Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Foiling in the AC62

It seems today everybody is sailing the AC62. The virtual one that is. I am not really sure what the fuzz is all about. We've seen a thirty-something for tests, the AC45er is there, and obviously we've seen the 72 footer too. The 62 footer should really just be a shrunken 72er, no?
BobbieLin and me checking out the AC62
It's a good looking cat. It's a beta, but not just any beta. Supposedly it is the final beta. Me, I think there's too many problems with the shrouds for a final beta, but I am not really into mesh. Perhaps it's a super-easy fix. Dunno. While still moored the shrouds are nicely aligned with the mast anyway.
Top view
While the AC62 is smaller than the AC72 it is still pretty tall as can be seen on the above picture. There are two dots on the ground. BobbieLin on land and me in the cockpit. Hardly visible. Nuff talk. Lets fly...
Cats do fly...
If there is a manual I didn't read it, so it took me a couple of minutes to figure it out. It started out sailing on SL wind. It's been a while since I tried that. Somehow I managed to set the wind to east and the windspeed to 30. Dunno if that's knots, but I hope it isn't meters per sec. The sheets can be adjusted quite alot, so the wing easily ends up outside the usable angles of attack, i.e. windangle. So beware... there's not alotta speed in this thingy if the wing is 90 degrees to the sailing direction.
...and they can fly both ways!
If winged correctly these boats are fast. The high speed generates so much relative wind that the wing is operated within a pretty narrow range of (apparent) wind angles; Somewhere between close hauled and beam reach. The foiling comes easy. We almost foiled instantly, once I got the wing trimmed, and we stayed up there. In fact it is surprisingly easy to get her foiling; Tacking and gybing while staying up is a challenge.
Speeding is allowed
Speeds are incredible. Unreal actually. We made 50 knots easily. I didn't check cause I was busy steering and trimming, but BobbieLin kept yelling "50 knots is unreal". I absolutely to agree. I mean, we were not sailing in a storm, and most of the time the jib wasn't even unfolded.
Super duper speedy flying critters all over
Sadly the grid was very bad today. Numerous sims were offline, so we could just take off, get foiling and withing 30 seconds... boom - we'd hit the border of an offline sim. Rather annoying. After a couple of hits I even heard myself shouting foul words. The few simborders we did manage to cross - they seemed to work out pretty good.
Tradewinds to the lee
The overall performance seems good. The boat reacts swiftly to rudder changes and a bit less swiftly to wing trim, but I suppose that's to be expected with a wing this size. Balancing - we were able to move around - that seemed to have minor influence on the sailing. The only real problem seems to be the speed. As with the 45er and the 72er - the virtual oceans simply aren't big enough. In a split second you'd have crossed our biggest ocean in here. Also, even on a very fast computer and line we'd hit stuff that we couldn't see. The system simply could not rez it (put it on screen) before we hit it. Loads of clear water ahead, then boom... stuck in the middle of an applefarm with no warning what so ever. What fun...
see ya laterz
That's not the builders fault. It's a good boat. It is supereasy to get it foiling, and I hope we can find the space to sail it. While we can afford it and probably sail in our little virtual world, I am more curious how much cheaper the 62 footer will be compared to the 72 footer. Will there be a significant difference? Cutting just over 10 percent of the costs will probably not give us lots more teams in the next round of the AC Circus, will it?


  1. Of course the grid was bad, Nudel. It's a friggin Tuesday! Server rolls and maintenance all over the place! Not a good day to do anything in SL.

  2. Oh, and about the cost saving of the 62 over the 72: if they really chose San Diego as the next AC venue there won't be enuff space for such big and fast cats in no way. Ever seen Dago's rather small innner bay? Ya, it's there where they want to hold the races. The whole AC thing is dead as dead can be. Only a money-making, ego-boosting circus which has nothing to do with sailing.


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