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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

A Cat Testing

Here are some images taken from a chase boat. You can see more on our Facebook page.






Monday, November 26, 2012

Ratcheting Up

Little time for posting in the last few days. We have been working up the new A Cat prototype, venturing out gradually in stronger winds and pushing harder.
This clip is more of the same: skippers eye view.
Some images and footage from off the boat will be posted shortly.

The programme so far has been about loading everything up in a controlled fashion. Making sure all the fittings, fastenings, joints and structural members behave as intended. The second phase is about refining the ergonomics of the various systems. Rig controls are conventional for the class but since every platform is different, the exact leads and arrangements can always be improved.
Then we will race, still in displacement mode, to evaluate hull performance, structure and ergonomics.
Finally we will begin ramping up the foils, tuning them and measuring performance. When this foil concept has been explored and understood we will test it against different ones before committing to the production setup.

From next week we will be into calibrations: Foil angle settings, rudder setup mast rake and the like.

It is a busy and exceptionally rewarding time.
Sharing it with fellow enthusiasts makes it all the more special.


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

On the Water

Another very satisfying milestone today: First sail of the new A Cat prototype.
A grey day on the Harbour with light winds building toward only six to eight knots.
Flat water and no traffic.
Worked through the list of checks and maneuvers to prove the most critical structural attachments and fittings.

That fantastic feeling of sheeting on and accelerating for the first time in a new boat puts all the hard work into perspective and reminds us why we do what we do.


The outing was uneventful which is the best possible outcome for such a session.

Now the programme of bedding in and working up gets underway.
There will certainly be small refinements to come as each complex situation sheds light on the robustness of our design process.
But we are very happy right now.

This is a good time to extend a warm and heartfelt thank you to all those who helped make the project a reality.
Special mention should go to:

Aptec Composites for machining the plugs.
Eastern Suburbs Smash Repair for final finishing and painting.
Harken for the hardware fitout.
Fiberfoam for the mast.
Stevie Brewin and Landenberger for the sails.
Signs and Cosigns for the stickers.

And others, too many to list for supporting the build.
A valuable outcome of the build has been the identification of a robust supply chain.
Since we are contracting the major components, knowing we have a reliable network of competent partners makes a big difference.
This will ensure maximum value to the customer.

The next prototype is well underway and official specs will be released soon.
Interest in the boat has been overwhelming and we encourage everyone to drop us a line and inquire about booking a production slot.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Bling

Some sneak images of the A Cat prototype fitout...
In house machined tramp buttons, gudgeons, foil bearings and other details. The rest is Harken.





Friday, November 2, 2012

A Blur

Finishing and assembly phases on the first A Cat platform.
Validating important choices both technical and logistical.
As explained in the brief, each choice has several components and must strike a balance between performance, reliability, durability, cost and being repeatable in a scaleable production context.
Building information into the tooling is vital to keeping production hours within economically sustainable limits.
The supply chain is relatively complex and identifying the best suppliers, methods of transportation and lead times has been a very interesting challenge.
We are looking forward to reporting on the first on-the-water tests.