Gone Bananas: A New Design Direction

Research, Discoveries, Good Design

Presenting a different design approach that all started with Bill and I playing with Footies in our bathtubs. This is a funny but true story.

Both the Footy and the RG class have been great platforms to test design ideas. 

A competitive Footy is an amazing craft in action. They carry a huge amount of sail to get upwind fast but when they turn the top corner it is all upside down and lots of ducking going downwind. 

Footies are great to test ideas with

So Bill and I started to think about how to get the Footy design to behave better downwind. This is where the bath tubs came in. We really did try a bunch of ideas out just pushing Footy hulls through the bath water. I know my wife could hardly stand up laughing when she spotted me playing in the tub…. sometimes one has to put up with all sorts of “stuff” to get the answers.

The good news is we did go on and develop what I called “The Submarine” but Bill wanted to call it the “Banana” because it reminded him of a favourite fruit.

But regardless of the name, it appears this design has not just great potential with the little guys but Bill realised it could also be extended to the bigger classes. A lot of the innovation is in the shape of the front third of the hull, not just for upwind but also when they are in extreme conditions downwind.

So far we have printed:

  1. Banana based Footy

2. Banana based US one metre (USOM)

3. Banana based IOM

The first two have gone to the US for Bill to set up over the winter and the IOM is being built by myself in here in Australia. All will be ready for the 2018 regatta series.

The building of the IOM, called Banana 1 (or B1) is displayed in the next article, “B1: Building The Banana Based IOM”

Watch this spot for future developments.