NACRA 20 CARBON
NACRA 20 CARBON...
Pete Melvin:”It is not a coincidence that the hull shape of the new F20 Carbon shows resemblance with the floats of the Americas Cup boat, we were able to take the knowledge we gained at the AC project and scale it down to the F20 Carbon. The most noticeable and distinctive feature is the chine that runs from the bow backwards on the hull allowing the water to flow away from the hull. Combining the chine and wave piercing bow with the upperdeck shape reduces drag piercing trough the waves both upwards and downwards”.
The development was done by world renowned designers, Melvin & Morrelli for hulls, Niels Bunkenburg, A cat guru for the foils, Performance Sails for the rig & sails combined with the in-house knowledge at Nacra.Development and testing was conducted for over 18 months and even employed a Nacra 20 One Design test mule to disguise the development.
Two boats were fitted with both straight daggers and with foils to allow the team to compare; a third boat, a Nacra 20 was fitted with the wide beams and the new rig. The three test platforms allowed the development team to test in the real world without revealing to much about this new boat, so they could adjust and fine-tune the design.
A variety in masts, mast hardware positioning and different sail cloth and shapes were tested. The new hull shape which has been created, starting with a wave piercing bow forming a diamond shape hull stretching backwards into a “square-ish” transom, is of mayor importance due to the combination with the curved dagger board. Although the basic shape was chosen, several adjustments were made driven by new technology with computer fluid dynamics.
Knowledge which was gathered by Morrelli & Melvin while working on the Americas Cup project for BMW ORACLE.Well that is the official blurb on the 20 Carbon...
What we can tell you is...
This machine is amazing to sail.
It’s enormous the first time you see it with a massive spread of sail cloth!
When you sail it the first time you’ll be surprised by its great manners!
It is not an unwieldy beast
Its powerful but it is also purposeful.
The transition from hull on the deck to hull in the air is a graceful one, courtesy of the massive overall beam! But at 3.2m wide, once you have it standing in the air your head will be approaching a rather breath taking 4.5m in the air!
We’ve had people on it that in a life time of sailing have never been over 15 knots!
You leave the beach with just the jib pulling (a little), that’s already 8 knots. Then you bear away, thats an instant jump to 15 as the main picks up some slack. Then you pull the main in... That’s 17.5... By the end of the sail, they’ve been over 21 knots and can’t believe that speed is that easy to come by!
The amazing bit is, you cruise around having a chat, the Speedpuck doesn’t drop below 18 - it is completely effortless! Now we sail in balmy tropical airs where in our off season it seldom goes above 12 knots of breeze so quite accurately we can easily achieve 21 knots of boat speed in 10 - 12 knots. The foils can been seen to do their work! The next greatest thing is, your first ‘launch’.
Hit a critical speed, put the weight down the back of the boat and pop... Up she comes. This is great to do when you have the kite on as the 20C can stay on the foils or a long time. On a shy reach... you need to be much more careful as once its in the air there is no lateral resistance so while it slingshots forward to also does a great big side step! So far we have a near perfect record for bucking off new owners! Wicked fun!The most astonishing beach cat you can sail... Get on one and experience the rush!
In Singapore we currently have a fleet of eight F20's. This is a 50:50 split between One Designs and 20C's both great platforms separated only by $10,000! When we received our first One Design there was no mention of the 20 carbon coming along. We had a visit from Macca who said "we've been playing with an extra wide 20OD" - now we know what it really was! It was the test mule for the 20C program!!
The One Design is still a nice boat to sail as it lopes along very easily. After we raced it the first time we were really impressed with how it could wind up in comparison to our F16's!
Get it going, and it keeps going! Something like Newton's Law!
We raced Big Red Rocket in Korea and it won it, almost drifting conditions against the F16's. We launched the first Asia 20 One Design in Singapore during the SW Monsoon - a grey wet day! But the 20 was such a pleasure to sail the way the 20 gracefully lifts the windward hull. There's none of the rapid fire of the F16's just strong acceleration followed by hull flying!
Just look at those gorgeous foils! They are asymmetric so they generate lateral lift as much as they do vertical. Going to windward you have got to pull one up so that the effect of one board doesn't cancel out the other.
There is Big Red Rocket - a Nacra 20 One Design and our first 20 Carbon! That they share a common size is the only similarity.
In 2008, the first Nacra 20 One Design in Asia hit the water during a wet SW Monsoon but it was smiles all round. This was to be the last of its kind. A shape that had evolved over 15 years to the latest wing-section mast. Still a great boat sail.