J Class Yankee
With news that the J Class will return to race in the America's Cup in a parallel regatta in 2017, Dykstra Naval Architects present designs for a replica of Yankee, the J Class yacht that took part in the round robin series to defend the America's Cup in 1930. The optimisation study by Dykstra Naval Architects is a development of a syndicate project first announced in 2010 that was never built. Broken up in 1941 as part of the war effort, the original Yankee was designed by Frank Paine with an almost straight sheerline and easy lines. Dykstra Naval Architects has retained the same clean design and flush deck layout and focused their efforts on optimising performance within the new JCA rating system using their own VPP programs and CFD and FEM analyses derived from over 30 years' experience in rebuilding, refitting and building new replicas of seven J Class yachts.
"These boats were designed to race and that is the idea behind the new Yankee," says designer Jeroen de Vos, who has sailed on seven of the eight Js launched to date. "Our experience of sailing on very different boats has taught us that bigger is not necessarily better. It's all about waterline length, not length overall. So rather like Rainbow or Endeavour, the new Yankee will be quite small and light and very nimble. "Predicted performance gains are not always directly comparable with gains on the water, and herein lies another important lesson that the Dykstra team has learnt through hands-on experience: the importance of keeping the deck layout as simple and efficient as possible."We've seen that it's crews that win races," explains Jeroen de Vos. "If you mess up the start, the race is almost over before it's begun, so the crew has to be able to handle the sails and deck gear quickly and easily."
The original Yankee was a powerful contender for defender in 1930, but she was not as fine-tuned as her rivals. She took part in the 1934 America's Cup trials with modifications to her rig and bow and proved much more competitive. Following the latest optimisation study by Dykstra Naval Architects, no doubt she would prove even swifter on the water.
Dykstra Naval Architects have gained over 30 years of J-Class experience and where responsible for the rebuilds of the J-Class yachts: JK3 Shamrock V, JK7 Velsheda, JK4 Endeavour, performance refit of J5 Ranger, the new builds JK6 Hanuman and JH2 Rainbow and J Yankee on the drawing board. To keep the J-Class fleet and races alive and to encourage new build yachts to enter the field, new JCA maximum performance rules have been developed, including allowing aluminum as building material. The new rule is a VPP (Velocity Prediction Program) based rating system which puts limits to the performance. This new rule has been developed by the Dykstra Naval Architects office and the Wolfson Unit in Southampton. The aim of the JCA, the Dykstra team and the rule is to bring fair & close racing to the fleet and to give all designs a chance of winning (on a handicap based system). Over the years the Dykstra team gained an enormous amount of hands-on information by racing on all the Dykstra J's in the current fleet.