Speed is of the essence for any competitive sailor, but keeping ahead of the pack in racing also means keeping up with the latest design developments, whether they affect the aesthetics of the boat for the better.
This is also true for the Mini Transat 6.50 race, also known as Transat 650, a solo transatlantic yacht race, an associated Mini Class that starts in France, covering over 4,000 miles. Since the last race in 2015, there have been some interesting developments in the boat design of the participants.
The Scow Bow
Classically, racing boats have been designed to be long and sleek to cut through the water with plumb bows aiding this, but today we see a new revolution taking place in the Mini Class with the ‘scow bow’ being used and in an effective manner.
The 2015 race sported these fuller bows, the top two designs being the Bertrand-designed Ofcet 6.50 and Verdier-designed Pogo 3, which are not as extreme in their design as the David Raison ‘scow bow’ that was used on the 6.5m Mini Magnum, but are still fuller than other competitors in that race.
Guillaume Verdier, naval architect, Verdier Designs, explains why the ‘scow bow’ was adopted for Pogo 3: “Those boats are so wide that when sailing they have a terribly excentered heeled waterline. It [the scow bow] actually reduces the distortion of the heeled waterline to be wide forward, plus it increases the dynamic waterline.”
The design of Pogo 3 undertook computational fluid dynamics (CFD) testing. “I did compare hulls CFD. I could also transpose part of the understanding that I had from designing other kinds of boats. Basically all boats answer the same questions of lift and drag,” Verdier adds.
The advantage that the scow bow brought to Pogo 3 was that it performed better on average.