed by DNA has launched in St. Martin.  As usual the work list was extensive to get out on the water.  A few days after the sailing began, the final adjustments were made to the daggerboards and she set out to break new ground.  In 18-20 trade winds, the boat was up on foils and generating lots of smiles for the lucky crew.  Schickler Tagliapietra served in a support role in the development of the boat, as a new member of the DNA design team.   FEA structural simulation of boat and foils, stability calculations, VPP performance prediction and more.  Follow Gunboat or Holland Composites on Facebook for more details.


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Kuka Light

Kuka Light is a high-end race design that was begun in December of 2009. We were approached by the owner, Franco Niggler, through Angelo Glisoni to begin concept design studies for the lightest possible monohull around 12 m that could compete in Rolex Middle Sea Race, Rolex Fastnet, and other ca. 600 nm offshore courses.

The project began with a simple set of parameters:

  • No regard for rating whatsoever.
  • As light as possible, period.

The initial discussions centered on weight and what “no rules” really means. The IMOCA 60’s were often used as a reference. It was decided that achieving Design Category A for the purposes of CE/ISO certification and ISAF OSR Category 1 was appropriate, the same as a TP52, for example.  A transatlantic race will likely still be attainable for this boat.

Options to achieve the lowest possible weight initially touched on the simplicity of the design:

  • Canting vs. fixed deep draft keel
  • Fixed mast vs. rotating wing mast

The power to weight of the canting keel proved unbeatable with technology today, for the regattas in question. The efficiency of the rotating wing mast, enhanced by a boat that would sail more like a catamaran than like a fixed keel mono, was too attractive to be ignored.  Likewise the sail plan is made up only of sails that operate on low apparent wind angles, even the “downwind” sails.  The daggers, lifting rudders, and flush hidden propeller system all complete the picture of a racing yacht with an IMOCA and VOR pedigree.

To get the lowest possible weight of the primary hull and deck laminates and unprecedented approach was taken. We decided to build the port and starboard sides, the central hull, and the deckhouse and cockpit each in the largest diameter autoclave available to us. This is exactly the kind of construction techniques ruled out in the America’s Cup, the VOR, and even IMOCA yachts, except for the masts and appendages.  To capitalize still further on the lightest techniques possible, core material from aramid honeycomb was chosen along with interesting choices in the exact grade of carbon fibre pre-preg, with properties that allow reductions in weight.  These choices put a high premium on quality construction.

Kuka Light has just completed the Palermo Monte Carlo race, a distance of 460 nm, finishing in third place real time, in exceedingly light conditions.  Later this season she will also race in the Middle Sea Race.

More pictures here.

View a video of sea trials in May of 2012 here

See the dedicated Kuka Light webpage here

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Kuka Light Sea Trials

Kuka Light was trialed off of Marina di Ravenna, Italy in the 3rd week of May.

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World Yacht Racing Forum

ST was represented by Founder Doug Schickler at the WYRF in Estoril this year. He attended mostly the parallel Yacht Racing Design & Technology Symposium, where noted speakers from top design firms, sail and rig makers, and boat builders discussed the state of the industry from various angles.

The upcoming 34th America’s Cup and the changing TP52 circuit were of key interest. The newly minted HPR (High Performance Rule) targeted at the top of the racing rule pyramid was introduced. ST has taken no breaks on this front, getting immediately involved in the details of this yet-to-be-finalized rule, and offering our opinion on what makes sense. We look forward to seeing the first HPR40′s coming out of China in the first months of 2012.

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Little America’s Cup

Davide Tagliapietra has joined the Challenge Italia campaign to wrest the Little America’s Cup from its defenders. This is the first time in over 30 years that Italy has mounted a challenge for this trophy, contested in the C class catamarans. Davide will be primarily responsible for structural simulation with the team and design work for what should be multiple platforms has already begun.

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Yacht Forum Hamburg

Dusseldorf was great success. Two of two projects from ST were featured in a video on the german site Both the Linq CQ6 and Whites Dragons proudly displayed Schickler Tagliapietra on their main sails. link

Now, a late addition has been added to the discussion panels for the 2nd annual International Yacht Forum in Hamburg. Doug will be attending and joining his collegues on stage to discuss appendages and their importance to overall yacht performance and control. link Happy to meet you in the Hansestadt!

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Düsseldorf 2011

Schickler Tagliapietra is proud to join LinQ boats at B57 in Hall 16 for the Boot D

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Evening of Sails

Davide has been invited to speak this week at an exclusive round table on the technology of racing yachts, especially the America’s Cup.

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Whites Dragons

We want to congratulate Fabrizio Dragoni and Edoardo Bianchi, collectively Whites Dragons (FB, or site) for the first successful flights of their catamaran! Schickler Tagliapietra was a tutor and supporter of this project through the process of design, particularly in regards structures. We look forward to more developments in the future.

Below is an excerpt from some recent press releases:


The main goal was to create an easy boat, simple to transport, which can be sailed on foils instinctively, hardly different than a regular cat. Further, it had to be tremendously fast.

Design and Construction:

The two students designed and ultimately self-built this 2 person hydrofoil cat, almost exclusively of carbon fibre. Working with carbon A class hulls as a starting point, and borrowing the sail plan and mast directly from the Tornado class, they were well on their way. Simulation based design, tutored by Davide Tagliapietra, focussed on flight dynamics, VPP, foil hydrodynamics (CFD) and accurate dimensioning of newly built components using Finite Element (FEA).

Principal Data

  • LOA 7m
  • LWL 5.5m
  • Beam 4m (!)
  • All up weight 125kg
  • Mainsail area 16.35 m2
  • Genneker ca. 17-20 m2

By October the boat was sailing regularly and the results were convincing. Speeds over 20 knots with only the main have been achieved. With the genneker, the boat was able to fly in about 6 knots of wind.

North Sails Carasco

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OpenFOAM developments

OpenFOAM is one of two CFD packages that are under consideration at ST for our internal CFD research and ultimately FSI solutions.

In the last months OpenFOAM has been implemented for both stationary and 2-6 DOF cases, generally involving free surface interaction. This implementation is part of ST’s ongoing commitment to be a simulation based practice employing the latest technologies for improved performance.

Here is one example showing a candidate catamaran hull tested at 15 knots. Data such as resistance and moments to maintain proper trim are compared between a number of candidates. With a simulation like this one, the effect of the transom immersion can be more accurately understood.

OpenFOAM simulation of catamaran hull

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