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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40m Superyacht for Ghost Yachts

On the Superyacht Times, the new Ghostyachts G130SS has been revealed for the first time. ST is very proud of the outcome of the design, where we have provided naval architecture, design, and engineering services. The Ghostyachts team is putting the finishing touches on the presentation and we look forward to the next step in development and construction.

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Superyacht Background

Schickler Tagliapietra’s expertise in design and engineering extends beyond racers and maxis to superyachts beyond 24m LOA. A sample of the large cruisng yachts on which the ST founders have had involvment in includes: Shaman 27m, Young Cat 27m, Cinderella III 32m, Alithia 40m, Hetairos 43m, Mystere 43m, Esense 43m, Giml

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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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Garda Solar Update

After a strong showing in difficult times at the Genoa Boat Show, Garda Solar has shared with us the news. The first purchaser of the boats has placed an order. They are also exhibiting at Luxury and Yachts 2011 from today:

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ST has been commissioned for the naval architecture of the new Inoxsail daysailer. This commission was completed in the Fall of 2011 and the boat will soon be under construction. It is a boat of just 5m LOA, but has been crafted with the same attention to detail as other larger projects. As part of the shape refinement process, rapid prototyping was used to get our hands on the design in physical format.

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Garda Solar in Full Production

Garda Solar’s variety of rotational moulded electric boats has entered full production. The Genoa Boat show 2011 had 3 models on display, included one of them in the basin for test drives. For the latest information on this 100% recyclable zero emissions product, visit

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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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