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Streamlines around a downwind sail Streamlines around an AC45 wing sail

Conventional Sails and Wing Sails

Simulation of both up- and down-wind sailing conditions allows a range of sailing configurations to be tested and compared using velocity prediction programs. Limited empirical knowledge reduces the ability of sail designer to precisely optimise designs without extensive testing and rule of thumb approximations. CFD allows the simulations of a large number of configurations and is already used by a number of leading sail makers.

At Dynamic Fluid Design we have experience simulating a range of sail technologies, including:

Each of these configuration present unique challenges. Whether a boat is being designed to make the most of a particular rating system, or for just outright speed within a tight design rule, careful simulation can lead to an invaluable insight into the aerodynamics involved in designing a fast, efficient sailing rig.

Advanced techniques such as fluid-structure interaction can be used to model realistic sails as they naturally deform in response to aerodynamic forces. Alternatively cutting edge designs such as the America's Cup rigid wind sails can be tested, fast tracking the development in this novel field.