Is this aerodynamic A2V catamaran the shape of yachts to come?

A team of French scientists has developed a tear drop-shaped catamaran that gets more efficient the faster it goes. Could this be the future of fast boats?The wing-shaped A2V is at its most efficient when cruising at a sustained 45 knots unlike most planing craft which lose efficiency at speedIf you thought the current trend for foiling boats resulted in some strange looking craft you ain’t seen nothing yet! A specialist shipyard in La Rochelle, France has started building a range of wing-shaped catamarans that rely on aerodynamics rather than hydrodynamics to help them ‘fly’ over the water. Known as Advanced Aerodynamic Vessels, or […] This article Is this aerodynamic A2V catamaran the shape of yachts to come? appeared first on Motor Boat & Yachting.

Is this aerodynamic A2V catamaran the shape of yachts to come?

A team of French scientists has developed a tear drop-shaped catamaran that gets more efficient the faster it goes. Could this be the future of fast boats?

The wing-shaped A2V is at its most efficient when cruising at a sustained 45 knots unlike most planing craft which lose efficiency at speed

If you thought the current trend for foiling boats resulted in some strange looking craft you ain’t seen nothing yet!

A specialist shipyard in La Rochelle, France has started building a range of wing-shaped catamarans that rely on aerodynamics rather than hydrodynamics to help them ‘fly’ over the water.

Known as Advanced Aerodynamic Vessels, or A2Vs, they are capable of speeds up to 50 knots while also halving the fuel consumption of a typical craft of this size and pace.

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They work by taking advantage of an aerodynamic phenomenon known as wing-in-ground effect. Conventional plane wings are shaped in such a way that as they pass through the air they generate low pressure on the top side and high pressure on the underside.

The combined effect is lift. The closer the wing is to the ground, or in this case the surface of the sea, the more efficient it becomes as the high-pressure air is sandwiched between two surfaces. This is even more effective in the case of a catamaran as the hulls prevent the high-pressure air escaping from the side as well, creating more lift relative to speed.

A number of high performance catamarans and even some monohulls, such as Ice Marine’s Bladerunner series, already take advantage of this air entrapment effect to generate some lift and reduce drag through the water, but they also have to manage that lift to reduce the risk of the whole craft flipping at speed.

a2v-catamaran-aft-running-shot

Two A2Vs are already in service as fast ferries

The difference with the A2V is that the entire craft is shaped like a wing, rather than just the deck section spanning the two hulls, and by keeping the centre of gravity well forward there is no danger of the bow lifting too high. One of the ways they do this is by locating the passenger compartment right at the front of the boat.

Passengers actually sit inside the wing itself, just behind the leading edge where the cross section is at its widest point. The helmsman sits on his own above the passenger compartment in an aircraft-style glass bubble cockpit.

A2V ferries: Tried and tested

The team behind the A2V has already spent over seven years developing the project and its original 10.5m prototype built in 2015 has completed more than 5000nm of testing in waves of up to 2m and wind speeds of up to 30 knots. It has now built two slightly larger 12m (39ft) high-speed passenger ferries for commercial clients, the most recent of which has just entered service in the Port of Monaco.

Powered by twin 350hp Yanmar 8LV diesel engines linked to surface drives for maximum high-speed efficiency, this 6.2 tonne catamaran can ferry 12 passengers in consummate luxury at a sustained cruising speed of 45 knots while burning just 2.5 litres per nautical mile – around half the amount used by a high-speed ferry.

More excitingly for readers of MBY, A2V has now released details of a leisure version for private owners wanting the ultimate fast cruiser for shuttling to and from their favourite beach, island or superyacht. A clever articulated roof and drop-down side panels allows the unusual teardrop-shaped aft section to open up at rest and reveal a sheltered cockpit area with sunpads, dinettes and side-mounted bathing platforms. Doors lead forward from here to a master suite or a pair of smaller VIP cabins.

Rather than relying on costly, complex and hard to manoeuvre surface drives, the leisure version will use a pair of standard 300hp outboard engines. Their lighter weight and smooth-running petrol powerheads will still allow for a stop speed of 50 knots but the cruising range from the twin 350-litre tanks will drop from the diesel model’s 250nm to around 150nm, albeit at the same 45-knot speed.

a2v-leisure-catamaran-concept-aft-view

Twin 300hp outboard engines are hidden under lifting transom panels on the leisure model

Fast and efficient

It is this ability to maintain such a high cruising speed without inflicting a heavy fuel penalty that sets the A2V apart from almost every other vessel on the market. That’s because whereas most boats generate more drag the faster they go, requiring more power and heavier engines to compensate for it, the A2V creates less drag as lift reduces the wetted surface area.

