NACRA F18 Evolution is coming to America

NACRA F18 Evolution
NACRA F18 Evolution
NACRA F18 Evolution

“The brand ‘Nacra’ will celebrate her 45th anniversary in 2020 and this was for us the moment to put all years of experience in this new project. As supplier of two Olympic classes for several years now. We want to fight our way back in formula classes. Starting with the launch of the F16 carbon followed by a (r)evolutionary F18.”

– Bob Hensen, Director of Sales at NACRA SAILING

The F18 Evolution 45th Anniversary Edition was presented to the public for the first time at the Salon Nautique de Paris in early December, 2019. Since then NACRA has been performing the final stages of testing in Europe.

East Coast Sailboats will have its own F18 Evolution on the water and available for demo on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. We really can’t wait to take her out for a sail! By all accounts, she is fast…really fast! You can Check out the East Coast Sailboats Facebook Page to see recent video of the F18 Evolution screaming across the water in Europe. And soon you can join us for a demo and scream across the Currituck Sound on the boat that is sure to set the new standard in the Formula 18 Class.

The F18 Evolution was designed by the revered yacht design and engineering duo Morrelli & Melvin. Their team used the NACRA F18 Infusion which was designed in 2005 as a baseline and were able to improve upon the old hull using new ideas and technologies. Below is a description of the NACRA F18 Evolution development process in the designers’ own words:

Ferdinand van West / Morrelli & Melvin: “It has been great to get involved again with this project in the Formula 18 class. The box rule of the F18 and Nacra Sailing’s desire for the best performing boat are the perfect ingredients for us designers. The main focus for us was the development of the hull shape, since the Nacra Infusion was designed back in 2005, and we’ve had a lot of ideas we wanted to try out since then. One area that has seen a major influx of development is in our use of Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) as a design tool to investigate new ideas, understand the forces developed, and visualize the detailed flow structures within.

At Morrelli & Melvin, we have been using NUMECA’s FINE/Marine CFD software for about five years with our in-house simulation specialist, Andrew Bloxom. Their RANS code is well proven and has been utilized by several America’s Cup teams over the last couple cycles. A good CFD department is one half of the equation, and is balanced by how you couple the results together with real world knowledge and experience to push the design envelope.

Our approach for the hull shape of the Evolution can be set out in three phases:

  1. Developing the strategy to define which real world sailing parameters to focus on for hull form optimization, deciding how many run variations (think $$ here), and which of the six degrees of freedom of motion you allow for your analysis.
  2. Running the various hull form candidates for each condition in CFD.
  3. Analyse the results and rank them in our developed Race Model based off of VPP results and the drag derivatives from CFD. In the Race Model you can further refine the design strategy by weighting the results for different wind conditions and course headings.

Between Ferdinand and Pete, we drew and analyzed about ten different shape iterations, using the Infusion as a baseline for comparison since we know its shape and performance well. In the end we think we have developed a hull that will be better in all conditions.

Besides the development of the hull shape, we also spent significant time on the general arrangement of the sailplan and the positioning of the beams and daggerboard, as well as the development of a new higher aspect rudder with updated foil sections.”

-From Cat Sailing News Q&A with Morrelli & Melvin
The NACRA F18 Evolution will set the new standard in the Formula 18 Class. Its design epitomizes the cutting edge of hull design technology and its performance on the water in the final European testing phase has been extraordinary.

While the East Coast Sailboats team is chomping at the bit to sail the F18 Evolution, what we are really looking forward to is getting our customers out on the water on NACRA’s new sailing machine! At East Coast Sailboats, we pride ourselves in putting our customers in the right boat for them. If you are looking for speed, performance, and to dust the F18 competition, then we think the NACRA F18 Evolution may just be the right boat for you. We encourage you to come take one for a test sail; Call East Coast Sailboats at 252-489-3491 to set up your demo.

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