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What's New, Nov. 2015

I’ve long considered Chris White and John Shuttleworth to be two of the most interesting multihull designers in the world … both always ready to present new ideas and concepts .... yet always with sound design considerations and solid engineering to back them up. So after presenting Chris White’s new MastFoilsTM … it’s now worth sharing what John Shuttleworth is up to these days. Enjoy!


PROJECT “MARS”

... as reported by John Shuttleworth & Multihulls World

A pioneering project has been launched which aims to design, build and sail the world's first full-sized, fully autonomous unmanned ship across the Atlantic Ocean.

At over 100ft in length, The Mayflower Autonomous Research Ship, codenamed MARS, will use state-of-the-art wind and solar technology for its propulsion enabling an unlimited range. The revolutionary trimaran vessel will carry on board a variety of drones through which it will conduct experiments during its voyage.

Following a year-long testing phase, the planned Atlantic crossing in 2020 will mark the 400th anniversary of the original Mayflower sailings from Plymouth, England to Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA.

Project MARS is being developed by a partnership of Plymouth University, autonomous craft specialists MSubs and Shuttleworth Design.

Detailed development of the design is underway and Shuttleworth Design will be preparing scale models for testing in the University's Marine Building.

John and Orion Shuttleworth state:

"Our approach to developing the concept was to fully explore and take advantage of the opportunities that arise from not having to carry crew, and to create a vessel that is capable of using only renewable energy. Working within the limitations of renewable energy sources has given a clear direction to the developing form of the vessel. The solar cell area required for effective motoring is too large for efficient sailing and safety in large waves. To overcome this we are developing a folding wing system to increase the solar cell area by 40% in calm conditions.

"A trimaran was chosen because it provides the most efficient hull form for low speed motoring. The hull configuration developed from a requirement to reduce windage, while keeping the solar array sufficiently high above the water to reduce wave impact. Without the need for accommodation, the centre hull has been kept low to the water and the wings and deck are separated and raised above on struts. This allows waves to break through the vessel and significantly reduces roll induced by wave impact. The outer hulls are designed to skim the water reducing resistance by 8%.

"The two masted soft sail rig, which will enable a top speed of around 20 knots, is designed to work with both or either sails hoisted, giving three sail combinations for varying wind speeds. Each sail is simply controlled by a single sheet, and the sails can stow into the deck taking up minimal space. Stowing the sails while motoring reduces windage and eliminates shadows cast over the solar cells on the deck, while allowing the masts to stay standing to carry navigation lights."

Professor Kevin Jones, Executive Dean of the Faculty of Science and Engineering at the University, states:

"MARS will be a genuine world-first, and will operate as a research platform, conducting numerous scientific experiments during the course of its voyage. And it will be a test bed for new navigation software and alternative forms of power, incorporating huge advancements in solar, wave and sail technology. As the eyes of the world follow its progress, it will provide a live educational resource to students, a chance to watch, and maybe participate in history in the making."

To read more on this project, go to: http://www.shuttleworthdesign.com/gallery.php?boat=MARS

While at John’s website, you might also enjoy to read about his prize-winning power trimaran ADASTRA, that was launched in 2012 and has since covered 14,000 fuel efficient miles at sea.


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