The maximum draft has been increased from 4.5m to 4.7m, so keel is longer, and is also lighter - both of these give the boat a noticeable performance improvement. It’s easier to see why a lighter boat would be quicker, as there is less resistance to being pushed forwards. But to explain why a longer keel is helpful we need to understand the idea of righting moment.
When the wind hits the sails on a boat it pushes the boat forward, but it can also create a force that is trying to tip the boat over. The more force that can be applied to resist the tipping over, then the faster the boat will go, since more wind energy can be applied to forward motion.
The resisting force is called the righting moment and creating as much righting moment as possible is the key to going fast in a sailboat. That’s why people lean over the windward side when they are racing, it creates righting moment. And a longer keel creates more righting moment too, making for a quicker boat.
There are eight bulkheads inside the Volvo Ocean 65 – compared to a typical number of four on a Volvo Open 70. The increase in number means a stronger, stiffer and more solid structure that can be pushed harder and go faster.
The reverse bow is designed to maximize the length of the waterline and increase the hull speed, but they can be wet!
The Volvo Ocean 65 has two aft water ballast tanks and one forward water ballast tank. The water ballast tanks also provide righting moment, and make the boat quicker for the same reasons as the longer keel. They are positioned in the back of the boat because the weight then also helps to keep the bow up and stops it ploughing into waves in big seas at high speed.
Onboard media packaging
There are five fixed camera positions and two uplink points, which will combine to give coverage from all angles. The camera and microphone point in the companionway hatch will get right in the faces of the sailors. Cameras can be remote controlled and directed, while new microphone locations and systems will enhance voice recording. Key to the project is that the cameras and microphones now have much better protection from wind and water, enabling interviews in the cockpit.