In terms of litres per mile it’s actually more efficient towards the top end of its speed range than the mid-range. In other words you’ll use less fuel blasting to the beach at 45 knots than you will taking it easy at 30 knots. If that doesn’t sound like the perfect excuse for putting the hammers down we don’t know what does!

A2V Diesel specifications

LOA: 39ft 0in (11.9m)
Beam: 23ft 0in (7.45m)
Draft: 2ft 0in (0.6m)
Displacement: 6,200kg
Fuel tanks: 2 x 350 litres
Engines: 2 x 350hp Yanmar 8LV diesel
Propulsion: Surface drives
Max speed: 50 knots
Cruising speed: 45 knots
Fuel consumption: 2.5l/nm @ 45 knots
Range: 250nm @ 45 knots
CE category: B for 12 + 1

First published in the June 2021 issue of Motor Boat & Yachting.


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This article Is this aerodynamic A2V catamaran the shape of yachts to come? appeared first on Motor Boat & Yachting.

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Google Maps for boats? Orca Co-pilot is taking on the big names in navigation

Norwegian start-up Orca claims its new user-friendly navigation system will revolutionise the way boat owners plot routes. We take a closer look...Simply click on a destination and the software will calculate the quickest safe routeConsiderable guts and self-belief verging on arrogance are required to take on the might of Garmin, Navico and Raymarine at their own game but that’s exactly what a team of ambitious young tech entrepreneurs are doing. Their Norwegian-based start-up, Orca, has just launched a new type of smart navigation system that, according to them, will […] This article Google Maps for boats? Orca Co-pilot is taking on the big names in navigation appeared first on Motor Boat & Yachting.

Google Maps for boats? Orca Co-pilot is taking on the big names in navigation

Norwegian start-up Orca claims its new user-friendly navigation system will revolutionise the way boat owners plot routes. We take a closer look...

Simply click on a destination and the software will calculate the quickest safe route

Considerable guts and self-belief verging on arrogance are required to take on the might of Garmin, Navico and Raymarine at their own game but that’s exactly what a team of ambitious young tech entrepreneurs are doing.

Their Norwegian-based start-up, Orca, has just launched a new type of smart navigation system that, according to them, will reinvent the way people go boating and make traditional fixed chartplotters seem unnecessarily slow, complex and overpriced.

With Orca’s new system, users simply click on a destination and in seconds the software will work out the best route for them, taking into account the charted depths as well as the boat’s draft and speed to ensure it’s safe and sticks to any marked channels.

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It’s just as easy to add an extra destination en route or drag and drop any of the recommended waypoints to fine tune the selected route. It will even check the weather conditions and alert you to potential hazards or challenges as you approach them. In short they want to do for marine navigation what Google Maps has done for in-car navigation systems.

“Traditional chartplotters and multi-functional displays haven’t kept up with the expectations of the modern boater. They are difficult to install, difficult to learn, and difficult to use,” says Orca CEO Jorge Sevillano. “Boaters deserve a better solution. We’ve set out to deliver that.”

Their system, called Orca Co-pilot, consists of two separate elements that can be bought individually or as a complete standalone kit.

orca-co-pilot-product-click-on-tablet

The Orca Display kit is based on a 10.1in ruggedised Samsung Galaxy Active Pro with a RAM mount and charger

The main unit, known as the Orca Core, is a high speed processor with a built-in GPS receiver and electronic compass that connects via Wi-Fi and an Orca app to any tablet, smartphone or computer. If you’d rather not use your precious iPad Pro on board, especially on an open RIB or sportsboats where it may be exposed to the ravages of salt, sun and spray, Orca can also sell you a waterproof, 10.1in daylight viewable HD tablet complete with integrated dashboard mount and charger.

Called the Orca Display Kit, it is in fact based around a standard ruggedised Samsung Galaxy Active Pro tablet that slots into an Orca sleeve/charging unit attached to a RAM mounting bracket. Orca makes no bones about using third-party components for this, pointing out that it’s better for them and the customer to buy in top quality proven hardware than develop their own at considerable cost.

