J-Class leads the way in powered systems

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C-Designs complete the power and hydraulic systems upgrade of J/Class K-7 Velsheda

During the extensive 2013-14 winter refit of the J/Class Velsheda in Palma, Majorca, the Southampton-based yacht systems manufacturers C-Designs completed a major upgrade to her electrical power and hydraulic systems. C-Designs were tasked by the owner’s team to evaluate the yacht’s existing hydraulic system and to look at ways to increase the speed and power of the deck winches while also reducing weight wherever possible.

C-Designs’ solution increased the available hydraulic flow by some 300 per cent and reduced the weight from the existing power and hydraulic system by 3,000kg. These significant improvements enabled all the required functions, during even the heaviest racing manoeuvre, to operate to maximal performance, helping to gain an advantage around the racecourse. Of further benefit was the weight saving which allowed Velsheda to take more weight in her keel to improve righting moment.

Managing director Nick McGarry gave his take on a relatively novel system: ‘Velsheda’s problem was not unique. Talk of hydraulic systems slowing down and the demand for more flow and line speed seems to be commonplace today, especially among large yachts with professional race crews. C-Designs have been considering this for some time and honing our solutions to find answers that really work. Our latest hydraulic system design breaks the mould of conventional designs by utilising high-voltage DC lithium-ion phosphate battery banks, powering a high-voltage DC hydraulic power pack; this allows us to pack four times the power into the same footprint as a conventional 24-volt system. And there is more to come; we believe we can further develop our ideas on the back of this success.’

article5pic1Top: Velsheda earlier this season at the Superyacht Cup in Palma. C-Designs have provided onboard support at each training session and regatta since the winter refit to gain feedback from the race crew with the aim to further optimise the system as well as gaining valuable data for future projects.

Above: Velsheda’s 72 volt hydraulic power pack

C-Designs supplied a complete repower package that included specification, design and manufacture of PLC control and electrical systems, 72-volt 160kW hydraulic power pack and the specification and supply of 1,200 Ah 72V LiPo battery banks, inverters, chargers and associated power supplies. Furthermore, proportional hydraulic valves, winch motors and variable displacement pumps were included in the upgrade package.

Velsheda recently finished Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez, her last regatta for the 2014 season, giving the systems a full workout with great success. Skipper Barnaby Henshaw-Depledge commented, ‘We made the decision to go with the C-Designs solution because it was unique. All the other proposals we saw offered more of the same and we knew we needed a step change to really get to the heart of our issue, which was lack of flow, especially during manoeuvres. As on so many other big yachts the power systems simply run out of steam during periods of high demand, which by definition is always at some of the most critical times during a race. We are delighted with the outcome – the system is fulfilling its promise and we now have all the power to the winches we could wish for.’

Over the past 15 years C-Designs have built a reputation for innovative solutions and designs, having been involved in many prestigious projects with both pure-bred racers and superyacht cruisers. Some of their designs are also now finding their way into the high-end sail cruising markets.

From their Southampton design office in the UK C-Designs combine their three primary specialities, providing integrated solutions in both new build and upgraded systems covering:

  • mechanical design – automated anchor launching, retractable propeller mechanisms, door and bearing systems
  • hydraulic systems – both electrically and diesel powered, with a new PTO sandwich gearbox, due to be unveiled at the Marine Equipment Trade Show (METS) this November
  • electrical systems – high-voltage DC lithium-ion and AC solutions with PLC integration including 3-phase and paralleled generators

C-Designs pride themselves on delivering tailored solutions to performance-driven customers, made possible by their in-house expertise. These are capable of providing innovative concepts and designs, prototypes and manufacturing services in collaboration with market leaders worldwide.

Click here for more information on C-Designs»


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World Yacht Racing
Forum 2014

Visit World Yacht Racing Forum

DOBBS DAVIS takes a sneak preview of the World Yacht Racing Forum 2014

The sport of racing sailboats encompasses numerous elements, from the commercial to the Corinthian, from inshore combat to offshore adventures, from the fast and furious to the deliberate and tactical. Sustaining a sport so rich in diversity are creative and energetic individuals who share the same passion the sailors have in seeing the game grow and evolve with emerging developments in advanced boat design, innovative race formats, applications in high technology and new media paradigms.

Now in its seventh year, the World Yacht Racing Forum is the only international sailing conference designed to attract these individuals who have significant influence on the sport in all its genres to come together to share their ideas. The event format combines short presentations made by key leaders in their fields, followed by moderated round-table discussions where all delegates can have their voices heard among peers to discuss the issues facing the sport and to share best practice.

Another important feature of the WYRF is the numerous breaks made between sessions where the ideas expressed get a chance to take root in face-to-face networking and future business opportunities.

No other conference can offer these features where ideas can transform into action so quickly.

This year’s edition, held over 10-11 December at Barcelona’s Hesperia Tower Hotel, will have a Grow the Sport theme, where subjects debated will all touch on this topic of growth and sustainability for the whole sport, not just those handful of elite events that are always in the headlines. These subjects include the growth potential for yacht racing in new and emerging markets, the importance of good class management, the varied and evolving role media can play, what sponsors expect at non-elite regattas, how to engage and broaden a spectator fan base, the fast-changing world of shorthanded offshore racing, and much more.

And with a new America’s Cup cycle underway, we will examine its influence on the theme of growth and diversity in the game.

During the first day of the WYRF the technical sessions of the Yacht Racing Design and Technology Symposium will be held concurrently, with such topics as the influence and importance R&D has on modern design, an update on the most recent technical elements to the VO65s now flying around the planet, what the latest design features are in the growing superyacht fleet, what we may (or may not) see in the new designs for AC35, and a discussion on what new boats will look like in 2035: will they be affordable, carbon-neutral and yet still offer high performance?

YRDTS delegates will then join the forum’s last session of roundtable discussions on a variety of topics that can affect the future of the sport and how it’s played. Following this will be the WYRF drinks reception hosted by the FNOB.

Delegates to the WYRF and YRDTS will also have an opportunity to vote for their favourite yachting photographs in the Mirabaud Yacht Racing Image competition. Two prizes will be awarded: the Mirabaud Yacht Racing Image, chosen by an international jury, and the Public Award, decided by the number of popular votes on the website and the participants at the WYRF. More details are found at www.yachtracingimage.com.

Just as in years past, this event will once again have a worldclass speaker line-up of leaders in industry, governance, event organisation, the media and the sailors themselves to address these and other important topics. This is the only opportunity to have in one place the most influential people in the sport.

The World Yacht Racing Forum 2014 will take place ahead of the start of the Barcelona World Race, with the support of event partner Fundació Navegació Oceànica Barcelona (FNOB). It will therefore be a perfect opportunity to visit the boats involved in this race, and to meet its sailors.

Barcelona is an easy-to-reach and cost-effective venue, the capital and largest city of Catalonia and Spain's second-largest city. Join us in Barcelona to play your part in helping shape the future of yacht racing… register now!

Seahorse readers receive a special 10% discount on the total delegate price; email us today on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with your Discount Code AY2038SH10.

For information on partnership opportunities please contact Informa Sports Group on +971 4407 2442 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

Click here for more information on the World Yacht Racing Forum»


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