to take advantage of any speciﬁc rating rule – just be as fast as possible, particularly in the prevailing Paciﬁc NW light wind range we frequently race in and, of course, oﬀ the wind on the typical Hawaii race tracks. The handicap rating would end up being whatever it ended up being whether ORC, ORR, or PHRF – maybe not the most strategic choice but my experience is the faster a boat gets down the course in races such as Swiftsure, the bigger the advantage. At the completion of a very collaborative design process over 18 months, the key characteristics of the MK2 design included: *Lightweight, hard chined, composite construction with a displacement of 6,000 lbs including rig, sails, and all safety equipment. *Water ballasted (1200 lbs each side) to allow competitive inshore/ oﬀshore racing with 4 to 5 persons and high volume electric ballast ﬁll pumps in enclosed sea chests. *Improved keel foil and bulb design. *Single rudder chosen over transom hung twin rudders but with with cutting-edge tubercles. (see photo). *Swept-back two spreader fractional Hall carbon mast and boom with chainplates at hull edge and an internal hydraulic mast jack. *Fat-head mainsail with endless mainsheet controlled by self-tailing mainsheet winches aft of helmsman. Twin topmast backstays to run under deck and be controlled by cabin top halyard winches with clutches. *Non-overlapping jib equipped with hanks plus athwartships jib tracks and ﬂoating jib leads. *Telescopic carbon sprit with asymmetrical spinnakers ﬂown oﬀ masthead halyard. *Increased freeboard at bow with side decks sloping aft to open transom to make boat dryer and improve appearance. *Raised, lengthened, and widened house conﬁguration to provide additional headroom, interior volume, and improved appearance.
Paul Bieker employed tubercles, shown above, on the rudder design to provide extra control in challenging conditions. Below, the engineering of the retraciting drive unit is simple and eﬀective. *Cockpit seats and extended coamings with built-in helmsman footrest. *Three cylinder diesel auxiliary to allow cruising speed of 8+ knots. *Innovative retracting drive unit *Ease of maintenance with no wood trim on exterior of boat & minimal Douglas ﬁr trim on interior. *Linear galley with stove/oven, refrigeration, small dinette, enclosed head, and sleeping berths for ﬁve (see original sketch from owner’s design brief).
All through the long design process, working with Paul Bieker was both rewarding and enjoyable. I consider Paul to be a good friend notwithstanding the debate that continues to this day over my insistence to install a 55 lb stove and oven! Paul was always responsive and respectful of my input into the design. He thoroughly researched and modeled all the design and system components, and introduced some truly in-
novative design elements into Longboard; most notably the rudder tubercles and carbon retracting drive unit. Paul strongly recommended adding tubercles to the rudder (see photo at left) to provide additional steering control when the boat is really powered up oﬀ the wind. I agreed to experiment with them and our experience has been very positive as they not only give the helmsman additional control but also have a unique characteristic of giving an early warning sign when the rudder is going to stall out by shuddering a little before the stall occurs. I was originally concerned they may introduce additional drag in light air, however, given the excellent light air performance experienced to date, that would not seem to be the case. The other major design innovation was the retracting drive unit. Saildrive vibration at high speed had always annoyed me. Paul observed the same thing on the MK1 design when racing to Hawaii during the Paciﬁc Cup. He developed a very innovative concept for a retracting drive unit. The unit can be fully retracted into the hull but when it’s lowered the result is a straight drive from the engine with an eﬃcient ﬁxed propeller. Paul was so personally invested in making this work, he painstakingly modeled one in 3D (see photos below), engineered it carefully, and built the carbon ﬁber strut and drive unit enclosure in his home boat shop. The assembly is surprisingly simple, easy to operate, results in no resistance or vibration under sail and is very powerful, particularly in a seaway. In fact, returning last year from the Round the County Race and powering into a nasty 20 -knot northwesterly, we had to back oﬀ the power as we were launching the boat over the waves at 7.5 knots! In addition to Paul’s contributions throughout the design process, considerable acknowledgement must also go to four BC-based sailors that graciously provided their design input. My good friend Stewart Jones of Pro-Tech Yacht Services
NW YACHTING JANUARY 2016 55
Northwest Yachting covers yachting and boating on the west coast of the United States and Canada