Our latest IRC 41 design is currently under construction at McConaghy’s, the result of a long and detailed R&D program aimed at optimising the performance for Asian conditions both inshore and offshore. The first boat is for repeat clients in Hong Kong, and reflects their experience racing locally in their previous custom Mills 41, as well as their views about the best way to approach the fleet with a new design.
The design process involved a comprehensive CFD driven VPP study with our research partners KND / Sailing Performance, looking at multiple hull shape options, foil configurations, and sail plan sizes. This work built on our previous studies for new designs based on increasing form stability when heeled, resulting in significant gain upwind in a breeze. The focus for this design was to ensure these gains could be combined with strength in light/medium airs, as well as breezier conditions offshore in events like the Vietnam Race. Since these ambitions are not always mutually compatible, it became clear that including as much modabilitiy as possible into the basic boat would offer a range of benefits: firstly it provides the client a far wider range of competitive configurations by adjusting the key components of Draft, Displacement, Trim, and Sail Area. Secondly in the light of the IRC rule’s transition in recent years towards accommodating lighter faster designs including wide modable ranges in as many parameters as possible opens up the ability to respond to future rule adjustments flexibly, extending the competitive life of the boat. Thirdly it allowed the basic hull shape to deliver a wider range of possibilities for other clients looking to optimise future builds of the design more significantly for different conditions.
The MAT1180 is an exciting next-generation IRC raceboat design which is the product of a long and careful design, engineering, and development process initiated by long term clients Alp and Cem Somer of MAT. Mills Design and MAT have worked together very successfully in the past on the MAT1245 and MAT1010 IRC designs, and we are looking forward to continuing this relationship with the new MAT1180. MAT’s interest in taking their successful production operation to the next level began with a preliminary design exercise in 2013 to investigate fully the changes in IRC affecting lighter designs in the 39’ size range. It became clear that there was space in IRC for an aggressively light and fast design if well-engineered and well-built to produce the right weight and distribution of mass. more