Crucially, the Orca system also has access to the internet using a mobile 4G connection to automatically download and update charts, access weather and tide information and seamlessly synchronise routes between different units. Sensibly, it doesn’t rely on a mobile internet connection for any of its chart or routing software, all of which is downloaded in advance for the area in use, so it remains fully functional when cruising offshore or out of range of a 4G signal.

orca-co-pilot-product-photo-side-view

The Orca Display unit costs €1,499 and includes a year’s subscription to their bespoke navigation system (worth €119)

Integration with the boat’s other systems is via the industry-standard NMEA2000 protocol so it can also display engine information, fuel levels, battery state, depth and AIS but it won’t yet link directly to third-party hardware such as radar and sonar scanners which use their own proprietary interface. It can use this information to advise on the best route, optimise fuel consumption or even give early warnings of abnormal engine behaviour.

Although many of these features are already built into the latest generation of MFDs from Garmin, Raymarine and Simrad, Orca claims its routing software is faster, slicker and more intuitive than any existing offering. It is also cheaper than most comparable systems, with prices starting at €1,499 for the complete Orca Display and Core kit including a 12 month chart subscription, or €449 for the Orca Core alone.

Another claimed advantage is that rather than having to buy digital charts on an area by area basis, users simply pay an annual subscription of €119 per year giving them unlimited access to Orca’s entire portfolio of charts. At present, this covers Scandinavia, the UK, Ireland, France, Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain and Portugal but the team is busy doing deals with national hydrographic offices all over the globe to ensure it will ultimately cover all major cruising destinations.

orca-co-pilot-saved-routes-spots

Orca uses its own bespoke charts based on data licensed from hydrographic offices. The software automatically alerts you to hazards and weather conditions en route

Starting small

Impressive as these claims sound, Orca acknowledges it still has some way to go to convince owners of larger cruising boats to give up the more integrated look and functionality of a dedicated MFD display, especially the latest generation of glass- bridge designs.

Not only do these come in much larger, brighter, more stylish-looking screen sizes but they all link seamlessly with other key systems such as autopilots, radars and sonar scanners – none of which Orca is currently able to offer.

While these are in the plans for the future (an autopilot update will be launched this summer), for the moment Orca’s focus is on owners of smaller craft looking for a standalone, low-cost, user-friendly, future-proof navigation device. On that basis it seems to hit all the right notes.

orca-co-pilot-product-photo-devices

An app links the Core to any tablet or smartphone and synchronises data via the Cloud

Orca Core specifications

Size: 118mm x 118mm x 35mm
Internal sensors: Nine-axis inertial motion unit, compass and 10Hz GNSS receiver
Wireless connectivity: Wi-Fi 2.4GHz and BLE 4.2
Physical connectors: 1x NMEA 2000 Micro-C port (1 LEN), inbound power, outbound power for Orca Mount
Processor: 800MHz single-core ARM
RAM and storage: 512 MB SDRAM, 8 GB internal storage
Power: 9-32.2 V DC supply voltage. Approximately 200mA consumption
Operating temperature: -15 to 60°C
Waterproofing: IPX6
Price: €449

orca-co-pilot-product-photo

Orca Display specifications

Size: 253mm x 182mm x 22mm
Mount: RAM® arm with drill-through mounting bracket
Screen: 10.1 inch, 1920×1200 TFT wet touch and glove-friendly with Polarised sunglasses in portrait orientation
Ruggedisation: MIL-STD-810G environmental tests for temperature, shock, vibration and salt fog
Internal sensors: GNSS, nine-axis IMU, compass, barometer, front and back camera
Wireless connectivity: Wi-Fi 2.4GHz + 5GHz a/b/g/n/ac, BLE 5.0
Cellular connectivity: 2G GSM, 3G UMTS, 4G FDD LTE, 4G TDD LTE
Physical connectors: USB-C
Processor: Octa-Core, 2GHz high-performance, and 1.7GHz high-efficiency cores
RAM and storage: 4GB RAM, 64 GB internal storage. Expandable up to 512 GB via MicroSD
Power: Fast charging via USB-C and Orca Mount connector
Battery: Rechargeable Li-ion 7600 mAh for approx eight hours of navigation
Waterproofing: IP-68
Operating system: Slate or regular Android 10
Operating temperature: -15 to 50°C
Price: €1,499 (inc Core and 1-year subscription to Orca Charts – €119 per year after that)

First published in the May 2021 issue of Motor Boat & Yachting.


If you enjoyed this…

Be first to all the latest boats, gadgets, cruising ideas, buying advice and readers’ adventures with a subscription to Motor Boat & Yachting. Available in both print and digital formats, our monthly magazine will be sent directly to your home or device at a substantial discount to the usual cover price. See our latest offers and save at least 30% off the cover price.


This article Google Maps for boats? Orca Co-pilot is taking on the big names in navigation appeared first on Motor Boat & Yachting.

Source : Mby More   

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