RSM Sailing Team’s dream finally came true – they won the 52nd Blue Ribbon race this year! The key factors of the success were lots of practice, vocation, persistence, a professional team and a sailing boat and – on the top of that- this year some simulation as well.
How does engineering simulation relate to a sailing race?
For RSM Sailing Team led by Róbert Vándor, the goal for a long time was to win the first place of the competition – for this purpose, they put as much effort and dedication as they could into this project. In 2020, however, maybe even a little bit more than that. For better top speed of their catamaran, they needed a larger sail than ever before, which was only possible by development of a much larger boom. It is a difficult task to calculate the exact length and thickness of the boom that would help reaching higher speed but still does not have any negative effect on other factors or break under certain wind load.
This is where eCon Engineering came into the picture: we supported these development processes with engineering simulation calculations.
eCon’s engineers’ role in the development
The job of the eCon’s composite specialist team was – besides the continuous communication with the members of RSM Sailing Team responsible for technology and ship design – to ensure the load bearing capacity of the boom while maintaining the envisioned boom and sail design, preferably with minimal total weight. The complexity of the task is well described by the fact that starting with a virtual CAD model and composite reinforcement and resin manufacturer data sheets, we created an appropriate strength boom construction with reduced weight complying with the expectations. The task included reliable estimation of the anisotropic stiffness and strength properties of the composite base material, as well as layup and mass optimization supported by finite element analysis in ANSYS ACP environment bearing in mind the predetermined strength objectives. Through continuous consultation with colleagues of RSM Sailing Team, we clarified several details of the structure and provided support in the further improvement of manufacturing technology. As a result of this real teamwork, we managed to build a structure with almost 30% reduced weight and adequate strength compared to the initial structure. eCon collegaues had also the opportunity to successfully implement their innovative new methods developed as part of composite design and technology related former EU and government funded tenders.
We asked Róbert Vándor, Captain of the RSM Sailing Team, about his experience
- How did you experience the development process? Were you stressed about the deadlines and the fact that everything should be ready on time?
The eCon team started the task very eagerly and quickly, giving professional support in the short-deadline task. Our team member, shipbuilder István Bali, also started building the structure very right away, with huge commitment and dedicated overtime. We also built a heat treatment furnace specifically for this purpose, but this was already “easy-peasy” for our team.
- How did you see the collaboration with eCon, and why did you choose eCon for this task?
We have been following eCon Engineering for a long time, we respect and recognize them and we have found them to be the most suitable partner for this task.
- What was your experience with the boom and sail during the race? Did the ship behave noticeably differently, was its maneuverability different due to the larger sail?
With the help of the new sail and boom plus even the redesign of the rudder, the ship improved a lot, it became faster and much easier to handle.
- To what extent do you think the new boom and sail contributed to the victory?
We don’t think we could have been able to make it in this light wind without them.
- Do you have any special plans for next year?
Of course we have, but I can’t tell you right now.
Congratulations to RSM Sailing Team for their beautiful first place in the 52nd Blue Ribbon competition, and we are very happy to have been working with them for the past few months!
(Opening image by: Gábor Cserta / Source of images: RSM Sailing Team Hungary Facebook page)